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Saturday, June 16, 2012

Wait Till Your Father Gets Home


It's Father's Day weekend this weekend, and I thought that I would use this opportunity to post two father themed entries. I have a special Sunday Jukebox planned for tomorrow, but I admit that I had a really tough time finding a topic for Saturday's entry. Mostly because any of the possible ideas that I could come up with, I have already talked about in this blog.

I really had to go way back into the part of my brain where my earliest childhood memories lay in order to come up with a suitable topic for today's discussion. And for some reason, there was this one program that I vaguely remember watching as a kid on Global Television back in the 1980s. There was very little that I remember about the show itself. I couldn't tell you what it was about, nor could I tell you what the names of the main characters were. But there were a few details about the show that I did remember. I remembered that the animation was quite basic, with a lot of empty white backgrounds. I remembered that one of the characters was voiced by the same guy who played the dad on “Happy Days”. And, I remember that the theme song kept repeating the words “wait 'til your father gets home” over and over again.

So, armed with this information, I did a quick Google search, hoping that this was enough to locate the show. I had figured that since the theme song had the words “wait 'til your father gets home” included in the lyrics, it had to be a show that I could talk about this Father's Day weekend. Little did I realize was that the song lyrics were all that I needed to find this mystery show!



The intro you just watched happens to be from the animated sitcom, “Wait Till Your Father Gets Home”, which aired in first-run syndication between 1972 and 1974. 



Although most people who did watch the program usually watched it on their NBC affiliates, where it ran for 48 episodes. It was produced by Hanna-Barbera. The show had its beginnings on the old ABC show “Love, American Style” in a segment called “Love and the Old-Fashioned Father”.

TRIVIA: Did you know that before it became a cartoon series, it was attempted as a live-action show? A pilot was even filmed featuring Van Johnson, but for whatever reason, it was not picked up.



Oh, and the “Happy Days” connection? Tom Bosley, who played the role of Howard Cunningham in “Happy Days” voiced the main character of “Wait Till Your Father Gets Home”. He voiced the character of Harry Boyle, who was almost similar to an animated version of “All In The Family's” Archie Bunker. In fact, the show was created with the popular CBS sitcom in mind.

Before I go on with the descriptions of the characters in this cartoon, I thought that I would post a few clips of episodes for all of you to watch. After all, the best way to introduce the characters of the show is for you to see how they interact with each other, right?

Okay, so I've posted three different episodes for you all to watch below. Click on the links below this paragraph to watch...


Before I go on, I should share with you a little bit of trivia in regards to that last episode I posted. “The New Car” brought forth a little bit of controversy. 



Apparently, a man named Cal Worthington, who sold cars in the Los Angeles area accused the show of using his persona to design the used car salesman featured in the episode, and actually sued Hanna-Barbera, Chevrolet (one of the show's main sponsors), as well as five NBC stations. But, I don't know exactly how the lawsuit ended, as I wasn't born when the show aired for the first time.



Anyway, back to the show discussion. I already talked about Harry Boyle a bit, but here's the rest of the Boyle family. There's Harry's wife, Irma (Joan Gerber), and his three children. Harry's daughter Alice (Kristina Holland), a heavy-set girl who fought for women's liberation rights. As well, Harry had two sons, Chet (David Hayward/Lennie Weinrib), and Jamie (Jackie Earle Haley/Willie Aames). Chet and Jamie could not be further apart from each other in personality. Chet had long-hair, was lazy, and constantly without a job. Jamie, on the other hand, was more conservative in thinking, and was as charming as well as mercenary.

Whenever there were family discussions, it became clear who the favourites of each parent were. Because Irma was more of a free-thinker than her husband, she often understood Alice and Chet more when their liberal thinking clashed with Harry's conservative ideas, although to the credit of Irma, she managed to stay in her zone of neutrality. Jamie, on the other hand, frequently sided with his father, out of a sign of sympathy.



But, lest you believe that Harry Boyle is the epitome of right-wing thinking, think again. Harry's neighbour, Ralph Kane (Jack Burns) was even more to the left of the political spectrum than Harry was, and he was a huge believer in every conspiracy theory under the sun. Together with his neighbour, Sara Whittaker, the two have essentially turned one section of the street into a virtual armed camp. Though Harry gets along with Ralph, even Harry concedes that Ralph's extreme attitude towards life is a little bit too extreme, even for him.

But the one thing that I can definitely say about “Wait Til Your Father Gets Home” is that despite all of the family squabbles and the obvious liberal/conservative divide that seems to be evident between Harry and his children (well, two of the three anyway), by the end of the episode, they can put all of their differences behind them, and still be a united family unit. And, I think that's a life lesson that all of us can learn.

Though, watching the show once more through adult eyes (I think I was five when Global was airing it), I find it hard to believe that Global once aired the show during the 5:30pm time slot on Saturdays...but then again, the show currently airs reruns of “Family Guy” on that station, so maybe they were a bit ahead of their time...

3 comments:

  1. Cal Worthington is still around!! I remember him and his ads as a kid!!

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  2. One more bit of trivia. Happy Days started as a pilot aired on Love American Style. Tom Bosley was one of the few that were in the pilot that ended up as a cast member. Many of the others were changed.

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  3. LOL...I remember Cal Worthington as well! He had the most annoying commercials. I used to love Wait Til Your Father Gets Home. Can't believe Cal sued them. I'll have to watch that episode to see if the car salesman character was as irritating as Cal.

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