Christmas in Wistful Vista
Old Time Radio Christmas Shows
When a sitcom lasts more than one season we expect that they will do a Christmas show. It may be an FCC regulation. This seems like it would be tough, especially for TV Sitcoms that are recorded in previous months.
The Granddaddy of all sitcoms, Fibber McGee and Molly gave us lots of wonderful Christmas programs over their 24 years run. Modern sitcoms seem to be satisfied with just one nod to the holidays in the season, but Fibber and Molly seemed to have a Christmas themed episode almost every week in December most years. Maybe it is because Jim and Marian Jordan were an actual couple raising kids that helped them find the extra Christmas cheer. Perhaps Writer Don Quinn was always just a big kid at heart. It is hard to know now, but my theory is that Harlow Wilcox and the Johnson Wax Company were living out a large Santa Complex.
In the Dec 10, 1940, broadcast we find Fibber and Molly trying desperately to get their Christmas packages mailed. Not only is there the long line at the post office to deal with, but Fibber gets talked into mailing Gildersleeve's packages as well. Then they discover that Fiber has stood them in the wrong line for three hours at the post office!
On Dec 24 that year there is more confusion in the McGee household. They receive a large package addressed to Gildersleeve, an expensive radio-phonograph combination. And Fibber wastes little time breaking the expensive gadget. Now they have to scurry to replace it before Gildersleeve finds out, but in the end they discover that it is Gildy's present to Fibber!
The next year the Pearl Harbor Attack is on everyone's mind, but life goes on in Wistful Vista. Fibber is determined not to spend money on a Christmas tree, so in the Dec 16 episode he takes to the woods to cut his own. In order to avoid spending a couple bucks on a tree he winds up losing his hatchet and watch in the snow in addition to needing to get the tire on his car fixed!
The Christmas Eve episode of 1946 is a special program. Fibber notes that the broadcast rarely falls on Christmas Eve. Teeny, the young girl character played by Marian Jordan in addition to Molly, has talked Fibber into fixing some broken toys to give to less fortunate children. In Fibber's competent hands, broken toys soon become destroyed toys! So that the kids still have a happy Christmas, Fibber spends all of the McGee's Christmas money on new toys. Teeny, with the help of the Kings Men vocal group finishes the show with a beautiful rendition of Clement C. Moore's The Night Before Christmas.