Those Websters

Last updated
The versatile Fran Allison was heard as a family cousin on Those Websters. Fran Allison.jpg
The versatile Fran Allison was heard as a family cousin on Those Websters.

Those Websters was a radio situation comedy series starring Willard Waterman and Constance Crowder as George and Jane Webster. The program was launched in New York and then moved to Chicago for a short spell before finishing its run from Hollywood.


The series replaced That Brewster Boy (1941–45), which starred a teenaged Dick York. Several Brewster cast members continued on with Those Websters, and the two situation comedies were quite similar. The transition is evident in the near-anagram: Brewster=Webster. In a 1991 interview with John Douglas, Dick York explained how That Brewster Boy morphed into Those Websters:

Pauline Hopkins and Owen Vincent were the writer and director of That Brewster Boy. They were sending bundles to the Communists to help fight the Nazis, so naturally they were branded as Communists. The advertising agency came around, hired everyone from under them, and they were going to change the name of the show and get rid of Pauline and Owen. Well, I was fresh out of the slum. It was the first time I ever had any money, but I went to Pauline and Owen and told them straight out that I didn't know what it was all about, but that I was with them. I wouldn't sign with the agency. Of course, I was taken off the show.[ citation needed ]

Those riotous Websters were heard Friday evenings at 9:30pm on CBS from March 9, 1945 to February 22, 1946 with Quaker Oats as the sponsor. On March 3, 1946, the series moved to Mutual where it aired Sundays at 6pm until August 22, 1948.

Cast and characters

The Webster family lived at 46 River Road in the Chicago suburb of Spring City where George Webster often attended the lodgehall meetings of the Sons of the Mustangs of the Moonlight Mesas. Attempting to prove that "families are fun," those hapless Websters continually encountered confusion, and plans usually went astray during their chaotic misadventures.

Jean Verhagen (later billed as Jean Hagen) played Betty Webster. [1] The children were Liz Webster (Joan Alt) and Billy Webster (Arthur Young, Gil Stratton Jr.), with Bill Idelson as Billy's friend Emil, Jerry Spellman (as Jeep) and Jane Webb (as Belinda Boyd). Fran Allison was heard as a family cousin, and the cast also included Clarence Hartzell, Parley Baer and Eddie Firestone Jr. (1921-2007). [2] Charles Irving announced the program, scripted by Priscilla Kent, Albert G. Miller and Frank and Doris Hursley. Frank Worth led the orchestra.

Two years after this series came to an end, Waterman replaced Harold Peary as the title character in The Great Gildersleeve in 1950.

Related Research Articles

<i>Fibber McGee and Molly</i> American radio comedy series

Fibber McGee and Molly was a 1935–1959 American radio comedy series. The situation comedy was a staple of the NBC Red Network from 1936 on after having begun on NBC Blue in 1935. One of the most popular and enduring radio series of its time, it ran as a stand-alone series from 1935 to 1956, and then continued as a short-form series as part of the weekend Monitor from 1957 to 1959. The title characters were created and portrayed by Jim and Marian Jordan, a real-life husband and wife team that had been working in radio since the 1920s.

Arthur Q. Bryan American actor

Arthur Quirk Bryan was an American actor, comedian and radio personality, best remembered for his longtime recurring role as well-spoken, wisecracking Dr. Gamble on the radio comedy Fibber McGee and Molly and for creating the voice of the Warner Brothers cartoon character Elmer Fudd.

<i>The Great Gildersleeve</i> American radio comedy series

The Great Gildersleeve is a radio situation comedy broadcast in the United States from August 31, 1941 to 1958. Initially written by Leonard Lewis Levinson, it was one of broadcast history's earliest spin-off programs. The series was built around Throckmorton P. Gildersleeve, a regular character from the radio situation comedy Fibber McGee and Molly. The character was introduced in the October 3, 1939, episode of that series. Actor Harold Peary had played a similarly named character, Dr. Gildersleeve, on earlier episodes. The Great Gildersleeve enjoyed its greatest popularity in the 1940s. Peary played the character during its transition from the parent show into the spin-off and later in four feature films released at the height of the show's popularity.

Paul Francis Webster was an American lyricist who won three Academy Awards for Best Original Song and was nominated sixteen times for the award.

<i>Father Knows Best</i> American television program 1954-1960

Father Knows Best is an American sitcom starring Robert Young, Jane Wyatt, Elinor Donahue, Billy Gray, and Lauren Chapin. The series, which first began on radio in 1949, aired as a television show for six seasons with a total of 203 episodes. Created by Ed James, Father Knows Best follows the lives of the Andersons, a middle-class family living in the Midwest town of Springfield. The state in which Springfield is located is never specified, but it is generally accepted to be Midwest United States.

Walter Tetley

Walter Tetley was an American actor specializing in child impersonation during radio's classic era, with regular roles on The Great Gildersleeve and The Phil Harris-Alice Faye Show, as well as continuing as a voice-over artist in animated cartoons, commercials, and spoken-word record albums. He is perhaps best known as the voice of Sherman in the Jay Ward-Bill Scott Mr. Peabody TV cartoons.

<i>Gigantor</i> 1960s Japanese animated TV show featuring a giant robot

Gigantor is a 1963 anime adaptation of Tetsujin 28-go, a manga by Mitsuteru Yokoyama released in 1956. It debuted on US television in 1964. As with Speed Racer, the characters' original names were altered and the original series' violence was toned down for American viewers. The dub was created by Fred Ladd distributed in the US by Peter Rodgers Organization.

<i>Webster</i> (TV series) American sitcom

Webster is an American sitcom television series that aired on ABC from September 16, 1983 to May 8, 1987, and in first-run syndication from September 21, 1987 to March 10, 1989. The series was created by Stu Silver.

Gordon Douglas (director) American film director

Gordon Douglas Brickner was an American film director and actor, who directed many different genres of films over the course of a five-decade career in motion pictures.

Allyn Joslyn

Allyn Joslyn was an American stage, radio, television and film actor, known for his roles playing aristocratic wealthy snobs.

Harold Peary

Harold (Hal) Peary was an American actor, comedian and singer in radio, films, television, and animation. His most memorable role is as Throckmorton P. Gildersleeve, which began as a supporting character on radio's Fibber McGee and Molly in 1938. The character proved to be so popular with audiences by 1941 that Peary got his own radio comedy show, The Great Gildersleeve, the first known spin-off hit in American broadcasting history.

Regis Toomey

John Regis Toomey was an American film and television actor.

Frank Jenks was an acid-voiced American supporting actor of stage and films.

Marion Martin

Marion Martin was an American film and stage actress.

Willard Waterman

Willard Lewis Waterman was an American character actor in films, TV and on radio, remembered best for replacing Harold Peary as the title character of The Great Gildersleeve at the height of that show's popularity.

<i>The Harold Peary Show</i>

The Harold Peary Show is a radio situation comedy broadcast in the United States September 17, 1950-June 13, 1951 on CBS. Some sources refer to the program as Honest Harold or The Hal Peary Show.

The Great Gildersleeve is a 1942 American comedy film directed by Gordon Douglas. Based on the popular NBC radio series The Great Gildersleeve created by Leonard L. Levinson, which ran from 1941 to 1950, this was the first of four films in the Gildersleeve's series produced and distributed by RKO Radio Pictures. The screenplay was written by Jack Townley and Julien Josephson, and the film stars Harold Peary and Jane Darwell. Other films in the series were Gildersleeve's Bad Day (1943), Gildersleeve on Broadway (1943), Gildersleeve's Ghost (1944).

That Brewster Boy is an American old-time radio situation comedy. It was broadcast on NBC from September 8, 1941, to March 2, 1942, and on CBS from March 4, 1942, to March 2, 1945. It was also carried on 13 stations in Canada.


  1. "'Those Websters,' American Family Heard Fridays at 9:30 P.M. on WHP". Harrisburg Telegraph. March 3, 1945. p. 15. Retrieved June 5, 2015 via Open Access logo PLoS transparent.svg
  2. "The Brewsters". The Fresno Bee The Republican. August 31, 1941. p. 10. Retrieved March 28, 2015 via Open Access logo PLoS transparent.svg