The Burns and Allen Show

TV Classics: The George Burns and Gracie Allen Show

USA 1950-58, eight seasons, 291 episodes 30 minutes each, CBS, black & white. Announcer: Harry von Zell, Cast: George Burns, Gracie Allen, Bea Benaderet, Larry Keating, Ronnie Burns, Fred Clark and others

Plot summary:  Gracie is a normal housewife who frequently confuses her husband and neighbors with a rather hilarious if not peculiar sense of logic.

Review: When George Burns and Gracie Allen first appeared on television on October 12, 1950, the comedy duo had already successfully jumped through the hoops of Vaudeville, motion pictures and radio for many years. Landing one of the new medium’s instant hits, The Burns and Allen Show introduced its audience to a married couple whose everyday adventures were shaped by a housewife’s genuine logic. Twisting words and ideas without deliberate intention, Gracie’s actions and stories often brought her husband to the verge of humorous desperation and made her an endearing friend to neighbor Blanche Morton (played by Bea Benaderet).

Originally shot in front of a live studio audience, the show was later filmed on set alone and broadcast with recorded reactions from a real audience. With his weekly comments on each episode and his “Say good night, Gracie” farewell, George Burns was an integral part of a show that actually circled around the charming but simple mind of Gracie Allen’s alter ego. A classic today, The George Burns and Gracie Allen Show is a real treat for anyone who is looking for some diversion after a long day at the office. The episodes are short, crisp and entertaining, and never dwell on potentially unpleasant topics. Selected episodes are available on DVD or on The Internet Archive, including radio episodes and other appearances of one of America’s funniest married couples.

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