Major Bowes Amateur Hour, radio's best known talent show was one of the most popular programs broadcast in the 1930s and 1940s. It was created and hosted by Edward Bowes (1874–1946), who in his 50s became a national celebrity known as Major Bowes. The show was broadcast on the CBS Radio Network from its inception in 1934 until Major Bowes' death on his seventy-second birthday, June 14, 1946.
Ted Mack, who had supervised the auditions for Bowes' show, became the interim host of the radio show and a few months later moved it to the fledgling medium of television. It was intermittently broadcast on the DuMont Television Network during 1947 and began regular weekly programs as of January 18, 1948, still using Major Bowes' name in the title, Major Bowes' Original Amateur Hour. The TV show would subsequently move to each of the four commercial networks, eventually ending up on its original network CBS, where the radio show continued to run until 1952. Starting with the 1950-51 season both the radio and the TV versions became simply Original Amateur Hour and in 1955, the TV version was renamed Ted Mack's Original Amateur Hour.