Monday, August 10, 2009

USPS Early TV Memories Stamps

Tomorrow the US Post Office releases for sale a sheet of "Early TV Memories" first class postage stamps. Here's the press release:

Early TV Memories

Block your calendar for Aug. 11 to attend the dedication of the Early TV Memories stamps, scheduled to take place in Los Angeles. For more than half a century, Americans have turned to television for entertainment and information. To those watching in its early days, TV offered the additional excitement of the new. Whether laughing at the first situation comedies, tingling at crime dramas, or identifying with ordinary people who had their day in the spotlight on game shows, audiences were charmed by the novelty of the young medium. Today, memories from television’s “childhood” — often especially vivid — are a pure pleasure.

The Early TV Memories commemorated in the 20 stamp set include: Adventures of Ozzie & Harriet; Alfred Hitchcock Presents; Dinah Shore Show; Dragnet; Ed Sullivan Show; George Burns & Gracie Allen Show; Hopalong Cassidy; The Honeymooners; Howdy Doody; I Love Lucy; Kukla, Fran and Ollie; Lassie; The Lone Ranger; Perry Mason; Phil Silvers Show; The Red Skelton Show; Texaco Star Theater; Tonight Show; Twilight Zone; and, You Bet Your Life.

It's easy to quibble with a list like this. Why no Your Show of Shows (which ran from 1950 to 1954, and spawned a whole generation of comedy writers and performers) or The Jack Benny Show (maybe the 1950-65 series was too sporadic; Benny only did 4 shows the first year, but by the mid-50s was producing 20 programs). There are arguments for other shows that were part of the 1950s like What's My Line and The Today Show. The most glaring error in the list is the absence of Edward R. Murrow (and maybe that's because he got to be on his own postage stamp in 1994).

Hat tip to The Washington Post.


John Sheppard said...

You'll never get the perfect all inclusive list, its too subjective. What about Amon 'n Andy, Soupy Sales, Ray Heatherton's Merry Mailman, Officer Joe Bolton's Three Stooges?
Sky King, Fury and Andy's Gang?
Geez ... I'm old. :(

Mark Anderson said...

Ooh! These look fun!

Unknown said...

How about taking notice of that stamp honoring a cartoonist just a couple items below the TV Memories.
In the early 1920s, while he was in his early 20s, Gary Cooper contributed political cartoons to the Helena (Mont) Independent. I guess he followed his parents to California, giving up his cartoonist career in Montana and becoming some kind of ne'er-do-well in Hollywood.