Burns & Allen Play The Columbia House (II)

Welcome to a new Wildcard Wednesday! Last year, I offered access to three unedited episodes of the classic ’50s sitcom, The George Burns And Gracie Allen Show (1950-1958, CBS), taken from the Columbia House VHS tapes of the early 1990s. Well, I want to share three more — with subscribers who comment below to alert me of their private, non-commercial interest…

They’re three of my favorite episodes — the last three excursions from the third season (1952-1953), the first shot on film. They are “Gracie Sees A Hold-Up; Johnny Velvet,” “Gracie And George Locked Out Of Their House,” and “Gracie At Department Store.” All three of these episodes debuted in August 1953 — 70 years ago this month! — and were featured here among the best of their season. In fact, they each boast strong comic ideas that the series reused — two were remade in the final year, while the other was actually a remake of a live entry. But these are all from the era that I would call “classic Burns & Allen” — the filmed period where it’s just the two couples in Beverly Hills. Many of the show’s funniest narrative setups were produced (for either the first time, or the first time on film) during these seasons.

So, here’s your chance to enjoy three of the show’s finest episodes with all of their original sponsored elements (from Carnation and/or B.F. Goodrich), just as they would have first aired in August 1953. As an excerpt, here is the final commercial and goodnight from “Gracie At Department Store” — it’s as if you’re back there on August 17, 1953!



Come back next week for a new Wildcard! And stay tuned Monday for another musical rarity!