1959   1958  


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Series cast summary:
Ben Hecht ...  Himself - Host 101 episodes, 1958-1959


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Release Date:

15 September 1958 (USA) See more »

Filming Locations:

New York City, New York, USA

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Did You Know?


On February 15, 1958, writer Ben Hecht (1893-1964), a flamboyant and caustic social critic, appeared on The Mike Wallace Interview (1957). Wallace and his producer, Ted Yates, agreed that Hecht's personality was provocative enough to sustain a television show. "The Ben Hecht Show" was born. For 22 weeks Hecht held forth on a variety of subjects, enraging some, engaging many. His comments during the short-lived show included programs entertaining, defiant, realistic and iconoclastic. He had the impolitic thoughts of a man who tried to awaken the public from the "optical opiate" of 1950s television. On this premiere the show began with a statement of Hecht's intentions. Then, tonight's guest, advertising executive Robert L. Foreman, talks about "The Television Commercial." See more »

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User Reviews

Iconoclast Host of News, Political and Literary Talk Show
31 March 2015 | by bobrendell-83648See all my reviews

Ben Hecht, who billed himself as an iconoclast, helped teach me the importance of thinking independently, and not abandoning rational thought in the face of authority figures of all stripes.

Hecht was a newspaper reporter who became a novelist, playwright and iconic screenwriter long before his TV show. He was an outspoken Jewish activist who attacked FDR and AmericanJews for their failure to help European Jews (during WW II) long before his television show. His show remains the most provocative and entertaining "talk show" ever seen.

His outspoken views on such issues as politics, society and religion made him so controversial a figure in the 1950's that his talk show was cancelled after only twenty two weeks despite its popularity.

Hecht interviewed leading intellectuals of the day including Jack Kerouac, Dorothy Parker, Preston Sturges and Alexander King.

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