Game Shows Wiki
Lew Valentine (Radio)
James "Jimmy" McClain (Radio, 1954 TV)
Stanley Vainrib (Radio)
Jay Owen (1953–1954)
Tom Kennedy (1958–1959)
Bob Shepard (1953–1954)
Bill Ewing (1958–1959)
Art Fleming (1953–1954)
Dr. I.Q.jpg
NBC Blue (Radio) (Weekly): 4/10/1939 – 7/3/1939
NBC Radio (Weekly): 7/10/1939 – 10/28/1949
ABC Radio (Weekly): 1/4/1950 – 11/29/1950
ABC Primetime: 11/4/1953 – 10/17/1954
ABC Primetime: 12/15/1958 – 3/23/1959

1958 INTRO:
EWING: "From Hollywood, the ABC Television Network presents Dr. I.Q., the Mental Banker!" SUE: "I have a lady, Doctor!" CAROL: "I have a gentleman, Doctor!" KENNEDY: "And I have silver dollars for correct answers!" EWING: "And here he is, the wise man with a pleasant smile, Dr. I.Q.!"

Dr. I.Q. was the radio and later television quiz game show that had audience participation in it and one of the first ever game shows.


Radio Version[]

The radio version of the show was just a travelling road show held at concert halls and theaters. Microphones were positioned throughout the audience.

The quizmaster, Dr. I.Q., delivered silver dollars to audience members who correctly answered his fast-paced questions. The series began April 10, 1939, on the Blue Network with singer-announcer Lew Valentine as Dr. I.Q. Later quizmasters in the role of Dr. I.Q. were Jimmy McClain and . The radio version aired until November 29, 1950 on the NBC and ABC networks. Valentine and McClain were also the hosts of Dr. I.Q. Jr., a juvenile version heard on NBC from 1941 to 1949.

The basic premise of the game involved assistants who wandered the theater looking for audience members to play the game. When the assistant found someone willing to play, he or she would say, "I have a gentleman in the balcony, Doctor!" or something similar. The host would then say, depending on the difficulty of the question: "Two (more or less) silver dollars and a box of Mars Bars if you can answer this!" Then he would pose a general-knowledge question to the contestant. A correct answer would win the stated dollar amount and candy in the first part of the game and $20 in the second part; incorrect answers would result in a $1 consolation prize. All prizes were paid in silver dollars. A home listener would be selected each week to play the game on the telephone.

Sometimes during the show, a jingle would sound and the contestant would get a chance to spin the "Wisdom Wheel," which would contain prize amounts from $1 to $100, each of which corresponded to a question whose difficulty increased with the prize amount. Other features were the "Biographical Sketch" and the "Thought Twister". For "The Lady in the Balcony" a female contestant in the theater balcony was asked a series of five questions. She would be allowed five incorrect answers. If she had any misses still available after five questions, she would return the following week to face five more questions with the remaining misses in play. If she was able to survive four weeks without incorrectly answering five questions, the contestant would win the jackpot prize.

Television Version[]

Similar gameplay but it was set in just a studio only. No going on the road. The first season was set at the Elysee Theater in New York City, NY. The second season was taped at the ABC Television Center in Hollywood, CA.


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This was Tom Kennedy's second game show & first hit.

This was the first ever interactive game show, especially with the telephone.

This show was the first ever major quiz show

TV assistant Art Fleming went on to host the hugely successful Jeopardy!.

International Versions[]

Here is a list of countries where this show aired:

  • Mexico
  • Japan


"I have a lady/gentleman in the balcony, Doctor!"


Dr. I.Q. Jr. - a kids spinoff of the show

YouTube Video[]

Full Episode