Pete and Gladys (1960–1962)
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When this series debuted in 1960, we met Gladys for the first time. The only problem: Gladys is a totally likeable charactor and does not come across as a nag. She is a normal '60's housewife. They live in a modest home.
The only other December Bride regular is the wonderful Verna Felton as Hilda Crocker. She often has the best lines in the show.
Two of the players, Helen Kleeb and Shirley Mitchell, went on to play The Baldwin Sisters on The Waltons.
Anyway the Pete and Gladys show opened the year after December Bride shut down with Peter Porter moving away from the neighborhood where he lived next to Dean Miller, Frances Rafferty and Spring Byington. And we finally got to meet Gladys who was played by Cara Williams.
Desilu Productions had split the way Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz had split, but creators Bob Schiller and Bob Weiskopf who wrote I Love Lucy and December Bride created another kookie wife to get into constant trouble to the annoyance of her harried husband.
Cara Williams was very funny as Gladys Porter, but the cycle had really run its course by the time Pete and Gladys made its debut. Harry Morgan was an Americanized version of Ricky Ricardo. Later on we saw how exasperated he could get with the 4077 MASH unit.
Still I wouldn't mind seeing some of those today.
Even today, some 40 years after the event, I can't get my mom to make a comment about the day Kennedy was shot without her prefacing her recollections by first mentioning that she and my little sis were at home watching "Pete and Gladys".
I don't remember too clearly what I was doing that day. I know I was in second grade, and they put the news on the school intercom and we listened to it non-stop until school let out. Then I went home. But I've always wondered what it must have been like to have been watching "Pete and Gladys" only to have the show interrupted by news of the president's assassination.
I hadn't seen it until learning on this very site that a full episode had been uploaded to YouTube, titled Garden Wedding.
The show opened with two couples driving, men in front - Pete/Harry Morgan was driving with Bob Hastings, lka "Lt. Carpenter" in McHale's Navy, as passenger - and the women in back - Gladys and a friend, wife of the Bob Hastings character.
You couldn't help but compare the visual of that foursome to the foursome in I Love Lucy and the "California Here We Come" episode. Fifties cars, fifties couples, black and white presentation.
But there the similarities ended. I was astonished at how boring and predictable the Pete and Gladys show was. Bad writing (though I believe written by two of Lucy's former writers), absurd story line, wooden acting, and completely predictable outcome. Clearly not as timeless as Lucy. I can see why this show is no longer shown.