Do You Trust Your Wife?
Tile #26 on the Studio City Walk of Fame
Don Fedderson Productions
Host: Edgar Bergen
Announcer: Edwin Reimers
Do You Trust Your Wife is a half-hour game show that premiered in prime time on CBS on January 3, 1956 with famed ventriloquist Edgar Bergen as the host of the classic show.
SYNOPSIS: Married couples, chosen for their unusual backgrounds, were interviewed by Edgar Bergan and one of his irreverent puppets Charlie McCarthy, Mortimer Snerd , Podine Puffington or Effie Klinker. The couple was then asked a series of four questions and the husband could answer them or "trust" his wife to respond. The first correct answer earned $100, the second $200, and the third $300. On the fourth question, the couple could risk all or any part of their winnings and attempt to answer the question. Three couples played on each show, and the top-scoring couple returned at the end of the week to play against the winner of the previous week on the "Trust Fund Question," where they could win $100 a week for a year. The final episode aired on March 26, 1957 on CBS.
Do You Trust Your Wife? returned as a daytime show on ABC on September 30, 1967. In July 1958 the show title was changed to expand the scope of contestants beyond married couples. Who Do You Trust? was hosted by Johnny Carson with Ed McMahon as the announcer.
Born in Decatur, Michigan in 1903, Edgar Bergen developed a talent for ventriloquism at a the age of eleven.
A streetwise little Irish boy who delivered newspapers named Charlie was the inspiration for Charlie McCarthy. Bergen made some sketches and gave them to Mack, a wood carver. Named "Charlie" (after the newsboy) and "McCarthy" (after Mack) the wisecracking Charlie McCarthy was born.
Charlie's forty pound body consisted of a head made of pine and a nine-inch hickory spine made from a broomstick. He wore size 4 clothes, size 3 socks and size 2AAA shoes.
Bergen and McCarthy began their career as talent show headliners, performing in Chicago making their radio debut on Rudy Vallee’s Royal Gelatin Hour in 1936. The following year, they were given their own show and The Edgar Bergen/Charlie McCarthy Show became one of radio’s highest-rated programs. During the show’s two decades on the air, Bergen added new characters to the show, including the slow-witted Mortimer Snerd and the man-hungry spinster Effie Klinker.
In 1938 The Academy of Motion Pictures Arts & Sciences presented Edgar Bergen with an Honorary Academy Award To Edgar Bergen for his outstanding comedy creation, Charlie McCarthy. The Oscar® Mr. Bergen received is the only wooden statuette ever given.
Edgar Bergen and his puppets made many television and film appearances including (Tile #88) which featured Edgar and Charlie in their last screen appearance.
After 56 years in show business, Bergen announced his retirement while performing at Ceasar's Palace in Las Vegas. He closed the show that evening with, "Every vaudeville act must have an opening and a closing, so I'll pack up my jokes and my little friends . . . and say goodbye." Three days later, on September 30, 1978, Bergen died peacefully in his sleep in Las Vegas, Nevada, at the age of 75.
In the photo gallery, look for a 1966 photo of a young Candice Bergen playfully strangling Charlie McCarthy. Ms Bergen stepped out of the shadow of her famous father and earned her own fame in film and television, winning five Emmy® Awards for her work on the highly rated sitcom Murphy Brown.
For more information, please visit the SCIA website Walk of Fame pages.