The Fastest Half-Hour in Television!

Mike Stokey and Stump the Stars

Mike Stokey (Sept 14, 1918 – September 7, 2003) created, produced, and hosted Pantomime Quiz, later known as Stump The Stars. The show ran on television for 23 years and has the distinction of being one of the few television shows to air on all four major networks—including Dumont—during the “Golden Age of Television.”


Based on the parlor game of charades, Mike Stokey was given 24 hours to go on the air at station KTLA on Sunday, November 13, 1947. The show was a wild and instant hit, and soon Mike was presenting all-star casts weekly that were not matched until years later when the Ed Sullivan show became a hit. Thus Mike came to be known as “the man who introduced the Hollywood stars to television,” and Pantomime Quiz’s intro became “the favorite show of the Hollywood stars.”


In January, 1949, at the First Annual Awards Banquet of the newly formed  Academy of Television Arts & Sciences, Mike won the first Emmy ever as producer of “The Most Popular Television show—MIKE STOKEY’S PANTOMINE QUIZ TIME.” They misspelled “pantomime,” and he never let them change it—and never let them forget.

Even the folks from Hogan's Heroes had a go...

Clint Eastwood and the cast of Rawhide stopped by to play!

Eva Gabor, Dave Willock, Jan Clayton, and Jackie Coogan playing the game

Vincent Price was a fine competitor

Honors and Milestones Quickly Followed...

• Mike Stokey created and produced the first live dramatic series from Hollywood, Armchair Detective.

• He produced the first film special made specifically for television: A Christmas Carol starring Vincent Price.

• Mike was the first president of the original National Society of Television Producers.

• He was the fifth president of The Academy of Television Arts & Sciences.

• He was voted “Mr. Television” two years running in Los Angeles, and his charades series—Stump the Stars and Pantomime Quiz—continued airing from 1947 through 1977, 90% of the time in network primetime.


Other programs Mike Stokey created, produced, or hosted include:

The Mike Stokey Show (90 minutes late-night across the board in Los Angeles)

Beat the Odds

Numerous Specials

Prime Ribbing


In the Manner

Hollywood Guess Stars

Makit ‘N Takit


Author! Author!

Writer Wrong



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