What Ever Happened to George and Alice Goeble?

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The British know when something is funny. That is why they edited old television shows and rebroadcast The George Goebel Show, The Bob Hope Show, The Sid Caesar Show and The Steve Allen Show.

According to http://www.bbc.co.uk/comedy/guide/
georgegobelshowt_1299001248.shtml [http://www.bbc.co.uk/comedy/guide/articles/g/georgegobelshowt_1299001248.shtml] they broadcast one after another week after week.

We find at the referenced web site and I quote:

“George Gobel (born George Goebel in Chicago on 20 May 1920) was a child singing star on the radio who became a major TV success in the USA in the 1950s with his easy-going comedy style. His method was to look at life from the point of view of a somewhat bewildered, henpecked little man, and his catchphrase ‘Well I’ll be a dirty bird’ was famous all across the States. The most popular sketches on his show featured Gobel and his screen wife Alice (played by Phyllis Avery).”

The British copied the 1957-1959 versions of the show.

George was on Hollywood Squares.

Following are a few excerpts from http://www.digitaldreamdoor.com/pages/quotes/hollywoodsq.html. You will want to go there to read the unedited, unscripted quips of some of the most famous stars of that show.

Peter Marshall: What are “Do It”, “I Can Help” and “Can’t Get Enough”?

George Gobel: I don’t know but it’s coming from the next apartment.

Peter Marshall: If you find someone lying unconscious in the street, should you do anything?

George Goebel: I’d probably crawl around him I guess.

Peter Marshall: True or false…a pea can last as long as 5,000 years.

George Gobel: Boy, it sure seems that way sometimes.

Peter Marshall: True or false, George…experts say there are only seven or eight things in the world dumber than an ant.

George Gobel: Yes, and I think I voted for six of ’em.

Peter Marshall: While visiting China, your tour guide starts shouting “Poo! Poo! Poo!” What does that mean?

George Goebel: Cattle crossing.

Peter Marshall: Back in the old days, when Great Grandpa put horseradish on his head, what was he trying to do?

George Gobel: Get it in his mouth.

At http://www.firstamendmentcenter.org/about.aspx?id=12267 we can read Tom Smothers ‘Speaking Freely’ transcript (Recorded May 29, 2001, in New York.)

Ken Paulson: Welcome to “Speaking Freely,” a weekly conversation about free expression and America. I’m Ken Paulson. Today we’re joined by a man whose inventive comedy with the Smothers Brothers made us laugh and made us think. We’re delighted to welcome Tom Smothers. Great to have you here.

Tom Smothers: Thank you.

Paulson: I got a kick out of reading your bio, indicating that you were once a big fan of George Goebel.

Smothers: I saw George Goebel when I was 15 years old on the “Ed Sullivan Show.” And I said, “God, that is pretty good! I’d like to do that!”

I remember his first routine I saw was he lost his bowling ball. And he explained it to the police, he reported it stolen or lost. And they said, “Describe it.” He said, “Well, it’s round and it’s black with three holes in it.”

They said, “Well, are the holes on the top or the bottom?”

…It just went on and on without any real jokes. And I said, “I’d like to do that.”

Before I knew I wanted to be a professional … and George Goebel played the guitar. He had a great big guitar. They took his guitar away. Not many people know that, but he was pretty good.

George Goebel was much like Jack Benny. He was laidback, great at situation comedy, and lovable.

I think I read somewhere that The George Goebel Show was one of those that were not recorded or the recordings were destroyed or lost.

Too bad!

Where are you, George?

Copyright©John T. Jones, Ph.D.2005

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