Adapted from two novels by Thorne Smith and a trio of Screwball Comedy movies, the series starred Leo G. Carroll as Cosmo Topper, a stick-in-the-mud banker who buys a house previously owned by the victims of a freak avalanche.
Topper soon discovers the place is haunted by the ghosts of the couple, George and Marion Kerby (Robert Sterling and Anne Jeffreys), along with the ghost of Neil, the perpetually drunk Saint Bernard that tried to rescue them. The Kerbys try to make up for having wasted their lives by helping Topper loosen up and enjoy life more. Lee Patrick also appears as Topper's ditsy wife, Henrietta.
This was one of Stephen Sondheim's first writing jobs, and he wrote 11 episodes of the first season.
This work provides examples of:
- Our Ghosts Are Different: George and Marion are trying to help Topper, not haunt him.
- Saint-Bernard Rescue: The reason Neil's a ghost now is that he tried and failed to save the Kerbys.
- 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.