Manage episode 246154223 series 9607
Springtime Woes (Aired April 30, 1953)
The series began August 25, 1949, on NBC Radio. Set in the Midwest, it starred Robert Young as General Insurance agent Jim Anderson. His wife Margaret was first portrayed by June Whitley and later by Jean Vander Pyl. The Anderson children were Betty (Rhoda Williams), Bud (Ted Donaldson) and Kathy (Norma Jean Nillson). Others in the cast were Eleanor Audley, Herb Vigran and Sam Edwards. Sponsored through most of its run by General Foods, the series was heard Thursday evenings on NBC until March 25, 1954. The show is often regarded as an example of the conservative and paternalistic nature of American family life in the 1950s and it is also cited as an overly rosy portrayal of American family life. On the radio program, the character of Jim differs from the later television character. The radio Jim is far more sarcastic and shows he really "rules" over his family. Jim also calls his children names, something common on radio but lost in the TV series; for example, Jim says, "What a bunch of stupid children I have." Margaret is portrayed as a paragon of solid reason and patience, unless the plot calls for her to act a bit off. For example, in a Halloween episode, Margaret cannot understand how the table floats in the air, but that is a rare exception. Betty, on radio, is portrayed as a status seeking, boy-crazy teenage girl. To her, every little thing is "the worst thing that could ever happen." Bud, on radio, is portrayed as an "all-American" boy who always seems to need "just a bit more" money, though he gets $1.25 per week in allowance.