1 9 5 9 – 1 9 6 0 (USA)
26 x 30 minute episodes
Fibber McGee and Molly was one of the most popular American radio shows of all time, running from 1935 until 1957. It came to television in 1959, but with much less success.
The McGees were the residents of 79 Wistful Vista and, as on radio, they had to cope with friends and neighbours who made life rather hilarious.
Fibber’s tendency to overstate (some people called it fibbing) constantly got him into trouble. Fortunately, Molly’s common sense and talents as a peacemaker prevented most situations from getting out of hand.
Symptomatic of the problems involved in bringing Fibber McGee and Molly to television was McGee’s famous overcrowded hall closet, which always unleashed its contents in a crash whenever it was opened.
Somehow this was not as funny seen on television as it had been when only heard on the radio.
Jack Kirkwood, who would again work with Elisabeth Fraser on One Happy Family, appeared occasionally as Fred Nitney, Fibber’s old vaudeville partner. In the episode titled “The Fred Nitney Story,” Fred stayed with the McGees while he finished writing a book about their act known as Nitney and McGee.
Most of the actors in the TV version had not been associated with the show on radio, but one did have an interesting connection with the earlier version. Harold Peary had created the role of Throckmorton P. Gildersleeve on Fibber McGee and Molly in 1939, later moving it to a series of his own as The Great Gildersleeve.
When Fibber McGee came to TV, Peary returned as Mayor La Trivia.