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