Question: Hi there. Why is there never any mention of the TV show I Married Joan? I think it starred Jim Backus and Joan (I can't remember her last name). I know I didn't dream this show because I can still remember part of the title song: "I married Joan. What a girl, what a whirl, what a wife." Thanks. Brandon
Televisionary: Why isn't there ever any mention? Hey, my unearthly TV powers don't include clairvoyance, Brandon you gotta ask first.
I Married Joan, which ran on NBC from October 1952 to April 1955, starred Joan Davis as the daffy Joan Stevens. As you say, Jim Backus (Gilligan's Island) was her husband Bradley, a judge who used stories about his relationship with his wife to help solve the problems of those who appeared in his courtroom. Joan's cohort for the first season was wacky neighbor Minerva (Hope Emerson); then Davis's daughter Beverly Wills stepped in as Joan's younger sister Beverly.
Though the comedy developed a following, Davis, who headlined the successful Joan Davis Show on radio before getting into TV, faced some challenges along the way. As TV Guide told the story in 1954, a fan made her way onto the set and approached the comic during one particularly hectic day. "Miss Davis, I've enjoyed you for so many years on radio," the woman told the star. "Tell me, why did you decide to give up comedy for this?" Davis patiently explained that the episode being shot may not have seemed funny on set, but would be hilarious when aired. According to the writer, who watched it six weeks later, Davis was right.
And incidentally, the lyrics to the part of the show's theme song you quoted were:
I married Joan
What a girl, what a whirl, what a life!
Oh, I married Joan,
Love is blind, life is fine, what a wife!