50th Anniversary of My World and Welcome to It

Acclaimed one season wonder My World and Welcome To It celebrates its 50th anniversary today. The sitcom premiered September 15th, 1969 on NBC. Based on the life and work of writer and cartoonist James Thurber, it starred William Windom, Joan Hotchkis, and Lisa Gerritsen.

Not all critics were impressed with the show, despite its reputation as a critical darling. Jack Gould called the debut episode “hackneyed gibberish relieved only by an occasional Thurber drawing” in a review for The New York Times. See what other critics had to say by reading my in-depth article about My World and Welcome To It.

Low ratings led NBC to cancel the show at the end of the 1969-1970 season, inspiring some viewers to write the network in protest. My World and Welcome To It earned an Outstanding Comedy Series award at the 22nd Annual Emmy Awards in May 1970. Windom won in the Outstanding Continued Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role in a Comedy Series category.

During the summer of 1972, CBS aired select repeats of My World and Welcome To It. It also aired on cable channel WGN in the early 1990s.

Do you remember watching My World and Welcome To It? Were you disappointed when NBC cancelled the show? Would you buy it on DVD?

4 Replies to “50th Anniversary of My World and Welcome to It”

  1. I was a child when My World and Welcome To It aired and, though it wasn’t one of my favorite shows, my family watched it and I liked it well enough, but I often didn’t understand the cartoons “John Monroe” drew. I knew nothing about James Thurber, and thought the drawings were created just for the series.

    Several years later I started seeing reprints of Thurber cartoons and remembered them being on the TV show. I now own the book “A Thurber Carnival,” which contains the story “The Topaz Cufflinks Mystery” about a motorcycle cop who came upon people along a nighttime highway who were trying to see if human eyes looked the same as animal eyes when seen in car headlights. When I first read the story I recalled that one of the show’s episodes had a scene similar to the story. Though I can’t remember much about the series parts of it must have impressed me, since I was able recognize bits of the show in original James Thurber works.

  2. When I first watched My World & Welcome To It on BBC2 in the UK, I found it quite enjoyable, a few years before, I saw a UPA cartoon called Unicorn in the Garden, based on Thurber’s cartoon drawings, so I was fairly familiar about Thurber before My World & Welcome To It began. Happily, this delightful series was shown again around 1973, not long after British TV’s Channel Four started.

  3. Sometime during spring 1970, TV Guide had an item stating that NBC President Mort Werner himself wrote a latter protesting this show’s cancellation. He admitted though that it couldn’t overcome its bad ratings.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.