Saturday, February 28, 2009

And rounding out the month of Old Time Radio…

The Life of Riley

genre: family comedy w/funny neighbors
This one was hard to choose. I wanted to feature a family comedy, but couldn’t pick which one to focus on (the other suggestions listed below are all the runners up). I picked Riley because it really is one of the first rungs of making the archetype family comedy. The show follows the day to day of the Riley family. Chester A. Riley is the father/husband character who is a working stiff but wants to get ahead. He is a precursor to such TV husbands as Ralph Cramden and Homer Simpson. Loving and patient wife Peg makes sure the family doesn’t fall apart with Chester’s antics, and children Babs and Junior complete the all-American family of the 1940’s. What I see as the highlight of the show is the helpful advice of the strange neighbor character (much like Wilson from Home Improvement). Digger O’Dell is the Riley’s neighbor and he is "your friendly undertaker". The writers did some lovely puns and jokes about the funeral business and Jim Gillis did a wonderful job making the character funny and slightly creepy at the same time.

I hope everyone had fun with these and tried a few episodes from each posting. And I'll be getting back to posting about Mouse Guard and artwork etc. soon.


houseofduck said...

A local AM station use to play a lot of OTR and they always played Life of Riley late at night when I was driving home from work... It really was a great way to pass the hour it took for me to get home. I m going to have to go and listen to some of these again!

Thanks for all the great OTR posts!

Kat said...

Oh cool! not to sound like a total dork but now I can finally get some of the jokes on MST 3K. I had heard the name of the show before but didn't know where to look for it. Thanks!!

Kat said...

BTW. It was great seeing you at WonderCon this year. :)

Unknown said...

John Brown played Digger O'Dell. I think Jim Gillis was the name of Riley's neighbor in the show, not an actor.

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