Ted Mack’s Star On The Famous Hollywood Walk Of Fame
Host on TV 1948-1970
Ted Mack was born in Greeley, Colorado and named Edward McGuiness. When he became a bandleader, and his name would not fit on a theatre marquee, the theatre manager shortened his name to Ted Mack, and it stuck.He was an accomplished clarinet and saxophone player and musical conductor. Mack was associated with well-known big bands such as Glenn Miller, Benny Goodman, Red Nichols, Jack Teagarden, and Ben Pollack.Ted was the host of The Original Amateur Hour on television for 24 years. He joined the staff of Major Bowes' radio Amateur Hour in 1935 as a talent scout and one of Bowes' first assistants. On Bowes' death in 1946, Mack took over as host and fronted the show on TV in 1948 on the Dumont network.The show lasted until 1970 when Ted and his producers pulled it off the air. It was estimated that over 1,000,000 aspirants auditioned for the show during its long tenure from WHN radio to all three major TV networks.Like his mentor, Major Bowes, Ted Mack also died on the eve of his 72nd birthday on July 14, 1976.
Early Days Of TV - DuMont Network Circa 1948
First TV Appearance of Ted Mack &
“The Wheel Of Fortune” and the “Gong”
Remember the saying: “Round and round she goes … and where she stops … nobody knows”? That phrase was created by “The Original Amateur Hour” and lives on today in use by everybody.
Also, “The Gong” did NOT start with “The Gong Show”. The “gong” was first used on radio to stop a bad act. After audience protests, using the “gong” to get rid of some acts was stopped. But the symbol of the “gong” was so embedded in audiences minds, that it remained a visual symbol of “The Original Amateur Hour” to this very day.
The original “gong” used on both radio and television still exists in our archives. You can see it in the “TV Memorabilia” section.
Ted Mack with “Amateur Hour” Graduates:
Singer Mimi Benzell & Paul Winchell & Jerry Mahoney
Ted Mack when show moved to NBC with Sponsor: Old Gold Cigarettes Circa 1955