What a Toothpaste

I've been listening to CDs of old episodes of Our Miss Brooks — complete with the original commercials! — in the car for the last week, so now I have this Colgate jingle from 1950 stuck in my head. Gah!

The shows themselves are funny, if somewhat predictable — but only because I've been watching TV for many years and the sitcom format hasn't changed that much. Eve Arden gets to be pretty snarky, though, so I'm enjoying it.

I poked around online this morning and found what struck me as super-bitchy reviews in newspapers of the late 1940s/early 1950s. Well, technically the New York Times 1 piece is a review of the premiere episode of the television show, but I'm guessing they cannibalized the TV script from an old radio episode, just like most of the cast was ported from one medium to the next. And the snotty bit in the St. Petersburg Times is really about the new Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis radio show, which appeared a few columns to the right of a short note about how actual teachers think the portrayal of teachers on Our Miss Brooks isn't very realistic. (Ha! I hear that some nuns don't like Sister Act!)

After that I got sucked into reading the comics on the next page of the Florida paper, and made the discovery that in 1949, Dagwood prefers to lounge on the couch and have a snack instead of doing chores for Blondie. (Who would ever have guessed?)

Anyhow, after about an hour of musing that the more things change . . . , I decided that I'd probably better get to work — Spreadsheets 3: The Legend of Curly's Gold is calling.

1Jack Gould, "RADIO AND TELEVISION: Two Video Shows, 'Our Miss Brooks' and 'Hollywood Opening Night,' Receive Critical Treatment," New York Times, October 8, 1952. (I suppose that I could have linked you to the short preview on the NYT site, but I just spent two minutes Googling how to HTML code footnotes, so you're just going to have to look it up yourself. I recommend checking your local library's Web site to see if you can get online access to the ProQuest Historical Newspapers database, which has the full article . . . which I suppose I could have posted a picture of here, but really, the fun is in finding it yourself. Or something.)


  1. Chuck Riggle11/19/2009 8:15 AM

    Damn thats wierd Amy and I just listened to Miss Brooks. What do you think of the Jack Benny show?

  2. I haven't listened to any episodes of Benny's show. Next up is another Beverly Cleary novel narrated by Neil Patrick Harris (It's legen — Wait for it! — dary!), and then I think I'm going to get the second volume of Our Miss Brooks CDs from the Rocky River library.

  3. Chuck Riggle11/20/2009 8:15 AM

    Benny's radio showis brilliant. Its like the foundation all other sit coms are based on...