texaco star theater starring milton berle W r i t i n g
The answers for the three segments of the test must not exceed 4 pages maximum (1000
words) in 11-12 pt. Times New Roman with standard margins.
Choose two of the following and using normal prose (and complete sentences) Define/Identify
each term or phrase, Explain the connections between each, and their broader significance in
terms of their era in television history.
A. Newton Minnow, See It Now, Cronkite in Vietnam
B. The domestic medium, cultural hegemony, the rise and fall of the ethnicom
C. Liveness, George Burns, JFK’s assassination
D. The Red Scare, Edward R. Murrow, Consumerism
E. The Three C’s, Legitimation Crisis, Cronkite in Vietnam
II. The Significance of the Scene:
Choose two of the following clips and concepts. Through textual analysis—a close reading,
focusing on specific elements of the short selected scene and how it exemplifies and/or relates to
the concepts with which it is prepared.
A. Julia, “Paint Your Waggedorn” (17:00-19:14) Social Instruction, Racism/Race Relations
B. I Love Lucy, “Lucy Does a Commercial” (8:40-11:40) the transitional woman &
C. Beulah, “The Waltz” (20:28 – 22:02) The Happy Mammy & the Post War Nuclear Family
D. The Honeymooners, “TV or Not TV” (5:50 – 8:15) The Embourgeoisement of the working
class & Containment
E. Amos ‘n’ Andy (2:10 – 9:43) Norms, Stereotypes & Minstrelsy
III. Finding The Fake
For each of the triads below, select the statements that are the FALSEST and explain/justify
A. Liveness is no longer a part of television viewing since the advent of cable, DVRs and streaming
B. NAACP objected more to Beulah than to Amos ‘n’ Andy because the show’s representation of the
C. Lucy, Martha and Mary can arguably be seen as transitional women for the era in which their
shows were produced
A. Television programs should be studied as creative endeavors, cultural artifacts, industrial and
commercial products, and as tools for political and social instruction.
B. Reflecting on the impact of his “telegenetic” debut in the 1960 Presidential Debates, many TV
scholars believe that JFK was America’s first “televisual president.”
C. In 1948, there were four major American television networks: ABC, NBC, CBS, and FOX, all of
which remain powerful and productive to this day.
A. The three Cs help us understand the motivations of early broadcast television.
B. The Feminine Mystique and shows such as The Donna Reed Show reflected how all women
regardless of race or class felt about domestic life.
C. Broadcast news helped expose the dangers of McCarthyism, therefore aiding in thwarting the
development of the Red Scare.
A. The Paramount Decrees refers to the period from 1948 to 1952 when the FCC refused licensing to
new television stations.
B. Texaco Star Theater starring Milton Berle is a good example of “vaudeo,” or what might be
understood as a mixing of vaudeville traditions with video.
C. Lipsitz’s term, the “embourgeoisement of the working class” refers to the false promise of social
mobility through consumption, often foregrounded in the ethnicoms and sitcoms of the 1950s.
A. Post-war womanhood—as exemplified by Lucy and Martha—conceptually aligns with Friedan’s
concerns of feminine fulfillment.
B. Sponsorship and Consumerism are less prevalent in television today, particularly on streaming
C. Conscious, decoding viewers have little impact in challenging hegemonic norms across