TV classics: The Gale Storm Show
USA 1956-60, 4 seasons, 143 episodes, approximately 25 minutes each, CBS and ABC, black & white. Created by: Lee Karson. Cast: Gale Storm, ZaSu Pitts, Roy Roberts and James Fairfax.
Plot summary: As a cruise director, Susanna Pomeroy sees the world and meets people from all around, including guest stars such as Pat Boone.
Review: Two decades before Love Boat would hoist its sails to become a family favorite for almost a decade, The Gale Storm Show (aka Oh, Susanna) premiered on CBS, featuring the popular singer/actress as cruise director Susanna Pomeroy. Traveling the world on a ship, the show’s star was supported by silent film veteran ZaSu Pitts as the title character’s best friend Elvira Nugent, as well as by recurring crew members Roy Roberts (as Captain Huxley) and James Fairfax. Berthing in different harbors each week, Susanna and Nugie went on new adventures in exciting countries and cities, meeting interesting locals and colorful guests.
Designed as a sitcom with variety elements, Gale Storm did not only get a chance to attract her audience as an actress and comedienne, but also as the talented cover songstress she had developed into after the completion of her first television success, My Little Margie. Her trademark whistle, although used differently in both hit shows, is one of many memories her fans still associate with Gale Storm and her infectious on screen personality. Always good-natured, wholesome and amusing, Gale Storm was a wonderful entertainer who brought her fans a lot of laughter and joy when TV was still in its infancy. Today, only twenty-four episodes of The Gale Storm Show are available on DVD, an unfortunate fact that deprives old fans and new ones of the full glory and glamor of a lovely program named after its versatile leading lady.