Today’s show notes are provided bby the Jot ‘Em Down Journal of December, 1998.
Lum’s ”romance” of Miss Rowena, begun on the November 7 broadcast, begins to take on some semblance of a continuing storyline from the show’s 15-minute days. This time, he determines to impress her by inviting her to a candlelight Thanksgiving dinner at his ”mansion,” complete with servants. It does not occur to him until later that he has neither a mansion nor any servants.
Walt Bates owns the largest house in town, and since the Bates family is going out of town for the holiday anyway, Lum arranges to ”borrow” the house for Thanksgiving. He is unaware of the fact that Walt is having the place fumigated (the exterminator is played by Herb Vigran; we have been unable to determine who plays Walt), and there are strict orders not to light any matches on the premises due to the flammable nature of the insecticide.
For servants, Lum presses Abner into service as butler and Ben Withers (in ill-fitting dress) as maid. Cedric is to be the French chef, cueing a reprise of the famed and hilarious ”garnish/varnish” gag from 1945. A good example of the absurdity of the situation (even for a comedy show) is that Miss Rowena immediately accepts Abner’s and Ben’s roles as butler and maid, even though she has met both of them before and should recognize them instantly! The big slapstick finish could have been a little difficult to get past the censors; Miss Rowena declares her intention to give Lum a great big kiss, just as Abner is striking a match to light the candles. The resulting explosion is followed only by the sound of chirping crickets, and Lum’s breathless declaration: ”I grannies, Miss Rowena… DO THAT AGIN! !”
For more information, be sure to visit the National Lum and Abner Society.