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Trivia / Our Miss Brooks

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  • Fake American: Three, all born in The British Empire.
    • Gale Gordon played Osgood Conklin. He was born in England, only moving to the United States as a teenager.
    • Jane Morgan, who played Mrs. Davis, was born in London to Welsh parents. She moved to Boston before her first birthday.
    • Jesselyn Fax, the actress who portrayed Mrs. Davis' sister Angela, was Canadian.
  • Friday Night Death Slot:
    • Our Miss Brooks was an early subversion, a popular television show airing on Fridays at 9:30 pm.
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    • Averted on the radio, where Our Miss Brooks aired Sunday nights.
  • Keep Circulating the Tapes: Our Miss Brooks was a winner in the Neilsen ratings during its 1952-1956 television run, but for years, only the episodes "Home Cooked Meal" and "The Big Jump" were available on legitimate DVD. CBS officially released the first season (in two volumes) on October 16, 2019, but it's currently unknown if future seasons will be issued on DVD.
    • Happily averted with the surviving radio episodes (1948-1956), which have lapsed into public domain and are available online. Also averted with The Movie, which is available from the Warner Brothers Archive Collection and occasionally airs on Turner Classic Movies.
  • The Other Darrin:
    • Jeff Chandler played Mr. Boynton in the first few radio seasons, then was replaced by Robert Rockwell on both radio and TV.
    • Different actors portrayed board of education superintendent Mr. Stone on the radio and on television (including once by Silent Film Star Francis X. Bushman). Ultimately, Joseph Kearns was cast in later episodes of the TV series and The Movie.
    • CBS tried to do this with Walter Denton, feeling Richard Crenna was too old to reprise the role on television. Crenna actually agreed with this assessment, and didn't want to carry over to TV anyway. Eve Arden protested this, feeling he looked and sounded younger than his years and insisted that nobody else could play the role as well. CBS ultimately had her do screentests with several other candidates, which Arden agreed to on the proviso that Crenna be tested as well. The network ultimately relented after realising Arden was right. (Crenna's appearance as a lovesick high-schooler on I Love Lucy also influenced his decision to ultimately join the cast, and provided CBS with further proof he was still capable of passing as a teenager.)
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  • The Pete Best: Joe Forte played Mr. Conklin in the first few radio episodes of the series, before being replaced by the legendary Gale Gordon.
  • Recycled Script: Many radio scripts were reworked and adapted for television:
    • i.e. "The Auction", "Aunt Mattie Boynton", "The Birthday Bag", "Blue Goldfish", "Bones, Son of Cyrano", "Business Course", "The Cafeteria Strike", "Clay City Chaperone", "Cure That Habit", "The Embezzled Dress", "Fisher's Pawn Shop", "The Hawkins Travel Agency", "The Hobby Show", "The Honest Burglar", "The Hurricane", "June Bride", "Madison Mascot", "The Magic Christmas Tree", "Marinated Hearing", "Monsieur LeBlanc", "The Model Teacher", "Old Marblehead", "Red River Valley", "Secondhand First Aid", "Spare That Rod", "Suzy Prentiss", "Thanksgiving Show", "Trial by Jury", "Trying to Pick A Fight", "Two-Way Stretch Snodgrass", "Wild Goose", "The Wrong Mrs. Boynton", and "The Yodar Kritch Award".
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  • Technology Marches On: A particularly glaring example in the episode "The Tape Recorder". Walter Denton causes trouble by purchasing an outrageously expensive tape recorder ($385 in 1950 funds!) for Madison High School - in the grips of Mr. Conklin's latest economy drive. A circa 1950 tape recorder, incidentally, isn't a small device, but one of the huge reel-to-reel affairs seen here. Hilarity Ensues as Miss Brooks and Mr. Conklin are forced to explain the purchase to school board head Mr. Stone. Even more Hilarity Ensues when the records Walter Denton made are played back in a mixed-up state.
  • What Could Have Been: Shirley Booth and Lucille Ball were considered for the role of Miss Brooks before it was finally given to Eve Arden. Booth actually recorded the first pilot, but ultimately took the plight of working-class teachers too seriously to have fun with the role and turned the part down. Ball also turned down the role, having already committed to My Favorite Husband, and some sources claim she actually suggested Arden for the role.
  • You Look Familiar:
    • Character actor Frank Nelson appears in several different roles over the course of the series:
      • He plays a crooked lawyer in "Hospital Follies"
      • He plays Mr. Fischer in "Fischer's Pawnshop"
      • His voice is heard in "Vitamin E-4" as a fraudulent professor
      • On at least one occasion on the radio, "The Tape Recorder," Nelson is the voice of the head of the school board, Mr. Stone.
      • On multiple radio episodes, Nelson provides the voice of Jason Brill, principal of rival Clay City High School.
      • Nelson voices a hairdresser on the radio episode "The Hair-Do"
      • Nelson voices a photographer in the radio episode "Photo Feud."
    • Mary Jane Croft voices the reporter in "The Model School Teacher" before taking the role of rival English teacher Daisy Enright on radio and television.
    • Joseph Kearns plays a conservative school board official in "Lulu the Pinup Boat" before assuming the role of Mr. Stone in subsequent episodes and the cinematic series finale.
    • Child actor Ricky Vera guest starred as Ricky Velasco during the high school episodes and then had a reoccurring role as Benny Romero during the elementary school episodes.
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