Life Of Riley: Radio and TV Versions

Life of Riley is one show, that as far as I know can’t be seen on TV today, even though it was one of most popular situation comedies of the 1950’s.

Nostalgia and Now

Life of Riley debuted on radio on network radio on April 12, 1941 with Lionel Stander playing J. Riley Farnsworth.

However it was not nearly as popular as the later version which first appeared on January 16, 1944 on the Blue Network. This version starred William Bendix who had portrayed Babe Ruth in the Babe Ruth Story.

The show was moved to the NBC network on September 8, 1945 and would run on that network till June 29, 1951.

Chester A. Riley worked at an aircraft plant in the series and when something bad happened to him he was known for saying “What a revoltin’ development this is!”.

One of my favorite parts of the program is when the friendly undertaker Digby “Digger” Odell played by John Brown would talk to Riley. Digger would find a way to work in comments about digging graves and dying into every conversation


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Author: Andrew Godfrey

Retired from newspaper work after 38 years. Had served in the Army in Hawaii and Vietnam in the 60's. Am now retired and living in Sulphur, Louisiana.

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