1 9 5 6 (USA)
13 x 30 minute episodes
Premiering on CBS on 26 June 1956, this summer show was the story of New York cab driver Joe Spartan (Larry Blyden). Each episode began and ended with Joe, in his taxi (cab number 124) addressing us in the rearview mirror as if we were sitting in the backseat.
At the beginning of the show he’d set up the episode, and at the end, he’d give a preview of next week’s show.
Joe was very much in love with Mabel Spooner (Nita Talbot) – “She loves me no matter how stupid I am; she laughs at all my old jokes and knows how to fix my eggs” – but had cold feet about the responsibilities associated with marriage.
On the other hand, Mabel was ready and very eager to tie the knot. She had, in fact, already planned on a house and three kids named Joe Jr., Adele and Stanley.
Mabel lived with her widowed mother, Adele Spooner (Luella Gear), and her younger brother, Sherman (Michael Mann) at Apartment 3H, 2314 Bushwick Avenue in Brooklyn (she had a very strong accent).
She worked as a manicurist at the Westside Beauty Shop in Manhattan and her best friend was Dolly Armstrong (Shirl Conway).
Joe lived at 764 Chauncey Street in Brooklyn and his best friend was fellow cabbie Mike (Norman Fell).
Joe and Mike would frequently hang out at the counter of Mac’s Diner (“the Waldorf Astoria of the coffee shops”) and try to figure their way out of various predicaments over coffee. Harry (John Shellie) worked behind the counter.
The final episode aired on 25 September 1956.