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Friday, April 5, 2013

Make Room For Danien. 2.

"Make Room For Daddy" had tremendous longevity.
They turned out over 350 episodes.
Danien went through two wives.
Jean Hagen and Marjorie Lord.
I think the show got broader during the later, Marjorie Lord era.
She played things broader than did Jean.
Maybe that's what Danien wanted.
Maybe that's why he replaced Jean with Marjorie.
Both eras were plenty funny.
The earlier era, primarily because Rusty Hamer, who played his son, was probably the funniest kid actor of them all.
That was when he was a little kid.
When he got older, and taller, and less of a little kid, during the Marjorie Lord era, he was really not funny at all.
He wasn't the go-to kid for funny any more.
After "Make Room For Daddy" went off the air, he worked hardly at all, and he committed suicide in his early forties.
This certainly casts a pall over the proceedings.
Danien was always funny.
He had great timing.
In the later era, Sid Melton became the go-to guy for funny.
And he was, indeed, very funny.
Hans Conreid, as Uncle Tonoose, transcended both eras, and when he appeared, it was "Katie bar the door"
They made another great addition when they added Sid Melton.
They brought in Pat Carroll as his wife.
Pat Carroll is a GREAT comedienne.
I didn't realize just HOW great she was at the time.
I have since worked on three TV series with her, and always regarded her as a tremendous asset.
But looking back at her work with Danien, I now realize that she had it all working for her then.
She was constantly hilarious.
On MeTV, they are currently in the later era, where Pat Carroll and Sid Melton are a riot, and Rusty is not funny.
And there is a smattering of Uncle Tonoose here and there.
There was also Angela Cartwright, who played Rusty's younger sister in that later era.
Jerry Seinfeld seems to have gone to the Angela Cartwright school of acting.
Angela Cartwright would be given punchlines, and almost relentlessly smirk after delivering them.
Judicious editing might have spared her.
Watching these later shows on a daily basis presents a problem.
Virtually EVERY EPISODE involves the "I'll teach him, or her, a good lesson" form of scheming.
This is a lower form of sitcom storytelling.
It's "I Love Lucy" at it's worst.
And it has been a constant.
You know where these stories are going on page four.
They are redeemed somewhat by the mostly exuberant acting on display.
I'm hoping they go back to the first era soon, to see if it was always like that.

One thing about this show: It is one of the best to have on Tivo.
Watching it that way enables you to cut out all of Danien's sitting at home, playing the piano and singing, where it has been suggested that The Danny Thomas Orchestra has been brought in to back him up, or singing at his nightclub, where there is an actual orchestra, and the usual last five minutes of preachiness that is usually prevalent.
It cuts the show down to about fifteen minutes.
Except for when I can figure out where the scheming is going to come in.
Then, I delete it.
That usually cuts it down to five.


My books ,"Show Runner" and it's sequel,"Show Runner Two", can be found at the Amazon Kindle Store.
Along with the newer ones, "The Man Is Dead", and "Report Cards".
You can search by typing in my name, Cindy Williams, Laverne & Shirley, The Odd Couple, or Happy Days.
Check them out.
You don't need a Kindle machine to download them.
Just get the free app from Kindle, and they can be downloaded to an IPhone, IPad, or Blackberry.
The paperbacks, "Mark Rothman's Essays" and my new novel, "I'm Not Garbo" are not
e-books. But they are available for people without Kindle.
I have many readings and signings lined up for those, and the thing about Kindle is you can't sign one. If you'd like one of the paperbacks, personally autographed, contact me at
And now, we've got my reading of my "Laverne & Shirley Movie" screenplay on YouTube.



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  3. I met Pat Carroll at an event that celebrated Disney animation and she was there because she was (and still is in recent projects) the voice of Ursula in Little Mermaid. What a joy she is, not only the talent, the timing, but so lovely to meet.

    She signed my Rodgers and Hammerstein Cinderella album. She was the stepsister whose knee creaked. So she signed the album cover, "My knee doesn't creak anymore -- I had it replaced." I'm sure she's signed it that way before, but I treasure it.

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  5. I'm only familiar with the Marjorie Lord era, which played in sydication when I was a kid. I'm going to have to look up the Jean Hagen shows. I remember basically liking Make Room For Daddy, except for the endings, which always to serious or, as I saw it at the time, mushy, but that's because I was a kid, and everything had to be funny back then, or I got bored. I might feel differently now, so I guess I should look up the Marjorie Lord shows, too!

  6. Thanks for mentioning Pat Carroll. I remember seeing her a lot on TV when I was growing up, and I was delighted to see her in a recent interview session, posted by Mark Evanier, in which she, Kaye Ballard, Marvin Kaplan, Anne Jeffreys and even Jerry Lewis got together to swap stories. I think it was in connection with a new documentary, "Troupers," co-produced by Carl Ballantine's daughter (whose name is Saratoga. Hm. I wonder what Mr. Ballantine's favorite spectator sport was).

  7. There's a chance you are qualified for a complimentary Apple iPhone 7.

  8. There's a chance you're qualified to get a $1,000 Amazon Gift Card.



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About Me

Hi. I am, according to my Wikipedia entry,(which I did not create) a noted television writer, playwright, screenwriter, and occasional actor. You can Google me or go to the IMDB to get my credits, and you can come here to get my opinions on things, which I'll try to express eloquently. Hopefully I'll succeed. You can also e-mail me at Perhaps my biggest claim to fame is being responsible, for about six months in 1975, while Head Writer for the "Happy Days" TV series, for Americans saying to each other "Sit on it."