Lou @ oldiestelevision.com remembers Mama
I was a wee lad when I battled with my mama as to what to watch Wednesdays at 8PM.
I wanted to watch "Mama" on CBS," my mother preferred "The Dennis Day Show" on NBC.
(You'd think it'd be the other way around, since Cliff Arquette as Mt Idy's Charley Weaver was a
regular with the Irish Tenor/comedian). But I loved mama, mine and Peggy Wood as the
mother knows best patriarch of a lively blue collar Norwegian family, The Hansens, living in San Francisco.
I didn't read the book it was based on the novel "Mama's Bank Account" by John Van Druten and the 1945 motion picture "I Remember Mama" starring Irene Dunne. But at age five, watching kidvid Howdy Doody, Pinky Lee and Uncle Fred's Junior Frolics, I remembered Mama as my favorite to do battle with my own mama over Dennis Day. At least the family drank Maxwell House coffee, TV Mama's primary sponsor. The television series title eventually changed from "Mama" to "I Remember Mama" as a in reminder of the enormously popular, award winning movie as Nielson ratings began to falter.
About Peggy Wood Born in Brooklyn, NY, Peggy Wood was the daughter of a popular Manhattan columnist. Gifted with a lilting soprano voice, she began her stage career in musicals and operettas. Her chief Broadway fame rested in multilayered dramatic roles, though she was also an expert comedienne when the occasion arose. In her heyday, Wood was a member of the New York "intellectual" circuit, making occasional lunchtime stopovers at the Algonquin Round Table. A star on stage, Wood seldom appeared in anything larger than supporting roles in films; for example, she had only one scene as the sympathetic central-casting secretary in David O. Selznick's A Star Is Born (1937). From 1949 through 1957, Wood starred on the popular TV series Mama, reportedly exerting a great deal of script and casting control. Peggy Wood's last screen appearance was as the Mother Abbess in the Oscar-winning musical The Sound of Music (1965); sadly, her once beautiful singing voice was a thing of the past, and she had to be dubbed. - Hal Erickson, Rovi