While this show may not have earned the same enduring caché as Ed Sullivan’s “really big shoe,” General Electric Theater is worthy of several notes. The show’s only host, added in 1954, was future US President Ronald Regan and it was General Electric Theater which catapulted him to fame. One might also argue that Regan’s experiences with the show laid the groundwork for his future political career. Aside from the tireless campaigning (I mean touring!) to promote the program across the country, Regan would also speak at Rotary and other forums presenting views on economic progress, similar to content featured on the show.

And it was politics which ended Regan’s tenure on the program. Reagan was fired in 1962 in response to comments he made referring to the TVA as one of the problems of “big government”. Those comments would be reiterated in Regan’s speech at the 1964 Republican National Convention.

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