The August 12, 1945 edition of "Double Or Nothing," one of the direst "audience participation" shows of the 1940s. The format is a simple "double or nothing" quiz, in which quivering yutzes from the studio audience are called on stage and given a chance to win up to $100. The master of ceremonies is John Reed King, who was competent as a straight announcer, but is utterly charmless interacting with the public. He has no charisma whatsoever, he has no idea how to put the contestants at ease or draw them out to make them seem interesting to the listeners, and he bellows everything he says to the point where you're amazed that the microphone ribbon didn't blow out. And to compete with his loutish howling, the engineer has the audience mics cranked up so high that every pronouncement from the stage is greeted by violent blasts of applause and screaming from the studio crowd. One contestant does win the "Feen-A-Mint Double Or Nothing Hundred Dollar Prize," though, answering the question "With whom do we associate a burning bush" with a quiet, mumbled "Moses" that causes King to wail apoplectically. Perhaps he had chewed a bit too much of his sponsor's product and it was finally taking effect. Adding to the atmosphere of general incompetence surrounding the whole enterprise is a breathless news bulletin cut in by Bill Slater in the Mutual newsroom about half way thru the show -- a United Press flash declaring that Japan has accepted the Allied surrender terms, and the war is over! Slater repeats this bulletin over and over again, practically leaping with excitement -- he was a sportscaster by trade, not a newsman -- only to have to swallow it all when he's handed a UP order to bust that flash because it was sent out erroneously. "It's entirely untrue," he practically groans,"and the war is not over." Listening to a program like this -- and there were many, many programs like this -- helps one really understand why so many people in mid-1940s America were appalled and horrified at how genuinely bad radio could be, no matter what the National Association of Broadcasters tried to get them to believe. And perhaps even the NAB itself deep down understood this, because it's hard to imagine any intelligent person putting together such a tasteless melange and thinking they were doing a good job.