Today marks the 60th anniversary of NBC sitcom Blondie, which debuted January 4th, 1957. It was the first of two television adaptations of Chic Young’s long-running comic strip. I should say the first successful TV adaptation because two unsold pilots came before it, the first in 1952 (with Jeff Donnell as Blondie and Glenn Vernon as Dagwood) and the second in 1954 (with Pamela Britton as Blondie and Hal LeRoy as Dagwood).
The third version brought back Britton as Blondie. Arthur Lake, who portrayed Dagwood in a long-running film series from 1938 to 1950, returned to his famous role. Stuffy Singer and Ann Barnes played the Bumstead children, Alexander and Cookie. Rounding out the cast were Florenz Ames as J. C. Dithers, Elvia Allman as Cora Dithers, Hal Peary as Herb Woodley, and Hollis Irving as Harriet Woodley.
NBC aired a total of 26 episodes of Blondie between January and June 1957. To be honest, I’ve only watched a handful. Like so many sitcoms, it can perhaps be best described as harmless.
As far as I know, the series isn’t in the public domain but there have been a few questionable VHS and DVD releases. If you’re interested in checking it out, you can find many of the episodes on YouTube. The video quality isn’t great but that’s typical for YouTube.
Read more about the 1957 version of Blondie in my Blondie on TV article.
Do you remember watching Blondie on NBC in 1957 or in syndication in the years following its network run? Hit the comments with your memories.