Knowall was a pretty simple idea, and the clue is in the name. Action staffer Milton Finesilver, with his tall head and bookish glasses, is set up as something of a smart-arse. Every week readers would try and stump the resident egghead with difficult questions, or just use him as a source of reference, probably for their homework.
In all honesty, kids don’t generally think up questions that are particularly challenging, so Knowall probably didn’t need to stretch himself that far mentally. The panel above shows a typical column, and only the last question rises above the mundane. Even so, how hard was it for Milton to look that one up in the Guinness Book of Records?
For an extra bit of reader participation, Knowall was just the job, and Milton Finesilver was probably a valuable member of the Action pub quiz team in his day. I don’t think you ever won anything for being published, and no-one truly stumped the fount of all knowledge, so it was hardly ground breaking stuff, but for harmless knowledge-based fun, Knowall was top dog.
By day, Steve MacManus recalls, Milton worked on editorial on IPC’s Disney titles. “He was also a comic buff and knew lots,” says Steve. “He was always very smartly dressed and beaming intelligence. Hence he got the Know-all gig.”
Text © Moose Harris
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