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Old 09-26-2001, 03:49 AM   #1
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Question What was this series about?

What was the series about? Who was in it? How long did it run for? Any other info?
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Old 10-03-2001, 10:21 PM   #2
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Ah, so many questions!

Oct 1949-Mar 1950
Jan 1953-Aug 1958

The first version had Jackie Gleason as Chester A. Riley and his wife was played by Rosemary DeCamp. The second version starred William Bendix (who did it on radio) and Marjorie Reynolds.

Chester was what sounds like to me a male Lucy (without the physical comedy). Good heart, but messed things up alot.
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Old 10-04-2001, 11:21 AM   #3
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Question

Was it anything like the radio show by the same name? I wish I had seen it.

**Gracie**
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Old 08-11-2002, 12:37 PM   #4
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Hey that william Bendix is the same actor that played Babe Ruth- in the Babe Ruth Movie way back in 1948
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Old 10-13-2002, 02:10 AM   #5
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this sounds like a good show. i love screw up comedy. especally when someone ends up in all these situations and they cant handle them all.
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Old 10-19-2005, 08:19 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by moofomoo
Was it anything like the radio show by the same name? I wish I had seen it.

**Gracie**
Like many early TV shows, THE LIFE OF RILEY began on radio. The TV series
had two versions (both on NBC): the first one starred Jackie Gleason as Riley,
Rosemary DeCamp as his wife Peg, Gloria Winters as his daughter Babs and
Lanny Rees as his son Junior. It only ran from 1949 to 1950. In 1953, radio's
Riley, the great William Bendix, returned to play Riley for five seasons. Marjorie
Reynolds was Peg, Lugene Sanders was Babs and Wesley Morgan was Junior.
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Old 10-22-2005, 01:50 AM   #7
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I read that when they first decided to bring it to TV in 1949, the reason William Bendix (who played the role on the radio series) couldn't do it was because he, and the other actors on the radio series, had it written into their contracts that they couldn't perform on TV. Remember, TV was still new at the time and many people in radio considered it an "evil upstart" or a "flash in the pan" that wouldn't last. So, that's why they cast Jackie Gleason in the lead.
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Old 10-24-2005, 09:01 AM   #8
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Good comparision, Riley to Lucy. William Bendix was the show. All I remember as a kid was laughing for a half hour watching this guy get into one predictment after another!
"What a revolting development this is" was his saying I think.

Fact was in the 1950's there was not alot of movies on TV and the ones that were shown were OLD. So it was a susprise when you ocassionally got to see someone like Bendix in one of his earlier movies (playing a serious role).
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Old 10-24-2005, 07:20 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by treky
I read that when they first decided to bring it to TV in 1949, the reason William Bendix (who played the role on the radio series) couldn't do it was because he, and the other actors on the radio series, had it written into their contracts that they couldn't perform on TV. Remember, TV was still new at the time and many people in radio considered it an "evil upstart" or a "flash in the pan" that wouldn't last. So, that's why they cast Jackie Gleason in the lead.
No, that wasn't the reason. In fact, many radio shows did make the transition to TV with the original stars (Jack Webb on DRAGNET, for instance). Others were recast for obvious reasons (William Conrad sounded right for the radio version of GUNSMOKE, but would anyone want to watch a fat Marshall Dillon?). Actually, in the case of THE LIFE OF RILEY, when the time came for the move to television, Bendix was tied up with movie commitments, and the chance went to a young Jackie Gleason, his first TV series.
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Old 10-24-2005, 07:23 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by STEPH_McMAHON_FAN
Hey that william Bendix is the same actor that played Babe Ruth- in the Babe Ruth Movie way back in 1948
Bendix was perfect for the part of Babe Ruth. So was John Goodman decades
later. (In fact, it's easy to picture Goodman as Chester A. Riley. After all,
Fred Flintstone was basically a stone-age Chester Riley/Ralph Kramden.)
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Old 04-12-2006, 09:30 PM   #11
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Default What "THE LIFE OF RILEY" was about...

was, what could be called the first of the "Father is an idiot" brand of situation comedy on radio (and early TV). All right, Chester A. Riley wasn't
a complete idiot. But he usually opened his big mouth and was too stubborn for his own good and jumped to too many conclusions and tried to do what HE thought was the right thing...and usually wound up on the losing end of every situation he found himself in {"What a revoltin' development this is!!!"} despite his better judgment {"Don't talk me outta this, Peg- my head is made up!!"}. And Mrs. Riley- Peg- could only take so much {"'Psychology'! What do you know about psychology?"/"Well, that's where one guy outsmarts another.."/"So?"/"Well...I've been outsmarted by many a guy.."/"YOU SURE HAVE, and Junior's one of them!!!"}. But William Bendix was so "lovable" and
sympathetic as Riley that the audience welcomed him into their homes as one of "their" family. Plus the fact that Riley was a transported Brooklynite living in California made his background even more favorable to the listener and viewer.
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Old 04-13-2006, 01:17 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tv star collector
Bendix was perfect for the part of Babe Ruth. So was John Goodman decades
later. (In fact, it's easy to picture Goodman as Chester A. Riley. After all,
Fred Flintstone was basically a stone-age Chester Riley/Ralph Kramden.)
acculey, "THE FLINSTONES" was loosely based on "THE HONEYMOONERS", in fact, when "THE FLINTSTONES" started Jackie Gleason was thinking of suing Hanna-Barbera (the creators) but his lawyer talked him out of it.

(OK, TV KNOWLEDGE FAN, you probably know the whole story, so tell me if I'm wrong! )

Last edited by treky : 04-20-2006 at 01:43 AM.
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Old 04-13-2006, 09:53 PM   #13
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Default Well, yes..

"THE FLINTSTONES" WAS loosely based on "THE HONEYMOONERS", but Gleason decided to not sue Hanna-Barbera over it. In fact, Joe Barbera wanted Mel Blanc to give an Art Carney-ish tone of voice for Barney, but Blanc refused. He thought up his own idea of how Barney should sound..but didn't arrive at "the voice" until the end of the first season (just before his near-fatal auto accident).

ALAN REED, "the" Fred Flintstone, actually worked on the radio AND TV versions of "THE LIFE OF RILEY" (usually appearing as "Mr. Stevenson" on radio) AND opposite Jackie Gleason twice in 1950. Henry Corden, the "other" Fred, also appeared with Gleason in a 1949 TV episode...and dubbed Gleason's voice for the "sanitized" version of "Smokey And The Bandit" for network TV!
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Old 04-14-2006, 12:47 AM   #14
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Talking

I KNEW you'd have something to add to my post!!
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Old 04-19-2006, 04:37 PM   #15
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..my pleasure, 'treky'.

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