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George Baxter was a highly successful corporation lawyer who was always in control of everything at the office, but almost nothing at home. When he returned from the office at day's end, to his wife Dorothy, and his young son Harold, he entered the world of Hazel. Hazel was the maid and housekeeper who ran the Baxter household more efficiently than George ran his office. She was always right, knew exactly what needed doing, and pre-empted his authority with alarming, though, justified regularity. Written by
The 154 half-hour episodes (34 in B&W, 120 in color) of the situation comedy "Hazel" were originally broadcast on NBC (last season on CBS) from 1961-1966. It was an extremely popular baby boomer show although it is now in the "dead man walking" category as none of the original four principal actors are still alive.
George Baxter (Don Defore who already had a following from his years as Thorny on "Ozzie and Harriet") was a successful and wrapped a little too tight attorney who had married a woman (Whitney Blake) with her own lifelong nanny/housekeeper (Shirley Booth in the title role). They had a young son Harold (Bobby Buntrock). George is a klutz around the house and most of the conflict revolves around his frustration when he is routinely shown-up by the much more competent Hazel.
Hazel pretty much runs the family, sorting out the Baxter's weekly problems and keeping the frustrated blustering George in line. Living with Hazel was a lot worse than living with Amos McCoy because she was rarely (if ever) wrong or repentant as she incessantly meddled in everyone's life.
In its last season the producers shake things up and ship George and Dorothy off to Saudi Arabia. Hazel and Harold move in with George's younger brother Steve (Ray Fulmer), his wife Barbara (Lynn Borden), and his daughter Susie (Julia Benjamin); 1960's television was notorious for finding creative ways to back fill with younger children when the original ones grew too old to appeal to their intended demographic.
Steve, Barbara, and Susie constitute the most physically attractive family in television history, but Hazel soon took over their household as well; although Steve and Barbara do stand up to her better than their predecessors. The popular theory at the time was than George and Dorothy just made up the Saudi story so they could escape Hazel's domination and live out their lives somewhere else with some degree of independence.
Then again, what do I know? I'm only a child.
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