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About Obtaining Tapes of
Your Own House Party Show

To answer your query, short and sweet: You probably CANNOT get a tape or recording.

I get email requesting information about whom to contact all the time (NOT ME!), so I am writing this note to everyone to save time and an exchange of email.

Mr. Linkletter sold CBS Television the rights to the show back in 1970, so the network has control over the physical tapes. Unfortunately the show wasn't cataloged properly and so specific episodes cannot be recovered. All the shows are in the basement vault at the network building in Hollywood.

I received a letter from Art Linkletter's staff assistant on the subject recently, who wrote that Art himself is having the same trouble:

"Sorry you've had so much trouble getting the material you want from CBS files. We get many similar requests, but if it will make you feel any better, they have given me the same lack of cheerful enthusiasm when I've made similar requests myself. Hopefully one day they will re-catalog the show. I suppose new people feel little obligation for anything that might take a little trouble or expense. I'm sorry but at this time it is just an impossible request."
Several years ago I heard that television shows that were recorded before 1963 did not use videotape and the nitrates used in the actual film has a very short shelf life. Hence, I would expect most of the House Party episodes from that era have by now disintegrated to rusty dust. So on the off chance CBS ever spends the money to send someone down to the vaults to re-catalog the show, the odds are only House Party shows that were recorded after 1963 are going to be salvageable.

If you want to bother CBS about the tapes (PLEASE!), contact them at:

CBS Television City
7800 Beverly Boulevard
Los Angeles, CA 90028

Sorry I don't have better news to report. Should anyone have success obtaining a tape please email us here at this we site so we can pass along the information to others.

Gary

Last Updated: 6/1/2006 Best viewed using Internet Explorer 5.5 or better at 1024x768 resolution.