Robert Earle, 1926-2019

Sorry for being MIA the past few days; I came down with a sudden strange malady.

Here’s a news quickie spotted by an alert reader. Robert Earle, host of the TV show College Bowl, died last week at 93.

College bowl was a quiz show. Below are the boys from Princeton in 1966, while below that is a clip from 1960 with a different host of the show, who frankly looks a tad more stylish.

Back to bed…. — CC

24 Comments on "Robert Earle, 1926-2019"

  1. MR E W AISTHORPE | June 10, 2019 at 3:55 pm |

    That lady from Georgia had a beautiful accent.

  2. Charlottesville | June 10, 2019 at 4:12 pm |

    Hope you are feeling better, Christian. I was a watcher of GE College Bowl when I was a kid.
    If I recall correctly, it ran on Sunday afternoons, and didn’t have much competition in that time slot in the days of 3-network TV. The 1960 clip shows Allen Ludden, who later became the host of Password for many years and was also the husband of Betty White, until his death in the 1980s. Love the pinned collar.

  3. Old School Tie | June 10, 2019 at 4:58 pm |

    Excellent! Our version, University Challenge, was first aired in 1962 and presented by Bamber Gascoigne. Now, I was born in 1967, a year after the episode of College Bowl above, yet when I was old enough to start watching University Challenge it was still transmitted in black and white. The US always seemed so massively far ahead when I was younger. Still, the University Challenge theme tune, “College Boy” by the Balanescu Quartet is worth a listen…

  4. The tall elf in Rudolph the Red Nose Reindeer was modeled after Earle. It originally aired right after the College Bowl.

  5. Mark Russell | June 10, 2019 at 8:52 pm |

    I watched often during the Allen Ludden days before he went on to Password. Charlottesville and I must be contemporaries.
    Isn’t it amazing to see the fund of knowledge that those college students had. I wonder how a team from today would fare against them.

  6. Matt Holman | June 10, 2019 at 11:59 pm |

    It was so easy to dress properly back then.

  7. Ezra Cornell | June 11, 2019 at 12:25 am |

    @Mark Russell
    I have some good news for you. I’ve taught university students for the last twenty years, and they are incredibly smart, energetic, interesting and eager to learn. I know that decline is the trade and barter of this blog and its commentariat, but I hope we’re also clear-headed enough to know that when it come to smarts, no generation has a monopoly.

  8. Clark J. Healey | June 11, 2019 at 1:06 am |

    @Ezra Cornell
    Today, the teams would consist of Asians, and the questions would be about blind lesbian authors and Native American contributions to heavy metal music.

  9. For some reason I particularly remember Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute from some of the first College Bowls. Guess a name like that is bound to stick, even over half a century later.

    The college football highlights played at about the same time on Sundays. They had to develop the film, get it processed then off to a broadcast facility for production, hence the lag. Seems like Colgate and Lehigh always made sure they got coverage.

    @Matt Holman: correct, even small towns had men’s stores with experienced staff

  10. Ezra Cornell | June 11, 2019 at 4:00 am |

    Sounds fascinating! I love learning about a new author, or hearing things from a new angle. That’s the adventure of education. Sometimes their ideas might feel challenging, but then these quiz contestants could easily rattle off such “establishment” figures as Degas (an artist widely ridiculed and marginalized in his own time) and Christopher Marlowe (threatened by the Privy Council with arrest for his “heretical” and “blasphemous” writings and condemned as an atheist). I’d be delighted, then, if you could introduce me to a blind lesbian author.

  11. MacMcConnell | June 11, 2019 at 8:55 am |

    “I’ve taught university students for the last twenty years, and they are incredibly smart, energetic, interesting and eager to learn.”

    But, do they weight lift? 😉

  12. Ezra Cornell | June 11, 2019 at 9:11 am |

    Ha! Muscle circumference does seem to be an emerging concern on this site! I’m afraid I will have to stop wearing my bow ties and start bulking up.

  13. whiskeydent | June 11, 2019 at 9:20 am |

    Do you realize that heavy metal started in the late 60’s and petered out or morphed into other rock genres in the 70’s? Today’s college kids wouldn’t know it any better than you do.

  14. MacMcConnell | June 11, 2019 at 9:44 am |

    Don’t do it! You will never be able to buy a jacket off the rack, plus bow tie look like crap on an eighteen inch neck.

  15. MacMcConnell | June 11, 2019 at 9:46 am |

    This site needs an edit feature, has anyone seen my readers.

  16. whiskeydent | June 11, 2019 at 12:03 pm |

    The new Ivy Style, a speedo with a 1/2 roll.

  17. Looks like our Princeton teammate had a rough go of it later in life:

    Note to self: don’t go to work for someplace called the ‘Assassination Information Bureau”. Yikes.

  18. I watched the entire show and I couldn’t answer a single question in the millisecond given, and I attended Princeton and I’m Asian!

  19. Clark J. Healey | June 11, 2019 at 3:16 pm |


    That’s precisely why a question on heavy metal would be asked on a quiz show.

  20. whiskeydent | June 11, 2019 at 4:40 pm |

    Oh, now i get it. That’s just like asking about the contributions of old snobs and society matrons to heavy metal.

  21. Henry Contestwinner | June 12, 2019 at 2:16 pm |


    I believe the questions would be about blind lesbian authors of color.

    Also, don’t say “blind.” The correct phrase is “visually impaired,” or “differently visioned.”

  22. Great Lakes Bud | June 12, 2019 at 9:16 pm |

    As a young dweeb I recall watching this contest on Saturday afternoons on the old 19 inch B&W Philco, with tin foil wings on the antennae, in between what ever Big Ten games were being televised. I was intrigued by the Princeton hair cuts, narrow ties with white button downs and a take no prisoners attitude of the contestants. Wondered if I could ever be that sharp or smart. Still wondering the same damn thing all these years later. Thanks for the memory exercise!

  23. whiskeydent | June 13, 2019 at 1:01 pm |

    Change mine to generously aged, humility-deprived men and the women who drink to forget them.

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