Sunday, January 21, 2007

Miss American Teen-Ager

Hidden near the end of Girls' Romances #134 (July 1968) are 3 pages of product placement and a hustle for prospective contestants for the Miss American Teen-Ager pageant, featuring honoree Michelle Patrick. Not to take anything away from Michelle Patrick, kudos to her for winning. I fully recognize all the hard work it takes to be in something like that and win but this could not have possibly been included in the book via the innate goodness of DC. This was likely to have been a paid advertisement and not a PSA urging young women to be all they can be. On page three is an obligatory PSA panel where her Teen-Highness commands that her subjects not smoke.

Girls Romance 134 #1 - Product Placement pg 1 Girls Romance 134 #1 - Product Placement pg 2 Girls Romance 134 #1 - Product Placement pg 3
Click each picture to make your vicarious dreams come true!

The Miss American Teen-Ager pageant started in 1960 and ran for several years, presumably ending when Palisades Park closed. I could not determine if the pageant morphed into something else or changed name due to the insane proliferation of similar pageants out there. Did you know that on one of the Miss Teen sites you can make a slide show of your very own to keep of your favorite crowned Miss Teen winners? Yeah, you can. That is very creepy. Who would possibly use that feature? The contestants and their mother's won't because they don't want to look at their competition. I also can't find any record that Michelle Patrick actually appeared on an episode of Get Smart so if she did show up it must have been as an extra or very bit part. The artist who did the ad likely used photo references using whatever public relations pictures were taken to document Miss Patrick's reign. Nothing wrong with that as you want the winner to actually resemble the person. What is interesting that the artist seems to have faithfully duplicated not only Don Adams staying in the character of Maxwell Smart for the Get Smart television show, but also duplicated the lascivious leer given to Michelle by the older Robert Wagner. At least Bob Barker looks to be behaving himself.

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10 comments:

  1. I'm sorry, but "Don't smoke" doesn't work for me unless it's followed by "I'm dead now."

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  2. Aha! It doesn't actually say she'll be on the show; just that she won a "guest appearance with Don Adams and Barbara Feldon of the 'Get Smart' show." My guess is that the "guest appearance" was at a supermarket grand opening, or maybe a Dodge dealership. :-)

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  3. I was thinking that, too. I'd hazard a guess that the extent of the 'guest appearance' was the PR photo they took.

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  4. This is too funny, just googled Miss American Teenager and found this website. I was in the pageant in 1965, I won 2 rounds, on the 3rd round was interviewed by a judge who asked me what high school I attended...I went blank and absolutely had no idea what high school I went too???!!! I wanted the stage to open up and swallow me. The judge kept looking at me waiting for an answer until he probably thought this girl has no mind LOL. Needless to say that was my last round! Anyway it was an experience, thought you'd get a kick out of my experience at Palisades Miss American Teenager Pageant.

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  5. I googled this and found this website. I was Miss Ohio Teenager in the 1971 pageant at Palisades Park, NJ. I had a great time and met some wonderful people. I just couldnt understand how we all had to be signed in on a specific day or we would be disqualified. However another girl showed up, without her parents (which was a violation of the rules) and 3 days after the cutoff, and she went on to be in the top 3- I wont say where she placed.

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  6. This is Michele Patrick, Wow, I have never seen this. That photo of Don Adams was one of the photo opportunities I was given instead of being on a show with Jay North aka Dennis the Menace, which was dropped two weeks after the contest. Love hearing all of your stories. It was quite year that still has an impact on my life now.

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  7. This is Karen Lurie. I was Miss California Teenager in 1975. I googled and found this website ~ I think it's the only one on the web, or at least I've never seen another. Great memories!

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  8. What a trip! I was Miss Rhode Island Teenager in 1964 and came in 4th runner-up in Miss American Teenager at Palisades Park. I was all of 14 years old and of course this was televised on the local TV station. I can't remember what was the final question they asked, but the tv stage hand was waving furiously because we had to cut to commercial. The MC asked me my all important final question and I thought they had gone to commercial, but they hadn't. Until I realized we were still live, I looked like a deer caught in the headlights. After that experience I went on to be the Co-Hostess of a teen dance show in Providence, Rhode Island, called "Wing Ding" with Howey Holland. We had a great time and I learned all about cutting away to commercial. We experienced "Miss American Teenager Day" at the World's Fair in New York that summer also. Fantastic memories! I later went on to be a Grand Talent Winner in the "Miss America" Pageant in Atlantic City, NJ. You never know where these experiences can lead. My name is Terry Bradley and I now live in beautiful Southern California and love my life!

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  9. My mom and ad Dempsey and Florence Hovland were co owners of Miss American Teenager with Sal Abrahms. Terry my mom was with you at Palisades Park and the World's Fair in New York. My dad was an icon in the barnstorming sports industry and booking agent to many famous entertainers. My family ran 26 states of Miss American Teenager and Sal the others states. I still have many photos newspaper articles and pageant program books, My dad was owner originator of the World Famous Texas Cowgirls(1949-1977). The females played against men mens rules and won 80% of their games around the world. My parents met when my mom joined his team at 17. She was the main elbow grease on the pageants. I was writing press releases contacting the AP wires setting up ballrooms organizing entertainment for MAT by 13 . On the road alone by 16. My family had 7 kids in tow spent our childhood at local and state Miss American Teenager Pageants and the other half with the Texas Cowgirls . the first female basketball players invited to open for the NBA teams and Harlem Globetrotters in the 50's and 60's. How cool to see this! erinhovland@yahoo.com

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