This season opener is a little late for a typical broadcast season, but the gents unlock the Jot Em Down Store, with their friends Zazu Pitts and Opie Cates. Affter the store is unlocked, the dust is blown off the canned goods, and the gents reminisce over the ups and downs of their long friendship.
Opie pops in to share his woes working with his uncle, Luke Spears, over the Summer. He saved up money to go on a vacation, but Gomer Bates went on the trip to Washington DC for him. He tells all about the fancy sites he never saw. What was it he came to the store to buy? Later, Luke enters to gripe like a trompped on toad frog. Lum and Abner are glad they never argue like that. It has been a long time since they got out the rope to divide up the store. They wouldn’t be having an argument now… would they?
The band plays some transitioning music, since there isn’t a sponsor.
The rope is out, and Zazu Pitts gets the hard sell from Honest Abner and Madman Edwards. The County home economics teacher offers tips suitable for the modern homemaker. Opie phones in and gets Abner confused with that order he forgot earlier.
Andy Divine enters, and soon breaks out in a classic, “WAIT A MINUTE!!” moment to stop a fight. Will he be picking sides, and take up for Lum? That shifty eyed Abner… you just can’t trust that guy. Not standing for the insults directed at his friend, Lum kicks Andy off his side of the store. Andy then tries the same psychology on Abner. Whoo will be loyal to who. Bless his big fat heart! Well I’ll b a polka dotted possum! Andy laughs all the way back to his barber shop after getting the gents back together.
Note: By this time, head writer for Lum and Abner for nearly a decade, Roz Rogers, has left the show. You can check out his
latest success over at Father Knows Best. With no sponsor, the show will begin to languish, and barely survive the rest of the season. Andy Divine came to the show as Mose Moots, but since last spring his character has shifted, and now he just plays himself.
Opie Cates is back, and has been the orchestra leader since just before the end of last season. He sounds great… doesn’t he? Definitely a talented musician, as well as an actor.
Zazu Pitts came to the showmid season last year, and makes a strong comeback, as does Dink Trout, as Luke Spears. A team that could have gone far if this change in format could have come at a different time. It worked for the team of Amos and Andy, but they made the format shift at least 5 years earlier, and when radio was in its wartime heyday.
Maybe the show could have made it with sponsorship, but coupled with dissatisfaction from the fans, and the coming age of television, it didn’t last.