You Asked For It

You Asked for It was a popular human interest show created and hosted by Art Baker.  Initially titled The Art Baker Show, the program originally aired on American television between 1950 and 1959.

On the show, viewers were asked to send in postcards describing something that they wanted to see on television, such as the reenactment of William Tell shooting an apple off his son’s head.  In 1950, US national archery champion Stan Overby performed the feat, shooting an apple off his assistant’s head.
The show was originally broadcast live, so some of the riskier propositions took on added elements of danger and suspense.  A segment where animal trainer and stuntman, Reed Parham wrestled a huge, deadly anaconda, for example, nearly became disastrous until assistants interceded with guns drawn, visibly unnerving host Art Baker.

In the Happy Days episode “Fearless Fonzarelli” (aired September 30th, 1975), Fonzie (Henry Winkler) jumps his motorcycle over fourteen garbage cans.  The feat attracts the cameras of the fictional (though thinly-veiled) You Wanted To See It, with the real Jack Smith playing himself.  You Wanted To See It shows up again in the Weezer video “Buddy Holly” which shows the band playing at Arnold’s Drive-In, a popular diner in the Happy Days sitcom.

A parody of the show called You’re Asking for It was featured in the Bugs Bunny cartoon Wideo Wabbit (1956).

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