The Second Hundred Years

Jim 1950s - 1960s

DAD’S JOB: 19th Century Gold Miner KIDS OF DAD #1: Edwin (Arthur O’Connell) (81!) DAD #2: Edwin Carpenter (Arthur O’Connell) / Widower DAD #2’S JOB: Unknown – e-mail me if you know. KIDS OF DAD #2: Ken (also Monte Markham) WHERE’S MOM?: Both Moms are dead. STAND-IN “MOM”: Colonel Garroway Luke Carpenter was a gold prospector in Alaska in the …

My Three Sons

Jim 1950s - 1960s

DAD’S JOB: Aerospace Engineer KIDS: Mike(Tim Considine), Robbie (Don Grady), Chip (Stanley Livingston), Ernie (Barry Livingston) (I know it’s four, read on) WHERE’S MOM?: Dead for quite some time / Ernie was adopted when his missionary parents moved to China (!) STAND-IN “MOM”: “Bub” O’Casey (William Frawley) / “Uncle Charley” O’Casey (William Demarest) Face it, this show could be called …

King Kong

Jim 1950s - 1960s

DAD’S JOB: Ape Scientist KIDS: Bobby (10), Susan (9) WHERE’S MOM?: Dead, maybe. STAND-IN “MOM”: Unknown Rankin-Bass updated the King Kong story in this briefly-lived cartoon. In this incarnation, King Kong makes friends with the Bond family on the island of Mondo, an island near Indonesia. Bad guys were always gunning for Kong and his friends, so most of the …

The Great Gildersleeve

Jim 1950s - 1960s

Aired: 1955 Syndicated DAD: Throckmorton P. Gildersleeve (Willard Waterman) / Single DAD’S JOB: Water Commissioner of Summerfield KID: Marjorie Forrester(Stephanie Griffith), Leroy Forrester(Ronald Keith) / Niece & Nephew WHERE’S MOM?: Dead. So’s Dad. STAND-IN “MOM”: Birdie Lee Coggins (Lillian Randolph) / Housekeeper Technically, this show started before WWII — but it was a *radio* show when it began in 1941. …

The Guns of Will Sonnett

Jim 1950s - 1960s

DAD’S JOB: Retired cavalry scout KIDS: Jeff Sonnett (Dack Rambo) (19) WHERE’S MOM?: Dead. But that’s not important. STAND-IN “MOM”: Will Sonnett — the grandfather. Let’s return to a familiar storyline — Grandpa raises the kid when the parents are dead/missing (see The Ed Wynn Show for details). In this western, Jeff Sonnett’s dad, who is also Will Sonnett’s son, …

The Andy Griffith Show

Jim 1950s - 1960s

Aired: 1960-68 DAD’S JOB: Sheriff of Mayberry, NC KIDS: Opie (7)(Ronnie Howard) WHERE’S MOM?: Dead for quite some time – unknown. STAND-IN “MOM”: Aunt Bee (Frances Bavier) A comedic take on The Rifleman, The Andy Griffith Show relied on a formula pioneered in the series this show was spun off from: Danny Thomas’s Make Room for Daddy. The formula was …

Kentucky Jones

Jim 1950s - 1960s

DAD’S JOB: Veterinarian KIDS: Dwight Eisenhower (‘Ike’) Wong (9) WHERE’S MOM?: Dead. Ike was an adopted orphan STAND-IN “MOM”:Unknown The late Mrs. Jones applied to adopt a Chinese orphan just before she died. Kentucky was left to care for a 9-year-old daughter and still manage a veterinary practice in Southern California. Kentucky was a reluctant dad in the style of …

Circus Boy

Jim 1950s - 1960s

Aired: 1956(NBC)-57(ABC) KIDS: Corky (Mickey Braddock {Mickey Dolenz})(10) WHERE’S MOM?: Mom and Dad both dead – killed in a high-wire act. STAND-IN “MOM”: Unknown Consider the role of disastrous high-wire acts in the history of TV Single Dads. In this show, Corky the Circus Boy loses his acrobatic parents in a trapeze mishap, and winds up sharing adventures with Big …

Accidental Family

Jim 1950s - 1960s

DAD’S JOB: Nightclub comedian KIDS: Sandy (Teddy Quinn)(11) WHERE’S MOM?: Dead. STAND-IN “MOM”: Sue Kramer / divorced “nanny” Am I the only one who remembers this show? This was kinda like Green Acres without Eva Gabor. Jerry Webster was a comedian who bought a farm so that his son would have a place to stay while Jerry was on the …