Sunday, January 13, 2013

There She Is...

Apparently last night ABC aired The Miss America Pageant. Who knew? Reposting this entry from last year. Never been much of a beauty pageant fan, but the Miss America Pageant has always held a special space in my heart. Maybe it's because two of my favorite World War 2 superheroines were named Miss America - one from Timely/Marvel and and from Quality (later DC)?
Nah, I think it's because of the awesome old TV GUIDE ads that the networks used to run. Let's take a quick look at them.
This one is from 1973, back when the pageant used to air in early September. I love this ad for two reasons 1) The amazing "Mrs. Bellows" hair on the generic Miss America lady. 2) I think she's flying. A crown, a scepter and the power of flight. She's amazing!
The next year, 1974, things got weird. This was the era of Peter Max, neo-Art Deco and freaky "PBS-style" TV GUIDE ads. I love the the show that is airing on channel 40 is called HAPPINESS IS...
In 1977, the show moved to CBS and Bert Parks gets a call-out in the ad, along with co-star Phyllis George (1971 Miss America winner). Photos of actual pageant contestants are now being utilized.
Back to NBC in 1978 with a lovely photo of a real winner (possibly from the year before?). Bert and Phyllis are joined by Lee Meriwether (1955 Miss America). N B See Us!
1982, still on NBC - but Bert Parks is gone! Mr. Parks was let go in 1979, after hosting for 24 years. TV's TARZAN and FACE THE MUSIC host Ron Ely (pictured) is the "new" host. Two former Misses (Susan Powell, Dorothy Benbam) are shown as well.
A year later, Ron is gone and Gary Collins is in. Susan Powell is back and the special guest is former Fifth Dimension-er Marilyn McCoo! You don't have to be a star, to be in her show.
In 1986, Miss America turns her back to us. Shocking! Gary Collins still helms.
The following year, Collins was back and the font choice reached a new level of cheesiness, as did Miss America's gown. For some interesting facts and figures about the pageant, see below:
Tonight lightning safety advocates will be rooting for Ellen Bryan, Miss Ohio to win. She has been a spokesperson for lightning safety for several years. Ellen has made lightning safety and "when thunder roars, go indoors" her Miss America platform issue. Brains and beauty too! So there you have it, my quick look back at the Miss America Pageant. Actually, I preferred this pageant:

1 comment:

R.A.M.'67 said...

The first image past the comic book covers is hilarious; the illustration looks like it was yanked from MAD.

There's a subtlety to it that suggests the artist didn't think much of the pageant. I get the notion the artist was rolling his eyes as he produced it!