I Saw That!

One woman's opinions about popular entertainment.

My Photo
Location: Chicago, Illinois, United States

Amateur boxing coach, Christian (but not so heavenly-minded that I'm no earthly good) singer, writer, self-defense advocate, childfree. feminist www.smartwomenboxingtraining.org

Friday, February 25, 2011

Car 54, Where Are You? (1961-1963)

I watched reruns of this show with my late dad when I was a toddler.  The only thing I remembered were a tall cop and his partner, a short cop who was always going, "Ooh, ooh!"  A local station has recently rerun this sitcom again, which is sort of a cult classic, and I've reacquainted myself with it.  The plots follow the antics of a Mutt and Jeff pair of New York City cops: quiet bachelor Francis Muldoon (Fred Gwynne) and stocky, married man Gunther Toody (Joe E. Ross).  Between the two, Toody was more of a dim bulb, and a source of frustration to the cops' boss, Captain Block (Paul Reed).  Toody's wife Lucille (Beatrice Pons) was often irritated by her husband as well. 

This slice of craziness was created by Nat Hiken, who was also responsible for "Sgt. Bilko/The Phil Silvers Show" (1955-1959).  The plots were full of misunderstandings and general nuttiness, populated by a gang of quirky characters including sarcastic cop Schnauser (Al Lewis) and his batty wife Sylvia (Charlotte Rae), and Toody's chauvinistic brother-in-law Al (Carl Ballantine).  I also note this show for having semi-regular African-American characters, a rarity in that point in TV history, played by Frederick O'Neal, Ossie Davis, and Nipsey Russell. 

Gwynne and Lewis would appear together again on "The Munsters" (1964-1966).  Ms. Rae was the motherly Mrs. Garrett, first on "Different Strokes" (1978-1984), then later "The Facts of Life" (1979-1986).  Carl Ballantine was one of the military guys on "McHale's Navy" (1962-1966).

Labels: , , , , , ,


Post a Comment

<< Home