Thursday, June 5, 2008

Fibber McGee And Molly-NBC-TV 1959-"Pilot" McGee Buys a Trailer

Ad for the radio version of Fibber McGee and Molly with Jim and Marian Jordan..Aired Tuesdays at 9:30PM ET for most of its run before going to a 15 minute nightly format from 1953-56..Finally becoming part of NBC's weekend Monitor programming from 1957-September 1959..Just before the start of the ill-fated TV series..Altogether, the Jordans were with NBC from about 1930-59.. Cover of The Chicago Daily Tribune TV Week with Bob Sweeney and Cathy Lewis as Fibber and Molly in the TV Version

Pilot Episode-From

One of my favorite pastimes is what is known as Old Time Radio..Though I was born too late for its heyday about 1935-1960..I have some favorites in most genres of Radio of the periond..My favorite type of shows are comedies..What became known as "The sitcom" on TV had its roots in radio shows like the Great Gildersleeve, Our Miss Brooks, Duffy's Tavern, Life Of Riley, Amos and Andy, My Favorite Husband, etc..

All of these shows made it to Television with varing degrees of success, but ty the late 1950's only one hadnt made it..Fibber McGee and Molly..Which is my favorite radio sitcom.. Fibber McGee and Molly began April 16, 1935 on NBC..Sponsored by Johnson Wax, it was an outgrowth of other shows that Jim and Marian Jordan, Vaudevillians from Peoria, Illinois, along with writer Don Quinn did for NBC, Including "Smackout"..While The program started slowly, by around 1939 the show began to hit its stride..

The Midwestern Humor, wordplay and farcical situations hit a nerve with American Audiences and Fibber and Molly became one of the biggest hits on the radio throughout the 1940's.. From 1940-49 their lowest national rating for a season was #4. By the early 1950's, It seemed the Jordans would try their hand at Television, but they refused.

Eventually, NBC bought the Jordans out and the ultimate result was this 1959-60 series with Bob Sweeney and Cathy Lewis as Fibber and Molly..They tried hard, but without Don Quinn writing, the show was just another 1950's sitcom. An odd thing was..They had Harold Peary playing Mayor LaTrivia, while he was always known as Gildersleeve on Fibber and Molly's Radio Program..The TV show never built any momentum and was gone by January 1960. The Jordans were still fresh in everyone's mind as Fibber and Molly in 1959, So it was tough from the get go.

Johnson Wax kept over 700 episodes during their 1935-50 sponsorship of the program on radio and these have been in circulation since then.

Sample of Fibber McGee and Molly on NBC Radio in it's heyday.."Kramer's Drug Store".April 5, 1949.

Wikipedia Article on Fibber McGee and Molly

1 comment:

  1. I will have to see if I can get some Fibber and Molly on iTunes. I know I cannot get it through Relic Radio.