Tuesday, December 6, 2016

25 More Days of Old Time Radio Christmas - Day 6: Christmas Clothing Drive with Our Miss Brooks (1950)

And now...the comedies!  There are many Old Time Radio comedies that revolve around Christmas and I will definitely get to them.  One of my favorites is Our Miss Brooks which I featured the last two years - Holidays with Connie (2014) & Department Store Contest (2015).  I covered the Magic Christmas Tree in my 2014 entry.  But I found another Christmas episode in this wonderful series and that is what we are focusing on today.  Christmas is not only the season when we give gifts to those we love, but hopefully to those less fortunate than us.  Food drives, clothing drives, secret Santas are just a few of the ways we help.  And when this comes to Madison High, well, it does not turn out completely as expected.  Here is a link to all the previous OTR Christmas entries.  If you have Sirius/XM, you can listen to Greg Bell's Old time radio channel (#148).  He does a great job of showcasing great holiday themed episodes, especially as we get close to Christmas.

Giving Tree (Briarwood Mall, Ann Arbor, Michigan)

Salvation Army Giving Tree - Briarwood Mall (Ann Arbor, Michigan - 2012)

There are so many comedies from Old Time Radio that just do not hold up well to today's tastes and humor.  One that I think does the trick (and is one of my favorites) is Our Miss Brooks.  From 1948 through 1957, Eve Arden played the lovelorn English teacher at Madison High, Connie Brooks.  This series is one of the very best comedies that we have from Old Time Radio days.  Arden leads an all-star cast in this well written series on CBS Radio that actually holds up well, even today. Between never having enough money, job responsibilities that seem to change from week to week, a cat that is a character all to herself and a love interest who is more fixated on frogs than women...Eve Arden's Connie Brooks always maintains her grace and charm.  The show also featured Jeff Chandler as Mr. Philip Boynton (Connie's long suffering love interest), Jane Morgan as Mrs. Margaret Davis (Connie's landlord), Gale Gordon as Mr. Osgood Conklin (Madison High School's principal, and Richard Crenna as Walter Denton (a student at Madison High).

The episode on December 17, 1950 brings us to Madison High where Miss Brooks is in charge of a clothing drive for the needy.  As she likes to point out on this series, there are some people less fortunate than teachers - though few are paid as poorly!  She even wondered if the needy should have a clothing drive for teachers?  In the process of both planning the clothing drive and picking up the  clothing, she ended up collecting something else....shopping lists from friends.  As you might imagine, a huge mix up occurs and the money given to Connie to purchase gifts ended up in Mr. Conklin's new suit - and that ends up as part of the clothing drive.  When Mr. Conklin learns that he inadvertently also left some jewelry in that suit....he jumps into action as well!  In an effort to get the suit back, Connie Brooks, Philip Boynton and Osgood Conklin negotiate with the person who claimed the suit.  That person is Cosmo Ferguson - who was played by Gunsmoke's Parley Baer.  All's well that ends well - as typically is the case at Madison High!  All of the regulars joined Baer in the Al Lewis written script including Eve Arden, Gloria McMillan, Richard Crenna, Gale Gordon, Jeff Chandler, & Jane Morgan, The script was used again five years later (on December 18, 1955) as was the norm in those series. While played for laughs, please remember those who are less fortunate than you are this holiday season.  And enjoy this classic episode of Our Miss Brooks.  

25 Days of Old Time Radio Christmas (from 2015) & Other Links

25 Days of Old Time Radio Christmas (from 2014)

No comments:

Post a Comment