Another great feature of early television were the half hour comedy series such as: The Honeymooners, I Love Lucy, Sandy Becker, Soupy Sales, Amos and Andy, Zacherly, The Three Stooges, Abbot and Costello, and Andy’s Gang.
It is no small wonder that many of us grew up having a warped; off-beat sense of humor; much less even halfway normal at all after weekly exposure to some of these shows and their characters.
Froggy the Gremlin: A magical prevaricating and mean spirited little frog that appeared in a puff of smoke only to maliciously ruin the Master Chef’s weekly culinary masterpiece.
Ralph Cramden, or Lucy, or George Stevenson: Scheming and dreaming husbands or wives with a pathologic penchant to upset the apple cart or who thrived on throwing monkey wrenches into what should be ordinarily peaceful daily life. There was always a short cut plan to get ahead or always a penchant to hide something relatively innocent but concurrently always nefariously devious.
John Zacherly: A humorous ghoul who kept his wife in a laundry basket while acting out the horror films he hosted.
Sandy Becker: A Hambone, a Norton Nork, or a Professor Gesundheit.
The Three Stooges: The original epitome of the concept: “Now, don’t try this at home.”
Soupy Sales: A man who once advised all the kids to look in their dad’s wallets, find the papers with the picture of George Washington or Abraham Lincoln, and then mail them to him.
Uncle Weatherby: The inebriated tippling jester who made humorous the otherwise boring subject of atmospheric conditions and disturbances.
Even if it was the case then that television relegated reading books to a secondary tier in our priorities, it still elevated laughter, humor and creative imagination to the highest plateau. Much of the substance of it still had moral value and guidelines on how or how not to live other than the perfect life that never really happens. These characters and situations have hardly been improved upon to this day, except in rare circumstances; such as Seinfeld.
Idiot savants, dopes, gremlins, freaks and fools, perfect straight men and ladies, perfect fall guys and girls. Perfect routines. Perfect fun.
(Midnight the Cat)