Love That Mistletoe: A Forgotten Sitcom Christmas

Welcome to a new Wildcard Wednesday! As Sitcom Tuesdays prepare to dive back into the 1950s, it’s unfortunate that not all of the series I’d like to cover can be covered. One of these is The Bob Cummings Show (1955-1959, NBC/CBS) — known in syndication as Love That Bob — for although I have almost every episode (just missing four, with another few that are incomplete — most from KXTX airings), the fact that it isn’t on TV right now and only a handful of public domain entries are findable on home video (or YouTube) means it’s an unideal candidate for full coverage. This is sad, because The Bob Cummings Show is a very witty — and character-driven — series, with a premise revolving around a bachelor loathrio who belies many of the stereotypes persisting in our collective imagination about ’50s TV…

But, if I can’t cover the series in full, I can at least share an episode with you — an outing from Christmas Eve 1957, “Bob’s Christmas Party.” Directed by Cummings and written by creator Paul Henning, along with Dick Wesson and Shirl Gordon, this fourth season excursion won’t win any points for being a holiday staple. But it’s an excuse to see the series congregate its regular cast of familiar faces — Cummings, Rosemary DeCamp, Dwayne Hickman, and Ann B. Davis — along with several of its most memorable recurring players, including Lyle Talbot, Ingrid Goude, King Donovan, and the hilarious Nancy Kulp. It’s congenial sitcom fun, with a light plot and a couple of nice laughs. Hope it’s as merry-making for you as it is for me!



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