Sunday, May 24, 2009
LONESOME GEORGE CONQUERS NETWORK TELEVISION - A RARE EPISODE OF THE GEORGE GOBEL SHOW FROM NBC-TV - CIRCA 1954
"I'VE NEVER BEEN DRUNK, BUT I'VE OFTEN BEEN OVER-SERVED."
"DID YOU EVER GET THE FEELING THAT THE WHOLE WORLD WAS A TUXEDO AND YOU WERE A PAIR OF BROWN SHOWS?"
"IF IT WEREN'T FOR ELECTRICITY, WE'D ALL BE WATCHING TELEVISION BY CANDLELIGHT."
COMEDIAN GEORGE GOBEL
George Gobel was the antithesis of a 1950's television laugh maker. Low key and self-deprecating , he distinguished himself from comic, video colleagues ,like brash Milton Berle and garrulous Jackie Gleason, with high impact, low key humor that was laser targeted at the viewer's frontal lobes , instead of blasting scatter gun gags in hopes of gut-level laughs.
Known to millions of television fans as "lonesome George," Gobel began his show business career as a child performer , singing , doing comedy & playing guitar. His biggest break came in 1954 when NBC-TV gave him his own, 30 minute, Saturday night,comedy-variety show.It was a smart and funny confection of stand-up,sketches,and music. His comic catch-phrase ," Well, I'll be a dirty bird," entered the national lexicon.Gobel won an Emmy for the program, which originated in Hollywood and which, eventually migrated to CBS-TV
On THE GEORGE GOBEL SHOW, Most story lines centered on his many failed attempts to assert himself in the face of his domineering wife, Spooky Old Alice, as played by actress Jeff Donnell. Counter to 1950's gender mores, his best friend on the show, was played by singer Peggy King. Ms. King, still performing and still vivacious, recently told me that her character's on-camera relationship led to much off-air confusion for some audience members, many of whom thought Lonesome George had a wife and a girlfriend, which was not the case.
Behind the cameras, over the years , Gobel benefited from the fast and furious talents of producer Hal Kanter(Julia, The Bob Hope Show),writer Norman Lear ( All In The Family, The Martin & Lewis Specials) and director Fred De Cordova ( The Jack Benny Program, The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson).
THE GEORGE GOBEL SHOW can also claim a small,but honorable, place in television techno-history. While still airing on NBC-TV, the network's parent company, RCA, experimentally produced one LIVING COLOR episode in a makeshift, stereo format.One channel of audio played on the NBC-TV network and the other channel of synchronized sound was distributed on the NBC Radio network. The audience was asked to pull a radio up next to a television set to get the full pseudo-stereo effect.
In the years following the program, Gobel's company,GOMALCO, co-produced LEAVE IT TO BEAVER, in partnership with Universal Studio's Revue division for CBS & ABC. He enjoyed a long run on the original HOLLYWOOD SQUARES and was a frequent guest on variety and talk shows. George Gobel passed away in 1991.
Below are thee clips from the dentelTV1 , You Tube site, that constitute one, 1954 episode of The George Gobel Show on NBC-TV . Enjoy!!!!!