John Cage was a contestant specializing in mushroom identification on 'Lascia o Raddoppia' ("Double or Nothing"), Italy's famous quiz show hosted by legendary Mike Bongiorno. Here a English translation of this dialogue, which features the final questions about mushrooms posed to Cage that led to his winning the final 5 million Lire prize.
This prize, incidentally, which amounted to roughly $8,000, was used to purchase a piano for Cage's Stony Point home as well as a Volkswagen bus for the fledgling Merce Cunningham Dance Company.
During his five appearances on the show, Cage entertained the audience with his unusual compositions. The audience was constantly reminded that he was a composer from Stony Point, New York, and Bongiorno often made fun of his strange musical efforts.
'Allegria!': this was the word that Mike Bongiorno used to open his quiz shows for over half of a century. Mike Bongiorno was one of the undisputed fathers of Italian television. Born in New York City, his early life was spent between America and Italy, and in this spirit he started importing shows from American TV to Italy. Bongiorno was called by Silvio Berlusconi to help in creating the first private Italian network. He helped build Canale 5, just like he did with RAI a few decades earlier. He worked to expand Fininvest first and then Mediaset, one of the largest media corporations in the world.
UBERMORGEN's lizvlx (Elisabeth Haas) was a contestant in 'Who Wants To Be A Millionaire' (German edition: 'Wer wird Millionär') hosted by legendary show-master and journalist Günther Jauch. lizvlx won a prize money of 125.000.- Euro after having won 30.000.- Euro in the Austrian version of WWTBAM (Millionenshow) in 2014.
The German show featured a reenactment of Prince Charles (Günther Jauch) and Camilla Parker Bowles (lizvlx) infamous
Tampax-Dialogue (Camillagate Tapes) and several weird digressions into art and actionism (Alanohof, BDMI and Nazi~Line).
6.2 Million Germans (19.7%) were watching the show and the Twitter sphere was dominated by discussions about lizvlx' bleeding hair, her Austrian accent and her threatening intelligence (173).
TV: RTLNow (Stream Part 3, 00:01:51 & Part 4)
News: Bild, Krone, RTL, T-Mobile, News.de and Seitenblicke, Oesterreich (Oesterreicherin der Woche), ...
The prize money will cover a piano and a Volkswagen bus. Furthermore the cash will serve as seed money for the 'Mike Bongiorno' Foundation, a think tank researching Newspeak, Microexpressions and Online Poker.
To be continued...