If you thought shows like Jerry Springer and Hole in the Wall were strange, get a load of this.
from the wiki folks (because there is no way I can describe this sh*t!):
Queen for a Day was an American radio and television show. It helped usher in American broadcast listeners' and viewers' fascination with big prize giveaway shows when it was born on radio (1945–1957), before moving to television (1947–1964; 1969–1970) and, between the two versions, making it a forerunner of "reality television".The show became popular enough that NBC increased its running time from 30 to 45 minutes.
Jack Bailey (who looke like wh was almost always three sheets to the wind..) hosted both the original radio show and the original daytime television version, first for Mutual, then NBC, and finally ABC. Using the classic "applause meter" as did many game or hit-parade style shows of the time, Queen for a Day contestants told why they would like the honour—and the twist of it was that the contestant had to talk publicly about the recent hard times she had been through.
It was something of an inverted Horatio Alger syndrome: instead of boy or girl making good, strictly speaking, the lure of Queen for a Day was woman making rock bottom (or close enough to it; the tearjerking factor was always part of the show's appeal) in order to have a one-in-four chance at best of making good, or at least a little less burdened, for at least one day in her life. The more harsh the circumstances that led a contestant to want to appear, the likelier the studio audience was to ring the applause meter's highest level. And, to the full accompaniment of "Pomp and Circumstance", the winner would be draped in a red velvet robe and a shimmering crown, and she would be festooned with a dozen long-stemmed roses, trips, a fully-paid night on the town with her husband or her escort, and other prizes. "Make every woman a queen, for every single day!" would be Bailey's trademark signoff.
Some critics accused the show of exploiting rather than enhancing the women who competed and the audience (in studio and at home) who watched (no sh*t, Sherlock. Of course theydidn't have to apply, now....did they?).