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The Great Gildersleeve: Labor Trouble / New Secretary / An Evening with a Good Book
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). He soon became so popular that Kraft Foods—looking primarily to promote its Parkay margarine spread — sponsored a new series with Peary's Gildersleeve as the central, slightly softened and slightly befuddled focus of a lively new family. 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: Christmas Shopping / Gildy Accused of Loafing / Christmas Stray Puppy
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





Calling All Cars: Disappearing Scar / Cinder Dick / The Man Who Lost His Face
The radio show Calling All Cars hired LAPD radio dispacher Jesse Rosenquist to be the voice of the dispatcher. Rosenquist was already famous because home radios could tune into early police radio frequencies. As the first police radio dispatcher presented to the public ear, his was the voice that actors went to when called upon for a radio dispatcher role. The iconic television series Dragnet, with LAPD Detective Joe Friday as the primary character, was the first major media representation of the department. Real LAPD operations inspired Jack Webb to create the series and close cooperation with department officers let him make it as realistic as possible, including authentic police equipment and sound recording on-site at the police station. Due to Dragnet's popularity, LAPD Chief Parker "became, after J. Edgar Hoover, the most well known and respected law enforcement official in the nation". In the 1960s, when the LAPD under Chief Thomas Reddin expanded its community relations division and began efforts to reach out to the African-American community, Dragnet followed suit with more emphasis on internal affairs and community policing than solving crimes, the show's previous mainstay. Several prominent representations of the LAPD and its officers in television and film include Adam-12, Blue Streak, Blue Thunder, Boomtown, The Closer, Colors, Crash, Columbo, Dark Blue, Die Hard, End of Watch, Heat, Hollywood Homicide, Hunter, Internal Affairs, Jackie Brown, L.A. Confidential, Lakeview Terrace, Law & Order: Los Angeles, Life, Numb3rs, The Shield, Southland, Speed, Street Kings, SWAT, Training Day and the Lethal Weapon, Rush Hour and Terminator film series. The LAPD is also featured in the video games Midnight Club II, Midnight Club: Los Angeles, L.A. Noire and Call of Juarez: The Cartel. The LAPD has also been the subject of numerous novels. Elizabeth Linington used the department as her backdrop in three different series written under three different names, perhaps the most popular being those novel featuring Det. Lt. Luis Mendoza, who was introduced in the Edgar-nominated Case Pending. Joseph Wambaugh, the son of a Pittsburgh policeman, spent fourteen years in the department, using his background to write novels with authentic fictional depictions of life in the LAPD. Wambaugh also created the Emmy-winning TV anthology series Police Story. Wambaugh was also a major influence on James Ellroy, who wrote several novels about the Department set during the 1940s and 1950s, the most famous of which are probably The Black Dahlia, fictionalizing the LAPD's most famous "cold case", and L.A. Confidential, which was made into a film of the same name. Both the novel and the film chronicled mass-murder and corruption inside and outside the force during the Parker era. Critic Roger Ebert indicates that the film's characters (from the 1950s) "represent the choices ahead for the LAPD": assisting Hollywood limelight, aggressive policing with relaxed ethics, and a "straight arrow" approach. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/LAPD




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