Tuesday, April 02, 2013

FORGOTTEN TV: THE LIFE OF RILEY



I barely remember this one. William Bendix played Chester Riley, a working stiff, who is famous for his malapropisms and his innocent ability to cause trouble. It was a very basic show but popular for about five years in the mid-fifties. His catchphrase was, "What a revolting development this is."

We were simple folks then, happy just to have a screen to stare at.

10 comments:

Anonymous said...

Never watched it, ever.

My late father in law had a lot in common with William Bendix, especially the "dese dem dose" Brooklynese both spoke.


Jeff M.

Todd Mason said...

The radio series it was spun off from was genuinely clever and well-written...I haven't seen the tv version yet, so don't don't know how good or bad it was in comparison, but certainly the radio sitcom compares favorably with, say, THE BIG BANG THEORY...

Bill Crider said...

I hear the radio series now and then on XM. I'm a Digger O'Dell fan.

Richard R. said...

I did watch some of it, and found it fun in a predicable way. Never heard the radio show. Sometimes I think we'd be better off if things were as they were back in the mid-late 50s, cold war and all.

Dan_Luft said...

I watched it growing up. Channel 9 out of New York showed reruns of it quite frequently. It was a very basic show. The fun of it was built on Bendix himself who had a great face, great voice and good timing. The Riley character seemed a bit like the inspiration for Al Bundy.

Cap'n Bob said...

I watched it as a child and thought it was great. Didn't Jackie Gleason play Riley originally, or in the pilot?

Anonymous said...

Cap'n: Bendix was in the original radio version but when they did the first television series in 1949 he was involved in the movie version and they wouldn't let him do the TV show too. Gleason starred that first "truncated" season (26 shows, instead of the 39 they were doing then).

They brought it back in 1953 with Bendix and it ran for six seasons.

Jeff M.

Ron Scheer said...

I remember the radio series; I don't think we had TV yet during the show's television run. Digger O'Dell's famous line was "Guess I'll be . . . shoveling off." I enjoy seeing Bendix show up in old movies, like Lucille Ball's THE DARK CORNER (1946).

Taylor401306 said...

There was a "Life of Riley"(1948) movie.

pattinase (abbott) said...

I think I may have seen it.