Season 8 : 1948 – 1949
- Gildersleeve’s Song
- Nurse Milford
- Milford & Gildersleeve
- The Future Father
- The Tom Cat
- The Counselor
- The Carnival
- A Tea For Marjorie
- Bronco’s Employment
- The Jolly Boy’s Band
- The New Neighbor
- Bronco Bows Out
- Christmas Spirit
- The Engagement
- New Year’s Hayride
- Engagement Notices
- The French D.P.
Summerfield is about to get its first DP, or Displaced Person, a young French boy who will be staying with Gildy’s neighbor, Rumson Bullard. However, Mr. Bullard is away for a few days, so the Jolly Boys decide to pitch in, meet the boy at the station, and entertain him until Bullard returns. They argue over whose house he should stay at, and they all acquire French dictionaries and try to learn enough French to invite him.
When they meet him at the train, however, they realize they have a real communications problem. He can’t understand their few attempts at speaking French, and he doesn’t understand any English. Only Leroy is only to communicate at all, by showing the boy his baby turtle.
The Jolly Boys invite the French boy and Leroy to their club meeting, and hope he will enjoy listening to their band play. (Nobody else does!) Floyd has picked up the music for the Marseillaise, and Jean-Paul surprises everyone. He may not be able to speak English or play football, but he can play the violin a lot better than Mr. Peavey, and he conducts the Jolly Boys orchestra in a spirited (if off-key) rendition of his national anthem.
- Dinner Date With Kate
- Bronco’s Family For Dinner
- March Of Dimes Dance
Gildersleeve is out on a date with Katie Milford, trying to heat things up a bit. Parked in front of her house, he turns on the radio, which is playing “Goodnight, Sweetheart,” which he sings to her. But it’s the WSUM signoff, and it’s Katie’s signoff as well. Before she goes in, he asks her to the March of Dimes Dance the following evening. She agrees to attend, but she’s clearly reluctant to do so.
Back home, Gildersleeve shares a midnight snack with Marjorie, and tells her that Katie never seems to want to go to dances with him. Marjorie suggests that it’s because he hasn’t kept up with the times and learned any new dances in twenty years. A modern young woman like Katherine Milford expects a man to know the samba and the rhumba. Marjorie agrees to teach her uncle the samba.
The samba lesson the next day doesn’t go too well. Although Leroy picks it right up, and Birdie sambas out of the room, Gildersleeve can’t quite seem to get it. Walking downtown alone, he’s going through it in his mind and starts to try it. With the help of an icy sidewalk and a little strategic slipping, he finally gets it. He’s delighted with his new skill and goes in to Peavey’s drugstore. He wants to teach Peavey, who declines. Gildy points out that there’s no one else in the store, but Peavey says, “If you and I started dancing, there soon would be.”
Gildersleeve tells Katie that he has a big surprise for her, and when they get to the dance, he tips the bandleader to play “Brazil.” He’s ready to dazzle Katherine with his samba dancing, when she has a confession to make. She’s just an old-fashioned girl, and doesn’t know the samba or any of these modern dances, which is why she’s been reluctant to go dancing with him.
- To Work Or Not To Work
Bronco and Marjorie are giving Gildersleeve a ride to the bowling alley in Bronco’s old car, which he plans to replace after they’re married, when he and Marjorie save up enough money. Marjorie says this won’t take long, since she plans to get a job…something that apparently is news to Bronco. He sputters and fumes that no wife of his will work, and that it’s a wife’s job to stay home and take care of the house. Marjorie will have none of that, and a fierce argument erupts.
Gildersleeve goes to the bowling alley, but decides that he is needed at home to “help” Bronco and Marjorie resolve their difficulties. His attempts at making the peace fail miserably, and when he’s somewhat supportive of Bronco’s position, Marjorie gets angry at him. The next morning, breakfast is an unhappy affair, with Marjorie refusing to speak to her Uncle.
Gildersleeve stops for a conversation with Mr. Peavey, who predictably enough, refuses to take a position. Then he stops by to see Katherine Milford, who supports Marjorie’s decision to work, and says that surely an intelligent man like Throckmorton agrees.
That evening, Bronco and Marjorie are in the parlor, locked in silence. Gildersleeve makes another peacemaking attempt, this time supporting Marjorie. But when he says that Bronco has been stubborn, Marjorie leaps to Bronco’s support, and the two quickly make up.
- The Wedding Date Is Set
Marjorie and Bronco have selected the date for their wedding– May 1. Everyone agrees that it’s up to the bride to plan the wedding, but Gildersleeve and Mrs. Thompson immediately begin interfering. Both want a home wedding, but of course Gildersleeve wants it in his home in Summerfield and Mrs. Thompson wants it in her home in Broadmoor. When the two families get together, Marjorie and Bronco leave the squabbling and go skating.
Later, however, Gildersleeve begins to wonder if that’s really where Marjorie went. Leroy saw her come back for her suitcase, and the family begins to wonder if she and Bronco really eloped. Birdie keeps wailing, “Poor Miss
Marjorie!” and makes it clear who she blames for all this– Gildersleeve. The family becomes even more sure of what’s happened when Peavey tells Gildersleeve that Marjorie and Bronco came in with another couple, one of whom was Marjorie’s best friend Francy.
Gildersleeve, always one to act before all the facts are in, goes off to Broadmoor to tell the Thompsons what has happened. When he tells them why he believes that Bronco and Marjorie have eloped, he hears another piece of evidence– Mr. Thompson ran into Bronco in the bank that afternoon, and Bronco was withdrawing his savings. Gildersleeve and Mrs. Thompson agree that they are the cause of all this, and regret having interfered.
Just then, Bronco arrives with a big surprise. He and Marjorie haven’t eloped, they’ve bought a new car for the honeymoon. Gildersleeve and Mrs. Thompson immediately begin fighting again over whose house to use for the wedding, but Marjorie and Bronco announce that theirs will be a church wedding.
- President Gildersleeve
A letter addressed to the Jolly Boys Club is delivered to Gildersleeve’s office. It’s an invitation from the Upstate Association of Businessmen’s Clubs for the President of the Jolly Boys to attend a convention in Chicago as their guest. Gildersleeve is excited about going, but there’s only one problem– the Jolly Boys have never elected a President. But Gildersleeve is sure that he can arrange for them to elect him, and he wires his acceptance to the Association.
Gildersleeve calls a special meeting of the club, and, after flattering each of his fellow members, he proposes that they elect a president. They hold a secret ballot, with predictable results– every man votes for himself. They agree to try again at their next meeting.
Gildersleeve is a little late for that meeting, and by that time has decided to vote for Hooker. When he arrives at the meeting, he learns that they held the election before he arrived, and that he has been elected. He’s delighted, until he learns that Hooker has been to Gildersleeve’s office, where Bessie passed along another letter to the Jolly Boys. The other members know that Gildersleeve had misrepresented himself as the President of the Jolly Boys, and on Washington’s Birthday! They elected him President to make an honest man of him– also, because the letter says the convention will cost President Gildersleeve $100.
- Marjorie’s Shower
- Gildersleeve’s Blade
In the opening, we hear that this is a special episode, and that Kraft will be making an exciting announcement later in the program. The whole episode is, in fact, a long commercial for that announcement– a special offer from Kraft to get a kitchen gadget for only 50 cents and proofs of purchase from Parkay and a loaf for bread.
When the story opens, Gildersleeve is meeting Katherine at the hospital to walk her home from work. While waiting for her, a woman asks him to look at her broken watch, which he “fixes” by accidentally dropping it on the floor. When he’s along with Katherine, she begins talking about Dr. Olson and how skilled he is with his hands. To compete, Gildersleeve brags about being an expert watch repairman and all-round craftsman.
The next day, Katherine drops by with her mother’s favorite kitchen knife, hoping that Gildy can remove a nick in the blade. Birdie takes the knife and the message, and put the knife on the workbench in the basement. But before she can tell Gildersleeve about it, he finds it while helping Leroy make a footstool for Marjorie. He shows Leroy how to turn the end of the knife into a putty knife, and then he sharpens one edge and serrates the other.
Once he learns that the knife belongs to Katherine’s mother, he tries to find a replacement. He gets a similar knife from Judge Hooker, leaving Hooker the one that he’s adapted. The new knife is purchased by Mr. Peavey, who finds it just the thing for making sandwiches. Everyone praises the new invention: Gildy’s Blade.
- Considering Marriage
Katherine Milford and Gildersleeve go out for the evening with Bronco and Marjorie, which ends with Bronco and then (more successfully) Gildersleeve singing along with the radio. Later, Marjorie and Bronco encourage Gildersleeve to consider asking Katherine to marry him. Gildy has a romantic dream in which Katherine greets him at the door and brings him his slippers, and he begins to think marriage might not be such a bad idea.
When he goes to Katherine’s, however, he finds what he sees as a trap– the lights are low, there is incense burning, and Katherine asks him if he believes it’s alright for a woman of a certain age to take the initiative when it comes to marriage. He panics, only to learn that it’s Katherine’s mother who is planning to get her man.
- Picnic With The Thompsons
Gildersleeve has a disagreement with the bossy Mrs. Thompson over the issue of whose turn it is to host the young couple for Sunday dinner. Bronco and Marjorie are disturbed that the two can’t get along, and arrange to get their families together for a picnic at Grass Lake, midway between the Gildersleeve home in Summerfield and the Thompsons home in Broadmoor.
Gildy and Mrs. Thompson start bickering, but when they go out for a boat ride they find that they get along just fine. Mrs. Thompson even joins Gildy in a song! They expect the young ones to be happy to see them getting along so well, but Bronco and Marjorie think they are pretending to get along, and urge them to be honest about their feelings.
- The House Guest
When barber Floyd Munson tells Gildersleeve that Judge Hooker needs to vacate his house for a few days during an extermination, our hero is unsympathetic. But when he has a conversation with nurse Katherine Milford and she expresses her admiration for men who perform acts of kindness, Gildy tells her that he’s inviting the Judge to stay with him
during his time of need.
At the weekly Jolly Boys meeting, Gildy enthusiastically offers his invitation. This comes after a spirited (and hilarious) rendition of the Merry Widow Waltz by the Jolly Boys Band, with unforgettable little flute solos by the Judge.
The Judge agrees to stay with Gildersleeve and his family, but Gildy’s enthusiasm wanes when the Judge rejects the sofa-bed in the den. It’s an “old faithful horsehair sofa” and the Judge says that he means no disrespect to “the old faithful horse,” but his allergies act up, and he ends up taking Gildy’s own bed.
Things don’t improve in the morning, when Judge Hooker gets up at 6 AM to spend an hour on his noisy rowing machine. And then there are demands on Birdie for coddled eggs, and a health-food dinner that includes a plain green salad with no dressing, boiled rice, and eggplant instead of meat. Before the weekend is up, Gildy has just about had it with the Judge.
When the weekend is over, Gildy invites Katherine over, hoping the Judge will get the hint. The Judge seems to be delaying, but all is forgiven when a gift is delivered– a humidor containing fifty fine cigars.
- The Apartment
- The Billy Goat
- The Wedding Gown
Marjorie’s wedding is just three weeks away. The invitations have arrived, and final plans are underway for the music, the flowers, the reception. Everything is coming along nicely except one thing: the wedding dress. Marjorie wants to wear her mother’s dress, but nobody can find it.
Gildersleeve and Leroy go to the attic and look through Gildy’s old trunk. They don’t find the wedding dress, but they do find a photograph of Marjorie and Leroy’s mother wearing it. And then Gildy finds a letter from their mother, his little sister, written shortly after her wedding. She says that she knows she won’t see her brother for a long time, but tells herself that their family is not breaking up, she’s just starting a new one. She expresses her great happiness, and her hopes for the future. She hopes to have four children, two sons and two daughters, and looks forward to seeing them grow up and get married and be as happy as she is.
Reading this letter, Gildersleeve sheds a tear for his sister, the hopes that she had for her life, and how much she has missed. This is one of the few episodes in which Leroy and Marjorie’s parents are even mentioned, and one of the few in which we get a glimpse into Gildersleeve’s relationship with his sister.
Meanwhile, the dress cannot be found. When she sees the photograph, Marjorie mentions that reminds her of a very expensive one that she saw at Hogan Brothers. Gildersleeve goes to look at it, but Marjorie forbids him to spend any more money. When others learn of the missing wedding dress, Marjorie is offered several others to wear: Mrs. Peavey’s (complete with bustle), Judge Hooker’s sister’s, and Bronco’s mother’s. None of these are at all what Marjorie wants.
Finally, Gildersleeve suggests that Marjorie check the attic again, where, miraculously, she finds the missing dress…or is it really that dress from Hogan Brothers?
- The Jolly Boy’s Gift
- Bronco Disappears
- Fishing At Grass Lake
- Real Estate Salesman
- Sadie Hawkins Day Dance
- The Houseboat
- Vacation Plans