1 9 7 0 – 1 9 7 1 (Australia)
13 x 30 minute episodes
Some loved this comedy series from Australian channel 7. Others hated it. Melbourne killed the show off in a daytime slot. ATN 7 ran it in a peak-viewing slot (Wednesdays at 8.00 pm) but during the non-ratings period of the Christmas holiday break.
Mrs Finnegan (Delore Whiteman) was a bossy and dominant widow from the fictional working-class suburb of Hurstfield in Sydney.
She lived on her pension, trying desperately to support herself and her worthless and dim-witted 28-year-old son, Darby (Reg Gorman).
For Mrs F, life was one long battle full of grief and squalor. Her neighbour and good friend Amy Frizell (Marion Johns) was a simple, happy, unsophisticated Sydney housewife, partial to a little gossiping and scheming.
Darby had a friend called Hilton Harper (Max Cullen, pictured below left) who made the dim-witted Finnegan son seem like Einstein by comparison. Darby’s girlfriend was Fay Smith (Penny Ramsey).
The old girl split viewers into two camps. Those who hailed her as the big breakthrough in Australian TV comedy, and those who thought she was the corniest joke since Uncle Albert slipped on a banana skin.
The Sydney Morning Herald probably summed it up best when they described the show as “a bit of corny, homespun, knockabout funny business”.
Guest stars included Ron Shand, Gordon McDougall, Judy Morris, Bryan Niland, and Peter Collingwood.
Mrs Jessie Finnegan
Safe as Houses | Hilton’s Lucky Day | Six for the Pot | We Interrupt This Seance | Busman’s Holiday | The Reluctant Romeo | All the Answers from A to B | The Answer is in the Negative | The Thirty Year Itch | Home Sweet Home Unit | Benefit Performance | A Jones by any Other Name | Something Old, Something New