Tribute to Walter Tetley
Walter Tetley: Twilight of an Identity
Walter Tetley: Fountain of Youth
Random Thoughts in 2004
The Incredible Magic of Paul Frees
Frees Frame: an Interview
Paul Frees: Smoke and Mirrors
Jay Ward
Without Fanfare: The Bill Scott Story
Bill Scott Revisited
Chamber of my Mind
Fractured Fairy Tales: The Crown Jewel
Mysterious, Elusive Chris Allen
Tribute to June Foray: June of the Jungle
On the Doorstep of 1974: June Foray Trivia
June and the Dazzling Night Sky
June Foray: That Bewitching Cackle!!
June Foray: More than a Woman
Daws Butler's Corner
Unmasking Daws
Showcasing Daws' Talent
Daws' Song
Honorable Mentions: the Other Voices
Walter's Radio Career
Walter's Radio Career Part 2
A 19th Century Carousel
Sound Bites
Peabody's Pony Express
About us
Email us
Mission Statement

The Phil Harris and Alice Faye Show:(continued)

The Phil Harris and Alice Faye Show began around the fall or winter of 1946 and it ran well into 1954. This is surely a testament to how good the show was, since it lasted that long into the era of TV. By 1954, of course, "Uncle Miltie Berle" had already been around for roughly six years, in his own TV series. Milton Berle has always been credited as the guy who helped sell a ton of TV sets.

One interesting fact, that I learned on Phil Harris, as I read about the show: for those of us who are baby boomers, we will surely remember the Walt Disney movie, The Jungle Book. Harris played the voice of animated Baloo, the Bear. If that wasn't the top role, in that cartoon, it was at least # 2. Who could ever forget that song, that he sang?:

"Look for the..........Bear Necessities, the simple Bear Necessities.........Forget about your worries and your strife! I mean the.........Bear Necessities of Mother Nature's recipes that bring the Bear Necessities of life!"

Or, also, from that same song the lines:

"The bees are buzzing in the trees to make some honey just for me!...........When you look under the rocks and plants, and take a the fancy ants, and maybe........try a few!!..........."

Now for some of the differences, between the Harris and Faye series and the Gildersleeve series (and an explanation, in at least some instances, why I liked the Gildersleeve series better). Unlike, Harold Peary, who played a fictional character, in Gildersleeve, Phil and Alice Faye played themselves. They also played themselves doing the exact same profession: the stars of their own radio show. Of course there was some fiction, thrown into this reality. Phil Harris played a version of himself, which was, hopefully, far removed from the real Phil Harris.

Like Gildersleeve, Phil Harris was conceited and arrogant. He did not come off, quite as lovable, however (for me, anyway), because the things, that he was conceited about, had to do with matters that I cannot relate to, very well: his life as a bandleader, a singer and an actor. In short, he was stuck on himself, as a celebrity. With Gildy, however, you couldn't help but love him, "warts and all", because he was a simple family man. He was also very good with his nephew/son, Leroy. Gildersleeve had a very big heart, as imperfect as he was. In addition, he also had very strong convictions, about what was best for his community. He was practically a pillar of Summerfield (his town) and he got involved in trying to improve this town, on many an occasion. He also had quite a few very devoted friends, who accepted him, despite the wind bag that he was. The ladies, in his life, also seemed to really dote on him, with fierce loyalty, as dysfunctional as he could sometimes be. The fictional Phil Harris, had a much, much more inflated ego, since he was famous.

The relationship of Phil Harris, and his best friend, Frankie/Elliott, was also quite different from the relationship of Gildersleeve, with his best friend (and simultaneous arch enemy) Judge Horace Hooker. Gildersleeve and Hooker were portrayed as much more intelligent. Both were college men and, of course, the judge was an elected official, as well as an attorney. Gildersleeve, as the town's Water Commissioner, was also an elected official.

Next Page