The Joey Bishop Show (sitcom)
|The Joey Bishop Show|
|Written by||Harry Crane
Fred S. Fox
|Directed by||Mel Ferber
James V. Kern
|Theme music composer||Vincent Youmans (1961–62)
Irving Caesar (1961–62)
Jimmy Van Heusen (1962–65)
Sammy Cahn (1962–65)
|Opening theme||"Sometimes I'm Happy" (1961–62)
|Composer(s)||Herbert W. Spencer|
|Country of origin||United States|
|No. of seasons||4|
|No. of episodes||123|
|Executive producer(s)||Danny Thomas|
|Cinematography||Henry Cronjager, Jr.|
|Running time||24 mins.|
|Production company(s)||Bellmar Enterprises|
|Original channel||NBC (1961–1964)
(seasons 1 and 4)
|Original run||September 20, 1961– March 30, 1965|
|Related shows||The Danny Thomas Show|
The Joey Bishop Show is an American sitcom starring entertainer Joey Bishop. The series premiered in September 1961 on NBC where it aired for three seasons. The series then moved to CBS for its final season.
The character of Joey Barnes (Bishop) was introduced on the March 27, 1961 episode of The Danny Thomas Show titled "Everything Happens To Me". The series' first incarnation featured Joey as a young Hollywood press agent. Joey's boss was J.P. Willoughby (John Griggs). Joey's family often thought he had more influence in Hollywood than he actually had and attempted to take advantage of his nonexistent influence.
Among the members of Joey's family were his mother, Mrs. Barnes (Madge Blake), older sister Betty (Virginia Vincent) and her husband Frank (Joe Flynn), another sister named Stella (Marlo Thomas) and his younger brother Larry (Warren Berlinger). Nancy Hadley portrayed Joey's girlfriend Barbara Simpson, who was also J.P. Willoguby's secretary. The storylines in the first season typically revolved around Joey helping his family out of trouble while also getting into trouble himself.
As the series was a spin-off of The Danny Thomas Show, Danny Thomas and Marjorie Lord appeared as their Danny Thomas characters in the first season's fourth episode, entitled "This Is Your Life". Sid Melton, who appeared as Uncle Charley Halper on Danny Thomas, also appeared.
Upon its September 1961 premiere, the series struggled in the ratings. In an effort to improve viewership, NBC decided to "readjust" the series. Several characters, including Betty, Frank and Joey's girlfriend Barbara Simpson, were dropped. Several crew members were also dismissed. The changes helped the series' ratings and NBC renewed it for a second season.
After the first season, Bishop decided to completely reformat the series. In addition to the format change, The Joey Bishop Show also featured an entirely different supporting cast. In the second incarnation, Joey Barnes is now the host of a New York City talk/variety television show. Abby Dalton joined the cast as Joey's new wife Ellie (whom Joey called "Texas" because she hailed from Texas) and the two live at The Carlton Arms, a posh Manhattan apartment building. Towards the end of Season 2, Ellie discovers she is pregnant with the couple's first child. Their son. Joey Barnes, Jr. (played by Dalton's real life son Matthew David Smith), was born in the Season 2 finale "The Baby Cometh". Also joining the cast was Guy Marks who portrayed Freddie, Joey's manager. Marks left the series after nineteen episodes and Corbett Monica joined the cast as Larry Corbett, Joey's head writer. The supporting cast also included Mary Treen as Hilda, the Barnes' maid and baby nurse, with whom Joey frequently trades insults. Joe Besser portrayed Mr. Jillson, the building's henpecked super who lives in fear of his wife, Tantalia (who is never seen but often heard).
Storylines during the second season mainly focus on Joey's home life but also feature storylines involving Joey's job as a television host. As such, various celebrities (who typically appeared as themselves) who were guests on Joey Barnes' talk show appeared throughout the series' run. Although the second incarnation of the series was seemingly unrelated to the first incarnation, the series featured two episodes that were tied-in to The Danny Thomas Show. Rusty Hamer, who appeared on Danny Thomas as Rusty Williams, also appeared as his character in three Season 4 episodes: "Rusty Arrives", "Rusty's Education" and "Joey Entertains Rusty's Fraternity". Danny Thomas also appeared as himself in two Season 3 episodes, "Danny Gives Joey Advice" and "Andy Williams Visits Joey".
- Joey Bishop as Joey Barnes
- Abby Dalton as Ellie Barnes (1962–1965)
- Madge Blake as Mrs. Barnes (1961–1962)
- Warren Berlinger as Larry Barnes (1961–1962)
- Joe Flynn as Frank (1961–1962)
- John Griggs as J.P. Willoughby (1961)
- Nancy Hadley as Barbara Simpson (1961–1962)
- Virginia Vincent as Betty (1961–1962)
- Marlo Thomas as Stella Barnes (1961–1962)
- Joe Besser as Mr. Jillson (1962–1965)
- Bill Bixby as Charles Raymond (1962)
- Guy Marks as Freddie (1962)
- Corbett Monica as Larry Corbett (1963–1965)
- Mary Treen as Hilda (1962–1965)
- Joey Foreman as Dr. Sam Nolan (1964–1965)
The Joey Bishop Show featured several celebrity guest stars who appeared as themselves. Among the celebrity guest stars are:
- The Andrews Sisters
- Edgar Bergen
- Milton Berle
- Jack Carter
- Vic Damone
- Tommy Davis
- Willie Davis
- Don Drysdale
- Zsa Zsa Gabor
- Shecky Greene
- Robert Goulet
- Buddy Hackett
- Frank Howard
- Jack Jones
- Don Knotts
- Jack E. Leonard
- Oscar Levant
- Jerry Lewis
- Claudine Longet
- Ed McMahon
- Jan Murray
- Jack Paar
- Bobby Rydell
- Roberta Sherwood
- Bill "Moose" Skowron
- Danny Thomas
- Andy Williams
Actors who appeared in guest starring roles include:
- Jack Albertson
- Merry Anders
- Cliff Arquette
- Parley Baer
- Raymond Bailey
- Neville Brand
- Jean Carson
- Jackie Coogan
- Henry Gibson
- Sterling Holloway
- Nancy Kulp
- Sue Ane Langdon
- Joi Lansing
- George Lindsey
- Howard McNear
- Jaye P. Morgan
- Burt Mustin
- Maidie Norman
- Dennis O'Keefe
- Barbara Stanwyck
- George Tobias
- Lee Van Cleef
- Dawn Wells
Upon its premiere, The Joey Bishop Show struggled in the ratings. After the first re-tooling, ratings for the series improved and NBC renewed it for another season. The series' second revamped season proved to be popular with audiences and ratings increased. By the end of the third season, the series had dropped in the ratings again and NBC announced it would be dropped from its lineup in January 1964 (the series' third season finale episode aired in May 1964).
In September 1964, CBS announced it had picked up The Joey Bishop Show for the 1964-65 television season. The Season 4 debut episode, "Joey Goes to CBS", premiered on September 27, 1964. Ratings for The Joey Bishop Show remained low and CBS announced its cancellation in January 1965. The series finale aired on March 30, 1965.
The series was executive produced by Danny Thomas and his production company, Bellmar Enterprises. It was filmed at Desilu Studios in front of a live studio audience, with a laugh track added during post-production for "sweetening" purposes.
Upon its debut on NBC in 1961, The Joey Bishop Show was telecast in black-and-white. The series switched to color for the second and third seasons. After it moved to CBS, it reverted to black-and-white.
One Season 3 episode of The Joey Bishop Show is now considered lost. The episode (known only as #85) was filmed on November 15, 1963 and guest starred comedian and impressionist Vaughn Meader. Meader rose to fame in the early 1960s for his impersonation of then-President John F. Kennedy featured on the popular comedy album The First Family. The episode centered around Meader performing his Kennedy impersonation in routines opposite Joey Bishop. A week after filming, President Kennedy was assassinated in Dallas. President Kennedy's death promptly ended Meader's career - his club bookings and television appearances were quickly canceled and his albums were pulled from stores. The episode featuring Meader was scheduled to air in February 1964, but was pulled by NBC and never aired. The episode was reportedly erased.
Syndication and DVD release
In September 2004, Questar Entertainment released the complete second season of The Joey Bishop Show on Region 1 DVD in the United States.
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