From The Archives: Ralph Edwards, TV Pioneer

Morning Remembrance Portraits by Nathan Smith copyright 2011

Ralph Edwards, the host and creator of “Truth or Consequences” and “This is Your Life,” two of the most popular shows in television history, has just created another hit, called “This is My Death.”

During the 1950’s, his shows were so popular, that a town in New Mexico re-named itself “Truth or Consequences.” Unfortunately the “truth” was that it was too close to a nuclear testing range, and the “consequences” were cancer.

Every installment of “This Is Your Life” started the same way. Edwards would surprise a hapless celebrity with the phrase “This is your life!” whereupon the celebrity would finally get the message his career was over.

Remaining active throughout his 92 years, Edwards also created such well-known shows as, “The People’s Court,” “Name That Tune,” “The People’s Consequences,” “Name That Court,” “The People’s Tune,” and “Truth Court Consequences Tune People’s Name The.”

Edwards requested his remains be surprised by a guy with a camera and microphone and then wheeled into a room full of annoying relatives.