Will It Play in Peoria?
The phrase "Will It Play in Peoria?" originated in the early '20s and '30s during the US vaudeville era.
At that time, Peoria was one of the country's most important stops for vaudeville acts and performances. If an act did well in Peoria, vaudeville companies knew that it would work throughout the nation. The saying was popularized by movies with Groucho Marx, and on radio programs such as Jack Benny and Fibber McGee.
Because of its location and demographics, Peoria has since become a well known test market to gauge the popularity of products and ideas nationwide.