A spin-off from The Jack Benny Program
, this radio sitcom
ran from 1948 to 1954 and followed the home life of bandleader Phil, wife Alice, and his two girls Phyllis and Baby Alice. His best friend is Frankie Remley, his suppposedly-inept guitar player ("Lucky I'm in your band, ain't it?"), and the thorns in his side are Julius the grocery boy (who is madly in love with Alice) and his brother-in-law Willy.
The show was sponsored by the Rexall drug company, and several times episode plots involved some mess Phil makes of the yearly contract, breaking something in one of the stores, or even taking it upon himself to sell everything in the store for a penny, among other things. The humor on Alice's side revolved around her large fortune (as well as her faded movie career) and her occasional "Ah, your mother
..." insults when she's at her wits end. Phil is often portrayed as Too Dumb to Live
, the usual things on his mind being pride in being from the South, thinking he's smarter than he really is, and his ego (the size of a house).
Two musical numbers were performed each episode, one by each of the leads.
This show provides examples of:
- Butt Monkey: Julius. Just... Julius.
- Though perhaps Alice's milquetoast brother Willie might be an even better candidate.
- Cargo Ship: Invoked. Phil loves his English roadster:
Alice: Do you realize how lucky you are having a beautiful home, two wonderful children...
Phil: And you, you beautiful dove you. You lovely thing. I'd never thought I'd live to see the day when anything so gorgeous as you would belong to me.
Alice: Well, thank you Phil...
Phil: Alice, please, I'm talking to the car.
- Catchphrase - Willy's "Goooood morning, Philip!" and "Yes, indeed. Mmmmhmmm!"
- Julius almost always entered with a shout of "Hiya, Mr. Harris, I brung the groceries!"
- Christmas Episode
- Deadpan Snarker - Where do we start? Pretty much every single character on the show- even Willy had his moments.
- Delusions of Eloquence - Phil does this all the time
- Doom It Yourself - many episodes use this, from coloring Julius' hair with fabric dye, to buying a live steer to save money on steak (which it doesn't).
- Dreadful Musician - A Running Gag where everyone from the sponsor to Phil's own family talk about how bad Phil's band is, especially guitar player Frankie Remley (see quote in description above). Phil also can't read music and only knows the scale as far as "do re me fa..." and teaches the children accordingly.
- Drop-In Character - Julius
- Enforced Plug - Rexall, with lots of Lampshading
- Subverted in the first few weeks of RCA's sponsorship, as, in-universe, RCA refused to allow Phil to do plugs during the show.
- Executive Meddling - When the show's sponsorship changed from Rexall to RCA Victor, the character played by actor Elliott Lewis was no longer referred to as "Remley", but as..well, "Elliott". Also, a different actor played Willy after the change in sponsorship.
- Good Ol' Boy
- Harp of Femininity: Barbara the harpist
- Heterosexual Life-Partners - Phil and Remley. They give each other presents. Awwwww...
- Hey, It's That Voice!:
- Modern listeners may wonder why Julius the grocery boy sounds so much like Sherman. Answer: Walter Tetley.
- Not to mention that Phil is Baloo the bear.
- Lampshade Hanging - In one episode, when Willy is the butt of one of Phil and Remley's schemes, Julius says, "Fellas, I'm hurt- this is the kind of torture you usually reserve for ME!"
- Large Ham - Remley on occasion (see Tyrant Takes the Helm below), also Julius.
- Leaning on the Fourth Wall - referencing musical numbers in middle of scenes or pointing out the "clumsy" segues.
- Little Miss Snarker - baby Alice and Phyllis, even at five years old
- Malaproper - Phil
- Running Gag: Almost every week, Phil and Remley bribe or trick Julius into acting as a guinea pig to achieve their goals by subjecting him to some kind of cartoonish torture- drowning him, electrocuting him, etc. He occasionally gets revenge, though.
- Remley's answer to every problem: "I know a guy..."
- Phil's band (and Remley's guitar playing) being terrible.
- Sitcom Arch-Nemesis - Phil has two of these, Julius the grocery boy and Alice's brother Willy. While Willy is just plain annoying, Julius is madly in love with Alice.
- Not to mention Julius was an obnoxious brat.
- Suddenly Voiced - Barbara the harpist.
- Ted Baxter
- The Danza - In the 1953-1954 season, Frankie Remley became Elliott Lewis, which was the name of the actor who played Remley. Phil had left Jack Benny's show and CBS retained the rights to the Remley name.
- This Is the Part Where... - occasionally done to reference the musical numbers
- Too Dumb to Live
- Tyrant Takes the Helm - Remley when he signs his name to Phil's Rexall contract. It doesn't take & he's compared to Hitler:
: From this moment on, I am your leader. You will respect my authority without question and obedience, I AM AN ABSOLUTE POWER
Band members: Heil, Remley! Heil, Remley! Heil, Remley!
- Women Drivers - Alice is a particularly hazardous driver and makes Phil nervous.
- Your Mom - Alice does this when she runs out of intelligent comebacks, like "Ah, your mother drinks warm beer!"