A comedic radio program that ran on NBC
from 1941–1957, centering around the life and exploits of Throckmorton Philharmonic Gildersleeve (played by Harold Peary until he left in 1950 and was replaced by Willard Waterman), who acts as guardian to his niece Marjorie (originally played by Lurene Tuttle and followed by Louise Erickson and Mary Lee Robb), and his nephew Leroy (Walter Tetley). Other recurring characters included the household cook Birdie (Lillian Randolph), Judge Horace Hooker (Earle Ross), Richard Q. Peavey (Richard LeGrand), the friendly neighborhood pharmacist, and Floyd Munson (Arthur Q. Bryan), the neighborhood barber.
The show began as a spinoff of Fibber McGee and Molly
, where Peary's Gildersleeve was a pompous windbag who became a consistent McGee nemesis. The character 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.
Most of the series can be found here
This series provides examples of:
- Annoying Laugh / Evil Laugh: Judge Hooker isn't evil, but his laugh certainly fits the trope.
- Then there's Gildersleeve's own, slightly lascivious-sounding trademark laugh.
- Catch Phrase: Gildersleeve has several:
- "That Bessie, I'm gonna have to let her go!"
- (To Leroy) "Tuck your shirt tail in."
- "You're a haa-aa-aa-aard man, [insert name]!" (Or the variation he uses just for Leroy: "You're a brii-ii-ii-iight boy, Leroy!")
- "This is going to be one of my baa-aa-aa-aad days!"
- (Referring to Judge Hooker) "The old goat..."
- Peavey's "Well, now, I wouldn't say that!" ...which is probably better-known nowadays for its use in several Looney Tunes shorts of the same era.
- Deadpan Snarker: Judge Hooker and Leroy, although the other characters have their moments.
- The Ditz: Bessy, Throckmorton's secretary after he becomes Water Commissioner.
- Everytown, America: Summerfield
- Freudian Trio:
- The Heart: Marjorie.
- Heel-Face Turn: Gildersleeve, from his previous appearances on Fibber McGee and Molly. He later finds a Foil in Rumson Bullard, who displays many of Gildersleeve's own earlier traits.
- Heel Realization: Judge Hooker has a particularly sobering one in episode 52 when he realizes that a joke he played on Throckmorton is about to result in him being humiliated in front of the whole town, and even refers to himself as a horrible, mean old man when it sinks in how much it's going to hurt Throckmorton and his family.
- Kavorka Man: Throckmorton has a way with the ladies.
- Non-Idle Rich
- Sassy Black Woman: Birdie
- Sexy Secretary: Bessie
- Sitcom Arch-Nemesis: Judge Hooker started out as this for Gildy before they gradually softened into Vitriolic Best Buds.
- Spin-Off: One of the earliest.
- Team Mom: Birdie and Marjorie often act like this.
- Took a Level in Kindness: Gildersleeve, compared to how he was in Fibber McGee and Molly.