1 9 5 2 – 1 9 5 5 (USA)
126 x 30 minute episodes
Gale Storm was another comedienne who cast herself in Lucille Ball’s mould. She starred in the title role as the rubber-faced, slapstick-prone daughter of widower Vernon Albright (Charles Farrell).
Vern tried in vain to control his attractive and willful daughter – who lived with him in a New York penthouse – while she constantly worked to transform him into a sedentary father figure instead of the flirtatious ladies’ man he was.
Mr Albright worked as an executive for the investment counselling firm Honeywell and Todd and was perpetually in fear of losing “the big account” because of Margie’s meddling.
Rounding out the cast were Freddie (Don Hayden), Margie’s “boyfriend”; elderly neighbour Mrs Odetts (Gertrude Hoffman); Roberta Townsend (Hillary Brooke), Vern’s lady friend; George Honeywell (Clarence Kolb), president of Honeywell and Todd; and Charlie (Willie Best), the black elevator operator (depicted as a sad African-American stereotype, typical of TV at that time).
Each episode featured the stars’ framed photo’s on a bureau, each coming to life and explaining to viewers that “I’ve got a problem… believe me, I’ve got a problem”.
My Little Margie ran from June 1952 until 1955 and was syndicated for years thereafter.
The show had absolutely no critical support. From its premiere, every newspaper dismissed the show as silly. Yet it had enough fan devotion to secure a highly rated run, making it one of the first shows to survive on audience support alone.
Oddly, the programme was one of the few television shows that spawned a radio spin-off. It ran concurrent to the TV show with the same actors but different scripts.
Gale Storm went on to star in the sitcom Oh! Susanna from 1956 to 1962. Charles Farrell had been a hero of the silent screen and after My Little Margie served as mayor of Palm Springs, California.