IMDb > "The Bell Telephone Hour" The Mikado (1960)

"The Bell Telephone Hour" The Mikado (1960)

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William S. Gilbert (operetta)
Martyn Green (adaptation)
View company contact information for The Mikado on IMDbPro.
Original Air Date:
29 April 1960 (Season 2, Episode 13)
In a mythical Japan, Ko-Ko, a cheap tailor, has been appointed Lord High Executioner and must find someone... See more » | Add synopsis »
User Reviews:
Groucho finds G & S See more (4 total) »


 (Episode Cast)

Episode Crew
Directed by
Norman Campbell 
Martyn Green 
Writing credits
(in alphabetical order)
William S. Gilbert  operetta
Martyn Green  adaptation

Produced by
Martyn Green .... producer
Other crew
Martyn Green .... stage director
Betty Wesley .... assistant to prod..
Betty Wesley .... production assistant

Series Crew
These people are regular crew members. Were they in this episode?
Directed by
Donald Voorhees 
Writing credits
(in alphabetical order)
Gordon Cotler  writer
Dan Lounsbery  writer
Francis Robinson  writer
Robert B. Sherman  writer

Produced by
Harold C. Schonberg .... producer
Barry Wood .... producer (1959-1967)
Original Music by
Hershy Kay 
Music Department
Buster Davis .... music arranger: vocals (1960-1968)
Production CompaniesDistributors

Additional Details

USA:60 min | USA:60 min (including commercials)
Aspect Ratio:
1.33 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:

Did You Know?

Sir William S. Gilbert and Sir Arthur Sullivan's comic opera "The Mikado or, The Town of Titipu" was their ninth of fourteen collaborations opening on March 14, 1885 in London at the Savoy Theatre and ran for 672 performances.See more »
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2 out of 2 people found the following review useful.
Groucho finds G & S, 20 May 2006
Author: theowinthrop from United States

I have only heard this production, as a record of the show has been sold in the 1970s (and I purchased a copy). Since I have not seen the actual production I have to base my enthusiasm on the recording, which suggests it was a good production, if heavily cut.

Certain comedians fit certain great dramatists. John McCabe once suggested that Chaplin would have been wonderful in Moliere's satires, and that Laurel & Hardy could easily have played Sir Andrew Aguecheek and Sir Toby Belch in Shakespeare's TWELFTH NIGHT. If I can suggest it, Groucho Marx might have essayed Gilbert and Sullivan's operettas. Groucho appears to have picked up on G & S after a vacation to Great Britain with his family in the 1930s. He returned and started collecting recordings of the D'Oyly Carte Company of the major operettas. He even studied the lives of the dramatist and his composer partner, discussing their gradual mutual dislike and split (his then wife had gotten so sick of hearing Groucho talk about them that she mentioned she had gotten to dislike both and could understand them splitting).

If Groucho had tried it,it would have been a solo act. Harpo and Chico would not have fit into the operetta (unless they were doing THE GONDALIERS, wherein Chico's accent might have been of use). Aside from Reginald Bunthorne's solicitor in PATIENCE and Mr. Go - To in THE MIKADO, there are no silent roles in the Savoy Operas for Harpo. Zeppo might have tagged along as the romantic interest (Nanki-poo in THE MIKADO, Ralph Rackstraw in HMS PINAFORE, Frederick in THE PIRATES OF PENZANCE). But only Groucho ever showed real interest in G & S. And only this one time did he attempt a performance.

He does well with it. He appreciates Gilbert's malicious wit, so he follows the direction well. No novel interpretation for him, as Eric Idle would demonstrate in his later version of THE MIKADO. As Martyn Green was involved in this production that reinforces Gilbert's staging and ideas from a key Savoyard. But it worked, and it shows what Groucho could have done on his own. Whether or not it would have worked in the long run is another matter. It is hard to think of Groucho, with his uninhabited wit and mouth, straight-jacketing his performing talents to Gilbert's words and staging. Perhaps it is just as well he did not follow THE MIKADO with H.M.S. PINAFORE, IOLANTHE, RUDDIGORE, and the rest. He hit the bell nicely in this 1960 production, and did not have to prove anything anymore again.

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