[[caption-width-right:301:L to R: Cathy Lewis ([[BrainyBrunette Jane Stacy]]) and Marie Wilson ([[DumbBlonde Irma Peterson]])]]

''My Friend Irma'' may be the most famous franchise most people have never heard of. It was one of the biggest hits of the Golden Age of Radio, was one of the earliest television hits, released two feature films that introduced Creator/DeanMartin and Creator/JerryLewis to moviegoers and produced a successful comic book that was written by Creator/StanLee and drawn by [[Franchise/{{Archie}} Dan DeCarlo]]. Perhaps most lastingly it was the TropeCodifier for the image of the [[BrainlessBeauty beautiful but empty headed]] [[DumbBlonde blonde]].

The series began life as a radio sitcom in 1947. Irma Peterson (played by Marie Wilson in the radio series and all live action appearances), a clueless but pretty and sweet hearted stenographer tried to survive life in New York with the help of her best friend and roomate, BrainyBrunette Jane (played by Cathy Lewis on radio and Diana Lynn in the movies). Together the duo got into various misadventures with their respective boyfriends Al and Richard. Each episode was introduced by Jane narrating about whatever disaster Irma had gotten herself/herself and Jane/everyone into this week.

The show was a huge success thanks especially to Marie Wilson, who's natural charm and comic timing turned the potentionally irritating Irma into a lovable airhead. Spin-offs quickly followed with Wilson's real life good looks making the character viable on the big and small screen, first appearing in a film (''My Friend Irma'') in 1949 followed by ''My Friend Irma Goes West'' in 1950. Marvel Comics introduced a comic book based on the series in 1950 and the same year a NewspaperComic started appearing. The radio and television series both ran until 1954 while the comic book ran until 1955.

Many episodes of the radio show still survive and can be found easily, as can the original comics. The two films have been released on DVD but sadly the television series is [[MissingEpisode nearly entirely lost]], having been filmed live.

The Internet Archive has a selection of radio episodes freely available [[https://archive.org/details/My_Friend_Irma here]] and a couple of surviving TV episodes [[https://archive.org/details/My_Friend_Irma_-_Irma_Gets_Engaged here]] and [[https://archive.org/details/My_Friend_Irma_-_Dating_Barrington here]].

Incidentally, this got a ShoutOut by Creator/AnnaRussell in her "The Ring of the Nibelungs (An Analysis)".
!!This franchise provides examples of the following tropes:
* BrainlessBeauty: Pretty but dim characters had existed for a long time as had {{Dumb Blonde}}s but Marie Wilson was the first to ''really'' [[TropeCodifier popularise]] the beautiful but ditzy blonde.
* DumbIsGood: Airhead though she is Irma is very much a sweetheart.
* BrainyBrunette: Jane was very much the smart, level headed foil to Irma's cluelessness.
* FollowTheLeader: ''My Friend Irma'' inspired a lot of copycats especially in the comics. Perhaps most notable was ''My Girl Pearl'' published my Marvel and written by Stan Lee which was more or less a renamed and slightly tweaked continuation of his ''Irma'' comics with 'Pearl' essentially a teen version of Irma.
* SoundToScreenAdaptation: With most of the original cast; luckily for the producers Marie Wilson was more than photogenic enough to play Irma on screen as easily as on the air.
* SuspiciouslySimilarSubstitute: Cathy Lewis left the TV show after the first year and was replaced by Kay (played by Mary Shipp) as Irma's best friend/BrainyBrunette foil