The Groucho Marx Show: American Television Quiz Show - Door / Food Episodes

The Groucho Marx Show: American Television Quiz Show - Door / Food Episodes

Contestant teams usually consisted of one male and one female, most selected from the studio audience. More Groucho: https://www.amazon.com/gp/search?ie=UTF8&tag=tra0c7-20&linkCode=ur2&linkId=b5a9a56d226b935136eaa9cf963fea9b&camp=1789&creative=9325&index=dvd&keywords=groucho%20marx Occasionally, famous or otherwise interesting figures were invited to play (e.g., a Korean-American contestant who was a veteran and had been a prisoner of war during the Korean War). After his signature introduction of "Here he is: the one, the only..." by Fenneman and finished by a thunderous "GROUCHO!" from the audience, Marx would be introduced to the music of "Hooray for Captain Spaulding", his signature song. After which, Groucho would be introduced to the contestants and engage in humorous conversation for a lengthy period of time where Groucho both improvised his responses and employed prepared lines written by the show's writers using preshow interviews. Some show tension revolved around whether a contestant would say the "secret word", a common word revealed to the audience at the show's outset. If a contestant said the word, a toy duck resembling Groucho with a mustache and eyeglasses, and with a cigar in its bill, descended from the ceiling to bring a $100 bill. A cartoon of a duck with a cigar was also used in the opening title sequence. In one episode, Groucho's brother Harpo came down instead of the duck, and in another a model came down in a birdcage with the money. Marx sometimes slyly directed conversation to encourage the secret word to come up. The duck was also occasionally replaced with a wooden Indian figure. After the contestants' introduction and interview, the actual game began. Couples chose from a list of 20 available categories before the show, then tried to answer a series of questions within that category. From 1947--1956, couples were asked four questions. 1947--1953 -- Each couple began with $20, wagering part or all of their bankroll for each question. 1953--1954 -- Each couple now began with $0, but selected values from $10 to $100 (in $10 increments). A correct answer added the value of the question to their bankroll, while an incorrect answer did nothing. According to co-director Robert Dwan in his book As Long As They're Laughing, Guedel changed the scoring format because too many couples were betting, and losing, most or all of their money. 1954--1956 -- The format was slightly altered to start each couple with $100. Incorrect answers now cut their bankroll to that point in half. 1956--1959 -- Two couples (reduced from three) answered questions until they either gave two consecutive incorrect responses or answered four consecutive questions correctly for a prize of $1,000. 1959--1961 -- For the last two seasons, couples picked four questions worth $100, $200, or $300 each, potentially winning up to $1,200. Winning at least $500 qualified the team to go for the jackpot question. From 1947--1956, if the couple ended with $25 or less, Marx asked an elementary consolation question for a total of $25 (later $100) which did not count toward the scores. The questions were made easy in hopes that nobody would answer incorrectly, and included such examples as "Who is buried in Grant's Tomb?", "When did the War of 1812 start?", "How long do you cook a three-minute egg?", and "What color is an orange?" The question about Grant's Tomb became such a staple of the show that both Marx and Fenneman were shocked when one man got the question "wrong" by answering "No one". As the contestant then pointed out, Grant's Tomb is an above ground mausoleum. In all formats, one of the two players on the team could keep their half of the winnings while the other risked their half. In this case, all amounts being played for were divided in half. 1947--1956 -- The highest-scoring couple was given one final question for the jackpot, which began at $1,000 and increased by $500 each week until won (reaching $6,000 at least once, in 1952). In the event of a tie, the tied couples wrote their answers on paper and all couples who answered correctly split the jackpot. 1956--1957 -- For a brief period following the format change, couples who won the front game could wager half on another question worth $2,000. 1957--1959 -- Winning couples now faced a wheel with numbers from 1--10, selecting one number for $10,000. If the number selected was spun, a correct answer to the jackpot question augmented the team's total winnings to that amount; otherwise, the question was worth a total of $2,000. 1959--1961 -- For the last two seasons, the format was slightly altered to eliminate the risk and add a second number for $5,000. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Groucho_Show

The Groucho Marx Show: American Television Quiz Show - Book / Chair / Clock Episodes

The Groucho Marx Show: American Television Quiz Show - Book / Chair / Clock Episodes

The interviews on the Groucho Show were sometimes so memorable that the contestants became celebrities. More Groucho: https://www.amazon.com/gp/search?ie=UTF8&tag=tra0c7-20&linkCode=ur2&linkId=468d63b50bad56a2fb92f4f80b0d5aab&camp=1789&creative=9325&index=dvd&keywords=groucho "Nature boy" health advocate Robert Bootzin; hapless Mexican laborer Pedro Gonzalez-Gonzalez and his offhandedly comic remarks; a witty housewife named Phyllis Diller; author Ray Bradbury; virtuoso cellist Ennio Bolognini; blues singer and pianist Gladys Bentley; strongmen Jack LaLanne and Paul Anderson; actors John Barbour and Ronnie Schell all appeared as contestants while working on the fringes of the entertainment industry. Harland Sanders, who talked about his "finger-lickin'" recipe for fried chicken which he parlayed into the Kentucky Fried Chicken chain of restaurants, once appeared as a contestant. A guest purporting to be a wealthy Arabian prince was really writer William Peter Blatty; Groucho saw through the disguise, stating "You're no more a prince than I am because I have an Arabian horse and I know what they look like". Blatty won $10,000 and used the leave of absence the money afforded him to write The Exorcist. No one in the audience knew who contestant Daws Butler was until he began speaking in Huckleberry Hound's voice. He and his partner went on to win the top prize of $10,000. Cajun politician Dudley J. LeBlanc, a Louisiana state senator, demonstrated his winning style at giving campaign speeches in French. General Omar Bradley was teamed with an army private, and Marx goaded the private into telling Bradley everything that was wrong with the army. Professional wrestler Wild Red Berry admitted that the outcomes of matches were determined in advance, but that the injuries were real; he revealed a long list of injuries he had sustained. Other celebrities, already famous, occasionally teamed with their relatives to win money for charity. Arthur Godfrey's mother Kathryn was a contestant and held her own with Marx. Edgar Bergen and his then 11-year-old daughter Candice teamed up with Marx and his daughter Melinda to win $1,000 for the Girl Scouts of the USA; Fenneman played quizmaster for this segment. Ernie Kovacs, Hoot Gibson, Ray Corrigan, John Charles Thomas, Max Shulman, Sammy Cahn, Joe Louis, Bob Mathias, Johnny Weissmuller, Sam Coslow, Harry Ruby, Liberace, Lord Buckley, Don Drysdale, Tor Johnson, and Frankie Avalon also appeared on the program, among others. Harpo Marx appeared in 1961 to promote his just-published autobiography, Harpo Speaks. A much-recounted moment centers around a female contestant named Charlotte Story who had borne eleven children. Supposedly, when Marx asked why she had chosen to raise a large family, the contestant replied, "I love my husband", to which Marx responded with, "I love my cigar, but I take it out of my mouth once in a while!" According to the anecdote, the remark was judged too risqué to be aired, and was edited out before broadcast, but the audio of the audience's explosive laughter was used by NBC for years whenever a wild reception was called for in laugh tracks. No recorded outtake of the exchange exists, and both Marx and Fenneman denied the incident took place. Interviewed for Esquire in 1972, Marx flatly stated "I never said that." However, Hector Arce, Marx's ghost writer for his 1976 autobiography The Secret Word Is Groucho recounted the claim as fact, but Arce compiled the 1976 book from many other sources in addition to Marx himself, who was ailing then. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Groucho_Show

Our Miss Brooks: Department Store Contest / Magic Christmas Tree / Babysitting on New Year's Eve

Our Miss Brooks: Department Store Contest / Magic Christmas Tree / Babysitting on New Year's Eve

Our Miss Brooks is an American situation comedy starring Eve Arden as a sardonic high school English teacher. It began as a radio show broadcast from 1948 to 1957. When the show was adapted to television (1952--56), it became one of the medium's earliest hits. In 1956, the sitcom was adapted for big screen in the film of the same name. Connie (Constance) Brooks (Eve Arden), an English teacher at fictional Madison High School. Osgood Conklin (Gale Gordon), blustery, gruff, crooked and unsympathetic Madison High principal, a near-constant pain to his faculty and students. (Conklin was played by Joseph Forte in the show's first episode; Gordon succeeded him for the rest of the series' run.) Occasionally Conklin would rig competitions at the school--such as that for prom queen--so that his daughter Harriet would win. Walter Denton (Richard Crenna, billed at the time as Dick Crenna), a Madison High student, well-intentioned and clumsy, with a nasally high, cracking voice, often driving Miss Brooks (his self-professed favorite teacher) to school in a broken-down jalopy. Miss Brooks' references to her own usually-in-the-shop car became one of the show's running gags. Philip Boynton (Jeff Chandler on radio, billed sometimes under his birth name Ira Grossel); Robert Rockwell on both radio and television), Madison High biology teacher, the shy and often clueless object of Miss Brooks' affections. Margaret Davis (Jane Morgan), Miss Brooks' absentminded landlady, whose two trademarks are a cat named Minerva, and a penchant for whipping up exotic and often inedible breakfasts. Harriet Conklin (Gloria McMillan), Madison High student and daughter of principal Conklin. A sometime love interest for Walter Denton, Harriet was honest and guileless with none of her father's malevolence and dishonesty. Stretch (Fabian) Snodgrass (Leonard Smith), dull-witted Madison High athletic star and Walter's best friend. Daisy Enright (Mary Jane Croft), Madison High English teacher, and a scheming professional and romantic rival to Miss Brooks. Jacques Monet (Gerald Mohr), a French teacher. Our Miss Brooks was a hit on radio from the outset; within eight months of its launch as a regular series, the show landed several honors, including four for Eve Arden, who won polls in four individual publications of the time. Arden had actually been the third choice to play the title role. Harry Ackerman, West Coast director of programming, wanted Shirley Booth for the part, but as he told historian Gerald Nachman many years later, he realized Booth was too focused on the underpaid downside of public school teaching at the time to have fun with the role. Lucille Ball was believed to have been the next choice, but she was already committed to My Favorite Husband and didn't audition. Chairman Bill Paley, who was friendly with Arden, persuaded her to audition for the part. With a slightly rewritten audition script--Osgood Conklin, for example, was originally written as a school board president but was now written as the incoming new Madison principal--Arden agreed to give the newly-revamped show a try. Produced by Larry Berns and written by director Al Lewis, Our Miss Brooks premiered on July 19, 1948. According to radio critic John Crosby, her lines were very "feline" in dialogue scenes with principal Conklin and would-be boyfriend Boynton, with sharp, witty comebacks. The interplay between the cast--blustery Conklin, nebbishy Denton, accommodating Harriet, absentminded Mrs. Davis, clueless Boynton, scheming Miss Enright--also received positive reviews. Arden won a radio listeners' poll by Radio Mirror magazine as the top ranking comedienne of 1948-49, receiving her award at the end of an Our Miss Brooks broadcast that March. "I'm certainly going to try in the coming months to merit the honor you've bestowed upon me, because I understand that if I win this two years in a row, I get to keep Mr. Boynton," she joked. But she was also a hit with the critics; a winter 1949 poll of newspaper and magazine radio editors taken by Motion Picture Daily named her the year's best radio comedienne. For its entire radio life, the show was sponsored by Colgate-Palmolive-Peet, promoting Palmolive soap, Lustre Creme shampoo and Toni hair care products. The radio series continued until 1957, a year after its television life ended. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Our_Miss_Brooks

Our Miss Brooks: Another Day, Dress / Induction Notice / School TV / Hats for Mother's Day

Our Miss Brooks: Another Day, Dress / Induction Notice / School TV / Hats for Mother's Day

Our Miss Brooks is an American situation comedy starring Eve Arden as a sardonic high school English teacher. It began as a radio show broadcast from 1948 to 1957. When the show was adapted to television (1952--56), it became one of the medium's earliest hits. In 1956, the sitcom was adapted for big screen in the film of the same name. Connie (Constance) Brooks (Eve Arden), an English teacher at fictional Madison High School. Osgood Conklin (Gale Gordon), blustery, gruff, crooked and unsympathetic Madison High principal, a near-constant pain to his faculty and students. (Conklin was played by Joseph Forte in the show's first episode; Gordon succeeded him for the rest of the series' run.) Occasionally Conklin would rig competitions at the school--such as that for prom queen--so that his daughter Harriet would win. Walter Denton (Richard Crenna, billed at the time as Dick Crenna), a Madison High student, well-intentioned and clumsy, with a nasally high, cracking voice, often driving Miss Brooks (his self-professed favorite teacher) to school in a broken-down jalopy. Miss Brooks' references to her own usually-in-the-shop car became one of the show's running gags. Philip Boynton (Jeff Chandler on radio, billed sometimes under his birth name Ira Grossel); Robert Rockwell on both radio and television), Madison High biology teacher, the shy and often clueless object of Miss Brooks' affections. Margaret Davis (Jane Morgan), Miss Brooks' absentminded landlady, whose two trademarks are a cat named Minerva, and a penchant for whipping up exotic and often inedible breakfasts. Harriet Conklin (Gloria McMillan), Madison High student and daughter of principal Conklin. A sometime love interest for Walter Denton, Harriet was honest and guileless with none of her father's malevolence and dishonesty. Stretch (Fabian) Snodgrass (Leonard Smith), dull-witted Madison High athletic star and Walter's best friend. Daisy Enright (Mary Jane Croft), Madison High English teacher, and a scheming professional and romantic rival to Miss Brooks. Jacques Monet (Gerald Mohr), a French teacher. Our Miss Brooks was a hit on radio from the outset; within eight months of its launch as a regular series, the show landed several honors, including four for Eve Arden, who won polls in four individual publications of the time. Arden had actually been the third choice to play the title role. Harry Ackerman, West Coast director of programming, wanted Shirley Booth for the part, but as he told historian Gerald Nachman many years later, he realized Booth was too focused on the underpaid downside of public school teaching at the time to have fun with the role. Lucille Ball was believed to have been the next choice, but she was already committed to My Favorite Husband and didn't audition. Chairman Bill Paley, who was friendly with Arden, persuaded her to audition for the part. With a slightly rewritten audition script--Osgood Conklin, for example, was originally written as a school board president but was now written as the incoming new Madison principal--Arden agreed to give the newly-revamped show a try. Produced by Larry Berns and written by director Al Lewis, Our Miss Brooks premiered on July 19, 1948. According to radio critic John Crosby, her lines were very "feline" in dialogue scenes with principal Conklin and would-be boyfriend Boynton, with sharp, witty comebacks. The interplay between the cast--blustery Conklin, nebbishy Denton, accommodating Harriet, absentminded Mrs. Davis, clueless Boynton, scheming Miss Enright--also received positive reviews. Arden won a radio listeners' poll by Radio Mirror magazine as the top ranking comedienne of 1948-49, receiving her award at the end of an Our Miss Brooks broadcast that March. "I'm certainly going to try in the coming months to merit the honor you've bestowed upon me, because I understand that if I win this two years in a row, I get to keep Mr. Boynton," she joked. But she was also a hit with the critics; a winter 1949 poll of newspaper and magazine radio editors taken by Motion Picture Daily named her the year's best radio comedienne. For its entire radio life, the show was sponsored by Colgate-Palmolive-Peet, promoting Palmolive soap, Lustre Creme shampoo and Toni hair care products. The radio series continued until 1957, a year after its television life ended. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Our_Miss_Brooks

The Great Gildersleeve: The Matchmaker / Leroy Runs Away / Auto Mechanics

The Great Gildersleeve: The Matchmaker / Leroy Runs Away / Auto Mechanics

The Great Gildersleeve (1941--1957), initially written by Leonard Lewis Levinson, was one of broadcast history's earliest spin-off programs. Built around Throckmorton Philharmonic Gildersleeve, a character who had been a staple on the classic radio situation comedy Fibber McGee and Molly, first introduced on Oct. 3, 1939, ep. #216. The Great Gildersleeve enjoyed its greatest success in the 1940s. Actor Harold Peary played the character during its transition from the parent show into the spin-off and later in a quartet of feature films released at the height of the show's popularity. On Fibber McGee and Molly, Peary's Gildersleeve was a pompous windbag who became a consistent McGee nemesis. "You're a haa-aa-aa-aard man, McGee!" became a Gildersleeve catchphrase. The character was given several conflicting first names on Fibber McGee and Molly, and on one episode his middle name was revealed as Philharmonic. Gildy admits as much at the end of "Gildersleeve's Diary" on the Fibber McGee and Molly series (Oct. 22, 1940). Premiering on August 31, 1941, The Great Gildersleeve moved the title character from the McGees' Wistful Vista to Summerfield, where Gildersleeve now oversaw his late brother-in-law's estate and took on the rearing of his orphaned niece and nephew, Marjorie (originally played by Lurene Tuttle and followed by Louise Erickson and Mary Lee Robb) and Leroy Forester (Walter Tetley). The household also included a cook named Birdie. Curiously, while Gildersleeve had occasionally spoken of his (never-present) wife in some Fibber episodes, in his own series the character was a confirmed bachelor. In a striking forerunner to such later television hits as Bachelor Father and Family Affair, both of which are centered on well-to-do uncles taking in their deceased siblings' children, Gildersleeve was a bachelor raising two children while, at first, administering a girdle manufacturing company ("If you want a better corset, of course, it's a Gildersleeve") and then for the bulk of the show's run, serving as Summerfield's water commissioner, between time with the ladies and nights with the boys. The Great Gildersleeve may have been the first broadcast show to be centered on a single parent balancing child-rearing, work, and a social life, done with taste and genuine wit, often at the expense of Gildersleeve's now slightly understated pomposity. Many of the original episodes were co-written by John Whedon, father of Tom Whedon (who wrote The Golden Girls), and grandfather of Deadwood scripter Zack Whedon and Joss Whedon (creator of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Firefly and Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog). The key to the show was Peary, whose booming voice and facility with moans, groans, laughs, shudders and inflection was as close to body language and facial suggestion as a voice could get. Peary was so effective, and Gildersleeve became so familiar a character, that he was referenced and satirized periodically in other comedies and in a few cartoons. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Great_Gildersleeve

The Great Gildersleeve: Gildy's Radio Broadcast / Gildy's New Secretary / Anniversary Dinner

The Great Gildersleeve: Gildy's Radio Broadcast / Gildy's New Secretary / Anniversary Dinner

Premiering on August 31, 1941, The Great Gildersleeve moved the title character from the McGees' Wistful Vista to Summerfield, where Gildersleeve now oversaw his late brother-in-law's estate and took on the rearing of his orphaned niece and nephew, Marjorie (originally played by Lurene Tuttle and followed by Louise Erickson and Mary Lee Robb) and Leroy Forester (Walter Tetley). The household also included a cook named Birdie. Curiously, while Gildersleeve had occasionally spoken of his (never-present) wife in some Fibber episodes, in his own series the character was a confirmed bachelor. In a striking forerunner to such later television hits as Bachelor Father and Family Affair, both of which are centered on well-to-do uncles taking in their deceased siblings' children, Gildersleeve was a bachelor raising two children while, at first, administering a girdle manufacturing company ("If you want a better corset, of course, it's a Gildersleeve") and then for the bulk of the show's run, serving as Summerfield's water commissioner, between time with the ladies and nights with the boys. The Great Gildersleeve may have been the first broadcast show to be centered on a single parent balancing child-rearing, work, and a social life, done with taste and genuine wit, often at the expense of Gildersleeve's now slightly understated pomposity. Many of the original episodes were co-written by John Whedon, father of Tom Whedon (who wrote The Golden Girls), and grandfather of Deadwood scripter Zack Whedon and Joss Whedon (creator of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Firefly and Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog). The key to the show was Peary, whose booming voice and facility with moans, groans, laughs, shudders and inflection was as close to body language and facial suggestion as a voice could get. Peary was so effective, and Gildersleeve became so familiar a character, that he was referenced and satirized periodically in other comedies and in a few cartoons. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Great_Gildersleeve

Our Miss Brooks: Connie's New Job Offer / Heat Wave / English Test / Weekend at Crystal Lake

Our Miss Brooks: Connie's New Job Offer / Heat Wave / English Test / Weekend at Crystal Lake

Our Miss Brooks is an American situation comedy starring Eve Arden as a sardonic high school English teacher. It began as a radio show broadcast from 1948 to 1957. When the show was adapted to television (1952--56), it became one of the medium's earliest hits. In 1956, the sitcom was adapted for big screen in the film of the same name. Connie (Constance) Brooks (Eve Arden), an English teacher at fictional Madison High School. Osgood Conklin (Gale Gordon), blustery, gruff, crooked and unsympathetic Madison High principal, a near-constant pain to his faculty and students. (Conklin was played by Joseph Forte in the show's first episode; Gordon succeeded him for the rest of the series' run.) Occasionally Conklin would rig competitions at the school--such as that for prom queen--so that his daughter Harriet would win. Walter Denton (Richard Crenna, billed at the time as Dick Crenna), a Madison High student, well-intentioned and clumsy, with a nasally high, cracking voice, often driving Miss Brooks (his self-professed favorite teacher) to school in a broken-down jalopy. Miss Brooks' references to her own usually-in-the-shop car became one of the show's running gags. Philip Boynton (Jeff Chandler on radio, billed sometimes under his birth name Ira Grossel); Robert Rockwell on both radio and television), Madison High biology teacher, the shy and often clueless object of Miss Brooks' affections. Margaret Davis (Jane Morgan), Miss Brooks' absentminded landlady, whose two trademarks are a cat named Minerva, and a penchant for whipping up exotic and often inedible breakfasts. Harriet Conklin (Gloria McMillan), Madison High student and daughter of principal Conklin. A sometime love interest for Walter Denton, Harriet was honest and guileless with none of her father's malevolence and dishonesty. Stretch (Fabian) Snodgrass (Leonard Smith), dull-witted Madison High athletic star and Walter's best friend. Daisy Enright (Mary Jane Croft), Madison High English teacher, and a scheming professional and romantic rival to Miss Brooks. Jacques Monet (Gerald Mohr), a French teacher. Our Miss Brooks was a hit on radio from the outset; within eight months of its launch as a regular series, the show landed several honors, including four for Eve Arden, who won polls in four individual publications of the time. Arden had actually been the third choice to play the title role. Harry Ackerman, West Coast director of programming, wanted Shirley Booth for the part, but as he told historian Gerald Nachman many years later, he realized Booth was too focused on the underpaid downside of public school teaching at the time to have fun with the role. Lucille Ball was believed to have been the next choice, but she was already committed to My Favorite Husband and didn't audition. Chairman Bill Paley, who was friendly with Arden, persuaded her to audition for the part. With a slightly rewritten audition script--Osgood Conklin, for example, was originally written as a school board president but was now written as the incoming new Madison principal--Arden agreed to give the newly-revamped show a try. Produced by Larry Berns and written by director Al Lewis, Our Miss Brooks premiered on July 19, 1948. According to radio critic John Crosby, her lines were very "feline" in dialogue scenes with principal Conklin and would-be boyfriend Boynton, with sharp, witty comebacks. The interplay between the cast--blustery Conklin, nebbishy Denton, accommodating Harriet, absentminded Mrs. Davis, clueless Boynton, scheming Miss Enright--also received positive reviews. Arden won a radio listeners' poll by Radio Mirror magazine as the top ranking comedienne of 1948-49, receiving her award at the end of an Our Miss Brooks broadcast that March. "I'm certainly going to try in the coming months to merit the honor you've bestowed upon me, because I understand that if I win this two years in a row, I get to keep Mr. Boynton," she joked. But she was also a hit with the critics; a winter 1949 poll of newspaper and magazine radio editors taken by Motion Picture Daily named her the year's best radio comedienne. For its entire radio life, the show was sponsored by Colgate-Palmolive-Peet, promoting Palmolive soap, Lustre Creme shampoo and Toni hair care products. The radio series continued until 1957, a year after its television life ended. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Our_Miss_Brooks

The Great Gildersleeve: Selling the Drug Store / The Fortune Teller / Ten Best Dressed

The Great Gildersleeve: Selling the Drug Store / The Fortune Teller / Ten Best Dressed

The Great Gildersleeve (1941--1957), initially written by Leonard Lewis Levinson, was one of broadcast history's earliest spin-off programs. Built around Throckmorton Philharmonic Gildersleeve, a character who had been a staple on the classic radio situation comedy Fibber McGee and Molly, first introduced on Oct. 3, 1939, ep. #216. The Great Gildersleeve enjoyed its greatest success in the 1940s. Actor Harold Peary played the character during its transition from the parent show into the spin-off and later in a quartet of feature films released at the height of the show's popularity. On Fibber McGee and Molly, Peary's Gildersleeve was a pompous windbag who became a consistent McGee nemesis. "You're a haa-aa-aa-aard man, McGee!" became a Gildersleeve catchphrase. The character was given several conflicting first names on Fibber McGee and Molly, and on one episode his middle name was revealed as Philharmonic. Gildy admits as much at the end of "Gildersleeve's Diary" on the Fibber McGee and Molly series (Oct. 22, 1940). Premiering on August 31, 1941, The Great Gildersleeve moved the title character from the McGees' Wistful Vista to Summerfield, where Gildersleeve now oversaw his late brother-in-law's estate and took on the rearing of his orphaned niece and nephew, Marjorie (originally played by Lurene Tuttle and followed by Louise Erickson and Mary Lee Robb) and Leroy Forester (Walter Tetley). The household also included a cook named Birdie. Curiously, while Gildersleeve had occasionally spoken of his (never-present) wife in some Fibber episodes, in his own series the character was a confirmed bachelor. In a striking forerunner to such later television hits as Bachelor Father and Family Affair, both of which are centered on well-to-do uncles taking in their deceased siblings' children, Gildersleeve was a bachelor raising two children while, at first, administering a girdle manufacturing company ("If you want a better corset, of course, it's a Gildersleeve") and then for the bulk of the show's run, serving as Summerfield's water commissioner, between time with the ladies and nights with the boys. The Great Gildersleeve may have been the first broadcast show to be centered on a single parent balancing child-rearing, work, and a social life, done with taste and genuine wit, often at the expense of Gildersleeve's now slightly understated pomposity. Many of the original episodes were co-written by John Whedon, father of Tom Whedon (who wrote The Golden Girls), and grandfather of Deadwood scripter Zack Whedon and Joss Whedon (creator of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Firefly and Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog). The key to the show was Peary, whose booming voice and facility with moans, groans, laughs, shudders and inflection was as close to body language and facial suggestion as a voice could get. Peary was so effective, and Gildersleeve became so familiar a character, that he was referenced and satirized periodically in other comedies and in a few cartoons. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Great_Gildersleeve

Our Miss Brooks: Connie the Work Horse / Babysitting for Three / Model School Teacher

Our Miss Brooks: Connie the Work Horse / Babysitting for Three / Model School Teacher

Our Miss Brooks is an American situation comedy starring Eve Arden as a sardonic high school English teacher. It began as a radio show broadcast from 1948 to 1957. When the show was adapted to television (1952--56), it became one of the medium's earliest hits. In 1956, the sitcom was adapted for big screen in the film of the same name. Connie (Constance) Brooks (Eve Arden), an English teacher at fictional Madison High School. Osgood Conklin (Gale Gordon), blustery, gruff, crooked and unsympathetic Madison High principal, a near-constant pain to his faculty and students. (Conklin was played by Joseph Forte in the show's first episode; Gordon succeeded him for the rest of the series' run.) Occasionally Conklin would rig competitions at the school--such as that for prom queen--so that his daughter Harriet would win. Walter Denton (Richard Crenna, billed at the time as Dick Crenna), a Madison High student, well-intentioned and clumsy, with a nasally high, cracking voice, often driving Miss Brooks (his self-professed favorite teacher) to school in a broken-down jalopy. Miss Brooks' references to her own usually-in-the-shop car became one of the show's running gags. Philip Boynton (Jeff Chandler on radio, billed sometimes under his birth name Ira Grossel); Robert Rockwell on both radio and television), Madison High biology teacher, the shy and often clueless object of Miss Brooks' affections. Margaret Davis (Jane Morgan), Miss Brooks' absentminded landlady, whose two trademarks are a cat named Minerva, and a penchant for whipping up exotic and often inedible breakfasts. Harriet Conklin (Gloria McMillan), Madison High student and daughter of principal Conklin. A sometime love interest for Walter Denton, Harriet was honest and guileless with none of her father's malevolence and dishonesty. Stretch (Fabian) Snodgrass (Leonard Smith), dull-witted Madison High athletic star and Walter's best friend. Daisy Enright (Mary Jane Croft), Madison High English teacher, and a scheming professional and romantic rival to Miss Brooks. Jacques Monet (Gerald Mohr), a French teacher. Our Miss Brooks was a hit on radio from the outset; within eight months of its launch as a regular series, the show landed several honors, including four for Eve Arden, who won polls in four individual publications of the time. Arden had actually been the third choice to play the title role. Harry Ackerman, West Coast director of programming, wanted Shirley Booth for the part, but as he told historian Gerald Nachman many years later, he realized Booth was too focused on the underpaid downside of public school teaching at the time to have fun with the role. Lucille Ball was believed to have been the next choice, but she was already committed to My Favorite Husband and didn't audition. Chairman Bill Paley, who was friendly with Arden, persuaded her to audition for the part. With a slightly rewritten audition script--Osgood Conklin, for example, was originally written as a school board president but was now written as the incoming new Madison principal--Arden agreed to give the newly-revamped show a try. Produced by Larry Berns and written by director Al Lewis, Our Miss Brooks premiered on July 19, 1948. According to radio critic John Crosby, her lines were very "feline" in dialogue scenes with principal Conklin and would-be boyfriend Boynton, with sharp, witty comebacks. The interplay between the cast--blustery Conklin, nebbishy Denton, accommodating Harriet, absentminded Mrs. Davis, clueless Boynton, scheming Miss Enright--also received positive reviews. Arden won a radio listeners' poll by Radio Mirror magazine as the top ranking comedienne of 1948-49, receiving her award at the end of an Our Miss Brooks broadcast that March. "I'm certainly going to try in the coming months to merit the honor you've bestowed upon me, because I understand that if I win this two years in a row, I get to keep Mr. Boynton," she joked. But she was also a hit with the critics; a winter 1949 poll of newspaper and magazine radio editors taken by Motion Picture Daily named her the year's best radio comedienne. For its entire radio life, the show was sponsored by Colgate-Palmolive-Peet, promoting Palmolive soap, Lustre Creme shampoo and Toni hair care products. The radio series continued until 1957, a year after its television life ended. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Our_Miss_Brooks

Our Miss Brooks: Cow in the Closet / Returns to School / Abolish Football / Bartering

Our Miss Brooks: Cow in the Closet / Returns to School / Abolish Football / Bartering

Our Miss Brooks is an American situation comedy starring Eve Arden as a sardonic high school English teacher. It began as a radio show broadcast from 1948 to 1957. When the show was adapted to television (1952--56), it became one of the medium's earliest hits. In 1956, the sitcom was adapted for big screen in the film of the same name. Connie (Constance) Brooks (Eve Arden), an English teacher at fictional Madison High School. Osgood Conklin (Gale Gordon), blustery, gruff, crooked and unsympathetic Madison High principal, a near-constant pain to his faculty and students. (Conklin was played by Joseph Forte in the show's first episode; Gordon succeeded him for the rest of the series' run.) Occasionally Conklin would rig competitions at the school--such as that for prom queen--so that his daughter Harriet would win. Walter Denton (Richard Crenna, billed at the time as Dick Crenna), a Madison High student, well-intentioned and clumsy, with a nasally high, cracking voice, often driving Miss Brooks (his self-professed favorite teacher) to school in a broken-down jalopy. Miss Brooks' references to her own usually-in-the-shop car became one of the show's running gags. Philip Boynton (Jeff Chandler on radio, billed sometimes under his birth name Ira Grossel); Robert Rockwell on both radio and television), Madison High biology teacher, the shy and often clueless object of Miss Brooks' affections. Margaret Davis (Jane Morgan), Miss Brooks' absentminded landlady, whose two trademarks are a cat named Minerva, and a penchant for whipping up exotic and often inedible breakfasts. Harriet Conklin (Gloria McMillan), Madison High student and daughter of principal Conklin. A sometime love interest for Walter Denton, Harriet was honest and guileless with none of her father's malevolence and dishonesty. Stretch (Fabian) Snodgrass (Leonard Smith), dull-witted Madison High athletic star and Walter's best friend. Daisy Enright (Mary Jane Croft), Madison High English teacher, and a scheming professional and romantic rival to Miss Brooks. Jacques Monet (Gerald Mohr), a French teacher. Our Miss Brooks was a hit on radio from the outset; within eight months of its launch as a regular series, the show landed several honors, including four for Eve Arden, who won polls in four individual publications of the time. Arden had actually been the third choice to play the title role. Harry Ackerman, West Coast director of programming, wanted Shirley Booth for the part, but as he told historian Gerald Nachman many years later, he realized Booth was too focused on the underpaid downside of public school teaching at the time to have fun with the role. Lucille Ball was believed to have been the next choice, but she was already committed to My Favorite Husband and didn't audition. Chairman Bill Paley, who was friendly with Arden, persuaded her to audition for the part. With a slightly rewritten audition script--Osgood Conklin, for example, was originally written as a school board president but was now written as the incoming new Madison principal--Arden agreed to give the newly-revamped show a try. Produced by Larry Berns and written by director Al Lewis, Our Miss Brooks premiered on July 19, 1948. According to radio critic John Crosby, her lines were very "feline" in dialogue scenes with principal Conklin and would-be boyfriend Boynton, with sharp, witty comebacks. The interplay between the cast--blustery Conklin, nebbishy Denton, accommodating Harriet, absentminded Mrs. Davis, clueless Boynton, scheming Miss Enright--also received positive reviews. Arden won a radio listeners' poll by Radio Mirror magazine as the top ranking comedienne of 1948-49, receiving her award at the end of an Our Miss Brooks broadcast that March. "I'm certainly going to try in the coming months to merit the honor you've bestowed upon me, because I understand that if I win this two years in a row, I get to keep Mr. Boynton," she joked. But she was also a hit with the critics; a winter 1949 poll of newspaper and magazine radio editors taken by Motion Picture Daily named her the year's best radio comedienne. For its entire radio life, the show was sponsored by Colgate-Palmolive-Peet, promoting Palmolive soap, Lustre Creme shampoo and Toni hair care products. The radio series continued until 1957, a year after its television life ended. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Our_Miss_Brooks

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