6 out of 7 people found the following review useful:
krorie from Van Buren, Arkansas
15 March 2006
This popular television show stayed on the air throughout most of the
decade of the 1950's. I liked it better when it was in a 30-minute time
slot. When it expanded to an hour, the scripts were stretched and much
of the punch left the program. The general format for the 30-minute
shows was to have George Gobel do a monologue followed by sketches, the
best one centering on George's wife "Old Weird Alice." Alice was
George's wife in real life, but on TV an actress played the part.
Viewers, myself included, looked forward to this part of the program.
George's monologues were not really that funny on the surface. Many of
the jokes were stale or of the corny variety. What really sold George's
monologues were the interjections thrown in with good timing such as
"Well, I'll be a dirty bird," which became a popular saying throughout
the nation while George was on the tube. He would also use offbeat
funny interjections during the sketches. So it was George's delivery
technique and not his jokes that carried him to stardom. Add to this
his winning personality and comical appearance, including a crew cut,
and a star is born.
George could also play guitar and warble a few songs which like his
monologues tended to be corny but cute. I don't recall that he ever
actually did an entire song. This part of his act in some ways
foreshadowed the later humor of the Smothers Brothers who would also
seldom finish a song without funny asides and comic interludes relating
to what was being sung.
What is amazing is how popular and how long George stayed on in prime
time. At his peak, he was possibly the favorite TV comic in the nation.
Yet his brand of humor usually fades away quickly along the lines of a
fad. Television's "Batman," popular in the mid-60's, is an example of
how a novelty hit rises and falls within a few months. George was able
to sustain himself for over half a decade.
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