The Alan Young Show (TV Series 1950–1953) Poster


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Stinky's birthplace
F Gwynplaine MacIntyre30 November 2003
Alan Young is remembered for playing straight man to a talking horse, but he was actually a talented singer, actor and comedian. However, this affable Tynesider also had a soft-spoken personality: a trait which is useful for playing second banana to a loquacious gee-gee, but which hardly makes for showbiz immortality.

'The Alan Young Show' (pre-Mister Ed) was an easy-going variety series. Young opened each episode with a comedy monologue, then followed this with a musical number (either a solo, or a duet with a guest star). The second half of the show featured two comedy sketches: one of them usually a solo turn for Young as a meek Everyman caught in a perplexing situation, the other a more elaborate set-piece with a guest star. None of this was especially trend-setting. If released today to the home video market, 'The Alan Young Show' would be pleasantly nostalgic yet it would pale in comparison to much more dynamic (and funnier) variety and sitcom programmes from that same era. The production values on this series were extremely low, although the musical direction was provided impeccably by the talented George Wyle (not yet sporting the distinctive beard that he wore throughout the 1970s).

From a historical standpoint, the most important episode of 'The Alan Young Show' was the edition of 22 November 1951. The two guest stars were singer Connee Boswell and comedian Joe Besser. Connee Boswell was a popular singer of this period, whose stardom had a morbid undertone because (having polio) she performed in a specially-designed wheelchair. The chair was taller and shallower than most wheelchairs, cantilevered vertically so that (when Miss Boswell wore a specially-tailored floor-length gown) she looked nearly as if she were standing up normally. Although Miss Boswell's half-concealed handicap was well known at the time, I stress that she was a genuinely talented (and personable) singer whose popularity was well earned, and she did not exploit her handicap as a gimmick. Still, her performing style has dated badly.

In the final sequence of this episode, Alan Young and Joe Besser did a comedy skit in which they played a couple of naughty four-year-old boys, dressed in Buster Brown cozzies and performing on a set with oversized furniture and props to make these grown men appear child-sized. (As Laurel and Hardy did in 'Brats'.) Lou Costello, who knew Besser socially, watched this skit when it was televised and decided to hire Joe Besser to play a similar character on the Abbott and Costello tv series which was then in development.

Joe Besser is now fondly remembered by comedy fans as Stinky, the annoying little boy (in a Little Lord Fauntleroy suit) who pestered Bud and Lou on their sitcom. So, 'The Alan Young Show' gets credit for the one-off first appearance of a sitcom character who is now remembered for appearing in a different series.
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Anyone remember The Alan Young Radio Show ?.
scarwaf40203 January 2007
I'm afraid I missed this series of the early 1950s. The Korean War really detracted from my television watching during those years, but I was wondering if anyone remembered the original "Alan Young Show" on the radio (NBC) in the late 1940s.

As a kid living in Brooklyn at the time I could ride the subway for a nickle to the RCA (now the GE) building and have access to some of the best live entertainment available free of charge. I would see "The Perry Como Show" in Studio 6A and then walk across the lobby to Studio^B for the Alan Young Show". The show had a terrific cast that included a not-very- well-known Jim Backus as Alan's rival for girlfriend Betty, and Ed Begley as Betty's father. Backus used his upper-class aristocratic accent that became very well known years later when he played the millionaire on "Gillligan's Island". Begley of course later enjoyed a long career as a fine dramatic actor in films and on stage.

Any other old-timers who remember ?
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