Poster: Mr. Television
(see this users gallery)
Mr. Boynton: Tell me, Miss Brooks -did you or did Miss Davis make these ribs?
Miss Brooks: Do you like them , Mr. Boynton?
Mr. Boynton: Very Much
Miss Brooks: Then I made them!
Our Miss Brooks aired from October 1952 until September 1956 on CBS.
Our Miss Brooks had originated on CBS radio in 1948 and was heard on both radio and tv throughout the mid-1950's with essentially the same cast. It was one of the period's most popular and loved comedies and gave Eve Arden a role with which she will forever be identified. She played Connie Brooks, the wisecracking English teacher at Madison High. Her nemesis was crusty, blustery principal Osgood P. Conklin ( Gale Gordon), who was constantly blowing his stack at her for something. Mr. Boynton ( Robert Rockwell), the handsome but incredibly shy Biology teacher, was the potential husband she was always trying to snag-without success. Connie rented a room from kindly old Mrs. Davis ( Jane Morgan), and rode to school each morning with one of her students, the somewhat dimwitted Walter Denton( Richard Crenna). Her interaction with these varied regulars, played by an excellent supporting cast, comprised the stories. No one in Our Miss Brooks was an out-and-out lunitic, as is so often the case in tv comedies, but everyone had some pronounced but realistic idiosyncrasy that viewers could identify with, thus making the show's principals a perfect tv family. Eve Arden herself was much in demand to speak to educational groups and at PTA meetings, and even received a dozen offers of positions at real high schools. They could hardly have afforded her, as she was by then making $200,000 per year.
By the start of the 1955-1956 season the ratings were beginning to slip and the setting was changed. Madison High was razed for a highway project and Miss Brooks found a new job at Mrs. Nestor's ( Isabel Randolph) Private Elementory School nearby. For some reason Mr. Conklin had aquired the job of principal there, and he and other cast members remained on the show to harass her. Connie's new love interest was the young P.E. teacher, Gene Talbot( Gene Barry), who was chasing her, quite a turnaround from Mr. Boynton's shy indifference. Somehow the revised format seemed to limp along and Mr. Boynton was brought back in the spring of 1956. His return did not help, however, and the show ended its run shortly thereafter.
Connie's long pursuit of Mr. Boynton did finally pay off, though not in the tv series. In a 1956 Warner Bros. movie based on the series, he finally proposed, and she became Mrs. Philip Boynton.
An Article from Time Magazine
Monday, Oct. 13, 1952
During rehearsals, blonde Comedienne Eve Arden kept her hat on because she felt "like all those lights are drying up my brains." After four days of it, she got the feeling "of not being able to take a deep breath." Fortunately, not a bit of her uneasiness showed up last week in the first TV film of Our Miss Brooks (Fri. 9:30 p.m., CBS). Despite the secret agonies of the star, Our Miss Brooks had a smooth professional look and seemed to have made the move to TV without dropping a pun or a pratfall.
Using all the situations that have won it enthusiastic listeners in four years as a top-rated radio show, Miss Brooks presents Schoolteacher Eve Arden in hot pursuit of a biologist who appears more interested in frogs than in girls. Also on hand for laughs: a hot-tempered principal, an absent-minded landlady, two nitwit teenagers.
This pretested, well-flavored radio corn has been packaged for TV by a team of experts,the same Desilu Productions cameramen and crew who make I Love Lucy. The sponsors (Sanka and Swans Down cake mixes) are happy enough about the series to pay $32,000 for each film. Like the Lucille Ball show, Miss Brooks is filmed before a live audience and its laughter is cued into the final print. Like Lucy, it is played in short speedy scenes, and sight gags supply much of the humor. Like Lucille Ball, Eve Arden dominates her own show.
The two actresses, who are close friends, do not encourage comparisons. Says Eve: "We aren't at all alike. She has a great show, and we don't even know what we've got yet." Lucille is more relaxed on the subject: "Don't forget that I'm vice president of Desilu Productions,* which means the better Miss Brooks does, the better off I am. That's not exactly competition, if you see what I mean."
*President: husband Desi Arnaz.
An Article from Time Magazine
Monday, Dec. 26, 1955
Radio and TV this year are taking over Christmas, lock, stock and carol. The procession of Scrooges began last week with Fredric March on CBS's Shower of Stars, and he was followed by a whole battery of Dickensian skinflints ,Alastair Sim, Reginald Owen, Alec Guinness and the late Lionel Barrymore. Christmas drama also resounds with sleigh bells, seasonal cuteness and commercialized brotherhood. A run-through of the titles suggests the content: Christmas 'Til Closing, with Jessica Tandy and Hume Cronyn; Santa Claus and the 10th Avenue Kid, on Alfred Hitchcock Presents; Christmas Story, on San Francisco Beat; Barbed Wire Christmas, on Calvacade Theater; A Christmas Dinner, on Kraft Theater; Silent Night, on Rheingold Theater; Santa Is No Saint, on Matinee Theater; A Kiss for Santa, on Ford Theater; Christmas in Camden, on The Big Story; and 'Twas the Night Before Christmas, on The Honeymooners.
Even the season's situation comedies are wreathed with mistletoe: Medic finds its weekly tragedy at an office Christmas party; Spring Byington goes Christmas shopping on December Bride; Red Skelton plays an O. Henry tramp on Christmas Eve; Robert Young stages an old-fashioned Christmas on Father Knows Best; Dragnet repeats its Christmas heart throb of last year and the year before; Eve Arden deals with enchanted music boxes on Our Miss Brooks.
Some of the most successful shows of other Yules will be back again: for the sixth time, NBC presents Gian-Carlo Menotti's Amahl and the Night Visitors; Max Liebman brings back a new version of Babes in Toyland. Perry Como, Dinah Shore, Tony Martin, Frank Sinatra, Eleanor Steber, together with unnumbered choirs, glee clubs and choruses, will work their way through a long list of popular and pious tunes, ranging from I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus to Adeste Fidelis. CBS radio is not content with bombarding listeners with music. For a full hour on Christmas Eve, Bing Crosby will urge travelers in railroad stations across the U.S. from Manhattan's Grand Central Terminal to Los Angeles' Union Station to raise their voices with his in a monster Christmas Sing with Bing. The network further urged all listeners to ". . . join in. We hope to get millions of people to open their windows and let their radios blare forth, bring their portable radios out to the front porch or street corner, have car radios turned on loudly with the windows open and get loudspeakers set up in the city square." The New York World-Telegram and Sun found this "one of the more frightening Yuletide prospects" and added sourly: "If Bing wants any requests, we have one: 'Silent Night: "
A few optimistic whispers could be heard through the seasonal uproar: Sponsor Oldsmobile promised to deliver no advertising messages during Singer Patti Page's Christmas show, while Manhattan's station WINS and New Jersey's WPAT went even further: they banned all commercials on Christmas Day.
Here is Eve Arden's Obituary from The New York Times
Eve Arden, Actress, Is Dead at 83; Starred in TV's 'Our Miss Brooks'
By ALBIN KREBS
Published: November 13, 1990
Eve Arden, the caustic comedienne featured in dozens of films as a heroine's wry and wisecracking best friend, a warmhearted but sassy schoolteacher or secretary, died yesterday at her home in Beverly Hills, Calif.
The actress said she was born on April 30, 1912, but Ron Lisell, a spokesman for the family, said she was 83. Her death was caused by heart disease, Mr. Lisell said.
Miss Arden made her Broadway debut in the "Ziegfeld Follies" of 1934, but although she often appeared in plays in New York and on the road, she was chiefly a Hollywood actress. She was best known as the sardonic but likable English teacher in the radio and television series "Our Miss Brooks," which ran from 1948 until 1956. The series earned her an Emmy award as best actress for 1953.
The tall and languid Miss Brooks, noted for her exquisite comic timing and a knack for making the most of a throwaway line, received featured billing in more than 100 movies, including "Stage Door," "The Marx Brothers at the Circus," "No, No, Nanette," "Bedtime Story," "Cover Girl," "Anatomy of a Murder" and "The Dark at the Top of the Stairs." In 1945 she received an Academy Award nomination as best supporting actress for her performance in "Mildred Pierce."
The actress, whose original name was Eunice Quedens, was born in Mill Valley, Calif., near San Francisco. She was reared by her divorced mother and an aunt. Both encouraged her to act in school plays. At 16, she said, "I was dumped by my mother and aunt at the Henry Duffy office in San Francisco and told to get a job acting, which I did."
She joined the Duffy stock company, which performed in San Francisco and Los Angeles, and she later switched to the Bandbox Repertory Theater, which toured the "citrus circuit" in Southern California.
Miss Arden was a seasoned 21-year-old actress when she got a job in "Low and Behold," a forerunner of the "New Faces" revues produced by Leonard Sillman. The producer Lee Shubert saw a performance at the Pasadena Playhouse and offered Miss Arden a part as a showgirl in the 1934 "Ziegfeld Follies" on Broadway. And he told her to shed her real name.
Eunice Quedens did so by studying the labels of cosmetic jars on her dressing table and, she said, "stole my first name from Evening in Paris and the second from Elizabeth Arden."
Eve Arden won her first theatrical accolade in 1935 when she was featured with Jimmy Savo in "Parade."The New York Times drama critic Brooks Atkinson wrote: "Count on the credit side Eve Arden's lorgnette humor which turns a song entitled 'Send for the Militia' into highly amusing satire." That and other reviews helped to win Miss Arden a featured role in the 1936 "Ziegfeld Follies." As Fannie Brice's understudy, she starred in several performances. Success, With the Help of a Cat
Miss Arden made her film debut in a 1937 grade-B melodrama called "Oh, Doctor," in which she disastrously played a gun moll. But her big break came that same year when the director Gregory La Cava cast her in what was to have been a small role in "Stage Door," starring Katharine Hepburn and Ginger Rogers.
The actress built up her supposedly minor role with the aid of a slothful cat named Henry, which hung around the set. Having noticed that the sluggish Henry hardly ever moved, Miss Arden called Mr. La Cava's attention to the fact that the cat liked to sleep draped over her shoulders. The director was amused, and he included many shots of Miss Arden wearing the live cat as a fur piece. She was long remembered as the "girl with the cat."
In three years Miss Arden appeared in more than 20 films, becoming typecast in roles characterized by brittle, caustic humor. Trying to get away from that stereotype, she returned to Broadway and won praise for her featured roles in the Kern-Hammerstein musical "Very Warm for May" in 1939, the revue "Two for the Show" in 1940 and Cole Porter's "Let's Face It" in 1941, in which she appeared with Danny Kaye.
Miss Arden nearly stole the 1944 war movie "The Doughgirls" from three stars by enlivening her role as a tough-talking Russian guerrilla, punctuating her flines in ractured English lines with funny and risque gestures with her sniper's rifle.
Other featured roles followed, most of them putting Miss Arden back in what she considered the rut of the coldly tart-tongued and vitriolic cynic. It mattered not, she said, that audiences always responded to her with laughter; she did not like seeing herself in those roles, which were carried over into radio shows in which she starred with Jack Haley and Jack Carson.
"I just don't like that dame," she said in 1952. "She is hard-boiled, unsentimental and not me."
With "Our Miss Brooks," Miss Arden was able to alter her image, keeping the snappy, sardonic lines but giving the schoolteacher character a warmly affectionate and self-deprecating side.
That television series went off the air in 1956, and Miss Arden appeared in only an occasional film until 1967, when she began a two-season run co- starring with the comedienne Kaye Ballard in the NBC television show "The Mothers-in-Law." She also appeared as a school principal in the films "Grease" in 1978 and "Grease II" in 1982, and in "Under the Rainbow" in 1981.
Miss Arden's second husband, Brooks West, an actor, died in 1984.
Survivors include two daughters, Liza and Constance, and two sons, Douglas and Duncan.
Correction: November 17, 1990, Tuesday, Late Edition - Final
An obituary on Tuesday about the actress Eve Arden misstated the date of her film debut. It was in 1929, when she appeared under her original name, Eunice Quedens, in "The Song of Love"; it was not in 1937.
To read an article about Our Miss Brooks go to https://news.google.com/newspapers?id=-AAxAAAAIBAJ&sjid=M94FAAAAIBAJ&pg=3649%2C4759173
To watch clips of Our Miss Brooks go to https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=our+miss+brooks+tv+show
To go to Tim's TV Showcase go to https://web.archive.org/web/20100114091723/http://www.timstvshowcase.com/ourmiss.html
For an episode guide go to http://ctva.biz/US/Comedy/OurMissBrooks.htm
For a Website dedicated to Our Miss Brooks go to http://www.ourmissbrooks.com/index.html
To listen to episodes from the radio version of Our Miss Brooks go to http://zootradio.com/Our_Miss_Brooks.php
For some Our Miss Brooks -related interview videos at the Archive of American Television go to https://interviews.televisionacademy.com/shows/our-miss-brooks
For another great review of Our Miss Brooks go to https://web.archive.org/web/20100210225643/http://www.museum.tv/eotvsection.php?entrycode=ourmissbroo
To watch the opening credits plus 1950's commercials go to https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O6FBM-Jk80I
� Date: Sun March 7, 2004 � Filesize: 60.7kb � Dimensions: 641 x 491 �
Keywords: Our Miss Brooks