On This Day: Joyce Brothers, $64,000 Swot

A female contestant had never scooped the jackpot on an American TV quiz show before New York psychologist Dr Joyce Brothers won $64,000 on 6th December, 1955.


Her specialist subject was boxing - a topic about which she knew little, until she devoted herself to studying the annals of the sport in preparation for multiple appearances on the show. Despite the best efforts of sponsors Revlon to catch her out, she claimed the top prize on ‘The $64,000 Question’ AND its subsequent spin-off, ‘The $64,000 Challenge’.


In this episode, Arion, Rebecca and Olly reveal how Brothers combatted sexism on many prior occasions; explain how she swerved ‘the Quiz Show scandals’; and celebrate her ability to leverage her celebrity and academic qualifications to become America’s first pop psychologist…


Further Reading:

• ‘Dr. Joyce Brothers on The $64,000 Question’ (CBS, 1955): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WqhxN9a8OCg

• ‘Obituary: Popular TV psychologist Dr. Joyce Brothers dies at 85’ (Los Angeles Times, 2013): https://www.latimes.com/local/obituaries/la-me-joyce-brothers-20130514-story.html

• ‘Joyce Brothers: She overcame sexism to become the first woman to win US quiz show’ (Honey, 2021): https://honey.nine.com.au/latest/joyce-brothers-first-woman-to-win-us-quiz-show-64000-question-women-in-history/dd9f0dd2-0815-47e5-b84b-8f13edeb688f


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The Retrospectors are Olly Mann, Rebecca Messina & Arion McNicoll, with Matt Hill.

Theme Music: Pass The Peas. Announcer: Bob Ravelli. Graphic Design: Terry Saunders. Edit Producer: Emma Corsham.

Copyright: Rethink Audio / Olly Mann 2021.


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