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So You Want a Television Set (1953)

 |  Comedy, Short  |  23 May 1953 (USA)
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Joe and Alice buy a television set and, on some excuse or another, the neighbors begin to drop in, stay to watch television and raid Joe's refrigerator. To escape the turmoil, Joe leaves ... See full summary »


(as Richard Bare)


(original story), (as Richard Bare)
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Cast overview:
George O'Hanlon ...


Joe and Alice buy a television set and, on some excuse or another, the neighbors begin to drop in, stay to watch television and raid Joe's refrigerator. To escape the turmoil, Joe leaves and goes to the movies, where he finds himself sitting between Doris Day and Gordon McRae. Written by Les Adams <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

joe mcdoakes | narration | sequel | See All (3) »


Comedy | Short


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Release Date:

23 May 1953 (USA)  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Doris Day and Gordon MacRae appear in a brief cameo as a promotion for By the Light of the Silvery Moon (1953). See more »


[first lines]
Alice McDoakes: Joe?
Joe McDoakes: Mmm?
Alice McDoakes: When are we going to get a television set?
Joe McDoakes: Television? We can't afford a TV set.
See more »


Featured in Added Attractions: The Hollywood Shorts Story (2002) See more »


I Know That You Know
Music by Vincent Youmans
Played during the opening credits
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User Reviews

Owning a TV set gets skewered in this short!

This is one of the shorts in the Joe McDoakes series. There will be spoilers ahead:

George O'Hanlon (probably best known as the voice of George Jetson in The Jetsons) starred in a series of one-reel live action shorts as Joe McDoakes, a man continually getting himself into situations as a result of either his own stubbornness or his wife's prodding.

Here, O'Hanlon takes the opportunity to take a few semi-good-natured pokes in the ribs at "the enemy"-television, which was making inroads into the movie business. Joe McDoakes is sitting at dinner and reading the paper when his wife asks him for a television set. He argues against it, she begins crying, he caves and she unveils a set already in the house, allowing O'Hanlon to do a "take".

Joe and a buddy "install" the TV, allowing for several mishaps. The bulk of the short consists of Joe and his wife trying to find a program they both want to watch, with all the standard jokes about TV being trotted out-limited programming options, bad reception, annoying commercials and so on. The obligatory reference to pro wrestling is prominent.

They finally settle on a movie when the first of the visitors arrives and basically take over the living room and the TV. Joe tries to be a bad host, but his wife is all to happy to entertain their guests. As more people show up, Joe gets madder and madder, until they start fighting over which program to watch and soak Joe in beer, at which point he blows his top and stomps out to a movie theater.

In contrast to his evening at home, his theater-going experience is a dream come true. The film he goes to see is By the Light of the Silvery Moon, which is probably why this is an extra on the DVD release of the film. There's a hilarious ending, featuring two cameos. I won't spoil it here.

This short is well worth watching.

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