The Paul Lynde Show

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The Paul Lynde Show
Genre Sitcom
Created by Ron Bobrick
Sam Clark
(based on a play by Phoebe Ephron)
Directed by William Asher
Bruce Bilson
Jack Donohue
Jerry London
Oscar Rudolph
Coby Ruskin
George Tyne
Starring Paul Lynde
Elizabeth Allen
Jane Actman
Composer(s) Shorty Rogers
Country of origin United States
Original language(s) English
No. of seasons 1
No. of episodes 26
Executive producer(s) Harry Ackerman
Producer(s) William Asher
Camera setup Multi-camera
Running time 22–24 minutes
Production company(s) Ashmont Productions
Screen Gems
Distributor Screen Gems (original)
Columbia TriStar Domestic Television (2001)
Sony Pictures Television
Original network ABC
Audio format Monaural
Original release September 13, 1972 (1972-09-13) – September 8, 1973 (1973-09-08)

The Paul Lynde Show is an American sitcom that aired on ABC. The series stars Paul Lynde and aired for one season, with original episodes running from September 13, 1972 to March 14, 1973.


The series starred Lynde as Paul Simms, a general practice attorney and the father of a family that consisted of his wife Martha (Elizabeth Allen) and daughters Barbara (Jane Actman) and Sally (Pamelyn Ferdin).

It also starred John Calvin as Barbara's husband, Howie Dickerson, an eccentric university student who was of genius intelligence (IQ 185) and was a whiz with everything and full of advice, but, inexplicably, he could not manage to hold down a job, and Jerry Stiller and Anne Meara as Howie's parents, Barney and Grace Dickerson. Howie's misadventures around the house and his lack of steady employment would drive his father in-law to distraction and would get him in a slow burn anger.

Critics perceived the show as derivative of All in the Family, then television's most popular primetime program. For his role in the series, Lynde was nominated for a Best Actor Golden Globe.



Episode # Episode title Original airdate
1-1 "Howie Comes Home to Roost" September 13, 1972
1-2 "Whiz Kid Sizzles As Quiz Fizzles" September 20, 1972
1-3 "The Landlord" September 27, 1972
1-4 "No Nudes is Good Nudes" October 4, 1972
1-5 "To Commune or Not to Commune" October 11, 1972
1-6 "How to be Unhappy, Though Poor" October 18, 1972
1-7 "Pollution Solution" October 25, 1972
1-8 "To Wed or Not to Wed" November 1, 1972
1-9 "Unsteady Going" November 8, 1972
1-10 "Whose Lib?" November 22, 1972
1-11 "Meet Aunt Charlotte" November 29, 1972
1-12 "An Affair to Forget" December 6, 1972
1-13 "Martha's Last Hurrah" December 13, 1972
1-14 "Paul's Desperate Hour" December 20, 1972
1-15 "No More Mr. Nice Guy" December 27, 1972
1-16 "The Bare Facts" January 3, 1973
1-17 "Howie's Inheritance" January 10, 1973
1-18 "P.S. I Loathe You" January 17, 1973
1-19 "The Congressman's Son" January 24, 1973
1-20 "Out of Bounds" January 31, 1973
1-21 "Is This Trip Necessary?" February 7, 1973
1-22 "Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Your Mother-in-Law But Were Afraid to" February 14, 1973
1-23 "Back Talk" February 21, 1973
1-24 "Barbara Goes Home to Mother" February 28, 1973
1-25 "Togetherness" March 7, 1973
1-26 "Springtime for Paul" March 14, 1973


Scheduled opposite the first half of the Top 30 hit The Carol Burnett Show on CBS and the Top 20 hit Adam-12 on NBC, the series garnered low ratings and was canceled after one season (26 episodes). After the series ended, Lynde continued as center square on The Hollywood Squares until leaving the show in 1979.


The show was based on the play Howie, about a lawyer, played by Lynde, whose daughter marries a slacker named Howard, or "Howie". The Lynde character despises him as he is not interested in earning money or traditional pursuits. Howie was later developed for CBS in 1962, as a replacement for The Dick Van Dyke Show, but when that series was saved from cancellation, plans for Howie were discarded.[1]

William Asher later resurrected the Howie concept for ABC and Screen Gems as a replacement for Bewitched. Asher and then-wife Elizabeth Montgomery were contractually obligated to another season of Bewitched for ABC. Montgomery was not interested in continuing the series (as she and Asher were on the verge of divorcing), and The Paul Lynde Show was created to fulfill the contract. Lynde had appeared numerous times on Bewitched as the "Uncle Arthur" character. Asher designed The Paul Lynde Show to be ABC's counterpart to CBS's All In The Family; however, the show lacked the controversial and topical issues brought up by All In The Family, due to ABC's continued restriction on social issues at the time. This was despite Lynde's rewrite of the show's dialog in an effort to make the series more lively and comedic.[1]

The show was filmed before a live audience, with a laugh track added during post-production.

The next season, Asher would cast Lynde as the male lead on his other show, Temperatures Rising, which lasted until 1974.


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