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Father Knows Best

Father Knows Best is an American radio comedy series which portrayed middle class family life in the Midwest. It was created by writer Ed James in the 1940s.

The series began August 25, 1949, on NBC Radio. Set in the Midwest, it starred Robert Young as the General Insurance agent Jim Anderson. His wife Margaret was first portrayed by June Whitley and later by Jean Vander Pyl. The Anderson children were Betty (Rhoda Williams), Bud (Ted Donaldson), and Kathy (Norma Jean Nillson). Others in the cast were Eleanor Audley, Herb Vigran and Sam Edwards. Sponsored through most of its run by General Foods, the series was heard Thursday evenings on NBC until March 25, 1954.

On the radio program, the character of Jim differs from the later television character. The radio Jim is far more sarcastic and shows he really "rules" over his family. Jim also calls his children names, something common on radio but lost in the TV series. For example, Jim says, "What a bunch of stupid children I have." Margaret is portrayed as a paragon of solid reason and patience, unless the plot calls for her to act a bit off. For example, in a Halloween episode, Margaret cannot understand how the table floats in the air, but that is a rare exception.

Betty, on radio, is portrayed as a status seeking, boy-crazy teenage girl. To her, every little thing is "the worst thing that could ever happen." Bud, on radio, is portrayed as an "all-American" boy who always seems to need "just a bit more" money, though he gets $1.25 per week in allowance. The actor had an affected "r" (similar to Elmer Fudd, but not quite as pronounced). Bud is in charge of always having to answer the front door, which he hates. He is also shown as a somewhat dim boy who takes everything literally; for example, Jim might say "Go jump in the lake," to which Bud would reply "Okay, Dad; which lake should I go jump into?" On radio Kathy often is portrayed as a source of irritation. She whines, cries and complains about her status in the family as overlooked. She often is the source of money to her brother and sister, although she is in hock several years on her own allowance.

Episode Title [Total of: 113]CategoryRating
71 - Father Knows Best - Remembering Names
Episode date: 1953-9-10
Comedy
72 - Father Knows Best - Second Family Car
Episode date: 1953-1-8
Comedy
73 - Father Knows Best - Self Reliance
Episode date: 1952-5-15
Comedy
74 - Father Knows Best - Shared Christmas Gifts
Episode date: 1952-12-25
Comedy
75 - Father Knows Best - Should Women Work
Episode date: 1952-9-25
Comedy
76 - Father Knows Best - Sophisticated Bud
Episode date: 1953-5-14
Comedy
77 - Father Knows Best - Sound Matchmaking
Episode date: 1951-1-25
Comedy
78 - Father Knows Best - Southern Manners
Episode date: 1953-1-1
Comedy
79 - Father Knows Best - Spring Cleaning
Episode date: 1954-3-4
Comedy
80 - Father Knows Best - Springtime Woes
Episode date: 1953-4-30
Comedy

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