CONELRAD: Mutated Television
The Addams Family


Mutated Television: Situation Comedies

The Cold War's influence can be felt throughout much of television sitcom history, but some shows really made the most out of the dropping of the Iron Curtain. What follows is a sampling of some notable episodes from familiar shows of the era. And for those of you out there who think that the Cold War's impact on popular culture is over estimated, just remember that if it weren't for the Soviets, the castaways on Gilligan's Island never would have made it home alive.

THE ADDAMS FAMILY
Created by Charles Addams for the New Yorker magazine and adapted for television by David Levy.
1964 - 1966
ABC
64 episodes (B&W) 30 min./One TV Reunion Movie with different cast

Gomez Addams: John Astin
Morticia Addams: Carolyn Jones
Wednesday Addams: Lisa Loring
Pugsley Addams: Ken Weatherwax
Grandmama Addams: Blossom Rock
Uncle Fester: Jackie Coogan
Lurch: Ted Cassidy
Cousin Itt: Felix Silla
Thing: Ted Cassidy's hand

SERIES PREMISE
An eccentric, independently wealthy attorney and his bizarre, ghoulish family wreak havoc on suburban America.

The Addams Family Meets the VIPs
Episode 11; orig. airdate 11/27/64
Written by Keith Fowler & Phil Leslie
Directed by Sidney Lanfield
Synopsis: Visiting Russian officials mistake the Addams Family for the average American family. After they witness Morticia's man-eating plant, Fester's unique use of electricity and Pugsley's "disintegrator gun," they conclude that the U.S. has a substantial lead in technology.
Note: When the Russians stick a pin the telephone book to randomly select an American family, Morticia feels a sharp pain in her back.

The Addams Family Meets the Undercover Man
Episode 16; orig. airdate 01/08/65
Written by Harry Winkler & Hannibal Coons
Directed by Arthur Lubin
Synopsis: A government agent enlists the Addams' mailman as he tries to determine the nature of mysterious radio signals emanating from the Addams' mansion.

FATHER KNOWS BEST
Produced by Eugene Rodney and Robert Young
1949 - 1954 (NBC Radio)
1954 - 1963 (B&W) 30 min./Two TV reunion movies
NBC/CBS

Jim Anderson: Robert Young
Margaret Anderson: Jane Wyatt
Betty Anderson (Princess): Elinor Donahue
James Anderson, Jr. (Bud): Billy Gray
Kathy Anderson (Kitten): Lauren Chapin

SERIES PREMISE
The domestic adventures of the Anderson family of Springfield, USA.

24 Hours in Tyrant Land 1959--Never Aired*
Writer/Director Unknown
Synopsis: The Anderson children attempt to live for a day under a make-believe dictatorship.
* This program was underwritten by the U.S. Treasury Department to promote their 1959 Savings Bond Drive. It was distributed to churches, schools and civic organizations to illustrate the importance of maintaining a strong American democracy.

GET SMART
Created by Mel Brooks and Buck Henry
1965 - 1970
NBC/CBS
138 original episodes (Color) 30 min./One feature film and one TV reunion movie

Maxwell Smart (Agent 86): Don Adams
Agent 99: Barbara Feldon
Thaddeus, the Chief of CONTROL: Edward Platt
Conrad Siegfried: Bernie Koppell
Hymie: Dick Gautier
Larrabee: Robert Karvelas
Agent 13: Dave Ketchum

SERIES PREMISE
American intelligence agency CONTROL must contain international terrorist organization KAOS. This is the classic spy satire made possible by the Cold War and Ian Fleming's character James Bond. Every episode is Cold War related.

GILLIGAN'S ISLAND
Created by Sherwood Schwartz
1964 - 1967
CBS
98 original episodes (B&W/Color) 30 min./Three TV reunion movies

Gilligan: Bob Denver
Jonas Grumby (the Skipper): Alan Hale, Jr.
Thurston Howell III: Jim Backus
Lovey Howell: Natalie Schafer
Ginger Grant: Tina Louise
Prof. Roy Hinkley: Russell Johnson
Mary Ann Summers: Dawn Wells

SERIES PREMISE
Two crewmembers and five tourists (collectively: "castaways") aboard the S. S. Minnow shipwreck on a deserted island. Screwball misadventures ensue as they attempt to get off the island.

X Marks the Spot
Episode 18
Written by Sherwood and Elroy Schwartz
Directed by Jack Arnold
Guest starring Harry Lauter as Gen. Bryant
Synopsis: Thanks to their radio, the castaways learn that as part of Operation Poundcake, the Pentagon will target a deserted island in the Pacific at 140 degrees Longitude and 10 degrees Latitude for the testing of a new missile. The Pentagon further announces that the missile will destroy everything within a hundred-mile radius of the target area. The castaways ponder the end of their existence.
Note: When the missile lands on the island unexploded, its guidance system locks onto Gilligan and follows his movements.

Nyet, Nyet - Not Yet
Episode 45
Written by Adela T. Strassfield & Bob Riordan
Directed by Jack Arnold
Guest starring Vincent Beck and Danny Legra
Synopsis: A Soviet space capsule (HO CBTA) splashes down in the lagoon and two cosmonauts come ashore to introduce themselves as Ivan and Igor. They promise the castaways that the Soviet navy will rescue them all and take them to Moscow. The Professor suspects the cosmonauts of being duplicitous and believes they have landed on the island in order to establish a base. The cosmonauts in turn suspect the castaways of being spies from a covert American space program.
Note: When Gilligan and the Professor sneak aboard the capsule to radio for help, they notice that the cabin is adorned with a framed photograph of Lenin.
Note: The cosmonaut's provisions include vodka.
Note: The castaways learn of the cosmonauts' successful rescue from a Tass news service report.

Forward March
Episode 58
Written by Jack Raymond
Directed by Jerry Hopper
Synopsis: A gorilla on the island discovers a crate of unused WWII munitions and begins shelling the castaways. Gilligan befriends the ape and leads him to the lagoon where they finish exploding all the ammunition. The last explosive in the crate is a red disk which Gilligan dutifully hands to the animal. He throws it out into the lagoon and moments later a huge mushroom cloud engulfs the horizon.

Meet the Meteor
Episode 68
Written by Elroy Schwartz
Directed by Jack Arnold
Synopsis: A meteor crashes on the island and the Professor builds a Geiger counter out of bamboo. Later the castaways don lead suits to protect themselves from the meteor's "cosmic rays."

Gilligan vs. Gilligan
Episode 70
Written by Joanna Lee
Directed by Jerry Hopper
Synopsis: A Russian spy made to look like Gilligan through plastic surgery has been sent to spy on the castaways for 48 hours. The Soviets suspect the castaways are engaged in top secret work on the island.
Note: The spy has a 200-function pocketknife complete with laser beam.

Pass the Vegetables Please
Episode 71
Written by Elroy Schwartz
Directed by Leslie Goodwins
Synopsis: While fishing on the lagoon, Gilligan reels in a crate of vegetable seeds. He is so excited by his catch that he doesn't notice that the top of the crate reads "WARNING: EXPERIMENTAL RADIOACTIVE SEEDS." The castaways plant the seeds and they grow alarmingly fast and large. Gilligan eats spinach and develops super human strength; Mary Ann eats carrots and develops telescopic vision; Mrs. Howell eats beets and experiences bursts of energy.

Rescue from Gilligan's Island
NBC TV movie aired in two parts: 10/14 - 10/21/78
Written by Sherwood, Elroy and Al Schwartz and David P. Hartman
Directed by Leslie Martinson
Synopsis: Gilligan finds a small metallic disk near the lagoon which he gives to the Professor who uses it to complete work on a barometer he had been building. Soon after it is finished, the barometer detects a massive tsunami headed toward the island. The castaways lash their huts together and ride the storm almost all the way back to Hawaii. They are eventually spotted by the Coast Guard and escorted back to civilization. The castaways' well-publicized "rescue" and the role the disk played in the detection of the storm comes to the attention of the Kremlin. The Soviets recognize the disk as a key component to a super secret satellite. Two bumbling KGB agents are dispatched to retrieve the disk--which is now worn by Gilligan as a good luck medallion around his neck. Eventually, the FBI arrest the spies and the disk is handed over to the U.S. government for further study.

I DREAM OF JEANNIE
Created by Sidney Sheldon
1965 - 1970
NBC
139 episodes (B&W/Color) 30 min./Two TV movies with Barbara Eden

Capt./Maj. Anthony Nelson: Larry Hagman
Jeannie: Barbara Eden
Jeannie (Jeannie's cousin): Barbara Eden
Capt./Major Roger Healey" Bill Daily
Col. Dr. Alfred Bellows: Hayden Rorke
Amanda Bellows: Emmaline Henry
Gen. Winfield Schaefer: Vinton Hayworth
Gen. Wingard Stone: Philip Ober
Gen. Martin Peterson: Barton MacLane
Melissa Stone: Karen Sharpe

SERIES PREMISE
Capt. Anthony Nelson's space capsule, the Stardust One, lands off course on a deserted island in the Pacific. While waiting for a rescue party on the beach he discovers an ancient bottle which he uncorks. To his astonishment a trail of smoke pours out of the bottle which subsequently takes human form. The entity Capt. Nelson has freed from the bottle is a 2000-year-old blonde female genie who now insists that he is her "master." He grants her her freedom, but she refuses it and winds up following him back to Cocoa Beach, FLA. where he is based. The first several episodes concern Jeannie's efforts to sabotage Capt. Nelson's engagement to a General's daughter. Thereafter the series revolved around Jeannie getting her master and his best friend Roger Healey (he learns of Jeannie's identity and powers in the 17th episode) in all kinds of bizarre predicaments. These hijinks arouse the suspicions of Dr. Bellows, the staff psychiatrist who is forever trying to expose Nelson.

Russian Roulette
Episode 13; airdate 12/11/65
Written by Arthur Alsberg & Bob Fisher
Directed by Gene Nelson
Guest star: Arlene Martel as Sonia
Synopsis: Sonia, an aggressive and beautiful cosmonaut, steals Jeannie's bottle (with Jeannie in it) after discovering it possesses magical powers.

Richest Astronaut in the World
Episode 17; airdate 1-15-66
Written by Sidney Sheldon
Directed by E.W. Swackhamer
Synopsis: Roger hopes to become rich and powerful upon accidentally releasing Jeannie from her bottle (and thus becoming her new master). Tony thwarts Roger by suggesting to Dr. Bellows that his friend is living way above the means of an astronaut's salary. Bellows suspects Roger of selling secrets to the Russians.

My Master the Spy
Episode 48; airdate 1-16-67
Written by Sidney Sheldon
Directed by Hal Cooper
Jeannie persuades Tony to have lunch in Paris while his "double" attends a top secret meeting at NASA. When Tony is spotted in Paris he is suspected of being a double agent.

The Case of My Vanishing Master
Parts One and Two
episodes 100/101; airdates 1/6/69 and 1/13/69
Written by James Henerson
Directed by Hal Cooper
Synopsis: A security leak prompts Bellows to send Tony to a secure location to complete modifications on plans for the Apollo 12 capsule. Meanwhile, a Nelson double from an enemy state seeks to steal classified information.

See You in Cuba
Episode 121; airdate 11/4/69
Written by John McGreevey
Directed by Hal Cooper
Synopsis: Tony's T-38 experimental jet mistakenly lands in Cuba because of Jeannie's interference. He is taken prisoner.

Never Put a Genie on a Budget
Episode 127; airdate 12/30/69
Written by Sidney Sheldon
Directed by Oscar Rudolph
Guest star: Noam Pitlik
Synopsis: Tony puts Jeannie on a "budget" after she over spends on his credit cards. She rebels by becoming absurdly frugal. Meanwhile, Tony is assigned to entertain Gregorian, a visiting cosmonaut. Gregorian is shocked by the poverty in which Tony seemingly lives and offers him money to help him "get back on his feet."

THE LUCY-DESI COMEDY HOUR
1957 - 1960
CBS
(B&W)

Lucy Ricardo: Lucille Ball
Ricky Ricardo: Desi Arnaz
Ethel Mertz: Vivian Vance
Fred Mertz: William Frawley
Little Ricky: Richard Keith

SERIES PREMISE
An expanded version of "I Love Lucy."

Lucy Hunts Uranium
Airdate 01/03/58
Guest Star: Fred MacMurray
Synopsis: While Ricky entertains in Las Vegas, Lucy recruits movie star Fred MacMurray to assist her in prospecting for uranium.

THE MANY LOVES OF DOBIE GILLIS
Created by Max Shulman
1959 - 1963
CBS
147 episodes (B&W) 30 min.; two TV movies

Dobie Gillis: Dwayne Hickman
Maynard G. Krebs: Bob Denver
Duncan Krebs: Michael J. Pollard
Thalia Menninger: Tuesday Weld
Herbert T. Gillis: Frank Faylen
Winifred Gillis: Florida Friebus
Zelda Gilroy: Sheila Kuehl
Milton Armitage: Warren Beatty

SERIES PREMISE
The coming-of-age of an introspective young man and his beatnik friend.

Episode 42; airdate 10/10/60
Dobie, Maynard and Zelda discuss alien possession and suspect a woman of being an alien.

The Mystic Powers of Maynard G. Krebs
Episode 45; airdate 10/27/60
Written by Max Shulman
Synopsis: Maynard has temporary ESP, which will allow him to predict the outcome of the Nixon/Kennedy presidential election.

Spaceville
Episode 67; airdate 4/10/61
Synopsis: Maynard and a chimp get launched into space.

Eat, Drink and be Merry - For Tomorrow: Ker-Boom
Episode 83; 9/15/61
Written and Directed by Guy Scarpitta
Synopsis: The junior college is going to replace an old time capsule with a new one. Maynard is skeptical because he believes the world is going to be blown up before anyone will ever get a chance to see the new time capsule. He spends the episode predicting doom and criticizing the project until the old capsule is opened. Inside, a newspaper from 1914 with a headline predicting war and the end of the world is found. Maynard realizes that maybe things aren't as dire as he had originally thought.

I Was a Spy for the F.B.O
Episode 17; airdate 1/17/63
Written by Bud Nye
Directed by Thomas Montgomery
Synopsis: Maynard and the Gillises go to Washington, D.C. and get caught up in foreign intrigue when Maynard is mistaken by "foreign" agents of being a renowned scientist. The agents attempt to kidnap him.

MISTER ED
1961 - 1965
Syndicated; CBS
143 episodes (B&W) 30min.

Wilbur Post: Alan Young
Voice of Mr. Ed: Allan "Rocky" Lane
Carol Post: Connie Hines

SERIES PREMISE
Wilber Post is an architect who buys a country estate that comes complete with a horse. At first he is urged by his wife to sell the "nag." Wilbur decides to keep him and soon discovers it is super intelligent palomino with the power of speech. Unfortunately, Ed will only speak to Wilbur so he is unable to prove it to anyone. All sorts of problems and misunderstandings take place because of Ed's propensity for mischief.

COLD WAR THEMED EPISODES
The last several episodes of the series concerned Mr. Ed and Wilbur assisting an American intelligence organization known as the "S.I.A."

MUNSTERS, THE
1964 - 1966
CBS
70 episodes (B&W) 30min.; one feature film; one reunion TV movie

Herman Munster: Fred Gwynne
Lily Munster: Yvonne De Carlo
Edward Wolfgang Munster: Butch Patrick
Granpa Munster: Al Lewis
Marilyn (ep. 1-13): Beverly Owen
Marilyn (ep. 14-70): Pat Priest

SERIES PREMISE
The Munsters were an extraordinarily odd family who lived in the average American suburban neighborhood of Mockinghbird Heights. Herman, the bumbling patriarch held a menial position at the funeral home Gateman, Goodbury and Graves. Grampa Munster was a 350 year old vampire/inventor who periodically turned into a bat. Eddie Munster was Herman and Lily's son who looked like he was in permanent transition from human-to-wolfboy or vice versa. Niece Marilyn was a traditionally beautiful blonde who was pitied by the family for her ugliness. They had a pet dragon named Spot. Episodes revolved around the family's interaction with normal visitors.

COLD WAR THEMED EPISODES
Herman, the Master Spy
Episode 40; airdate 9/23/65
Written by Douglas Tibbles
Directed by Ezra Stone
Synopsis: A Russian trawler picks up a scuba diving Herman in its haul of fish. The fishermen mistake Herman for the missing link and report their find to the commissar. They are excited because they think this will put them ahead in the "missing link race." The commissar replies that Herman is really an American spy.

Note: The fisherman inform Herman that they learned to speak English from watching "Dobie Gillis" re-runs.

MY FAVORITE MARTIAN
1963 - 1966
CBS
107 episodes (B&W) 30min.

Uncle Martin: Ray Walson
Tim O'Hara: Bill Bixby
Mrs. Lorelei Brown: Pamela Britton
Det. Bill Brennan: Alan Hewitt

SERIES PREMISE
Reporter Tim O'Hara happens upon a crashed saucer one night and finds that its human-looking pilot is an extraterrestrial from Mars. He winds up harboring the alien in the guise of his visiting "Uncle Martin."

COLD WAR THEMED EPISODES
Russians 'R' in Season
Episode 4; airdate 10/20/63
Written by James Komack
Directed by Alan Rafkin
Guest star: Richard Deacon
Synopsis: Martin is suspected of being a Soviet spy when he informs scientists working in the U.S. space program that their latest 2 billion dollar project won't work.

The Atom Misers
Episode 11; airdate 12/15/63
Written by James Menzie
Directed by Oscar Rudolph
Synopsis: Martin helps a 13-year-old genius build a cyclotron for a school project. Martin needs the device to obtain an unknown element for repairs on his spaceship.

Girl in the Flying Machine
episode 85; airdate 11/14/65
Written by Blanche Hanalis
Directed by Mel Ferber
Guest stars: Jill Ireland; Bernie Kopell
Synopsis: A test of Martin's spaceship's magnet almost causes an international incident when it causes a "foreign" spaceship and its female pilot to crash land in America.

The PATTY DUKE SHOW
1963 - 1966
ABC
104 episodes (B&W) 30min. One reunion TV movie

SERIES PREMISE
Wacky coming-of-age stories centered on an American teenage girl and her identical twin cousin from Scotland.

Patty/Cathy Lane: Patty Duke
Martin Lane: William Schallert
Natalie Masters: Jean Byron
Ross Lane" Paul O'Keefe

Patty, the Diplomat
Guest Star: Kathy Garver
Synopsis: As a class assignment, Patty must write to a government official. Problems arise when she chooses the President of the Soviet Presidium.
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