- X 2019
The Burns and Allen Show - Book Salesman
The George Burns and Gracie Allen Show - Book Salesman
Ralph Levy for CBS
directed by Ralph Levy
starring George Burns, Gracie Allen, Bill Goodwin, the Skylarks, Henry Jones, Bea Benaderet, Hal March
written by Paul Henning, Sid Dorfman, Harvey Helm, William Burns, musical director: Leith Stevens
Burns and Allen Show, Burns & Allen
A book salesman (Henry Jones) innocently knocks on Gracie's (Gracie
Allen) door to sell her an encyclopedia, but not only does he sell her no
books, he also gets his hat ruined by overambitious naive Gracie.
Gracie and her neighbour/friend Blanche (Bea Benaderet) want to go to the
moives, while their husbands George (George Burns) and Harry (Hal March)
want to go to a fight - which their wives would never approve of. So the
boys make up a card game to catch the girls off-guard - but in all her
naivity, Gracie calls their bluff.
The Burns and Allen
Show had been on radio for an amazing number of years when it made
the jump to the small screen back in 1950. One has to remember, in 1950,
the sitcom - now television staple - was something totally new to the
small screen, and The Burns and Allen Show was one of the
first series to adopt the format ... and in that respect, it's amazing
with how much insight the genre was treated early on. For example, at the
beginning George Burns humourously explains his straight man-routine,
pretty much giving away his whole function in the show in a few phrases
(and remember, this was the first ever TV-episode of the series). Later,
he and announcer Bill Goodwin poke fun at their sponsor Carnation
Evaporated Milk, while the lack of the fourth wall (the wall to
the studio audience) is pretty much a running gag throughout the show.
from all this, the episode is pretty funny, too, carried by good oneliners
and compact lead performances that easily make one forget the show's
somewhat feeble storyline.