Bob Hope Presents the Chrysler Theatre: Season 4, Episode 9

The Blue-Eyed Horse (23 Nov. 1966)

TV Episode  -   -  Adventure | Drama | Comedy
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23 November 1966 (USA)  »

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The worst installment of the Chrysler Theater
30 November 2008 | by (Durham,North Carolina) – See all my reviews

Out of the entire 114 episodes that were produced for "The Chrysler Theatre",the episode that was probably the worst installment of the series was "The Blue Eyed Horse" which was an unfunny comedy written by Michael Fessier and directed by Hal Kanter(the man who would go on to be one of the producers,as well as the writer for one of the most successful sitcom shows of the late 1960's "Julia",which starred Diahann Carroll,who also made history in 1968 as the first African-American actress in her own weekly series). This episode of "The Chrysler Theatre" was telecast for NBC-TV on November 23,1966 and it was in what the peacock calls "the following program has been brought to you in living color." "The Blue Eyed Horse" stars Ernest Borgnine(of McHale's Navy fame)as Melvin Feebie,a Los Angeles working stiff. At the beginning of the episode,Feebie is sitting in his armchair reading his newspaper. Suddenly noticing our presence,he introduces himself to us,but claims he can't understand why we'd be interested in a normal guy like himself,who never has any unusual experiences. Well,come to think of it,there was one that "one" unusual incident a while back. Y'see it all started....cue the flashback since its was really stupid idea to tell this story in flashback,but the writers who wrote this pathetic episode didn't take the time to give it full potential. Anyway,Feebie is a hard-working guy but he never has any money,due to his wife(the coarse and very vulgar Joan Blondell). She always squandering his wage packet on ugly antiques,which Feebie attempts to put through good use..such as the beat-up old brass lamp which the Feebies use as a gravy boat. Also Feebie's wife keeps betting on the horses,but she always loses. Meanwhile,Feebie is also supporting their daughter(Ann Jillian)and his wife's spinster niece(Joyce Jameson),who uses annoying phrases and make smart comments towards him as an insult. Feebie makes a few-ill comments about how he'd better off without his wife.

One evening,as the Feebies are sitting down to dinner,Melvin is lifting the gravy boat(an old brass lamp,remember?)as his wife confesses that she blew his wages on a horse race again. "You and your horses!" says Feebie angrily to his wife. 'I wish you were a horse!' Instantly,the brass lamp in his hand glows red-hot and emits a cloud of steam(taking a cue from the brass lamp from per se I Dream of Jeannie)."Gravy warm enough for you,Melvin?" his wife says. The next morning and lo behold,Feebie's wife turns into a thoroughbred mare: a white horse with blue eyes and Joan Blondell's voice(the female version of Mister Ed or can we say Mrs. Ed). Mischief and hijinks presume. "The Blue Eyed Horse" was filmed during that horrible decade of 1960's television where actor/comedian Paul Lynde was all over the place,always giving his one note performance as pop-eyed swish,or over the top buffoon(see 60's shows like "Bewitched","I Dream of Jeannie",and "F-Troop" for example). Here,he shows up as the judge for Borgnine's hearing. And the results were never meant to be funny,well,it isn't. Joan Blondell looked better as a horse than she did as an actress. It is no wonder after this fiasco,that Ernest Borgnine went back to theatrical films and wouldn't make a return to a television series until the 1980's(who remembers him opposite Jan Michael-Vincent in Airwolf) "The Chrysler Theatre" was a combination of drama,comedy,and anything in between that ran for four seasons on NBC-TV from 1963-1967 producing 114 episodes in color. This episode was not the best of them but the worst installment.


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