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The Great Gildersleeve is a radio situation comedy broadcast from August 31, 1941, to March 21, 1957.

Initially written by Leonard Lewis Levinson, it was one of broadcast history's earliest spin-off programs. The series was built around the character Throckmorton P. Gildersleeve, a regular element of the radio situation comedy Fibber McGee and Molly. The character was introduced in the October 3, 1939 episode (number 216) of that series. The Great Gildersleeve enjoyed its greatest popularity in the 1940s. Actor Harold Peary [photo, left] played the character during its transition from the parent show into the spin-off and later in four feature films released at the height of the show's popularity. In 1950, Harold Peary was convinced to move The Great Gildersleeve to CBS, but sponsor Kraft refused to sanction the move. Peary, now contracted to CBS, was legally unable to appear on NBC as a star performer, but Gildersleeve was still an NBC series. This prompted the hiring of Willard Waterman [photo, right] as Peary's replacement.
  WIKIPEDIA...|...HAROLD PEARY...|...WILLARD WATERMAN...|...GreatGildersleeve.com



Published on Nov 7, 2012 video below...Chuck Schaden introduces members of the Gildersleeve cast: Willard Waterman, Mary Lee Robb and Shirley Mitchell who talk about the program and join the Those Were The Days Radio Players for a re-enactment of a Gildersleeve script. Also: Songwriter Jay Livingston (Shirley's husband) entertains with a mini- concert featuring his many hit songs. Recorded at the Museum of Broadcast Communications, Chicago in 1994. (113 minutes).

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