The original Broadway production, directed by Edgar MacGregor and choreographed by Bobby Connolly, opened on September 6, 1927 at The 46th Street Theatre, where it ran for 557 performances, which was a very successful run, as few Broadway shows had reached 500 performances since 1919's Irene. The cast included John Price Jones as Tom Marlowe, Mary Lawlor as Connie Lane, Gus Shy as Bobby Randall, and Inez Courtney as Babe O'Day. Donald Oenslager designed the production's sets. To emphasize the collegiate atmosphere, ushers wore jerseys, and George Olsen's band (featured as the "College Band") reached the orchestra pit by running down the aisles as they shouted college cheers. University of Notre Dame football coach Knute Rockne received credit for "Advice in Football Technique". The musical was set in what was then the present day, the Roaring Twenties, and, according to musical theatre historian Gerald Bordman, it was clearly a reflection of that era: "The decade's jazzy sounds, its assertive, explosive beat, its sophomoric high jinks were joyously mirrored..." The plot hinged on a professor's unexpected generosity: Tom fails Professor Charles Kenyon's astronomy class, and, even though Connie tutors him, he still fails his makeup exam. Professor Kenyon gives him a passing grade, though, because he, unbeknownst to the students, is actually a football fan.
In the 1970s, producer Harry Rigby started the Broadway nostalgia craze with his revivals of No, No, Nanette and Irene. He decided that Good News would be his next project. Rigby planned to feature former movie musical stars in Good News, as he had in No, No, Nanette and Irene. John Payne was cast as the football coach, and Alice Faye was cast as the (now female) astronomy professor, who was renamed Professor Charlotte Kenyon. The book was rewritten to create a romance between their characters, reducing the impact of the college student characters who had made the 1927 version popular. Because Rigby had already produced No, No, Nanette, a revival set in the 1920s, he moved the setting of Good News to the Depression-era Thirties. During the development of the revival, the score was also altered; some songs from the original 1927 production were removed, while six songs from other Ray Henderson scores were interpolated. Abe Burrows was hired as director and adapter, and Donald Saddler was hired as choreographer; however, during the development of the revival, they were replaced by Michael Kidd as director/choreographer and Garry Marshall as adapter. A few weeks before the Broadway opening, John Payne, whose contract had run out, was replaced by Gene Nelson. After a try-out in Boston, a nationwide tour for almost a year, and 51 previews, a lavish production opened on Broadway on December 23, 1974 at the St. James Theatre where, having failed to charm the critics as its predecessor had, it ran for only 16 regular performances. Saddler was nominated for the Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Choreography.
In 1993, Mark Madama and Wayne Bryan (who had played the role of Bobby Randall in the 1974 production) revised the book and score for Music Theatre of Wichita. They retained some of the book and score changes from the 1974 production, including the romance between the (female) astronomy professor and football coach, but they returned the story to the 1920s and recentered the book so its main focus was the college students. They also altered the story so Tom, because of Connie's tutoring, passes the test on his own accord without any undeserved help from Professor Kenyon. The production starred Michael Gruber, Kim Huber, Ann Morrison and Bryan. This version was licensed for amateur performance and has enjoyed many productions since. A studio cast recording of this adaptation was released in 1995.
MGM released two film versions, the first in 1930 with Bessie Love and Cliff Edwards and the second in 1947 with June Allyson and Peter Lawford. The Railroad Hour broadcast a 45-minute condensed version as its first episode on October 4, 1948.