Jack makes a New Year's resolution to be friends with Fred Allen. Larry Stevens sings "The Trolley Song". The annual New Year's pageant is performed.
Jack makes a New Year's resolution to be friends with Fred Allen. Larry Stevens sings "The Trolley Song". The annual New Year's pageant is performed.
After waiting too long to make plans for New Year's Eve, Gildy plans an evening at home for the family.
After receiving several ice buckets as Christmas gifts, the McGees head to the Bon Ton to exchange one of them.
Groucho interviews a newlywed couple, a carhop and a married man, and a college football player and a chiropractor from Iran.
This is the full-length live recording of the show, before it was edited for broadcast.
A replacement is needed for the absent Phil Harris in the annual New Year's sketch, and Fred Allen shows up.
Remley's upset because Phil only spent $2 on his Christmas gift, but Phil's upset because Remley got a gift from Rexall (the sponsor) and he didn't. Phil sings "Keep in the Middle of the Road".
Doc Gamble's Christmas gift arrives, but the McGees can't figure out what it is.
Frank Sinatra buys Christmas presents for the crew on his latest movie, and has them sent to Bob Hope's house, expecting to pick them up there. In a flashback, Bob and Frank recall how they first met working at a department store. Sinatra sings "South of the Border".
Gracie dreams that she and George fly to Santa's Workshop on their pet duck, Herman. Arthur Q. Bryan plays Santa.
In another excellent Christmas episode, the gang heads to a department store for some Christmas shopping. Benny Rubin plays the racetrack tout in this early appearance by the character.
Connie plans to use her meager Christmas budget to buy a gift for Mr. Boynton, but her friends are all dropping hints about the gifts they want.
McGee scours the house looking for the Christmas presents he thinks Molly has hidden.
After having trouble finding a Christmas tree in town, Phil and Alice decide to go up to the mountains to get one. Phil sings "Woodman, Spare That Tree", and Alice sings "I've Got My Love to Keep Me Warm".
In one of the series' best Christmas episodes, Jack goes Christmas shopping with Mary. Frank Nelson plays the floorwalker, and Bea Benaderet plays a watch saleswoman. Sheldon Leonard shows up as his racetrack tout character, and Mel Blanc returns as the salesman who makes the mistake of telling Jack there are two kinds of golf tees.
Gracie brings trouble for George when they go to the Post Office to mail a Christmas present. Jimmy Cash sings "My Foolish Heart and I".
McGee can't find the money he stashed away to buy Christmas gifts.
A series of jibes about poultry leads to Allen's Alley, where the question is about the biggest advance in science in the past year.
Jack takes Mary Christmas shopping. Eddie Anderson is especially good as an elevator operator; this was before his Rochester character was created. Frank Nelson appears as a floorwalker in a funny scene, but his abrasive character hadn't quite been developed yet. Kenny Baker sings "Am I in Love?"
His imagination aroused by reading detective novels, McGee believes a neighbor is spying on him.
Gildy realizes that Christmas is coming soon, and plans his list of gifts to buy. His friends and family have other ideas, however.
In a show from Palm Springs, Jack gets the Guadalajara Trio to sing his unsaleable song, "When You Say I Beg Your Pardon, Then I'll Come Back to You". Dennis Day sings "A Little Bit of Heaven".
Gildy hides the family's Christmas presents, but when he goes to wrap them, he finds they've disappeared.
The McGees head to the Bon Ton to take care of some Christmas shopping.
Jack goes Christmas shopping, where Mel Blanc's tormented salesman has transferred to the Art Supplies dept. this year in hopes of avoiding him. Frank Nelson appears as the floorwalker, of course, and Sheldon Leonard appears again as the racetrack tout.
The Christmas shopping shows were well-established at this point, and the writers seemed to delight in finding new ways for Benny to torment Blanc's salesman each year. This would be the last Christmas shopping episode on radio, but the routine continued on television.
A minister visits the Jolly Boys Club and asks them to sponsor an orphan.
When Walter writes a mash note to Harriet, Connie sees it and thinks Mr. Boynton has written it to her.
Jack gets into a dispute with the rest of the gang about a recent trip to Don's house. Frank Nelson appears as a doctor.
After an opening gibe at radio giveaway shows, Fred and Portland ask the locals if radio comedy is still holding up. Fred goes to meet George Jessel at Lindy's.
At the top of the show, Allen announces that they're ending their guarantee to match any money a listener fails to win if they're called by a giveaway show while listening to Fred Allen. The Allen show was falling in the ratings, the victim of a game show called "Stop the Music", and Allen seemed to be tremendously bothered by this. His series would end the following spring.
When the McGees find out that their old oak tree is dead, McGee tries to chop it down.
After a disastrous society reception, Gildy tries to make amends with his friends; Leroy and Marjorie are afraid he's falling in love again.
When Jack takes Mary to see the movie "Golden Girl" in which Dennis appears, they run into Dennis and his mother at the theater. Verna Felton gives another riotous performance as Dennis' mom.
Lily tries to get Montague cast as Romeo in a new production of "Romeo and Juliet".
McGee finds an old book of etiquette and tries to impress everyone with his manners.
Wracked with guilt over the turkey he'll be eating at Thanksgiving, Jack dreams that he's the turkey. Frank Nelson plays a tour guide at a steak museum (a reference to the unavailability of steak during the war). Dennis Day sings "Say a Prayer for the Boys over There".
The ladies of Molly's women's club try to figure out a way to raise money for their Christmas fund.
Mary changes her Thanksgiving presentation from a play to a poem; Jack invites the gang to his house for the holiday. Dennis Day sings "Jeannie with the Light Brown Hair".
The gang goes to Gracie's house to give her granddad his medicine. Artie Shaw plays "Sugar".
When Archie meets up with a quiz kid-type nephew from another branch of the family, he uses him to add a cultural note to the bar.
An army regiment is furloughed in Summerfield, and the family takes one in for Thanksgiving.
While trying to retrieve a coin that fell down a grating, McGee get his arm stuck.
Phil and Remley try to impress the Rexall company by inventing a new drug. Phil Harris sings "The General and His Horse", and Alice Faye sings "A Little Bird Told Me".
Jack and Phil compete for a girl's attention. Kenny Baker sings "The Umbrella Man".
In a sketch, Lucille Ball plays a girl trying to sabotage a star football player (Hope). Louanne Hogan sings "Autumn in New York".
Hope and Ball were good friends in real life, and appeared together frequently on radio and television. They also co-starred in four feature films.
The movie "Look Who's Laughing", which features the McGees, is premiering at the Bijou, and everyone in town awaits the arrival of the star, Edgar Bergen.
In a sketch, Paramount executives debate what to do when Bob hurts his leg; Bob and Jack Benny fantasize about being disc jockeys. Doris Day sings "Every Day I Love You" and Bill Farrell sings "Slow Boat to China".
McGee and Molly plan to head downtown to see the eye doctor when McGee's eyesight starts deteriorating.
Connie resolves to stop being obsessed with Mr. Boynton, but then she starts seeing him everywhere.
While McGee and Mayor LaTrivia go hunting on the lake, Molly optimistically promises ducks to all their friends.
Gildy and the family go over to the home of a friend of his, and they end up babysitting.
The show is performed from Marine base Camp Elliott; Jack takes Phil and Mary to the rifle range.
On Halloween, Jack goes trick-or-treating with his youth group, the Beavers. Dennis Day sings "Down among the Sheltering Palms".
Jack has misplaced the sheet music for his unsaleable song, "When You Say I Beg Your Pardon, Then I'll Come Back to You". Ronald Colman and Benita Hume make another wonderful appearance as Jack's neighbors.
In order to improve his chances of adopting the foundling the family's been caring for, Gildy proposes marriage to Adeline.
While taking the train to visit Molly's Aunt Sarah, McGee heads to the club car, but then can't find Molly again. This is one of the 15 minute daily episodes without an audience, and the theme and music cues haven't been added to the recording yet.
The News segment addresses the new war edict for Meatless Tuesdays. The announcer for this episode is Arthur Godfrey, who only lasted a very few weeks as Allen's announcer. Godfrey had some very negative things to say about him afterward, although not many people seem to have had trouble getting along with Allen.
The Colmans try to get out of going to dinner at Jack's house. Ronald Colman and Benita Hume are the guest stars, of course, and Frank Nelson appears on the other end of a phone call by Benny.
When the sponsor throws a formal party for Phil, a Pygmalion-type makeover needs to be done on Remley and the rest of the band. Alice sings "There's Yes Yes in Your Eyes"; Phil sings "Silas Lee from Tennessee".
When Leroy overhears Gildy and Judge Hooker reminiscing about pranks from their school days, he pulls one of his own.
McGee sells kisses - of himself - for $10 at the Community Chest bazaar.
In a show from Wheeler Infantry Base in Georgia, Frances Langford sings "Don't Get Around Much Anymore".
In the last show from the original NBC studios, Jack discusses his latest picture with Joan Bennett, "Artists and Models Abroad". Kenny Baker sings "I've Got a Date with a Dream".
When Teeny brings her cat over to show to McGee, the cat gets frightened and hides under the porch.
The children's Aunt Hattie comes to visit and takes over the whole house.
When McGee loses his hip boots, he asks all his friends if they've seen them.
With Dennis Day having joined the Navy, Jack tries to hire Frank Sinatra as his new singer. Frank Nelson plays a radio announcer.
Fred Allen returns to the air after taking a year off for health reasons. This episode features the first appearances of Senator Claghorn (Kenny Delmar) and Titus Moody (Parker Fennelly) in Allen's Alley. Edgar Bergen and Charlie McCarthy are the guests, as Fred remembers when he agreed to become Charlie's new partner.
Gracie tells George that she wants to recapture the romantic days of their courtship. Jimmy Cash sings "Serenade in Blue".
When McGee stops off to have his pants pressed, he's stuck without them at the most inopportune time.
Gildy buys a cherry tree sight unseen, and has to figure out where to plant it.
After Jack, Mary and Phil return home on the Queen Mary from their summer tour of Europe, Jack continues to hear people yodeling. Dennis Day sings "A Tree in the Meadow". Frank Nelson plays a radio announcer.
The McGees' friends turn out to greet them when they return from summer vacation.
Jack is irked that Phil and Dennis have their own shows. Dennis Day sings "To Each His Own".
While preparing to see Judge Hooker with Leroy and Marjorie, Gildy develops a severe case of hiccups.
When Wallace Whimple says he'll bring a bunch of fish to McGee's house, McGee invites all his friends over to wait.
A business executive returns to high school to get his diploma, but he upsets the staff, who conspire to get rid of him.
Jack welcomes Edgar Bergen to CBS, and runs into Amos 'n Andy. Dennis Day sings "Some Enchanted Evening".
This episode took place in the thick of the talent raids by CBS against NBC. Bergen's new show for CBS was to premiere the next week. Other stars who made the switch during this period were the cast of "Amos 'n Andy", Red Skelton, Burns & Allen, and Harold Peary.
After McGee gives up on trying to fix the doorbell in their new house in Wistful Vista, Molly tries to get him to scrub the back porch.
Leroy is jealous of the baby the family's been caring for since it was found in Gildy's car.
The gang gathers at a lunch counter; later, Jack tells a reporter about his trip to Scotland the past summer.
Phil returns from his summer trip to Canada, but the first show of the season is tomorrow and nothing has been prepared. Alice sings "There's Yes Yes in Your Eyes" and Phil sings "Silas Lee".
The cast discusses the previous week's season premiere, and Mary recalls the trip to Venice taken that summer by her and Jack. Frank Nelson plays a phone company worker who collects the money from Jack's pay phone. Dennis Day sings "Mona Lisa".
George and Mr. Atterbury want to play in the baseball game at the company outing, but they'll only be allowed in the game if their wives also play.
This is the first episode produced of "You Bet Your Life", in order to sell the show. Jack Slatery is the announcer.
Gracie tries to get Brian Donlevy to perform with her theater group. Jimmy Cash sings "How Sweet You Are"
Jack returns from his summer vacation in Hawaii, and the gang gathers to greet him. Dennis Day sings "With These Hands".
The McGees plan to celebrate their fifteenth anniversary by eloping and renewing their vows.
Connie plans to take Walter on a picnic, but Walter has tricked Mr. Conklin into believing the head of the school board will make an inspection visit.
Jack and Rochester return from Jack's summer engagement at the Palladium. Dennis Day sings "Goodnight, Irene". The gang arrives at the studio to find that a TV show is being produced, and no one remembers radio. Frank Nelson and Mel Blanc play crew members.
As the new school year starts, Leroy's afraid he'll have trouble with his new teacher.
A mysterious woman phones looking for Edwin, but identifies herself as Foo Foo and calls him Boo Boo.
The day after Marjorie is brought to a club dance by a bandleader , Gildy plays against him in a golf tournament. Mel Blanc plays an announcer, and Frank Nelson plays the bandleader.
When Connie hears that Mr. Boynton is vacationing at Crystal Lake, she plans a trip there as well.
McGee installs weatherstripping to stop a draft coming through the front door.
Marjorie, Leroy and Birdie try to wheedle Gildy into taking a holiday trip to Grass Lake.
When Gildy's doctor recommends that he go on a fishing trip, he loads the family into the car and takes off.
Connie attempts to rent a filmed version of the poem "Lady of the Lake" to show in class, but gets a Marilyn Monroe picture instead.
The McGees pass by a new housing development, and win a house in a drawing.
In this seminal episode of the series, the eventual sitcom formula is set up. For the first few months of the show, the McGees had traveled America by car, the better to promote Johnson's Car Wax. Starting with this episode, they're anchored at 79 Wistful Vista, where they would remain for 24 years (and add Johnson's Floor Wax to the mix).
Phil is planning to leave Jack to star in his own show; Jack reminisces about appearing with Fred Allen in his vaudeville days. Frank Nelson plays a doctor in a straight fashion.
Mrs. Conklin invites Connie to bring Mr. Boynton to the Conklins' cabin on the lake.
Liz teaches the samba to the son of a bigwig at George's bank.
George is late arriving to the show after spending time with a girl who thinks she's going to be his new partner. The Smoothies sing "Madame La Zonga", a song that inspired the film "Six Lessons from Madame La Zonga" the next year.
This episode is during the period where George and Gracie are still doing a "flirtation act", and their characters aren't married.
Gildy is invited to make a speech in front of the Summerfield Women's Club.
McGee renews his license plates at the DMV, and upon leaving, thinks his car's been stolen.
Stretch is giving a party that Connie wants to attend with Mr. Boynton, but he'll only be allowed to give the party if he wins a school English award.
Bob Hope brings his show to a naval hospital "somewhere in the South Pacific" (such a nicer phrase than "undisclosed location".) Frances Langford sings "I'll Be Seeing You".
This broadcast from 8/10/59 is a repeat of an earlier episode. By this time, NBC's nighttime radio schedule was all contained under the "Monitor" umbrella, so there's an introduction by Skitch Henderson before the show.
Clancy (the policeman who frequents Duffy's Tavern) brings Fred to Duffy's after an accident.
McGee is determined to win the guess-the-number-of-beans-in-the-bowl contest at Kramer's drugstore.
Montague's theater colleague wants him to help raise $500 for the theater fund without any contributions from radio actors, but he doesn't know that Montague has taken a radio job.
The McGees stay with Fibber's wealthy Aunt Sarah, who doesn't appreciate his efforts to help in the household.
Jack prepares for the gang's trip to New York; Larry Stevens sings "Don't Fence Me In".
When Jack realizes he needs $5 for expenses on the trip, he opens his safe. The beginnings of the vault gag are here, with Ed, the guard, and lots of crazy sound effects. The vault gag was also used on television, notably in an episode of "The Lucy Show", but it was a perfect gag for radio, becoming more outrageous over the years.
At the station, Jack has to deal with Frank Nelson at the ticket counter, of course, as well as the racetrack tout (not played by Sheldon Leonard). Mel Blanc's "Anaheim, Azuza and Cucamonga" routine also begins with this show, as the announcer gets more and more frantic when no one will board that train.
This is an Armed Forces Network version of the show.
When Connie gets an offer for a new job, Mr. Conklin finds himself going out of his way to try to keep her from leaving.
The McGees agree to put up a discharged sailor for the night, and they discuss his future with him. This episode highlights the problems faced by returning servicemen, and promotes the merchant marine.
The Montagues' neighbors leave their daughter with Edwin and Lily when they go on a trip.
After squabbling with the cast, Jack discusses his new movie that's about to start shooting, "The Horn Blows at Midnight". Jack, Mary and Rochester take a ride to Warners to see the director.
"The Horn Blows at Midnight" wasn't nearly as bad a movie, and didn't do nearly as poorly at the box office as Benny liked to joke in later years. He got a lot of mileage out of it, though - whenever this movie was mentioned, it was sure to be the setup line for a joke.
To keep the school quieter, Mr. Conklin bans conversation between males and females at the school.
George gets jealous when a prominent and hunky artist paints Liz' portrait.
This was the third episode of My Favorite Husband broadcast, and in these early episodes, Liz and George Cugat are a wealthy society couple. A ways into the series, the writers who would later make I Love Lucy such a success - Bob Carroll, Jr., Madelyn Pugh, and Jess Oppenheimer - changed the Cugats to the Coopers and brought them down a few social pegs, figuring that they'd be easier to identify with.
McGee still isn't sure whether he's the one who threw a rock through Uppy's window, or if he was just dreaming.
In the series' first regular episode, Connie is trying to become head of the Madison HS English department, and has to impress the new principal, Mr. Conklin. Joseph Forte played Conklin in this episode, and was replaced the next week by Gale Gordon, who held the role through the rest of the show's long run.
Phil gets upset when Benny Goodman and Guy Lombardo are invited to play at the Inaugural Ball and he isn't.
This episode is from the very early days of the series; the McGees don't live at Wistful Vista yet. Instead, they're vagabonds traveling the country by car and extolling the virtues of Johnson's auto wax. The Fibber and Molly segments are more like sketches in a variety show than the sitcom the show would become.
Sketches include a man-in-the-street segment about the UFO craze, and a spoof of adventure serials using old nursery rhymes. Supporting players are Lionel Stander, Hans Conried, Florence Halop and Walter Tetley.
Molly gets flowers from someone named Ralph, but no one knows who Ralph is.
After some vaudeville reminiscences, Gracie's grandfather shows up for his 92nd birthday.
Georgie Jessel want to film the story of Fred's life; the subject on Allen's Alley is meat shortages.
An overeager McGee signed a six month lease upon arrival in Hollywood to film the movie "This Way Please"; when the shooting is finished, he must find a way to break the lease.
Phil loses a Rose Bowl bet to Jack; Jack meets Barbara Stanwyck at the nightclub where Phil's performing, and tries to talk her into appearing on his show in her role from "Golden Boy". Dennis Day sings "With the Wind and the Rain in Your Hair".
In this unedited episode, Groucho meets a 6-foot-tall woman and a 13-year-old boy singer, a Scottish bartender and a female tree trimmer, tennis pro Pancho Gonzalez and a housewife, and tells a story about traveling in the days of vaudeville.
The McGees and friends go on a fishing trip to Dugan's Lake.
This was the last half-hour episode with an audience and a live band. The economics of network radio were changing, and when the show returned that fall, it was in a 15 minute format without an audience. It continued in that format for several years, and then a couple of more as a series of short sketches on "Monitor" titled "Just Molly and Me".
The cast spofs the 1948 movie "Treasure of the Sierra Madre"; Dennis Day sings "Careless Hands".
Groucho interviews a bachelor and a spinster, a married man and a lady barber, and golfer Paul Runyan and a singing teacher.
Runyan, nicknamed "Little Poison", won several major championships in the 1930s.
George and Gracie's last show before moving to NBC the next week. It was during that NBC run that they switched from this "bantering with the gang" format, similar to Jack Benny's, to the domestic sitcom setup. They would also switch between NBC and CBS several more times during their radio run.
In the last show of the season, the gang (minus Kenny Baker; Dennis Day would join the show that fall) performs the show from Jack's home town of Waukegan.
The McGees depart from Wistful Vista for Hollywood to appear in the movie "Look Who's Laughing".
The movie starred the Jordans (Fibber McGee & Molly), Hal Peary (Gildersleeve), Edgar Bergen & Charlie McCarthy, and Lucille Ball. Pictures of this type, where radio stars get a visual treatment, were fairly common, and this was a typical example of the genre.
This is the audition show (today it would be called a pilot) featuring Eve Arden as Connie Brooks.
Shirley Booth was the producers' first choice to play Connie, but after Booth's audition show, it seemed that she wasn't able to get beyond the financial plight of teachers to find the comedy in the role. Lucille Ball was approached next, but was unavailable. Arden ended up with the role, which suited her wry delivery perfectly, and it became the role with which she was most identified.
This series was Jack Paar's first big national exposure, with a summer replacement series in the Jack Benny time slot. Paar later credited Benny with giving him his first big break, and they enjoyed a good rapport for years.
The Halls try to help a family on relief who've moved their mobile home onto the campus.
When the old string-on-the-doorknob trick fails to remove McGee's ailing tooth, Molly calls Dr. Gildersleeve.
Hal Peary's Gildersleeve character bounced around with several different first names and vocations for a couple of years until he settled in as the McGees' neighbor.
The cast prepares to leave for Waukegan. In his last appearance on the Benny show, Kenny Baker sings "Don't Worry About Me".
Baker would turn up on the Fred Allen show that fall, but only lasted there for a few years. According to an article in Billboard magazine upon his leaving the Allen show, his "prima donna" attitude was one of the reasons for his departure from the Allen show.
He would be replaced by Dennis Day on the Benny show, of course. Day had a tremendous flair for comedy, and remained with Benny for decades.
A mouse has invaded the house, and Molly tasks McGee with getting rid of it in a non-violent way.
Gildy falsely boasts about having experience as a theater director in order to get a job with a local theater company. Frank Nelson plays one of the members of the company.
When Gildy falls asleep reading a history book, he dreams about his old school days.
As they prepare for a pot roast dinner, with just enough for themselves, the McGees have to get rid of LaTrivia, who tries to invite himself to dinner.
This episode of Town Hall Tonight features a sketch in which Fred plays a music producer looking for new songs.
With Mrs. Carstairs about to visit, Molly asks McGee to clean out the hall closet.
On the last show of the season, the cast and crew say goodbye for the summer. Dennis Day sings "Too Young".
Lily wants Montague to befriends the neighbors, until he finds out their daughter's school is puting on an amateur talent show.
McGee tries to take advantage of musical nostalgia by writing an old-fashioned song that can be revived.
Broadcasting from South Bend, IN, the guest is Hope's summer replacement, Herbert Marshall. In a sketch, Bob opens an automobile plant.