1 9 5 4 (USA)
38 x 30 minute episodes
Located in a shabby section of New York City on Third Avenue is Duffy’s Tavern, a seedy but friendly neighbourhood bar and grill where “the elite meet to eat” and where, with a beer, lunch costs 15 cents.
Archie (no last name) is the manager of the tavern for the never seen Mr Duffy, who he has known for 15 years and despises. When the phone rings in the bar, Archie answers with “Hello, Duffy’s Tavern, Archie the manager speaking. Duffy ain’t here”.
Archie is a con artist, out to make a buck any way he can. His on-again/off-again gold-digging girlfriend (who he takes to the Stork Club whenever he has the money – “which ain’t often”) is Peaches La Tour (Veda Ann Borg), a gorgeous stripper at the Burlesque Palace (later called the Bijou Burlesque).
Dim-witted Clifton Finnegan (Alan Reed) is Archie’s childhood friend, “a subnormal chowder head . . . a dope . . . a low-grade moron”. But, as Archie says; “You have to forgive him. When he was born, the baby doctor was a little nearsighted and Finnegan got slapped on the head”.
Miss Duffy (Pattie Chapman) is Duffy’s daughter, who Archie calls “Mother Nature’s revenge on peeping toms”. She works as the cashier at the tavern and is seeking a husband.
She freely gives out her home phone number to anyone she meets but, as Archie says; “unfortunately, her phone ain’t never rung”.
When she calls her father she says, “Poppa, this is your daughter, Miss Duffy” and she introduces herself to people as Miss Duffy.
Charley (Jimmy Conlin) is Archie’s elderly friend, a waiter at the tavern, who always sported a bow tie. Second Story Jackson (Herb Vigran) is Archie’s old schoolmate (they both flunked out of kindergarten together) who now leads a somewhat shady life.
Some of the funniest lines in the show revolved around Archie’s butchering of the English language-weddings were “maritime relations,” clothing purchased for a wedding was a “torso,” the plural of spouse was “spices,” a wealthy person was a “money maggot,” when a lady was treated with respect that was called “chiselry” and after dinner one had to go for a walk to let one’s “drastic juices” do their job.
Duffy’s Tavern had a 10-year-run on radio but didn’t translate as well to TV where it became a single-season sitcom, although the original deal with Hal Roach called for three seasons and 117 episodes.
Peaches La Tour
Veda Ann Borg
Second Story Jackson