KUP'S SHOW - 1962 - 1975 (Syndicated) 1975 - 1986 (PBS)
Chicago newspaper columnist Irv Kupcinet was first seen on local Chicago television and like David Susskind in New York (Open End), he hosted a talk show in 1959, "AT Random," that was open-ended.The program was trimmed to an hour when it went into national syndication in 1962. In 1975 the show was picked up by PBS and lasted for an additional 11 years.
“At Random” on WBBM, was a talk show that started at midnight and continued until the host and the guests-some of whom wandered by after their nightclub acts-ran out of things to say, usually around three in the morning. In 1962 “At Random” later became a more conventional, hourlong syndicated television show.
Guests over the years included Richard Nixon, Malcolm X, Muhammad Ali, Milton Friedman, Martin Luther King Jr., Jimmy Hoffa, Judy Garland, and University of Chicago president Robert Maynard Hutchins. What made the show work was Kup himself, says Todd Whitman, his producer in later years: "His ability to put together people from different walks of life, sitting back and letting everybody else intermingle. He didn’t hog the spotlight, hosting and guiding the flow or conversation as a common guy sitting and observing.”
Guests include Judy Garland, Jean-Pierre Aumont, his wife Marisa Pavan, Irna Phillips, creator of the soap opera, As The World Turns, Jan Pierce, and Dr. Eric Bene author of the book "The Games People Play.."
Judy Garland, who states her future plans are to keep on singing, candidly discusses her feelings about today's music and her dislike of the Beatles, her feelings about The Wizard of Oz, her childhood which was not a normal one, and her daughter, Liza whom she feels has a better singing voice than Barbra Streisand whom she does not care for. Garland comments on her cult following, and the fact that every time she goes on stage she has a case of "stage freight."
Jan Pierce tells Irv Kupcinet that he is developing a Peace Corp for entertainers. Irna Phillip discusses why censorship in Radio was greater than today in television, and Dr. Eric Berne author of "The Games People Play," states how most people are not truthful with one another.
NOTE: A rare TV Audio Air Check. Sound quality has been improved by archivist Phil Gries as much as possible increasing its audio listening clarity which had slight issues when originally recorded in 1965.