Throckmorton Philharmonic Gildersleeve—The Great Gildersleeve

Willard Waterman and Stephanie Griffin from TV's The Great Gildersleeve. Obviously she wasn't wearing a Gildersleeve.

Willard Waterman (Gildy) and Stephanie Griffin from TV’s The Great Gildersleeve. Obviously, she isn’t wearing a Gildersleeve.

Fictional correspondent, Bunny Gutierrez, from Fannie Cranium’s Guide to Irreverent Wisdom, here.  Since Fannie’s not here, she won’t be commentin’ on my southern accent. Or my blond pony tail, which she exaggerates greatly.

Movin’ on. . . I’d like to thank Dave for invitin’ me over to the Blog of Funny Names today. It’s quite an honor.

Honey, what better than a fictional character introducin’ you to the BoFN’s first fictional character.  Throckmorton Philharmonic (Gildy) Gildersleeve, although not the first Throckmorton to be covered by this esteemed blog.

Gildy operated a girdle manufacturin’ company when he started as the pompous, windbag rival of Fibber McGee on the Fibber McGee and Molly radio show back in 1935.

My grandfather used to regale us with stories of The Great Gildersleeve when I was growin’ up in Texas.

Whenever he was in trouble with my grandmother, he would say, “You’re a haa-aa-aa-aard man, McGee!”

I’ll never forget when he stood up from the dinner table one night after too much Thanksgivin’ dinner, rubbed his belly, and announced, “If you want a better corset, of course it’s a Gildersleeve.”

By 1941, The Great Gildersleeve—the first radio situation comedy spin off—moved Mr. Gildersleeve from Wistful Vista to Summerfield where he now raised his orphaned 19-year-old niece, Marjorie, and 10-year-old nephew, Leroy, in addition to takin’ care of his late brother-in-law’s estate.

As this is the BoFN, we must give honorable mention to the series first writer, Leonard Lewis Levinson. His name just rolls off the tongue.

Gildy gave up his position in the girdle factory to become Summerfield’s water commissioner. And joined a barbershop quartet called, The Jolly Boys, who would sing between sips of Coca-Cola. Honey, some things just boggle the mind.

By 1950 durin’ the show’s ninth season, Marjorie, played by Mary Lee Robb (I’m certain her name must fulfill a yet to be named Funny Names Theory), met and married, Walter “Bronco” Thompson, played by Richard Crenna. My grandmother kept her May 23, 1950 issue of Look magazine so she could show everyone the five-page spread of the weddin’. The only event to rival it for her was the whole Luke and Laura thing on General Hospital. But I digress.

The advent of television and Kraft, the show’s sponsor, spelled the end of The Great Gildersleeve. The original actor, Harold Peary, was convinced to move the show from NBC to CBS, where he signed the contract. Kraft refused to sponsor the move.

Thus causin’ my grandfather to issue a lifetime ban on Kraft products.

Can you imagine the deprivation we suffered never tastin’ macaroni and cheese from a box?

Mr. Peary was replaced by Willard Waterman. Mr. Waterman did double duty as it was now a television and a radio show. The television show endured 39 episodes. The radio program was cut to 15 minutes, finally goin’ off the air in 1957.

And as this is 2013, even The Great Gildersleeve has multiple Facebook pages. Don’t believe me, just search for Throckmorton Gildersleeve. Tell ’em Bunny sent yah. 😉

Bunny Gutierrez – Fannie Cranium’s Guide to Irreverent Wisdom

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About Fannie Cranium

Writing since she could first hold a pen, Tracy Perkins formed her alter ego, "Fannie Cranium" at the suggestion of her husband. Tracy understands smiling makes people wonder what she’s been up to.
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29 Responses to Throckmorton Philharmonic Gildersleeve—The Great Gildersleeve

  1. wdydfae says:

    ” . . . ‘gird’ yourself for an extraordinary ride through history which brings back to life a bygone world, but one you will not soon forget . . .”

    “. . . we all knew Fannie had something up her ‘gildersleeve’ but who could have predicted this magnificently conceived alter ego . . .”

    “. . . Bunny’s ‘hop’ into the archives of classic radio and its amazing creations will leave you longing for that innocent but rich life of a long lost generation, and for its warm, witty, welcoming ways. Time machine, anyone? . . .”

    “. . . don’t let the demure disclaimer fool you. Not only has Fannie not exaggerated the blonde pony tail, she has not even begun to do it justice!”

    “. . . one sultry ‘darlin’ from this bodacious Southern belle, one flick of that fabulous golden pony tail, and you’re a goner. Enter at your own risk!”

  2. marksackler says:

    Er…I actually remember the TV show…of course they were very very old reruns and I was in diapers when I saw them…um…yikes. 😦

  3. ksbeth says:

    so much going on here

  4. amb says:

    Fictional characters talking about fictional characters ?!?!?! Now you are speaking my language, my friend!! Oh my goodness, this was fun.

    And ps I love how you change it up with the format of your BoFN posts. First the legendary Dr Soup interview, and now this! Way to keep us on our toes 😀

    • Amb-with all the talk about Dish Night and Hollywood Cocktails, I couldn’t help but pull a little something out of the hat.

      And Dave–thank you for inviting Bunny to come out and play.

  5. Reblogged this on Fannie Cranium's and commented:

    Bunny had a day out with Mr. Gildersleeve this week over at the BoFN. Enjoy!

  6. Dave says:

    Wow! That’s one impressive name right there!! Three ridiculous names in one.

    Thanks for always pushing us into new directions, Bunny!

  7. Arto says:

    Can’t go wrong with a Throckmorton. This was a doozy! Fun read, Bunny!

  8. aplscruf says:

    Oh, Bunny! How fabulous for her to join the club! I keep envisioning Cheryl Hines’ Dallas from the TV show Suburgatory. She should be the official voice of Bunny! And what a great article, once again! I’m learning so much here.

  9. Liz says:

    love how there are layers of layers in this post 🙂 Fun stuff! Hope Fannie isn’t too jealous 😉

  10. Joseph Nebus says:

    I didn’t realize Richard Crenna played Walter Thompson. That changes … well, not so much, but it was a surprise anyway.

  11. Dave says:

    How did I overlook the name Willard Waterman the first time I read this post? I must have been in a hurry!

  12. AnneMarie says:

    Love-love-love The Great Gildersleeve, I listen to mp3 episodes every night. My parents used to love the radio shows in the 1940s, I never dreamed I’d be listening to them seven decades later.

    Just for the record, the quote “If you want a better corset, of course, it’s a Gildersleeve” should not have a comma after “course”; that way it flows better and reads “If you want a better corset, of corset’s a Gildersleeve.” The misplaced comma (which other sites do as well) doesn’t convey what the slogan was trying to say (corset-corset). Just a little correction there, if you don’t mind.

    Thank you for this article, I can’t get enough info about Gildy and his friends. Best old radio show ever.

  13. Pingback: Hans Conreid | The Blog of Funny Names

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