Can You Pass a 1960s TV Trivia Quiz?



By: William J. Wright

7 Min Quiz

Image: CBS

About This Quiz

From the heady days of Kennedy's Camelot to the Summer of Love, the postwar generation known as the Baby Boomers came of age in a rapidly changing cultural and political landscape. Although music may have been the prime mover of the increasingly influential under-30 demographic, TV was also shaping how young Americans interacted with the world. As television entered its third decade, the number of TV sets in the United States grew from around one million to 44 million. By 1969, nine out of 10 households had at least one TV. How we entertained ourselves and how we learned about the world had changed forever. 

The 1950s are often referred to as TV's golden age — a time when the new medium's promise and potential were just being tapped. By 1961, the value of television was in question as Federal Communications Commission Chairman Newton Minow declared American commercial TV a "vast wasteland." Nevertheless, talented writers and visionaries like Rod Serling and Gene Roddenberry were pushing the limits of TV as a tool to comment on the turbulent times through allegory and drama. Meanwhile, network news outstripped print and radio to literally bring the chaos of the '60s into our living rooms.

The 1960s was a landmark time for all genres of TV. From drama and comedy to sci-fi and thrillers, the decade was filled with classic moments and beloved shows that have become indelible pieces of the cultural landscape. So, whether you were there the first time or just saw the reruns, we've put together something just for fans of classic TV. Can you pass our 1960s TV challenge?

Which "Carol Burnett Show" regular co-starred as the meek and bumbling Ensign Chuck Parker on "McHale's Navy"?

Before "The Carol Burnett Show," Tim Conway honed his comedic chops on the military farce "McHale's Navy." As second-in-command to Ernest Borgnine's Lt. Cmdr. McHale, Conway's Ensign Chuck Parker often got himself and the crew into wacky situations through his lack of military acumen.


Can you name the show that took viewers on a five-year mission to the farthest reaches of the galaxy?

In the annals of television history, there is no success story like "Star Trek." Created by Gene Roddenberry, the show follows the adventures of the Starship Enterprise. Canceled after only three seasons, it would find its audience in syndication, spawning a franchise that thrives to this day.


This TV news anchor rose to prominence in the '60s. Do you remember "the most trusted man in America"?

From 1962 to his retirement in 1981, Cronkite anchored the "CBS Evening News," shepherding TV viewers through both good times and bad. From the assassination of JFK to the moon landing to the war in Vietnam, Cronkite was the voice on which America relied.


What's the Munsters' street address?

1313 Mockingbird Lane is, of course, the address of that wholesome family of fiends from "The Munsters." Blending the spooky atmosphere of the classic Universal monster movies with the all-American family ethos of the family comedies of the day, "The Munsters" is an enduring classic.


One of these "Hogan's Heroes" costars went on to become a popular game show host in the 1970s. Can you name him?

Richard Dawson, perhaps best known for his long stint as host of "The Family Feud," played Stalag 13's resident conman, Corporal Newkirk in "Hogan's Heroes." Although a series about Allied POWs in WWII seems an unlikely subject for a comedy, the show ran from 1965 to 1971.


This '60s TV show was the first animated series to have a prime time slot. Can you name it?

With the popularity of prime time animated fare like "The Simpsons" and "Bob's Burgers," it's hard to imagine that there was a time when animation was considered solely the domain of kids' programming. The first cartoon to break into the coveted prime time spot was "The Flintstones" in 1960.


Do you remember the comedic actor who played Samantha Stephens' practical joking Uncle Arthur on "Bewitched"?

Paul Lynde brought his outrageous persona to the role of Uncle Arthur, a recurring character on the fantasy sitcom "Bewitched." Arthur's love of mischief and practical jokes combined with his formidable magic often landed him in trouble with niece Samantha (Elizabeth Montgomery).


This failing '60s soap opera became a ratings smash when it incorporated a vampire into its plotline. Can you name this gothic drama?

For much of its first year, "Dark Shadows" suffered flagging ratings and the constant threat of cancellation. The show's fortunes changed dramatically with the introduction of vampire Barnabas Collins (Jonathan Frid) to its gothic setting. Frid's character was a sensation, causing ratings to skyrocket.


Which show featured the misadventures of a pair of identical cousins?

From 1963 to 1966, Patty Duke starred for three seasons in the dual roles of identical cousins Patty and Cathy Lane on the "The Patty Duke Show." A showcase for Duke's acting talent, the young actress convincingly portrayed prim and proper Brit Cathy and typical American teenager Patty.


Who played Dobie's work-averse beatnik buddy, Maynard G. Krebs, on "The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis"?

Although he'll forever be remembered as Gilligan, the bumbling first mate of the S.S. Minnow, TV audiences first fell in love with the late Bob Denver as Maynard G. Krebs on "The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis." As the bongo-playing Krebs, Denver was the pop culture paradigm for the typical beatnik.


What fictional small town is the setting of both "Green Acres" and "Petticoat Junction"?

Before Marvel made shared universes popular, writer/producer Paul Henning set three of his rural comedies firmly in the same world. While both "Green Acres" and "Petticoat Junction" were set in Hooterville, it wasn't uncommon for the Clampetts of "The Beverly Hillbillies" to drop in for a visit.


Which 1960s TV sitcom was based on a long-running cartoon series from "The Saturday Evening Post"?

Based on "The Saturday Evening Post's" long-running, single-panel cartoon series, "Hazel" premiered on NBC in 1961. Starring Shirley Booth as the eponymous live-in housekeeper, the show follows the strong-willed maid and her humorous interactions with her employers the Baxters and their neighbors.


Can you name the '70s sex symbol who made two appearances on "I Dream of Jeannie" in 1969?

Future "Charlie's Angels" star and best selling poster girl Farrah Fawcett appears in two fifth-season episodes of the classic fantasy sitcom "I Dream of Jeannie." In both episodes, she plays the gal pal of Major Nelson's (Larry Hagman) best friend Roger Healey.


Which of these shows featured Diahann Carroll as a nurse and single mother raising her young son after her husband's death in Vietnam?

Initially criticized for being "unrealistic," the 1968 sitcom "Julia" has, in retrospect, been reevaluated as a groundbreaking moment in TV history. Diahann Carroll has the title role as a widowed, African American mother who must raise her young son while maintaining a career as a nurse.


Can you name the song that serves as the theme to "The Andy Griffith Show"?

"The Andy Griffith Show's" iconic theme is titled, appropriately enough, "The Fishin' Hole." Composed by Earl Hagen and Herbert Spencer and whistled by Hagen, actor Everett Sloane wrote lyrics for the song which were never included on the show.


This quiz will self-destruct in five seconds if you can't answer this question: Which 1960s espionage series was revived as a popular action film franchise in 1996?

"Mission: Impossible" was the most enduring series to come out of the '60s spy craze. Premiering in 1966, the action-packed show followed the exploits of the IMF, a team of agents known for their expertise in difficult missions. The show was revived in 1996 as a film series starring Tom Cruise.


Can you name the aquatic '60s TV show that was co-created by the diver who played "The Creature From the Black Lagoon"?

A TV follow up to two successful theatrical films, "Flipper" was co-created by writer Jack Cowden and actor, stuntman and underwater cinematographer Ricou Browning. Browning is best known for portraying the Gill-man in the underwater sequences of "The Creature From the Black Lagoon."


What was the popular Western that launched the career of the actor who would become TV's "Six Million Dollar Man"?

Lee Majors, who would go on to greater fame in the '70s action series "The Six Million Dollar Man," co-starred as Heath Barkley on the Western drama "The Big Valley." Majors' character was the illegitimate son of a rancher fighting for his place in the wealthy Barkley family.


This racy drama that featured early performances by Ryan O'Neil and Mia Farrow was one of the first prime time soaps. Can you name this show?

"Peyton Place" was based on the 1956 novel of the same name by Grace Metalious. Predating the popularity of primetime soap operas like 1978's "Dallas" by over a decade, the show's frank treatment of adult themes resulted in the show being initially scheduled at 9:30 p.m.


Which "far out," psychedelic musician appeared on a 1967 episode of "The Monkees"?

In the 1968 episode "The Monkees Blow Their Minds," Mike Nesmith and Frank Zappa switched identities for a bizarre interview which found the leader of the Mothers of Invention donning Nesmith's signature wool hat. Nesmith, in wig and false nose as Zappa, calls the Monkees' music "insipid and banal!"


Which '60s TV comedy featured a theme song performed by legendary bluegrass duo Flatt and Scruggs?

One of the most popular and enduring sitcoms of the 1960s is "The Beverly Hillbillies." Starring Buddy Ebsen as mountaineer Jed Clampett who strikes it rich when he discovers oil on his land, his story is recounted in song in every episode through Flatt and Scruggs' "The Ballad of Jed Clampett."


For just little over three months in 1969, who was your friend when things got rough?

Running for only 17 episodes, 1969's "H.R. Pufnstuf" was a psychedelic freakout for the preschool set. Created by Sid and Marty Krofft, this surreal Saturday morning series featured the adventures of Jimmy (Jack Wild), a normal kid swept away to a land of dragons, witches and talking flutes.


A young Robert Redford played an injured policeman who is not what he seems on an episode of this beloved science fiction anthology series. Can you name this show?

Rod Serling's "The Twilight Zone" is best remembered for its top-notch writing and frightening twist endings. However, it was also a showcase for up-and-coming actors. In the 1963 episode "Nothing in the Dark," a young Robert Redford played a personification of death.


Which 1960s action and adventure series featured the exploits of an elite group of soldiers fighting the forces of Erwin Rommel in World War II?

"The Rat Patrol" starred Christopher George as Sgt. Sam Troy, commander of an elite desert patrol group fighting Rommel's Afrika Korps during the Second World War. Although it was popular in the United States, the show's many historical inaccuracies drew the ire of British and Australian audiences.


Do you know the name of the legendary actor who hosted the '60s horror and suspense anthology "Thriller"?

"Thriller" was hosted by Boris Karloff, best known for his role as the creature in Universal's classic "Frankenstein." An anthology show, "Thriller" featured horror and suspense stories written by such authors as Robert Bloch.


Can you name the sci-fi series in which one of the main characters was transformed into a giant stalk of celery?

In the last season of "Lost in Space," the stuffy, cowardly and vaguely villainous Dr. Smith (Jonathan Harris) was transformed into a sentient stalk of celery. The episode titled "The Great Vegetable Rebellion," although reviled by sci-fi fans, has since become a cult favorite.


Do you remember the name of Morticia Addams' man-eating plant?

Addams family matriarch Morticia (Caroline Jones), had quite the green thumb. In many episodes, she can be seen snipping those pesky blooms from her roses are feeding her man-eating "Boston Strangler," Cleopatra.


Which 1960s comedy/variety show constantly ran afoul of the censors resulting in its cancellation in 1969?

Comedy duo The Smothers Brothers found themselves in constant hot water over the content of their variety show. Unafraid to address the hot button topics of the era, "The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour" often ran afoul of network censors resulting in the show's cancellation in 1969.


Can you name the evil organization that's the main adversary of special agents Napoleon Solo and Illya Kuryakin on the '60s spy hit "The Man From U.N.C.L.E."?

"The Man from U.N.C.L.E." focused on the exploits of secret agents Napoleon Solo (Robert Vaughn) and Illya Kuryakin (David McCallum) in their ongoing battle against THRUSH. THRUSH was so dangerous, Cold War adversaries Russia and the United states joined forces to combat it.


What's the name of the Army outpost that's the setting for the Wild West comedy "F Troop"?

From 1965 to 1967, TV audiences were treated to the slapstick misadventures of the soldiers of "F Troop." Set at the fictional Fort Courage, the show starred Ken Berry as the bumbling Captain Wilton Parmenter, who's in charge of a misfit brigade of cavalry troops.


Can you name the actor who played the retired secret agent known only as Number Six on the surreal 1960s show "The Prisoner"?

British actor Patrick McGoohan co-created and starred in the surreal 1967 drama "The Prisoner." Known only as Number Six, McGoohan plays a recently retired secret agent who finds himself trapped in an idyllic village where he's constantly interrogated for information by a figure called Number Two.


This 1950s cop show was successfully revived in 1967. Can you name it?

Creator and star Jack Webb successfully brought his popular '50s cop drama "Dragnet" back to the small screen in 1967. Retaining its signature style but tackling contemporary themes like the counterculture and drug use, the revived series lasted until 1970.


On the '60s sitcom "Gilligan's Island," what's the Skipper's real name?

Comedic actor Alan Hale Jr. played the hapless skipper of the S.S. Minnow for three seasons on "Gilligan's Island." Although the Skipper is almost exclusively referred to by his informal title and nickname, his actual name as indicated in the pilot is Jonas Grumby.


On "The Dick Van Dyke Show," what was Rob and Laura Petrie's son Richie's middle name?

Rob and Laura Petrie (Dick Van Dyke and Mary Tyler Moore), hoping to save their son (Larry Mathews) some embarrassment, kept his middle name a secret. After finding his birth certificate, Richie learns his middle name is Rosebud, an acronym for "Robert Oscar Sam Edward Benjamin Ulysses David."


Which "Batman" villain did not appear on the popular 1966 TV show?

Despite being a fixture of the comic book, Two-Face never appeared on the 1966-1968 TV series. Nevertheless, legendary author Harlan Ellison did pen a rejected outline that would have introduced the iconic villain. Ellison's story was finally published as an issue of the comic "Batman '66" in 2014.


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