There’s only one thing better than a visit to the small house halfway up in the next block on any given date . . . namely, three visits for the price of one . . .
Vic & Sade: A Miserable Object of Public Ridicule; or, Rush is Humiliated on Thanksgiving (NBC, 1941)—Vic (Art Van Harvey) and Sade (Bernadine Flynn), enjoying a quiet evening of dreamy gazing and reading, are alarmed when Rush (Bill Idelson) is ready to paste one on Blazer Scott’s nose over revealing . . . the dinner utensils Sade leaves for him at each meal. Announcer: Ed Herlihy. Writer/director: Paul Rhymer.
Vic & Sade: Smelly Clark, The Barber (NBC, 1942)—Rush (Bill Idelson) may be taking a big risk letting his buddy give him a haircut—which he learns retrospectively, when he’s in no hurry to take his cap off or let Vic (Art Van Harvey) help him. Sade: Bernadine Flynn. Announcer: Ed Herlihy. Writer/director: Paul Rhymer.
Vic & Sade: Miss Korkell Borrows a Cup of Sugar (CBS, 1945)—Vic (Art Van Harvey) is just a little flabbergasted that Edith Korkell plans to walk twenty blocks over to the Gook house just to borrow a cup of sugar, though Sade (Bernadine Flynn) figures the lady and her husband merely wish to be friendly—which they do, with or without every relative seeming to drop on by as well. Rush: Bill Idelson. Additional cast: Possibly Ruth Perrott, Johnny Coons. Announcer: Ed Herlihy. Music: June Lyons (piano), Elwyn Owen (organ), Fred Jackie (bassoon). Writer/director: Paul Rhymer.
FURTHER CHANNEL SURFING . . .
The Jell-O Program Starring Jack Benny: Too Hot to Handle (NBC, 1938)—Jack (Benny) is stuck on the phone with a comely lady, amusing Phil (Harris), Don (Wilson), and Mary (Livingstone) no end as they scurry back to position to keep him from catching onto their eavesdropping; meanwhile, the cast takes a genial poke at the Clark Gable/Myrna Loy vehicle, Too Hot to Handle. Announcer: Don Wilson. Music: Phil Harris Orchestra, Kenny Baker. Writers: Ed Beloin, Bill Morrow.
The Great Gildersleeve: Improving Leroy’s Studies (NBC, 1946)—A rough rainy-day bus trip home from the water works and a surprising conversation with school principal Eve (Louise Erickson) gives Gildersleeve (Harold Peary) a different view of how his home atmosphere impacts Leroy’s (Walter Tetley) education. Birdie: Lillian Randolph. Marjorie: Mary Lee Robb. Hooker: Earle Ross. Additional cast: Unknown. Announcer: John Laing. Music: Jack Meakin. Director: Frank Pittman. Writers: John Whedon, Sam Moore.
The Jack Carson Show: Building Materials (NBC, 1946)—Having bought a live rooster to weather the beef crisis last week, Jack (Carson) is determined to go into the poultry business, beginning with buying his rooster a hen, but (Arthur) Treacher suggests building the coop first, which may prove an even bigger mistake. Tugwell: Dave Willock. Miss Ryan: Irene Ryan. Additional cast: Norma Jean Nilsson, Herb Vigran, Phil Baker. Announcer: Del Sharbutt. Music: Freddy Martin Orchestra. Writers: Leonard L. Levinson, Lou Fulton.
The Lucky Strike Program Starring Jack Benny: Jack Goes to Rehearsal (CBS, 1949)—Jack (Benny) is en route to his radio rehearsal and ponders selling his rickety old Maxwell (for a moment, anyway), whose motor (Mel Blanc) dies (yet again) at an intersection, prompting a few gags and reminiscences from guest Ed Wynn, before he arrives at the studio to hear Wynn’s praises sung by Don (Wilson), which pricks Jack’s vanity no end. Additional last: Mary Livingstone, Phil Harris, Dennis Day. Announcer: Don Wilson. Music: Mahlon Merrick, conducting the Phil Harris Orchestra. Writers: George Balzer, Milt Josefsberg, Sam Perrin, John Tackaberry.
Our Miss Brooks: The Party Line (CBS, 1949)—Nothing to do with politics, everything to do with the telephone—on which a party line’s incessant gossip may block Connie (Eve Arden) from hooking up with the district official who may promote her to department head. The usual first-rate Brooksobatics. Mrs. Davis: Jane Morgan. Conklin: Gale Gordon. Walter: Richard Crenna. Boynton: Jeff Chandler. Writer: Al Lewis.
The Phil Harris-Alice Faye Show: The Talented Children’s Screen Test (NBC, 1949)—After watching the girls in their first school play, a studio scout wants Phyllis (Anne Whitfield) for a film, Little Alice (Jeanine Roos) handles it the typical Harris manner (withering sarcasm), and Alice (Faye) blanches at what it might do to both girls. Those who know Alice Faye’s real-life distaste for the film industry of the time (the compelling reason, other than Darryl Zanuck’s apparently duplicitous freezeout of Faye in favour of Linda Darnell and her concern for raising her real-life children, why she gave up her film career in earnest) will appreciate the none-too-genteel digging especially. Willie: Robert North. Remley: Elliott Lewis. Mrs. Miller: Lois Forman. Julius: Walter Tetley. Announcer: Bill Forman. Music: Walter Sharp, Phil Harris, Alice Faye. Writers: Ray Singer, Dick Chevillat.
The Clock: Lover Boy (ABC, 1947)—A self-doubting playboy (Ken Wayne) who still manages to fleece his lovers now has more than he can handle, including a sexy drive-in waitress (Wynne Nelson) who only seems numb from the neck up . . . and whose steady boyfriend resembles him almost exactly. The acting lifts it somewhat above the customary cliché this scenario usually threatens to become. Additional cast: Moyer Redmond, John Urich, Brian James. The Clock: Hart McGuire. Announcer: Gene Kirby. Music: Bernard Green. Director: Clark Andrews. Writer: Lawrence Klee.
The Mysterious Traveler: The Most Famous Man in the World (Mutual, 1951)—Needing extra money with a baby due, Frank and Mabel Richards (Lawson Zerbe, possibly Ann Shepherd) rent one of their rooms to a couple predicting Frank’s fame and claiming to have time traveled from the year 2228 . . . in order to assassinate a Senate candidate destined to become the founding father of an America-based world dictatorship, even if the assassination will mean the end of the wife’s (Jan Miner) life—because she herself is a descendant of the man. If you’re looking for a candidate to name this series’ single most gripping installment, you’ll have a very hard time topping this one. The Traveler: Maurice Tarplin. Announcer: Unknown. Writer/directors: Robert A. Arthur, David Kogan.
Suspense: Night on Red Mountain (CBS, 1960)—During a brittle blizzard, a gas station owner (Lawson Zerbe) comes under seige . . . by members of that old gang of his. You just might feel the blizzard chill during this one. Bat: Jim Bowles. Pete: Mandel Kramer. Sally: Carmen McRae. Sarge: Bob Dreighton. Operator: Ruth Tobin. Dad: Bill Adams. Announcer: George Walsh. Music: Ethel Huber. Director: Bruno Zirato, Jr. Writer: William N. Robson.
Gunsmoke: Dutch George (CBS, 1955)—A hustling horse thief (John Dehner) with an apparent knack for evading jury convictions puzzles Matt (William Conrad), who once knew him as a legitimate enough businessman. Kitty: Georgia Ellis. Chester: Parley Baer. Additional cast: Vic Perrin, Jim Hunter. Announcer: George Fenneman. Music: Rex Khoury. Director: Norman Macdonnell. Writer: John Dunkel. (Advisory: Flawed tape recording.)