Because the program was transcribed and not broadcast live,
Gardner signed a contract with NBC to produce fifty-two transcribed
episodes for a one-year broadcast run.
Beginning September 28, NBC replaced the time slot for We, The People, sponsored by Gulf Gasoline.
- Episode #364 featured Hedda Hopper, often mis-credited with an
earlier broadcast date then listed above.
- Episode #296 was actually the same transcription of February 16,
1950, a repeat broadcast.
- Episode #404 was actually the same transcription of May 25, 1950,
a repeat broadcast.
- Season Eleven
(11/10/50 to 5/4/51) Friday
9:30 p.m., EST
- 383. (11/10/50)
Sir Cedric Hardwicke
- 384. (11/17/50)
Archie’s nephew Morton visits.
- 385. (11/24/50)
Archie helps his nephew Morton with homework, leading to a
visit by Morton’s teacher.
- 386. (12/1/50) The
Latin Night with Bobby Capo
- 387. (12/8/50)
- 388. (12/15/50)
- 389. (12/22/50)
- 390. (12/29/50)
Archie plans to cut the Tavern’s prices by 10%
- 391. (1/5/51)
Archie dates guest Joan Bennett
- 392. (1/12/51)
A lady visits from the draft board
- 393. (1/19/51)
The literary society meeting
- 394. (1/26/51)
The exclusive actor’s club with Vincent Price
- 395. (2/2/51)
Archie runs for political office
- 396. (2/9/51) The
mystery valentine, with guest Shelley Winters
- 397. (2/16/51)
Archie the hypnotist
- 398. (2/23/51)
Maxine Rosenbloom makes one of his many guest appearances.
- 399. (3/2/51)
Peter Stuyvesant’s 1670 diary with Arthur Treacher.
- 400. (3/9/51)
Archie writes an opera
- 401. (3/16/51)
The Fashion Lecture with Arthur Treacher
- 402. (3/23/51)
Bringing culture to the tavern with Arthur Treacher
- 403. (3/30/51)
Archie throws a block party with Bert Gordon, and guest Artie
- 404. (4/6/51)
The singing detective, with guest Rudy Vallee
- 405. (4/13/51)
The new floor show, with guest Maxie Rosenbloom
- 406. (4/20/51)
Archie, the lion tamer with Bert Gordon
book don’t balance, with guest Phil Baker
not broadcast on May 4, 1951. A
few collectors offer an episode about Latin Night with guest Bobby
Capo, dated May 4, but in reality, NBC began broadcasting The
Man Called X for a
two-month summer replacement in that same Friday evening time-slot.
- Season Twelve
(10/5/51 to 1/18/52) Friday
9 p.m., EST
Duffy decides to sell the tavern, Archie gets Boris Karloff to scare
off any buyers.
for columnists and the nation’s famous film critics.
nephew Morton visits.
(a repeat of episode #384)
helps with Morton’s schoolwork.
(a repeat of episode #385)
- 412. (11/2/51)
Archie invites Diego Dinero, wealthy South American, to
tavern for Spanish floorshow
- 413. (11/9/51)
The cultural singing contest
- 414. (11/16/51)
Deems Taylor is guest.
- 415. (11/23/51)
Archie open a tearoom in order to marry wealthy widow
- 416. (11/30/51)
A weighing machine predicts good luck for Archie, so he buys
- 417. (12/7/51)
Archie the father. Someone left a baby on the tavern doorstep.
- 418. (12/14/51)
Archie’s schoolteacher visits
- 419. (12/21/51)
Archie wants to split the atom
- 420. (12/28/51)
Archie enters a slogan contest and is sure that he’s won
the trip to Hawaii!
There are copies of these two broadcasts, 10/5 and 10/12,
that are circulating with the dates switched.
- These are
the correct dates, Karloff was definitely on the season premiere.
of what encyclopedias have been saying the past years, the final
episode of Duffy’s Tavern
was on December 28, 1951. There
were no 1952 broadcasts, not even syndications as time fillers.
NBC Presents: Short
Story began broadcast on January 4, 1952 in the same time slot.
- Later, in
the late fifties, Duffy’s
Tavern began showing up as excerpts on NBC’s Monitor.
About 53 five-minute shows are circulating among collectors.
TAVERN GOES ON TV, BUT STILL NO DUFFY TO BE SEEN
- In fall
of 1954, Duffy’s Tavern,
the long remembered radio show, was then beginning to show its face
on television, and was probable cause for considerable rejoicing
among the former listeners. One
of the most literate illiterate shows on the air, it had a flavor
all its own and was perhaps the forerunner of the informal school of
radio programming. Ed
Gardner, the “Archie” of the famed restaurant, was not
particularly overjoyed with the turn of events.
Both as a result of how it previously effected the radio
series, and how the television productions failed to meet his
- As early
as summer of 1949, Ed Gardner had begun talking to producers and
network executives about bringing Duffy’s
Tavern to television. A
press release dated May 24, 1949
read: “Ed Gardner
arrives in New York today from the coast to carry on discussions
with network officials and sponsors, who may be interested in his Duffy’s
Tavern program. Looking
for a deal that could involve both radio and television commitments,
Gardner recently obtained a release from Bristol-Meyers from his
Wednesday night show on NBC. Among
other interested persons, it is known that CBS officials are anxious
to discuss future plans with Gardner.”
A month later, in June of 1949, Duffy’s Tavern went off
radio for the summer and sadly, Gardner had failed to convince
network executives that a television version would be just as
successful as his radio counterpart.
(Another reason Gardner wanted a release from his sponsor,
Bristol-Meyers, was so he could move the show to Puerto Rico.)
So during the summer of 1949, Gardner went in search of a new
sponsor for the radio program.
And he did, ironically Blatz Beer, for a one-year contract of
fifty-two transcribed broadcasts.
A much longer run than a late fall to late spring season.
press release in early September of 1949 read: “Although program
changes are a normal occurrence with each new season, next fall is
going to witness a record number of shifts and cancellations.
The latest show to be parting company with its sponsor is Duffy’s Tavern. Its
star, Ed Gardner, having secured a release from his contract,
reportedly has his eye on a television venture, among other
- With the
radio program off the radio waves permanently 1952, Ed Gardner took
a little rest and relaxation, which was long overdue. Moving back to his Beverly Hills home with his family,
Gardner began negotiations with Hal Roach studios, who possessed an
interest in marketing a television syndication.
Contracts and proposals went back and forth between Ed and
Hal Roach’s executives and board members.
Regardless of the age showing, Ed insisted that he star in
each episode. The board
of directors had no problem with that request, but the
post-production was a different matter.
Gardner had very little choice in casting or scripts, only to
give a final “go ahead” when all was said and done.
The initial contracts stated that only 26 episodes would be
filmed, and later syndicated for stations across the country.
The CBS network would be host.
This way, if local stations had to pre-empt any programs due
to elections or other local events, Duffy’s
Tavern could be broadcast later at a different day and time.
If the program was successful, reruns would give them an
additional 26 weeks (thus an entire year) to begin production on
shooting additional episodes. The
manpower and work that went into a television production was much
more than Gardner put into one of his radio productions, and he
found that out the hard way.
- If it
just weren’t for the physical activity, Gardner actually would
have found the TV film version of Duffy’s
Tavern a good deal easier than the radio show.
“In radio,” Gardner recalled, “I was the producer and
director, and half the time the writer, and also Archie.
I was goin’ all the time.
It was an awful mental strain.
But here it’s different.
Hal Roach, Jr. does the producing and Harve Foster directs
and they bring the scripts in and they’re in pretty good shape.
All I have to do is memorize the lines and I’m not so sharp
at it. But it’s them
hot lights and all that standin’ around that gets me.”
for the program changed from pre-production to actual filming.
Shortly after filming the first couple episodes in color, it
was decided that the cost factor was too high and the series went
black and white. (The
episodes that were filmed in color were developed and syndicated in
black and white.)
was interviewed about the other difficulties of the television
shootin’ in color so they gotta light the place up like it was the
third degree and five in the afternoon I tell ya I’m shot.
We figured to make only twenty-six films, but just this
morning they tell me we’re set for thirteen more and I should bust
my head against a wall or something.”
Roach, Jr. decided shortly after that interview they were not
going to shoot any additional episodes, even if thirteen was an
additional quarter of a year.
show’s supporting cast included the veteran Jimmy Conlin as
Charley the waiter, television’s approach to a more “politically
correct” waiter compared to radio’s Eddie.
This choice was made by executives after the events of Amos
‘n’ Andy on television and the protests that resulted.
Alan Reed played the role of Finnegan.
(Reed was Clancy the cop on the radio series of Duffy’s
Duffy, the role originated by Gardner’s former wife, Shirley
Booth, was now being played by Pattee Chapman, whom Gardner found
behind the counter of a Beverly Hills ice cream shop, and one of the
only television roles he successfully convinced executives was the
right person for the job. A
French Chef was added to the cast, who lived in the kitchen.
The Tavern itself looked much cleaner than the
“fly-infested dive” people imagined on radio.
broadcast log below represents all twenty-six syndicated episodes of
publications and magazine articles have been listing the series
April to September 1954. Perhaps in other areas of the country, New York for example,
the series did premiere in April, but I couldn’t find anything to
substantiate that. The
dates I have are from the East Coast and broadcast May to October of
1954. CBS network, Tuesday evenings from 8:30 to 9 p.m., EST.
Two of these episodes had script titles, the rest apparently
did not. I don’t know
why this was, there might have been titles for all 26 scripts and I
could only find two, perhaps they started giving titles and gave up
early. (Perhaps the
early color filmed episodes were titled?)
You’ll also note that some of the television broadcasts
were actually adaptations of earlier radio episodes.
Valley Forge was the sponsor.
episode of the series.
Boys Club” Archie
starts a boys club in the tavern to make a hit with a pretty
for Miss Duffy” Archie
pawns Miss Duffy of as an heiress to an oil millionaire.
helps Clancy the cop apprehend Saloomi the safe cracker.
tries to sell the tavern and ends up dunked in Central Park Lake.
poses as a long-long heir and comes close to being poisoned.
order to attract more wealthy patrons, Archie hires a French chef,
keeps him in the kitchen sight-unseen, and then tells the wealthy
patron that he cooked the meal himself.
buys a half-interest in a racehorse but fails to read the fine print
of the contract.
- This is an adaptation of radio episode
decides he wants to become a lawyer, but not having enough money to
pay for school, he persuades Finnegan to have an accident in the
tavern. He intends to
collect from the insurance company, enough money to study law, not
realizing he’s breaking the law!
brings a time bomb into the tavern, which is set to explode when his
girl Gladys marries someone else.
to Duffy’s generosity, the entire Tavern is treated to a major
feast. Now the only
thing that can prevent their benefit is a viral quarantine.
Oops. Did we
speak too soon?
poses as a gypsy fortuneteller to entertain a ladies’ literary
buys a dog and resells it for what appears to be a profit.
girl turns down Archie so he accepts the proposal of a rich dowager
who opens a charge account for him.
goes on a quiz program to win money so he can give presents to his
tries to dupe a prince into paying for an expensive dinner with
Peaches La Tour.
finds an apparently abandoned baby and his dream of fatherhood is
recognized. This is an
adaptation of radio episode #417.
plans to marry a rich woman.
demands a vacation while under a hypnotist’s spell. This is an adaptation of radio episode #397.
inherits a diamond mine. This
is an adaptation of radio episode #166.
gets a date for Miss Duffy through an escort bureau.
supervisors inspect the tavern.
wealthy and prominent man gives Archie’s girl a rush.
buys an original Stradivarius for $15 – or so he thinks.
receives a letter from his uncle, a gold miner and thinks he’s
coming into a fortune.
wangles a part in a play to prove to a girl that he is an actor.
Final episode of the series, replaced by television’s The
Halls of Ivy.
TAVERN – THE MOVIE
other radio programs making the successful transition to the big
screen, it was no surprise that Duffy’s
Tavern would do the same. Talk
at M-G-M studios about filming and releasing the picture is
positive, proposals and contracts can be found among their vast
library of files, but it took the studio executives at Paramount to
attract Gardner’s attention.
Hollywood stars were under contract to the studios at that
time, and if the big boss said they were to appear in this picture,
they had to. But what
attracted Gardner was the stipulation that Paramount offered more
than thirty of their contract stars to appear as an all-star
Crosby, Dorothy Lamour, Betty Hutton, Robert Benchley, Veronica
Lake, Alan Ladd, and many others would be filmed for the picture and
this, in Gardner’s opinion, promised big box office receipts.
The more stars the marrier.
So the contracts were signed and the filming commenced.
glorious potpourri of almost every star on the Paramount lot was
centered about Gardner as the irrepressible Archie.
This marked Gardner’s only acting credit in a movie.
Archie learns that his tee-totaling customer Moore is going
broke and has to lay off a bunch of ex-servicemen.
Gardner goes into action, persuading a truckload of stars to
pitch in, perform their bits, and help raise enough money for
Moore’s record company to go back into business. It’s a flimsy excuse for a film but the entertainment is
nonstop, with some truly memorable numbers performed by Betty
Hutton, who whirlwinds through “Doin’ It the Hard Way”
(written by Johnny Burke, Jimmy Van Heusen), and Cass Daley
performing an equally frenetic “You Can’t Blame a Gal for
Trying” (written by Ben Raleigh and Bernie Wayne). Crosby and Hutton also do an unusual rendition of “Swinging
on a Star.”
Green, Charles Cantor and Ann Thomas (one movie guide commented she
was the then current Miss Duffy, but I have not found anything to
support this) reprised their radio roles in the movie.
Sprinkled throughout are various burlesque bits, gag
sequences, and even an oddball radio murder skit performed by Alan
Ladd, Veronica Lake and Howard Da Silva, stars of the recent The
Blue Dahlia. As the
lights go out Da Silva seems to be punching Lake silly, with Ladd
daring him to continue. When
the lights go on, Ladd gives Lake an arch look and says: “Lady,
you’d better get out of here before you get your teeth kicked
made it’s debut, appropriately enough, at the Times Square
Paramount in New York on the same bill with such “live”
entertainment as The Andrews Sisters, movie actor Tim Herbert,
Charles Leighton (“New King of Harmonica”), Foy Willing’s
“Riders of the Purple Sage” and Vic Schoen and his recording
orchestra. The opening
credits of the movie featured that familiar song, “When Irish Eyes
are Smiling,” the same opening theme for the radio series.
by Danny Dare. Directed
by Hal Walker. Released
through Paramount Studios.
by Melvin Frank and Norman Panama, based on the characters created
by Ed Gardner.
were written by Melvin Frank, Frank Panama, Matt Brooks, Eddie
- White, Barney Dean, and Abe S. Burrows.
of Photography by Lionel Lindon.
Photography by Farciot Edouart.
Direction was supplied by Robert Emmett Dolan.
Associate was Arthur Franklin.
Arrangements supplied by Joseph J. Lilly.
Supervision by Arthur Schmidt.
Decorator was Stephen Seymour.
Lamour and Betty Hutton’s gowns were designed by Edith Head.
Goddard’s gowns were designed by Mary Kay Dodson.
Photographic Effects by Gordon Jennings.
were staged and choreographed by Billy Daniel.
Recording by John Cope and Wallace (Nogs?)
Direction by Hans Dreier and William Flannery
- Makeup by
Crosby, Betty Hutton, Paulette Goddard, Alan Ladd, Dorothy Lamour,
Eddie Bracken, Brian Donlevy, Sonny Tufts, Veronica Lake, Arturo De
Cordova, Philip Crosby, Gary Crosby, Diana Lynn, Cass Daley, William
Bendix, Maurice Rocco, James Brown, Joan Caulfield, Dennis Crosby,
Lindsay Crosby, Gail Russell, Helen Walker and Jean Heather.
of the above played themselves.