One of the first, if not the first, fantasy US sitcoms. Based on two novels by Thorne Smith and three Screwball Comedy movies, the series starred Leo G. Carrol as Cosmo Topper; a stick-in-the-mud banker; who buys a house owned by the late George and Marion Kerby, who recently died in a freak avalanche. Soon after, Topper finds himself haunted by the ghosts of the couple, along with the ghost of Neil, the perpetually drunk St Bernard that tried to rescue them. The Kerbys try to make up for wasting their lives by helping Topper loosen up and enjoy life more. One of Stephen Sondheim's first writing jobs; he wrote 11 episodes of the first season.
This work provides examples of:
- Follow the Leader: Topper lead the way for other supernatural/fantasy sitcoms such as Bewitched, I Dream of Jeannie, Mr. Ed, and My Mother The Car.
- Our Ghosts Are Different: George and Marion are trying to help Topper, not haunt him.
- Real-Life Relative: Robert Sterling and Anne Jefferies.
- Saint-Bernard Rescue: The reason Neil's a ghost now.
- Yet Another Christmas Carol: The first-season Christmas episode has Topper falling asleep after watching A Christmas Carol on TV and dreaming he's Scrooge, with the Kerbys and Neil as the three spirits.