1 9 5 3 – 1 9 5 6 (USA)
Few shows captured the everyday, ordinary conversations of a married couple as accurately as Ethel and Albert. The carefully executed scripts of this American domestic comedy series were so realistic, many viewers thought the dialogue was improvised by an actual husband and wife.
For six years, Ethel and Albert was a popular radio programme on ABC and in 1951 it made a successful transition to television when it became a segment on The Kate Smith Evening Hour.
Peg Lynch (who wrote the scripts and played Ethel) and Alan Bunce (who played Albert) reprised their radio roles for television.
The down-to-earth, familiar squabbles and exchanges that occurred between the happily married, but very human, Ethel and Albert Arbuckle, who lived in Sandy Harbor, were masterpieces of observation, and Lynch’s scripts are still being performed in little theatres and at nostalgia conventions around the US, giving testimony to their timelessness.
On 25 April 1953, NBC made Ethel and Albert a weekly series. It switched to CBS on 20 June 1955.
Trivial, but highly amusing subjects such as blown fuses, forgotten anniversaries, business trips, shopping, dinners that go bad, and nosey neighbours were some of the commonplace incidents depicted in Lynch’s scripts.
What was familiar to any married couple was the way Ethel and Albert talked to each other, and that was what made Ethel and Albert so endearing.