This episode (Christmas Day, 1947) stars George and Jane Wyman of all people. I have no idea where Gracie was.
That is very jarring. It is one thing to replace an actress playing a character, but to replace a real person with an actress playing a charcter is bizarre.True, Gracie was playing a character, but the character was herself!Couldn't they just have written short voiceover, that Gracie was sick and her sister was staying to help out for a few days? Then you could do the same schtick, switch out Gracie's name, and no one would wonder where the real Gracie was.
Well, they may have told the audience beforehand. I have deleted all openings and closings on that show. So they may have done it and I was oblivious to it.But to me it was a HUGE shock.There was also a time when Jackie Gleason (who did the part originally on TV) took William Bendix's spot on Life of Riley radio.
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