Today, our show notes are provided by the Jot ‘Em Down Journal of December 1948.
It’s back to the -brand new comedy show” format for this closing edition of 1948, with studio audience reactions back to their former sound. levels. Ben Withers’ Yuletide offering to Abner is an ”iron dog” (actually a paper-. weight), whereas Lum has received six -founting pens” from a variety of friends. Not even a distracting visit from the generous gift-giver Ben keeps from hopping into their ”dee-liver” truck and heading for the Mena Emporium to exchange these items for more useful objects.
Their rattling vehicle konks out somewhere down Highway 88, forcing the Pine Ridge duo to ”hike-hitch.” A rather -extinguished- gentleman offers the boys a lift, but before long Abner accidentally ”whops” him while gesturing with his troublesome ”iron dog!” The auto careening out of control, it is brought ,suddenly to a stop after Abner slams the brakes, which sends Lum crashing through the Windshield! (Unlike the 15-minute series, in which Abner would have expressed concern for his friend’s safety, here the accident is played for laughs.) The battered driver regains consciousness and tears off to Mena, leaving L&A stranded. Lum has accidentally kept the man’s watch, supposedly a valuable heirloom. (”I thought it was a Ingersoll!” Abner comments.)
Meanwhile, Cedric is minding the Jot ’Em Down Store, and advises Clarabelle to put something on the back porch to allow it to cool off. ”Windy Wendell” Niles interrupts to insist that Miss Seestrunk invest in a Frigidaire, and avoid trusting foods to the winter weather for safekeeping Fine and dandy, but it just so happens it is a hound-dog suffering tantrums that needs to ”cool off!” Fussy floorwalker Peter Leeds as well as clerk (and credit manager) Bea Benaderet engage in mutual confusion with L&A as they attempt to return the bothersome ”iron dog.” Eventually,
they argue with the store manager (Joseph Kearns), but get shuttled from department to department and floor to floor.
Kearns had appeared previously on the half-hour and Abner (October 10), but Benaderet and Leeds, were newcomers. Benaderet is well-remembered for her role as one of Jack Benny’s telephone operators, as well as the original Granny to the animated Tweety Pie. She featured prominently in two L&A ”descendants” ”Cousin Pearl” of the early The Beverly Hillbillies and Kate ’Bradley in Petticoat Junction_ (And who could forget The Flintstones’ Betty Rubble?) Leeds’ radio credits are extensive, and he will never be forgotten for his ”too piercing, man…” work with satirist Stan Freeberg.
After unexpectedly bumping into Ben Withers, L&A are mistaken for a pair of shoplifters by the store detective (Mr, Leeds again, using his familiar ”tough guy- tones). it’s back to manager Kearns’ office, with Ben in tow! In addition to the many ”founting pens” and a letter opener (intended to be exchanged for the ”iron dog”), Lum still has the pocket watch belonging to their ”hike-hitch” driver! It looks like jail for this desperate gang, until Lum demands to see the president of the company, a Mr. Smith (Francis X. Bushman), who turns out to be the very man they -hike-hitched- with earlier! Luckily, he is also an old buddy of Ben Withers, formerly known as ”Spitball” Smith of Mount ldy! Cleared by Ben, the old fellows return home, only to receive the ”iron dog” in the mail a few days later, with a C_O.D. bill! ”Happy New Year!” L&A chime in over the closing theme at the close of the program_
Announcer Niles encourages us to ”stay tuned for Cabin B-13, which follows immediately over most of these same stations. This is CBS, where 99 million people gather every week, the Columbia Broadcasting System.- We encourage you to ”stay tuned- for the 1949 episodes of Lum and Abner, right here in The Jot’ Ens Down Journal, where 99 million people read about Lum and Abner every two months! (Well, maybe not that many folks, but…)