This American sitcom starred Dennis O'Keefe as Hal Towne, a syndicated columinist with a widower with a precocious, friedly 10-year old son named Randy. Randy was palyed by Rickey Kelman. O have seen him on other TV shows, but dodn't remember which ones at this time. As is the case of TV sitcoms with widowers, a housekeeper, in this case suitably named Sarge--helped to keep the house running smoothly. The story was set in New York City. Towne had a girl friend, an aggressive career oriented publicity agent. The assignments associated with Towne's column introduced him to many attractive ladies creating complications with his girl friend. Randy was often dressed in a suit or sports jacket. A HBC contributor reports that Randy often wore short pants and kneesocks. This was rather uncharacteristic for an American television show and HBC can not yet confirm it. This show had a short run, only one year, and did not attract a large floolowing, thus few HBC readers apparently remember it.
This show had a short run, only one year, and did not attract a large following, thus few HBC readers apparently remember it.
Hal Towne was played by Dennis O'Keefe. His son Randy was palyed by Rickey Kelman. I have seen him on other TV shows, but dodn't remember which ones at this time. Hope Emerson, who played "Sarge", the housekeeper, died on April 25, 1960, about a month before the last episode of this obscure series aired. This may in part explain why the series was cancelled, though other shows have continued with cast changes.
This American sitcom starred Dennis O'Keefe as Hal Towne, a syndicated columinist with a widower with a precocious, friedly 10-year old son named Randy. As is the case of TV sitcoms with widowers, a housekeeper, in this case suitably named Sarge--helped to keep the house running smoothly. Towne had a girl friend, an aggressive career oriented publicity agent. The assignments associated with Towne's column introduced him to many attractive ladies creating complications with his girl friend. Seems that each episode of this show used a misunderstanding of some kind to further the comic plot. Actually, some later and very successful shows such as "Andy Griffith" and "My Three Sons", would use
some of these same plots. In these shows, however, the main characters were supported by others who could be very funny in their own right, and the outcome of the misunderstanding would lead to some unpredictable consequences.The "D O'K Show" didn't realize the
potential of its storylines. It needed a more versatile and colorful supporting cast and an unusual setting to distinguish it from lookalike shows.
The story was set in New York City.
A HBC reader yells us,"Some time ago a contributor wrote a few lines and a clothing description for the short-lived "Dennis O'Keefe Show" (1959-60). In the show a widowed newspaper columnist (O'Keefe) was bringing up a precocious ten-year old son, played by Ricky Kelman, with the help of a stern housekeeper. I didn't remember the show very well and couldn't offer much help in recalling the costumes. I bought a two-episode video of this old show and have two other videos on order.
In the episode, "It's Only Money", Hal Towne helps in the capture of two counterfeiters operating in his apartment building. His son, Randy, wore a Boy Scout uniform with forage cap, long-sleeved shirt, and long trousers in the show.
The other episode, "The Courtship of Hal", a love letter from a secret admirer ends up in the wrong hands, causing comic results. In this episode, Randy wears a pull-over, long-sleeved sweater, collared shirt, long trousers, and dark leather street shoes. He wore a heavy jacket over these clothes for going out to see a movie that evening. The other episodes that are on order may have some interesting plot lines or costumes. One is entitled, "Go Home, Aunt Millie", and another is "Send This Boy to Camp".
In the episode, "Marriage, Anyone?", Sarge, Randy, and Hal's co-workers think he's going to elope with his publicist. It's all a mistake: Hal's just making the arrangements for a couple of friends.
Randy is running for class president in the episode, "Cypress Grade School". He wants it to be a surprise for his dad, Hal. Hal is helping Randy's opponent, the daughter of an attractive widow. The outcome is a tie vote, and the class will have co-presidents.
A friend convinces Hal to send Randy to camp for 2 weeks in the episode, "Send This Boy to Camp". Hal doesn't want Randy to go, but he offers to send Randy, anyway, thinking he'd enjoy camp. Randy doesn't want to go to camp, but he says yes because he thinks this
is what his dad wants him to do. Hal misses Randy, and Randy becomes a little homesick at camp. Randy runs away for home, and the truth at last is out. Randy and his fellow campers wore dark baseball caps, T-shirts, long jeans, hiking boots, and dark jackets. [HBC note: Many American boys wore long pants in the late 1950s. At summer camps, however, short pants were much more common.]
In "Go Home, Aunt Millie", Hal's aunt from England has come to visit. She disrupts their happy home life, but gets Hal a spot on a local TV show. In one scene,
Randy goes off to school in a uniform provided by Millie. It's a striped peaked cap, vertical striped coat with a white wing collar, floppy bow tie, a long
dark trousers. Aunt Millie described it as "precious", but Randy says he'll need bodyguards if he's to survive until recess. Hal advises Randy to put some school clothes in bag and change in the broom closet outside their apartment door. Randy comes back a few
moments later: he's already had to fight for his honor! (This strategy reminded me of "Beaver" and the suit Aunt Martha bought for him. Ward had school clothes for Beaver in the garage in this show.)
From a critical standpoint the plots were old even in 1959. I didn't think there was any particular chemistry among the three principal characters. The show (at least these episodes) demonstrates how much prime-time entertainment has changed in the last 44
years. Randy's clothes were typical mainstream boys' clothes for that time. If anything, they were a little dressier than what most boys really wore back then.
Randy was often dressed in a suit or sports jacket. A HBC contributor reports that Randy often wore short pants and kneesocks. This was rather uncharacteristic for an American television show and HBC can not yet confirm it. Ricky Kelman, "Randy Towne", wore
either pullover long sleeved sweaters or cardigans, a dress shirt, long dress slacks, and dark leather shoes to school. For dressy occasions, he wore light or medium grey long trousered suits and a fashionably (for the times) narrow tie with regimental stripes.
Some of his schoolmates dressed similarly, but a couple of boys wore a sports coat to school with long dress slacks. Randy's best friend, "Irving Gallup" (played by Tommy Nolan, who appeared in many TV bit parts in the late 1950s and early '60s), wore a dark long trousers suit and a tie to school. To complete his "intellectual look", he wore horn-rimmed glasses,
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