Sunday, January 30, 2011

Review: My Favorite Husband

My Favorite Husband is another of the long line of old-time radio comedies that doesn't hold up so well today.  It's not that it's a bad show (most of the scripts were later turned into scripts for the I Love Lucy television show) or has bad acting (the show is blessed with Lucille Ball, Richard Denning, Gale Gordon and Bea Benaderet) nor is it loaded down with unbearable musical numbers every 10 minutes (ala A Day in the Life of Dennis Day) - this show has no musical numbers at all.

Everything is in place for this to be a classic radio show - but instead, what we get is a soggy version of The Lucy Show.

In my mind, there's not one episode of the show that I can pick out and say, "You know, that was a great episode."  The only thing that makes the show memorable is the endless comparisons that are made with I Love Lucy and perhaps that is the show's curse?  It wasn't Desi Arnez or the Mertz's who made I Love Lucy work - it was the writing and Lucy herself.

This is where we came in.  This show has both of those things: the scripts of Jess Oppenheimer (the I Love Lucy creator and writer) and a younger, more virile version of Lucille Ball.

But for some reason, it just doesn't work.  One thing that would have made the show better is to flip husbands.  Make Denning the husband of Benederet and Gordon the husband of Lucy.

There's a good chance that this would have turned the show into a hopped-up version of The Bickersons (which is not a good show at all) but a souped-up version with Lucy and Gordon as a married couple might have provided hours of entertainment.

Gordon was one of Lucy's favorite actors and she really wanted him to be Fred Mertz in I Love Lucy.  Gordon never played Lucy's husband in all of the shows they did together; why not?

At any rate, Denning is boring.  He's not horrible but like Alice Faye on the Phil Harris-Alice Faye Show, Denning is simply a piece of living room furniture.  And really, why would you want him to be anything else?

The blame for the lack of fun in this show then lands squarely on Lucy.  I have no idea what the deal was, I just know that the show is just like most of the others (actually, slightly less fun) during that time frame.  The situations may have been a little more outlandish than say, Our Miss Brooks - but I dare say, Our Miss Brooks is a better show on radio.

If I were rating the show on a 5 star system, I'd have to give the show 2 stars - maybe 2 and a half on a good day.


  1. I listen to this show in my regular cue. I agree it does not reach the standard of I Love Lucy. There are funny moments, but it does not compare to other comedy shows. It is just good enough for us to continue to listen to it. I believe my wife likes the show more than I.

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  3. It's in my regular cue as well (although, I go by 'days') and it is at the end my Saturday. It is rare when I ever get a chance (this go-round) to hear the last 4 or 5 shows at the end of the day (a typical day may have 15 shows in the cue.)

    Therefore, that shows you how little I think of the show.

    It's "average."


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