Question: Aloha. Can you tell me the names of the two gentleman who played the uncle on My Three Sons? Thank you. David
Televisionary: `A `ole pilikia, my Hawaiian friend. (That's "no problem" to all you haoles out there.)
When ABC launched the series in September 1960, I Love Lucy vet William Frawley played Michael Francis "Bub" O'Casey. Bub, widower Steve Douglas's (Fred MacMurray) father-in-law, took care of most of the household duties around the Douglas abode and, it should be noted, was a grandfather to Douglas sons Mike (Tim Considine), Robbie (Don Grady) and Chip (Stanley Livingston). When Frawley became ill during the 1964-65 season, he was replaced by William Demarest, who played Bub's brother, Charley.
On the show, Bub left for a trip to Ireland. And that was just the start of the now-you-see-him-now-you-don't chicanery for the series, which, by the time it switched to CBS in the fall of 1967 and stopped running new episodes in December 1971, wrote off and brought in characters too many times to cover in this answer. (For more My Three Sons changes and other such TV switcheroos, see our Lost Characters feature.)
But if it was a complicated show, logistically speaking, in front of the camera, it was more so behind it. And there's no better example of that than the unique shooting schedule devised by creator Don Fedderson (who, by the way, initially envisioned a comedy starring Frawley as a grandfather raising three girls). In 1959, when Fedderson was assembling the show, MacMurray was known as Unavailable MacMurray, according to TV Guide. In fact, around the time the producer decided to approach him about doing the show, Hedda Hopper asked the actor how rich he was. "Just rich enough never to do a TV series," he answered.