Topper (1953–1955)

TV Series  -   -  Fantasy | Comedy
7.8
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 7.8/10 from 238 users  
Reviews: 12 user

This series was about a somewhat grumpy and uptight banker, Cosmo Topper, and the ghosts which only he could see or hear, George and Marion Kerby. The Kerbys would often try to get Cosmo to... See full summary »

0Check in
0Share...

Editors' Spotlight

IMDb: What to Watch - Guardians of the Galaxy

In the latest episode of IMDb: What to Watch, Keith Simanton talks with director James Gunn and actors Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldana and Vin Diesel about their movie Guardians of the Galaxy.


User Lists

Related lists from IMDb users

list image
a list of 31 titles
created 18 Sep 2011
 
a list of 699 titles
created 29 Sep 2011
 
a list of 187 titles
created 06 May 2013
 
a list of 296 titles
created 10 months ago
 
a list of 185 titles
created 3 months ago
 

Related Items

Search for "Topper" on Amazon.com

Connect with IMDb


Share this Rating

Title: Topper (1953–1955)

Topper (1953–1955) on IMDb 7.8/10

Want to share IMDb's rating on your own site? Use the HTML below.

Take The Quiz!

Test your knowledge of Topper.

User Polls

Season:

2 | 1

Year:

1955 | 1954 | 1953
Nominated for 1 Primetime Emmy. See more awards »
Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

My Little Margie (1952–1955)
Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  
Stars: Gale Storm, Charles Farrell, Clarence Kolb
The Man from U.N.C.L.E. (1964–1968)
Action | Adventure | Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

The two top agents of the United Network Command for Law and Enforcement fight the enemies of peace, particularly the forces of THRUSH.

Stars: Robert Vaughn, David McCallum, Leo G. Carroll
The Cisco Kid (1950–1956)
Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

The Cisco Kid and his English-mangling sidekick Pancho travel the old west in the grand tradition of the Lone Ranger, righting wrongs and fighting injustice wherever they find it.

Stars: Duncan Renaldo, Leo Carrillo, Diablo
Racket Squad (TV Series 1950)
Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

This series dramatizes confidence games which fall under the jurisdiction of Captain John Braddock.

Stars: Reed Hadley, Hugh Beaumont, Robert Bray
Dillinger (1945)
Biography | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

John Dillinger begins his life of crime as a petty thief, meets his future gang in prison and eventually masterminds a series of daring robberies.

Director: Max Nosseck
Stars: Lawrence Tierney, Edmund Lowe, Anne Jeffreys
Adventure
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.7/10 X  

Mike and Tony Petrakis are a Greek father and son team who dive for sponges off the coast of Florida. After they are robbed by crooks, Arnold and the Rhys brothers, Mike decides to take his... See full summary »

Director: Robert D. Webb
Stars: Robert Wagner, Terry Moore, Gilbert Roland
The Thin Man (1957–1959)
Comedy | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

Nick Charles, an ex-private detective, marries Nora and lives in a luxurious Park Avenue apartment in New York City. Nick's former underworld friends still hang around and get him involved ... See full summary »

Stars: Peter Lawford, Phyllis Kirk, Asta
Topper (1992)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Stars: Clive Robertson
Science Fiction Theatre (1955–1957)
Drama | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

In this science-fiction anthology series host Truman Bradley introduces stories extrapolated from actual scientific data available in the 1950's, concentrating on such concepts as space ... See full summary »

Stars: Truman Bradley, Marshall Thompson, Michael Fox
Topper Returns (TV Movie 1973)
Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

Cosmo Topper is bedeviled by two ghosts whom only he can see and hear. This pilot updated the 1937 film premise in that the ghosts died forty years earlier and haven't adjusted to the hip 1970s.

Director: Hy Averback
Stars: Roddy McDowall, Stefanie Powers, John Fink
The Third Man (1959–1965)
Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.3/10 X  

Harry Lime makes money dealing art and solves crime to save his life.

Stars: Michael Rennie, Jonathan Harris, Naomi Chance
Riverboat (1959–1961)
Adventure | Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  
Stars: Darren McGavin, Dick Wessel, Jack Lambert
Edit

Cast

Series cast summary:
...
 Marion Kerby / ... (78 episodes, 1953-1955)
...
 George Kerby (78 episodes, 1953-1955)
...
 Cosmo Topper (78 episodes, 1953-1955)
Buck ...
 Neil (76 episodes, 1953-1955)
Lee Patrick ...
 Henrietta Topper (63 episodes, 1953-1955)
Thurston Hall ...
 Mr. Schuyler / ... (35 episodes, 1953-1955)
Edit

Storyline

This series was about a somewhat grumpy and uptight banker, Cosmo Topper, and the ghosts which only he could see or hear, George and Marion Kerby. The Kerbys would often try to get Cosmo to loosen up and enjoy life, but more often they would complicate it. Written by Mathias Banner <mathias@datawise.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Fantasy | Comedy

Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

9 October 1953 (USA)  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

(78 episodes)

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Ghostly couple Robert Sterling and Anne Jeffreys were also married in real life. See more »

Connections

Referenced in My Favorite Martian: Man or Amoeba (1963) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
Ghostly Neighbors, Alcoholic Spectral St. Bernard, a lot of Sexual Titilation and Innuendo, Upsetting Dignity and Top Physical Comedy on Sunday Evenings!
26 September 2007 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

The various adaptations of one particular work invariably invite comparisons. This sort of forces us to bring out our own sense of judgment and to analyze this or that. Some good examples of this phenomenon would be: the various JAMES BOND Films, the multitude of TARZAN Movies and Thorne Smith's TOPPER, which found adaptation on Television as well as the Movies.*

First of all, let's get this point straight; I haven't read any Topper Stories, nor anything else by author, Mr. Smith. Whatever knowledge that has been gained here is from the filmed versions.

As I understand it, though, the Thorne Smith Topper stories were sort of farce, bedroom farce of the first magnitude. The racy, "adult" humor of the times was the order of the day. Even consideration of Sex with a Ghost is considered there. But, not to worry; for it was all in good "clean" fun; in contrast to today's super explicit everything. It's all a matter of contrasting two core values of implication vs. specificity, subtlety or the obvious.

As for the basic premise, the "set-up", if you will; we learn that Mr. And Mrs. Cosmo Topper* are about shopping around for a house to buy to be their new abode. Upon inspecting the house of former owners, George and Marion Kirby. The Kirbys are now deceased, having been killed by either a. an Automobile Accident, or by having been caught in an avalanche in Switzerland, while on a Skiing Vacation trip.

It was the latter "origin" that was the TV version, and it was referenced often during the series run. One reason for constant reminders of the fatal accidental deaths of the Kerbys claimed another life, a native Swiss named Neal. He came with the Spectral Couple to the U.S., staying with them and displaying great loyalty. For, if you already didn't know, Neal an ectoplasmic form of an alcoholic St. Bernard Mountain Rescue Dog.

The use of the only sometimes visible St. Bernard was a great source of laughs, mainly of the Sight-Gag variety. A much used recurring happening had a water bowl sized Dry Martini disappearing before our eyes as it was being lapped-up by the invisible Canine. The unseen dog was amplified by the slurping, slobbering of a doggie drinking, very effective.

The main characters of the show were Cosmo Topper, a stuffy Bank Vice President(Leo G. Carroll), his Wife Henrietta(Lee Patrick,**Effie in Bogey's MALTESE FALCON '41), Bank President Mr. Schuyler (Thurston Hall) and 'Buck' (Neal, St. Bernard). Just about each and every story had complications between the players and some outside influence.

A couple of favourite episodes of this writer are: the one where Cosmo, who is a temporary amnesia victim, is mistaken for an English Pro Wrestler, 'Lord' or 'Sir' Something or Other. Topper winds up in a "Grudge Match" with 'Blackbeard the Gouger'(Henry Kulky). Another involves Henrietta's entering a breakfast jingle contest for a Cereal called "Original Oats".

Possibly the most amazing and unsung elements of the "TOPPER Series" was the high level of versatility displayed by the actor with the title character role. Mr. Leo G. Carroll possessed that sort of chameleon-like ability that was also a gift of fellow Brit, Alec Guinness. And that is he had a uncanny skill in being able to play roles of far-flung types, and to lose themselves, being hard to recognize them. Their characterizations are so thorough and varied that they seem to truly be different persons.

And when you see the physical comedy that Mr. Carroll displays is so natural and matter-of-factly performed that we fail to recognize his mastery in this field. Just watch a show or two and observe any stunt that involves the unseen Ghosts pulling, pushing or otherwise controlling 'Toppy's"* bodily movement. You'll see what I mean.

One point that is so obvious between then(1950's)and today may be summed up with two (2) words. And they would be "Political Correctness". So much of the humor and situations would seem to be dated and jump out at us saying so,tho unnoticed in its day.

The most glaring example of the changes in our society lie in the show's sponsor, Camels Cigarettes. Of course cigarette advertising has been verboten ("forgiven" in German, Schultz!)over the Radio & TV for about the last 40 years. But then the cast regulars often did commercials for their sponsor. And the old TOPPER Show featured program closing spots with Anne Jeffreys & Robert Sterling (Mr. & Mrs. Sterling in real life). And they would be reading from a list of various Veteran's Hospitals that Camels were being sent that week, all while puffing away, filling the set with cigarette smoke.

And it seems like only Yesterday!***

NOTE: * The 3 movies made for theatrical release and exhibition were TOPPER(1937), TOPPER TAKES A TRIP (1938) and TOPPER RETURNS(1941), all from Hal Roach Productions/UNITED ARTISTS Corporation.

NOTE: **For whatever reason, Mrs. Topper's name is 'Clara' in the Feature Films and 'Henrietta' on the TV Series.

NOTE:***A made for TV Movie TOPPER (1979)made and was aired that year, and was a probable "Pilot" for a new series.It starred Kate Jackson & Andrew Stevens(as the Kirbys)and, now get this, JACK WARDEN as Cosmo Topper!!! Well, it's small wonder it failed to materialize as a series!!


5 of 5 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
really quite awful orangelifer
Ever shown on TV now? nafana
DVD Collections/Public Domain ttenchantr
topper pbost2004
Link for Topper theme song, pix, etc. NNSFF1
Discuss Topper (1953) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?