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People Top 5
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PEOPLE Top 5 are the most-viewed stories on the site over the past three days, updated every 60 minutes
- May 20, 1996
- Vol. 45
- No. 20
Don Mcneill Created a Showbiz Genre with His Folksy Breakfast Club
Everyone from farmers to high school kids would make the pilgrimage to Chicago's Drake Hotel, one of the locations from which McNeill broadcast The Breakfast Club on NBC and, later, ABC. McNeill had a rotating cast that included Fran Allison (of Kukla, Fran and Ollie) and Jim and Marian Jordan (better known as Fibber McGee and Molly), but the show became a hit when McNeill tossed the script and made audience members the stars. He would interview them, read their poetry and recipes and share inspirational moments. Born in Galena, Ill., he never lost his folksy style or midwestern twang, but when TV grew up in the '60s, the show went off the air, leaving behind millions of memories and a broadcasting world forever changed.
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