Home Television Comedy I Married Joan

I Married Joan

1 9 5 2 – 1 9 5 7 (USA)
98 x 30 minute episodes

Comedienne Joan Davis starred in her own radio show, Leave It To Joan, between 1943 and 1950. The series became one of the most popular radio comedy programmes in the US. On 15 October 1952, the series moved – with a new title – to television courtesy of NBC.

Davis starred as Joan Stevens, the trouble-prone wife of domestic-relations court judge Bradley Stevens, played by her former radio husband Jim Backus.

The fault with I Married Joan was not with the stars but with the writers.  Miss Davis could mug with the best of them, but her predicaments were eminently less believable than even Lucille Ball’s outrageous scrapes in I Love Lucy.

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One whole episode was built on the fact that she didn’t have enough chicken to serve when Brad suddenly announced he was bringing guests home . . .

Davis did give Lucy a run for her money in the slapstick sweepstakes, however.

In one memorable episode of I Married Joan she positioned herself inside an enormous commercial soup pot to spy out the recipe for a chef’s soup. As expected, she gained first-hand knowledge as the ingredients began to shower down on her.

During the series’ first season the Stevens’ next-door neighbour (and Joan’s frequent cohort) was a large woman named Minerva Parker, played by Hope Emerson.

In the following two seasons, Davis was joined by her real-life daughter Beverly Wills, who appeared regularly as Joan’s college-age sister, Beverly.

Other regulars were Dan Tobin as the Stevens’ prissy friend, Kerwin, Geraldine Carr and Shelia Bromley as Mabel and Janet, Sandra Gould as Mildred Webster, and Hal Smith as Charlie.

The series ran until 6 April 1955. It returned in a morning slot on 5 May 1956 and ran until 9 March 1957.

Joan Stevens
Joan Davis
Bradley Stevens
Jim Backus
Minerva Parker
Hope Emerson
Beverly
Beverly Wills
Kerwin
Dan Tobin