Remember that one day when you could wake up without an alarm? When you would get your favorite bowl of cereal and sit between the hours of 8 and 12? This is a blog dedicated to the greatest time of our childhood: Saturday mornings. The television programs you watched, the memories attached to them, and maybe introducing you to something you didn't realize existed. Updated every weekend.
Room For Daddy was a sitcom starring Danny Thomas as successful
comedian and nightclub entertainer Danny Williams. The series centered on
Williams’ always being constantly busy with work and away from his family,
leaving his wife Margaret (Jean
Hagen) often raising their children Rusty (Rusty Hamer) and Terry (Sherry Jackson) alone. This was
often the cause of tension between Danny and Margaret. Louise Beavers appeared as the
Williams’ maid, Louise, and often sided with Margaret in their arguments (she
would be replaced by Amanda
Randolph when she became ill). The show was only a modest hit. Hagen, who
didn’t get along with Thomas, left the show at the conclusion of the third
season once her contract expired. Knowing a divorce wouldn’t be tolerated by
television audiences, Thomas and producer Sheldon Leonard had her
character die off-screen; the first death of a character in a sitcom. The show
was also renamed The Danny Thomas Show for
the remainder of its run.
Danny Williams and his family Margaret, Rusty and Terry.
They decided that Danny needed a new wife
when the ratings began to decline, so Irish nurse Kathy O’Hara (Marjorie Lord) was introduced
in the fourth season to take care of Rusty when he was sick. She and Danny fell
in love and became engaged. ABC, who
originally aired the show, cancelled the show at the end of that season. CBS, looking for a replacement for the
just-ending I Love Lucy, picked up The Danny Thomas Show and put it in Lucy’s timeslot. Danny and Kathy were
married between the seasons, and Danny adopted her daughter, Linda (Angela Cartwright). Jackson,
who had a close friendship with Hagen, left the show when her contract ended in
the 6th season. She was replaced by Penney Parker for several
episodes before the character was written off entirely.
Danny Williams' new extended family, including Kathy and Linda.
Danny Thomas Show enjoyed an 11-season run by the time
Thomas and Lord were tired of their roles and Thomas ended the show. During
that time, the show had crossed over with several others including The Lucy-Desi Comedy Hour,
The Joey Bishop Show,
and The Dick Van Dyke Show. It
also led to the creation of two spin-offs: The Andy Griffith Show, starring
Griffith as Sheriff Andy
Taylor whom Williams had run across in his travels, and The Bill Dana
appeared several times as his most well-known character, Jose Jimenez.
Along with reruns, the cast returned for two reunion specials on NBC, The
Danny Thomas TV Family Reunion and Make
More Room For Daddy as part of The
Danny Thomas Hour. A third reunion, airing again on CBS, called Make Room For Granddaddyled to a one-season revival of the show before it was cancelled during the rural purge designed
to draw in younger viewers.