Hi there, guys and dolls! Let’s all settle down in my living room for a spell, shall we? It has been said many times that television had its golden age during the 50’s. Now I think that every era has had some great hits and misses, but I’m going to talk about some of the shows that I enjoy and gave that time such a reputation. Some of these shows were on in different years, but thanks to the new mod cons we have today, you could have your own 50’s TV night, just like me! It takes a few minutes for the 21″ Admiral bright white tubes to warm up to full glow, so use the time to pop some corn, grab a soda, argue over who’s going to sit close enough to the controls to turn the channel while the ladies adjust their crinolines to cover modestly and not splay or flip up and enjoy the shows!
1. Your Show of Shows (1950-54) — Sketch comedy at its finest, starring Sid Ceasar and Imogene Coca. Their perfect timing, sparkling characters and polished wit made us laugh and see ourselves and others in humorously exaggerated, yet familiar situations and conversations that helped us cope with the foibles of being human. Not only were the main stars phenomenal, they had burgeoning young staff behind them, such as Carl Reiner, Neil Simon and Mel Brooks involved in production.
2. I Love Lucy (1951-57) — Well, who doesn’t? Who can resist bursting out laughing when watching tango practice with a dozen eggs in a gingham shirt or empathize with Lucy’s home economic logic when purchasing an entire side of beef, only to discover they have to purchase extra freezer storage to keep it, costing at least twice as much in the end? And I would have slugged that grape stomping hussy, too. You go, Lucy!
3. Alfred Hitchcock Presents (1955-62) — Ah, the master of suspense and style. His movies were always fascinating, and the television series also did not disappoint. Interesting and creepy stories of human nature, featuring some of the best actors and actresses around, such as Robert Redford, Bette Davis, Charles Bronson and Jessica Tandy to just name a few.
4. Leave It to Beaver (1957-63) — The Beev was just so cute! The Cleavers were such a delightful little fam! Ward, mister tall, dark and handsome, June always so perfect and polished (although she could stand up just fine for herself and keep her troupe of men in line), and Wally, with just enough older brother wisdom to help his lil bro get into and out of enough mischief to form productive members of society. Just avoid Eddie Haskell if you can…
5. Perry Mason (1957-66) — Earle Stanley Gardner’s sleuth attorney always got his man in the end, with help from Della and Paul along the way. He fought for the underdog, the damsels in true distress, the ones who needed help when the outlook seemed hopeless, he would guarantee justice would prevail, and the streets would be that one criminal safer after his work was done.
Now of course I could go on, there were so many more fabulous shows. I’m sure you all out there have some favorites that I have missed. Thanks for sharing a little time with me, and back to your regularly scheduled program ;-)!
PS — for any of you that are interested, all photos are registered as public domain and obtained through Wikipedia Commons. No copyright infringement intended, just wanting to share the love of good television.