Quiz Show Contestant
About This Interview
Herbert Stempel was interviewed for one-and-a-half hours in Queens, NY. Stempel talked about his early years, where he discovered that he could retain large amounts of information from materials that he read. He discussed how in 1956, he wrote a letter to the producers of the new quiz show, Twenty One and was quickly invited to become a contestant on the popular program. He revealed how producer Dan Enright choreographed the entire production by creating his "nerdy" look and secretly providing Stempel with the answers to specific quiz questions. Mr. Stempel talked about his repeated appearances on the show, and his orchestrated defeat by Charles Van Doren – before which he was promised a job on the show and other benefits. When the job did not come through, Mr. Stempel approached the authorities, further igniting what became known as the "Quiz Show Scandals." Mr. Stempel talked about his testimony and his ultimate return to private life, where he continues to work for the New York transportation system. The interview was conducted by Karen Herman on July 16, 2004.
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- Herbert Stempel on the question that he "lost" to Charles Van Doren on Twenty-One, throwing the game
Clip begins at: 17:19, Duration: 03m 16s
- Herbert Stempel on the game show Twenty-One "everything was scripted"
Clip begins at: 02:31, Duration: 00m 16s
- Herbert Stempel on how he was asked to take the fall on Twenty-One
Clip begins at: 16:15, Duration: 03m 18s
- Herbert Stempel on why he decided to take the fall on Twenty-One
Clip begins at: 19:37, Duration: 00m 58s