30 October 2005 | theowinthrop
A Fairly Amusing Sit-Com That Lasted Only One Season
GOOD MORNING, WORLD was an amusing bit of fluff with Joby Baker and Ronny Schell that was set on a radio show that was produced by Billy DeWolfe. Baker and Schell played Lewis and Clarke, the D.J.s on the show, who found their attempts to enliven their show curtailed by DeWolfe (whose name was Roland Hutton). Baker was married to Linda Lewis, and Schell dating Golde Hawn. DeWolfe was married, but you never saw his wife. The show was on Tuesday nights from 9:30 to 10:00 P.M.
I don't recall all the episodes (it ran for only one year). There were two that I recall, one involving DeWolfe's background and the other dealing with Baker and Schell's fondness for Laurel and Hardy. In the latter, they both see (in a novelty antique store) a salt and pepper set that are in the shape of Stan and Ollie, and both want it. The perfect solution doesn't occur to them (keep the set at the radio studio boys) because each feels he is the world's biggest fan of the team. So, at one point, they try to best each other in a rapid fire trivia contest on the films of Laurel and Hardy. I remember one of the questions dealt with the first short they starred in together ("Putting Pants on Philip").
The one with DeWolfe's past is interesting because it enables us to see him from his nightclub/vaudeville days. Billy DeWolfe is remembered for his snide, fussbudgets. He is like a younger brother of Clifton Webb (it would have been amusing if they had been together in a film as brothers). But his best known characterization before he hit the movies was "Mrs. Murgatroyd", a tight-ass-ed lady who reveals her pent-up feelings when she gets drunk with a friend at a local bar. This actually was shown in one of DeWolfe's early films, and is quite a funny piece of business. But we rarely saw much more of his early acts. In the episode on GOOD MORNING, WORLD, DeWolfe and the show are running a charity program - they get phoned in requests that the D.J.'s will do for money for a charity. One of the requests that is phoned in requests that the show put on some unknown man. It turns out it is DeWolfe. His wife has called in because she wants him to do the routines that he played when he was courting her (the name is his long forgotten stage name). And DeWolfe, for the last five minutes cuts up in very unusual comic bits that one normally never thought of him doing. It was a very unusual episode actually, and quite rewarding.
It never picked up the audience it deserved. Too bad, for it was above average as far as a sit-com of that period.