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Poster: Mr. Television  (see this users gallery)

This sitcom aired from September 1959 until January 1960 on NBC.


Fibber McGee And Molly was one of the most popular radio shows of all time, running from 1935 until 1957. In the fall of 1959 it came to television, but with much less success. The McGees were the residents of 79 Wistful Vista and, as on radio, had to cope with friends and neighbors who made life rather hilarious. Fibber ( Bob Sweeney) had a tendacy to overstate-some people called it fibbing-and it constantly got him into trouble. Fortunately Molly (Cathy Lewis)had common sense and had talent as a peacemaker and she prevented most situations from getting out of hand. Symptomatic of the problems involved in bringing Fibber McGee And Molly to television was McGee's favorite overcrowded hall closet, which always unleashed its contents in a crash whenever it was opened. Somehow this was not as funny seen on television as it had been when only heard on radio.


Most of the actors in the TV version had not been associated with the show on radio, but one did have an interesting connection with the earlier version. Harold Peary had created the role of Throckmorton P. Gildersleeve on Fibber McGee And Molly in 1939, later moving it to a series of his own as The Great Gildersleeve. When Fibber McGee came to tv, he returned as Mayor La Trivia.



An Article from Time Magazine


Fibber & Co.
Monday, Apr. 22, 1940 Article


Tops for popularity among all U. S.



weekday radio entertainers (just behind Sunday top-liners Jack Benny and Edgar Bergen) are an old time, tank-town vaudeville couple from Peoria, who 15 years ago were considered washed up,Jim and Marion Jordan. By radio alias they are Fibber McGee and Molly of 79 Wistful Vista. This week they celebrate Fibber & Co.'s fifth season on the air for Johnson's Glo-Coat floor wax.* Last week they made their debut in the dramatic bigtime, playing Mama Loves Papa (a Charles Ruggles-Mary Boland movie story) on CBS's Lux Radio Theatre. They let the characterization pass, wrung the gags unmercifully, but no one minded. A year ago Fibber & Co. were metaphorically down among the acrobats in popularity. This season they were booked into a select spot on NBC's Tuesday-night bill. The result has been as gratifying as a season at the Palace.


In post-war vaudeville, low-slung Jim and Marion Jordan (he 5 ft. 6, she 5 ft. 4), a married musical pair, never got near the Palace. They never got far in radio until they met a fat, frustrated but merry cartoonist named Don Quinn, who gagged better than he drew. Quinn devised a skit called Smack Out, in which Jim ran a grocery that was always smack out of everything but the proprietor's tall stories.


The program earned the Jordans and Quinn $125 a week altogether. Out of it developed Fibber McGee & Co.


To some 20,000,000 regular listeners.


Fibber's garrulous tarradiddles, the broguish comeuppances Molly metes out to him, the dated didos of his numerous stooges, are as familiar as the pattern of the living-room rug. Fibber is an incorrigible blowhard, but a game guy to boot. With nonpareil confidence, he tries his luck at anything, from barbering to running an army.


On the air Fibber is always Fibber, but Molly plays many recurrent script characters ,Grandma, frustrated Mrs. Wearybottom, Teeny, a neighbor's child famed for throwing Fibber for a minor loss every time she pops up.


Next to her " 'Tain't funny, McGee," the most reliable line in the weekly Johnson Wax act is the "deef" Old Timer's topper for Fibber's gags: "That's pretty good, Johnny, but that ain't the way I heerd it. . . ." The Old Timer, Mr.


Depopolis (a restaurateur), and Horatio K. Boomer, who acts and sounds W. C. Fields in carnival pitch, are various voices of Radio Actor William Thompson.


The man who keeps the funnybones of Fibber & Co. ribbing the customers in the old-fashioned way is still Don Quinn. He and the Jordans still split the radio salary three ways, a weekly net of something like $4,000. As top-line radio salaries go, this is small potatoes. Tip-off to the Johnson Glo-Coat bargain rate with Fibber & Co. is that S. C. Johnson & Son own the names Fibber McGee and Molly.


Without these air-inflated cognomens, Jim and Marion Jordan might now be back in Peoria.


As it is, they live on a Peoria scale.


In Chicago, when they first crashed the four-figure level, they built a new house.


But it was a duplicate in most respects of the $70-a-month house they had rented, and they built it on the next-door lot.


In 1939 they moved to California for Molly's health, after a nervous breakdown at 40 which kept her off the air for almost two seasons. Their California home is a modest, eight-room Ensenada bungalow with green shutters, and rooms for the two young Jordans, Jim Jr. and Katherine. Out back, Jim Sr., now about 45. has a workshop and a vegetable patch, just as Fibber has at radio's 79 Wistful Vista. But off the air Jim Jordan is everything Fibber is not. He is handy with tools, his garden produces and, on the side, he runs two lucrative, if Fibber-style, ventures. One is a factory making sandblasting equipment. The other is the Kansas City bottling plant of Hires Root Beer.


An Article from Time Magazine


Fun Plus Hugs
Monday, Jun. 04, 1945


For three years knuckle-headed, know-it-all Fibber McGee has been larding his fun program with monthly propaganda plugs about waste fats, car pools, etc. The funniest part is that the customers like it. Last week Fibber & Molly (Jim & Marion Jordan) pitched their 30th Government plug, a Wistful Vista bond rally; they also edged ahead of Bob Hope again in their neck-&-neck race for program popularity.


Formula for Fibber. Much credit for the success of their propagandizing belongs to Don Quinn, the man who writes the show (NBC, Tuesdays, 9:30 p.m., E.W.T.). He was the first radio scripter to see profit in building an entire comedy show around one of the subjects which OWI allots to radio each month. (Most programs either confine themselves to a sly line or two, or else beat the listeners' ears back with earnest messages.)


Don Quinn's formula: put into Fibber's loud mouth all the bromidic complaints of disgruntled civilians and then point out the vulgar errors of Fibber's thinking. When OWI wanted to hit unnecessary travel, Quinn had Fibber attempt a 250-mile train trip, fail to get either a reservation or any sympathy ("If you insist on being bullheaded, why don't you take a cattle car!"), and finally admit that "the railroads have bitten off about as much as they can choo-choo."


Of his propaganda shows, Quinn says, "We have better audience reaction, we get more fan mail, our Crossley [listener rating] goes up." His explanation: listeners are already interested in the subjects. To test the program's pull, Fibber & Co. were given exclusive rights to one OWI plug, an appeal for merchant seamen. The War Shipping Administration said that "responses doubled the next day."


Occasionally the listeners complain. After a program on food rationing, one wired: "You are supposed to sell wax [Johnson's]." Another complained: "It's already been rammed down our throats without you yapping . . . about it."


Quandary for Quinn. Fibber broods about such complaints. Quinn laughs them off. He does not even mind driving 30 miles into Hollywood three days a week to work free for OWI. One night after a Fibber & Molly show about gasoline rationing, Quinn got home to find himself in a quandary: there was a telegram from William Jeffers, then national rubber director, complimenting him on the program; there was also a letter from his ration board, denying him supplemental gasoline.


Quinn wired Jeffers: "I am very happy to have tried to help. . . . But the . . . joke of the evening was written by [my] ration board. . . ."


Jeffers wired back: "Strange world, isn't it?"


Quinn got the gas.


To read Marian Jordan's Obituary go to http://news.google.com/newspapers?id=WuIeAAAAIBAJ&sjid=YlEEAAAAIBAJ&dq=fibber%20mcgee%20and%20molly&pg=4360%2C2088304





Here is Jim Jordan 's Obituary from The New York Times


Jim Jordan, Radio's Fibber McGee, Is Dead at 91
link
AP
Published: April 2, 1988


Jim Jordan, who delighted audiences for two decades as the well-meaning but bumbling Fibber McGee in the classic radio show ''Fibber McGee and Molly,'' died today at the Beverly Hills Medical Center. He was 91 years old.


Mr. Jordan had been hospitalized for more than a week, in a coma with a blood clot in his brain caused by a fall at his home, according to a family friend, the radio and television performer Fran Allison. Mr. Jordan never regained consciousness after the accident.


''Fibber McGee and Molly'' was on the air on the NBC radio network from 1935 to 1957. For seven years, it was the top-rated show in the country. Among the show's familiar routines was McGee's overstuffed closet, the contents of which tumbled out on him whenever he opened the door.


The McGees' home at, Wistful Vista, became a place on the American cultural road map, and Molly's gentle rejoinder to her husband - ''Tain't funny, McGee'' - became a national catch phrase.


''His show was one of the greatest continuing radio shows that ever existed,'' said Miss Allison, who starred in the ''Kukla, Fran and Ollie'' series in the early days of television. Co-Stars in Real Life


Like the couple in the ''Fibber McGee and Molly'' scripts, the stars of the show were married. Jim and Marian Jordan came to radio out of vaudeville to formulate the quintessential American situation comedy with writer Don Quinn.


Mr. Jordan met Marian Driscoll at choir practice when both were in their teens in Peoria, Ill. They married in 1918. Mrs. Jordan died of cancer in 1961.


Mr. Jordan began a singing career while serving with the Army in Europe toward the end of World War I. After the war, he and his wife took their act on the road, with Mrs. Jordan playing piano. They began appearing on radio in 1925, but because the medium paid so badly, they continued to work in vaudeville. During 10 years of skits, they developed the Fibber McGee and Molly characters.


''It is typically American humor, neither the Broadway type nor Hollywood-influenced,'' Hubbard Keavy of the Associated Press wrote in 1940. ''They get their humor from simple things, like fixing the brakes or playing checkers. They never just tell jokes. They never step out of character.'' Uncomplicated Plots


The situations in the show turned on such simple items as Fibber deciding, against Molly's advice, to tune the piano. His bumbling effort invariably was interrupted by the ''bong-bong'' of the door chimes.


Their neighbors were a classic set of American characters.


Hal Peary was the rumbling, pompous Great Gildersleeve; Cliff Arquette was the cantankerous old-timer whose line was ''That ain't the way I heard it, Johnny''; Bill Thompson was the henpecked Wallace Wimple, and Gale Gordon was Mayor Latrivia, whose rage always ended in a sputtering ''McGee!''


''We don't like - I mean, people don't like - humor that suggests anything repulsive,'' Mr. Jordan said in an interview at the height of the show's success. Anatomy gags, gibes about marriage and mother-in-law jokes were kept out of the scripts.


In 1959-60, ''Fibber McGee and Molly'' appeared on NBC Television, but the Jordans were not in the series.


Mr. Jordan was married a second time in 1962, to Gretchen Stewart, who survives him. He is also survived by a son and daughter and several grandchildren.



Here is Bob Sweeney's Obituary from the LA Times.


Bob Sweeney; Television Actor; Produced, Directed Several Series
By MYRNA OLIVER, TIMES STAFF WRITER
June 13, 1992


Bob Sweeney, television actor in such series as "Fibber McGee and Molly" and producer and director of other series, including "Hawaii Five-0," has died. He was 74.


Sweeney, of Westlake Village, died Sunday of cancer, his colleague and longtime friend Elliott Reed said Thursday.





Sweeney won Emmy nominations for directing some of the segments on "Hawaii Five-O" and "The Love Boat."


The San Francisco native set out to be a radio announcer, majoring in speech at San Francisco State College.


He drove a cab until he finally passed an audition at the small radio station KYA in 1942.


Rising to chief announcer, Sweeney teamed with another KYA announcer, Hal March, to form the comedy team "March and Sweeney." The duo worked on Hoagy Carmichael's NBC radio show for 26 weeks and won their own national radio show on CBS. They reluctantly split in 1951 because of a dearth of bookings.


Sweeney made his television debut as a gardener on the "Burns and Allen Show." He acted regularly on the CBS series "My Favorite Husband" and "Our Miss Brooks."


He wrote a television comedy series called "The Brothers" co-starring himself and Gale Gordon.


Sweeney's film debut was in Irene Dunne's "It Grows on Trees." In 1959 he played the role of concessionaire Harry Tupper in the Disney film "Toby Tyler" and also portrayed Fibber McGee in the futile attempt to move the popular radio show into television.


Later he switched to directing and producing such series as "The Andy Griffith Show."


He co-produced "Hawaii Five-0" with Bill Finnegan until 1975. Alone, Sweeney directed episodes of "Fantasy Island," "The Love Boat, "Trapper John, M. D.," and "Simon & Simon."


Among his survivors are his wife, Beverly, and their daughter, Bridget.


To read some articles about Fibber McGee and Molly go to http://news.google.com/newspapers?id=yCATAAAAIBAJ&sjid=5AQEAAAAIBAJ&dq=fibber%20mcgee%20and%20molly&pg=4810%2C6844031 and http://news.google.com/newspapers?id=9rpCAAAAIBAJ&sjid=masMAAAAIBAJ&dq=fibber%20mcgee%20and%20molly&pg=7023%2C573436

To watch some episodes from Fibber McGee and Molly go to https://archive.org/search.php?query=subject%3A%22Fibber%20McGee%20and%20Molly%22%20AND%20collection%3Atelevision



For an episode guide of Fibber And Molly go to http://ctva.biz/US/Comedy/FibberMcGeeAndMolly.htm


For a website dedicated to Fibber McGee and Molly go to http://www.fibbermcgeeandmolly.com/

For a webpage dedicated to the Radio version go to http://sites.google.com/site/wistfulvistasite/




For a Page dedicated to radio's Fibber McGee and Molly go to http://kremer.com/fibber-mcgee-and-molly-kremers-drugstore/


For an article on the nephew of Jim Jordan go to http://www.pjstar.com/x1905500048/Peoria-nephew-of-Fibber-McGee-keeps-memory-of-uncle-alive


To listen to episodes of the radio show go to https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLFeU7QgxX58TjRZVR3xNPK-MYYB8wmf_L and http://zootradio.com/Fibber_And_Molly.php

For a Review of Fibber McGee and Molly go to https://web.archive.org/web/20130121152257/http://televisionheaven.co.uk/overview4.htm#fibber


To watch the opening credits go to https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dg2bv71ufkc
Date: Tue February 10, 2004 � Filesize: 41.5kb � Dimensions: 561 x 450 �
Keywords: Fibber Mcgee Molly

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