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The Comeback Story

The Comeback Story is a half-hour drama reality show which aired on ABC from October 2, 1953 to February 5, 1954, in which celebrities explain how they overcame physical disabilities or other kinds of adverse fortunes in their lives.[2][3]

The Comeback Story
GenreReality show
StarringGeorge Jessel
Arlene Francis
Theme music composerHarry Sosnik[1]
Country of originUSA
Original language(s)English
No. of seasons1/2
Running time30 mins.
Original networkABC
Picture formatBlack and white
Audio formatMonaural
Original releaseOctober 2, 1953 (1953-10-02) –
February 5, 1954 (1954-02-05)

Production historyEdit

At first the program was hosted by former vaudeville star, songwriter, and actor George Jessel. For the last episodes, however, the emcee was Arlene Francis, best remembered as a long-time panelist on the CBS Television game show What's My Line?[2]

Among the series guests were the female athlete Babe Didrickson Zaharias of Beaumont, Texas, who thereafter died in 1956 of colon cancer. Radio announcer Norman Brokenshire explained his victory over alcoholism. Another guest was the blind pianist George Shearing.[2] Legendary jazz singer Billie Holiday appeared on the third episode, October 16, 1953.[4] In the series premiere, Canadian singer Bobby Breen, a child soprano who began performing at the age of four in Toronto, Ontario, appeared to discuss the career challenge that he faced when he turned thirteen, and his voice changed.[5]

The series was telecast live from New York City.[2] It has been compared to Ralph Edwards' long-running series This Is Your Life.[6]

The Comeback Story aired at 9:30 p.m. (EST) on Fridays following The Pride of the Family, an ABC situation comedy co-starring Paul Hartman, Fay Wray, Natalie Wood, and Robert Hyatt. It ran opposite Eve Arden's situation comedy Our Miss Brooks on CBS.[7]

Oddly, since the end of the series, the term "comeback story" has been used for the name or part of the name of various productions in film, plays, or television, since the series ended. James Whitmore hosted a 1979 talk show series of twenty-two episodes called simply Comeback. One of those segments focuses on the helicopter inventor Igor Sikorsky.[8]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ "The Comeback Story". Retrieved April 29, 2011.
  2. ^ a b c d Earle Marsh and Tim Brooks, The Complete Directory to Prime-Time Network and Cable Television Shows, 1946- Present, p. 237
  3. ^ Alex McNeil, Total Television, p. 173
  4. ^ "The Comeback Story". Internet Movie Data Base. Retrieved April 29, 2011.
  5. ^ "Bobby Breen". Internet Movie Data Base. Retrieved April 29, 2011.
  6. ^ "Watch The Comeback Story Free On-line". Retrieved April 29, 2011.
  7. ^ Alex McNeil, Total Television, appendix with network schedule
  8. ^ "Comeback". Retrieved April 29, 2011.

External linksEdit