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The Great Gildersleeve

Category: Radio
Read Time: 5 mins
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 The Great Gildersleeve
 Introduction  :
   The Great Gildersleeve (1941-1957), initially written by Leonard Lewis Levinson, was one of broadcast history's earliest spin-off programs. Built around Throckmorton P. Gildersleeve, a character who had been a staple on the classic radio situation comedy Fibber McGee and Molly, 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 catch phrase. 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 (10/22/40).
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.
  Voices / Artists : 
Role Artist Note
  Throckmorton P. Gildersleeve  Harold Peary
 Birdie Lee Coggins
Lillian Randolph Cook
 Marjorie Lurene Tuttle  Later played by Louise Erickson and mary Lee Robb
Leroy Walter Tetley  
Walter "Bronco" Thompson Richrd Crenna  
Horace Hooker Earle Ross The Judge
Richard Q. Peavey Richard LeGrand Pharmacist
Floyd Munson Arthur Q Bryan Barber (played by Mel Blanc in the first year)
Donal Gates Ken Christy Police Chief
great gildersleeve
Harold Peary as
Throckmorton P. Gildersleeve

Lillian randolph birdie 1955Lillian Randolph as
Birdie Lee Coggins
  Wiki Info : 
A key figure in the Gildersleeve home was (black) cook and housekeeper Birdie Lee Coggins (Lillian Randolph). In the first season, under writer Levinson, Birdie was often portrayed as less than intelligent, but she slowly developed as the real brains and caretaker of the household under Whedon and other writers.
Marjorie (originally played by Lurene Tuttle, later by Louise Erickson and Mary Lee Robb) matured to a young woman through the 1940s. During the ninth season (September 1949-June 1950) she met and married Walter "Bronco" Thompson (Richard Crenna), star football player at the local college. Look devoted five pages in its May 23, 1950, issue to the wedding. After living in the same household for a few years, the newlyweds moved next door.
Leroy (Walter Tetley), who remained age 10–11 during most of the 1940s, began to grow up in the spring of 1949, establishing relationships with the girls in the Bullard home across the street. He developed interests in driving, playing the drums and dreaming of a musical career.   
Outside the home, Gildersleeve's closest association was with the executor of his brother-in-law's estate, Judge Horace Hooker with whom he had many battles during the first few broadcast seasons. After a change in scriptwriters in January 1943, the confrontations slowly subsided and the two men became friends. During the second season, pharmacist Richard Q. Peavey (Richard LeGrand) and barber Floyd Munson (Mel Blanc for the first year, Arthur Q. Bryan from December 1942 onward) joined Gildersleeve's circle of acquaintances.

In the fourth season, these three friends, along with Police Chief Donald Gates (Ken Christy), formed the nucleus of the Jolly Boys Club, whose activities revolve around practicing barbershop quartet songs between sips of Coca-Cola.
Starting in mid-1952, some of the program's long-time characters (Judge Hooker, Floyd Munson, Marjorie and her husband, Bronco) were missing for months at a time. In their place were a few new ones (Mr. Cooley the Egg Man, and Mrs. Potter the hypochondriac) who would last only a month or so. By 1953, Gildersleeve's love life took center stage over his family and friends. His many love interests were constantly shifting, and women came and went with great frequency.
In 1954 the show's format changed drastically. After missing the fall schedule, it finally appeared in November as 15-minute episodes that aired five times a week. Only Gildersleeve, Leroy and Birdie remained on a continuing basis. All other characters were seldom heard, and gone were Marjorie and her family as well as the studio audience, live orchestra and original scripts.

  Decca Label
  Running Time :   August 31, 1941  -- 1958
  External Links : 
 https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Great_Gildersleeve
http://www.oldradioworld.com/shows/Great_Gildersleeve.php
https://archive.org/details/Great_Gildersleeve

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