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  • In this installment of the long-running Joe McDoakes series, Joe is inexplicably a super-nice guy. He runs himself ragged doing nice things for people and he is nothing like the normal Joe! Because he's so sweet, the local Good-Doers Club nominates him to appear on the show "Know Your Relatives". Unfortunately, the family reunion on the show completely backfires when his family turns out to be a bunch of thugs and low-lifes. And, in the process, you learn a lot of awful things about Joe!

    This is a pretty funny installment. My favorite part was when you meet his relative, the Captain (Larry Blake). The man does a wonderful impersonation of Joe...with the same sound and cadence to his was very cute. Overall, well worth your time.
  • FIRST OF ALL, we must confess! Although we are currently in the middle of our self initiated and strictly voluntary project to review every edition to this MC DOAKES Series, we hadn't screened this one. We weren't even vaguely familiar with it; as we were with SO YOU WANT TO BUY A MODEL RAILROAD, for example. So many of us have seen it through our model railroading hobby.

    BUT NOW, AFTER having seen it, we're inclined to believe it is the funniest MC DOAKES installment of all. Well, time will tell and we'd be glad to report our findings to you, our loyal readership, at a later date.

    AS FOR THIS short, it seems to be constructed around two seemingly opposite premises.

    FIRST, THE PRODUCTION team absolutely nailed it when they did a sort of profile that comically described a certain personality type. Some may call it the outgoing and helpful social type. They compulsively volunteer for every possible task and job that one of their clubs, societies, chamber of commerce, scout troop, neighborhood association or youth sports group has. They thrive on this selfless dedication to a fault.

    THE SECOND PRIMARY aspect of the movie involves the irrefutable assertion that everyone has a past, a skeleton in the closet or some embarrassing "baggage" from their earlier life. This need not be a major incident, but when juxtaposed with what appears to be a sort of secular canonization, it's bound to cast a giant shadow.

    WITH ALL OF this generalization, we must concentrate on the particulars of the short.

    AS WHAT COULD be the third main element of the story, we offer as our nomination the great parody that the writing/direction/production team concocted about the medium of Television. Although the particular target is the Ralph Edwards' production of THIS IS YOUR LIFE, the comic barbs presented are general enough to dissect the entire industry.

    AS FAR AS the cast is concerned, they do their collective job as they always do. Regulars Jane Frazee (Alice Mc Doakes), Emory Parnell (Mr. Battan the boss), Fred Kelsey and Jack Mower are joined by several others. Among those, we have William Fawcett (1st series appearance), Herb Vigran and Frank Nelson (both of whom had done MC DOAKES previously).
  • So You Want to Know Your Relatives (1954)

    *** (out of 4)

    George O'Hanlon returns as Joe McDoakes, this time a key member in the Good Doers Club. All of this gets turned upside down when Joe goes on a radio show called "Know Your Relatives" and a bunch of skeletons fall out of his closet. This is a funny entry in the series, although it's certainly not the best it has to offer. Not all of the writing is a home run but there are enough gags to make this one worth watching. The best moments happen on the show when the various secrets are being revealed and his wife and boss, in the audience, aren't happy with some of the answers. Emory Parnell, a regular playing the boss in the series, does a nice job here and manages a few big laughs. O'Hanlon is as good as always.