During the NBC
broadcast runs of the television show TV Nation
in 1994 and 1995 the show hired the poll
ing firm of Widgery and Associates
(run by a Flint, MI
resident and pollster
named Robin Widgery
) to conduct telephone poll
s of a random sample of 204 American
s that would yield honest statistics to unusual questions. The tone of these poll questions reflects the unusual slant of the TV Nation
program itself, as the show was part news magazine
, part drama
, and part comedy
and these poll questions are not exactly the stereotypical polls about economic gains and the unemployment rate that you often hear about on the nightly news. Topics for the polls range from the lighter side of politics to personal feelings regarding public figures to the mundane and satirically unusual. The results of these polls would air between commercial breaks at an average of one or two per show. Below are some of the results of those polls. There is a margin of error of ±9% for each one.
- 65% of all Americans believe that frozen pizza will never be any good and there's nothing science can do about it.
- 60% of Americans say that, if they could push a button that would make Larry King disappear, they would "keep pushing it and not stop."
- 17% of college graduates would punch themselves really hard in the face for $50.
- 44% of Republicans said they would watch Nightline if it had a band and an opening comedy monologue.
- If Jesus came back and saw that Pat Robertson was his spokesperson, 46% of Americans think that we'd all be in big trouble.
While TV Nation has been off the air for close to a decade you can still find these polls in Michael Moore and Kathleen Glynn's book Adventures in a TV Nation as well as on the VHS editions of TV Nation sold through Moore's production studio, Dog Eat Dog Films. Additionally, if you just want a list of the poll results and don't care about the flashy graphics and important announcer voice that can be found on the broadcasts, then the complete list is available at the Dog Eat Dog Films website listed below along with information on the post-TV Nation cable program The Awful Truth that Moore also created and hosted for Bravo in 1999 and 2000 before he turned his attention to his then-upcoming projects Bowling for Columbine and Stupid White Men and Other Sorry Excuses for the State of the Nation.
Appendix A of Adventures In A TV Nation