This episode is from the WNYC archives. It may contain language which is no longer politically or socially appropriate.
Seldes discusses the complex subject of "what life is like in the 49th state." By "49th state" he means in the television screen. He talks about family comedies and how they describe Americans living together. He reads a portion of a letter from a listener who identifies the typical roles of the bumbling father and all-knowing mother. He points out that Clarence Day's "Life with Father" has been made into a television program, which has had negative reviews. He brings up the television version of Pride and Prejudice, and the disappointing "dumbing down" of characters.
He reads a portion of an advertisement (paid for by "the friends of the motion picture industry") called "The Big Squeeze and the Little Woman." The advertisement is aimed towards men. The ad recommends that men avoid all the stresses that accompany the big squeeze by heading out to the movies. He talks of the importance of "escaping" to a movie once a week.
Seldes goes on to discuss cooking shows - and the difficulties the mind has following instructions without visual aids.
Violence in television is also reported on, as are stereotypes of professionals.
Audio courtesy of the NYC Municipal Archives WNYC Collection
WNYC archives id: 71510
Municipal archives id: LT3080