Joyce Davidson

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Joyce Davidson
Born 1935 (age 81–82)
Occupation television presenter
Years active 1950s
Employer CBC Television

Joyce Davidson (born c. 1935)[2] is a Canadian and American television personality.


She was a member of CBC Television's Tabloid, a current affairs program with a light entertainment format, in the 1950s.

Davidson caused controversy while the Canadian media were reporting the upcoming visit of Queen Elizabeth II in 1959. Davidson was on a trip to New York City when she was interviewed by Dave Garroway on NBC's Today show on June 18, 1959. She said on-camera, "Like most Canadians, I am indifferent to the visit of the Queen."[3][4] Davidson was lambasted in the Canadian press and by many indignant Canadians for her comment. Within a few days, she resigned from CBC's Tabloid series.[5] A subsequent Gallup poll showed that 64% of Canadians disagreed with her, although 48% of respondents considered themselves significantly interested in the royal visit.[2]

Davidson moved to the United States and was hired by Westinghouse Broadcasting to be the sidekick of Mike Wallace on a new talk show he was hosting titled PM East/PM West. The five-night-a-week series, which featured Wallace and Davidson in New York and Terrence O'Flaherty hosting a separate segment in San Francisco, lasted from June 1961 to June 1962. Fans of occasional guest Barbra Streisand made and saved audiotapes of some of her appearances. Davidson can be heard talking for only a few seconds on that audio. A long segment with Davidson interviewing Boris Karloff survives in the sole videorecorded episode, which is available for viewing at the UCLA Film and Television Archive. Telecast on television stations owned by Westinghouse and in a few other cities on February 12, 1962, the episode does not include Streisand. Westinghouse designed PM East/PM West to compete with The Tonight Show, which was then hosted by Jack Paar, but Paar and his network, NBC, attracted many more viewers.

In 1964, Davidson began working as co-producer of a television talk show titled Hot Line that was broadcast locally in New York. The producer, David Susskind, also appeared on-camera, but Davidson did not.[6] The host was Gore Vidal, and Dorothy Kilgallen appeared on most episodes.[7] Hot Line was a different show from Susskind's nationally known Open End talk show. Hot Line was the first television show to use the recently invented ten-second broadcast delay to amplify viewer phone calls on the air.[6] Davidson screened the viewer phone calls.[6] She also made the first approach to some of the people who appeared as guests on Hot Line, including Malcolm X, whom she invited for Hot Line immediately after he gave a speech at The Town Hall.[6] The Hot Line telecast of February 2, 1965 turned out to be Malcolm's final television talk appearance during his lifetime, although he and his wife can be heard talking twelve days later on locally telecast newscast reports of the bombing of their home.[8]

Late on Sunday night, June 6, 1971, an American talk show titled Joyce and Barbara: For Adults Only made its debut in syndication.[9] The program fared poorly and disappeared several weeks later despite three advantages. Davidson's husband's nationally successful talk show served as a lead-in for it, her co-host was Barbara Howar and Bette Davis was the guest on the premiere.[9]

Davidson hosted an eponymously titled Canadian weekday afternoon talk show on CTV Television Network for the 1977–78 season, and her theme song was "Breezin'" by George Benson.[10]

Personal life[edit]

Davidson had two daughters by age 20[11] from a marriage in Canada that ended in divorce.[6] She married David Susskind less than two years after they began working together on Hot Line.[6][12] They divorced in 1986.[1][13]


  1. ^ a b McFadden, Robert D. (23 February 1987). "David Susskind, talk-show host, dies at 66". The New York Times. Retrieved 10 July 2010. 
  2. ^ a b Buckner, Phillip (2005). Canada and the end of empire. University of British Columbia Press. p. 84. ISBN 978-0-7748-0916-0. Retrieved 10 July 2010.  Indicates age 24 at time of her remarks regarding the 1959 Royal Tour.
  3. ^ "Canada: CBC in a Jam". Time. 20 July 1959. Retrieved 10 July 2010. 
  4. ^ "Canada: The Redeemed Empire". Time. 29 June 1959. Retrieved 10 July 2010. 
  5. ^ "Queen Visits U.S. Air Base In Canada". St. Petersburg Times. UPI. 21 June 1959. p. 3A. Retrieved 10 July 2010. [dead link]
  6. ^ a b c d e f Battaglio, Stephen. David Susskind: A Televised Life. New York: St. Martin's Press, 2010
  7. ^ This video contains the audio of three "Hot Line" episodes on which Gore Vidal and Dorothy Kilgallen appear on YouTube.
  8. ^ Cue this video to 57:37 and watch it for the next 35 seconds to see a television newscast report of the bombing of the home of Malcolm X and his wife Betty Shabazz. They can be seen and heard talking about the incident twelve days after his appearance on "Hot Line." on YouTube
  9. ^ a b MacPherson, Myra (5 June 1971). "Guests Best on Joyce and Barbara". Washington Post. p. C5. 
  10. ^ Wedge, Pip (February 2003). "Joyce Davidson". Canadian Communications Foundation. Retrieved 5 May 2012. 
  11. ^ Allan, Blaine (1996). "Tabloid". CBC Television Series, 1952-1982. Queen's University. Retrieved 10 July 2010. 
  12. ^ Battaglio, Stephen. David Susskind: A Televised Life. p. 260. After the non-Jewish Joyce Davidson became Susskind's second wife, she learned how to bake challah bread to please her new mother-in-law 
  13. ^ "Milestones". Time. 29 April 1966. Retrieved 10 July 2010. 

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