|Mr. Smith Goes to Washington|
|Country of origin||USA|
|No. of seasons||1|
|No. of episodes||25|
|Running time||30 mins.|
|Picture format||Black and white|
|Original run||September 29, 1962 – March 23, 1963|
Mr. Smith Goes to Washington is a 1962-1963 ABC sitcom starring Fess Parker as Eugene Smith, an honest but unsophisticated U.S. senator from an unidentified small-populated state. The half-hour program is based on the 1939 Frank Capra film, Mr. Smith Goes to Washington, starring James Stewart in the title role. According to the story line, Eugene Smith is elected to a Senate vacancy after the death of an incumbent. The series also features Sandra Warner as Parker's wife, Pat Smith; country music singer Red Foley as the senator's Uncle Cooter, Rita Lynn as Smith's secretary, Miss Kelly, and Stan Irwin as Smith's chauffeur, Arnie.
Selected episodes and guest starsEdit
- "Washington Hostess", premiere episode, September 29, 1962
- Harpo Marx, a harp player and a master of pantomime, guest starred as himself in the Mr. Smith episode "Musicale". This constituted Marx's final career television appearance, some three weeks after he had guest starred on CBS's The Red Skelton Show.
- Frank Ferguson, earlier the ranch handyman, Gus Broeberg of CBS's My Friend Flicka series, appeared as Malechy Dillman in the episode "Bad Day at Cuttin' Corners".
- Tyler McVey, a frequent character actor, appeared in two episodes, "The Senator and the Pageboy" and "Still the Champ".
- Jerome Cowan appeared in "But What Are You Doing for Your Country?", an episode in which Senator Smith attempts to rehabilitate a group of hoboes. Cowan earlier was a regular on NBC's The Tab Hunter Show.
- Edward Everett Horton appears as fictitious Senator Crabtree in "The Senator Baits a Hook".
- Jack Carter, the comedian, appeared as Ernie Evans in "That's Show Business", the first episode to air in the year 1963.
- Buster Keaton, the sad-faced comedian, guest starred in the episode "Think Mink".
- Charles Lane, a frequent actor on sitcoms, appeared in "The Resurrection of Winesap Corners".
- Jim Nabors, the singer and actor, two years before Gomer Pyle, U.S.M.C., guest starred as Claude in the episode "Grand Ol' Opry", referring to the music association, Grand Ole Opry, in Nashville, Tennessee.
- William Fawcett, known for his role as Pete Wilkey on the NBC children's western series Fury, appeared as Chester, with English actor Reginald Gardiner as Bellows, in the episode "Citizen Bellows".
- Hope Summers, known particularly as Clara Edwards, the friend of Bea Taylor on CBS's The Andy Griffith Show, appeared in the episode "High Society".
- "The Lobbyist" is the series finale, March 23, 1963.
The series, a Screen Gems Production (Screen Gems was owned by Columbia Pictures, which produced the film), aired at 8:30 p.m. Eastern Time on Saturday. It followed ABC's short-lived The Roy Rogers and Dale Evans Show, a Western comedy and variety show, and preceded the durable The Lawrence Welk Show. Its competition on CBS was the legal drama The Defenders starring E.G. Marshall and Robert Reed. During the same time period, NBC aired The Joey Bishop Show with Joey Bishop and Abby Dalton.
A year after the cancellation of Mr. Smith Goes to Washington, native Texan Parker was cast with Patricia Blair, Darby Hinton, Ed Ames, and Veronica Cartwright, in his most successful role, as the frontiersman Daniel Boone in the NBC Western series Daniel Boone, which aired from 1964-1970. Previously, Parker had portrayed Davy Crockett in the first miniseries in television history, the ABC/Walt Disney Production, Davy Crockett, which aired from 1954-1955 as part of the regular Disney series, then known as Disneyland. Parker also appeared thereafter as Jim Coates, the father, in the 1957 Disney family film Old Yeller.
- ↑ Alex McNeil, Total Television, New York: Penguin Books, 1996, 4th ed., p. 561
- ↑ "Harpo Marx". Filmreference.com. http://www.filmreference.com/film/67/Harpo-Marx.html. Retrieved March 17, 2009.
- ↑ "Jerome Cowan". Internet Movie Database. http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0184578/. Retrieved March 16, 2009.
- ↑ "Mr. Smith Goes to Washington (1962)". Internet Movie Database. http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1362882/. Retrieved March 16, 2009.
- ↑ Total Television, appendix
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