Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Michael Callan in The Occasional Wife (1966)

Obscurity factor: 10

Peter Christopher (Callan) is frustrated with his lack of progress at work - he seems to be hitting a glass ceiling. When he discusses it with his boss he learns that only married men are promoted, so he hits on an idea - why not enlist the help of his friend Greta (Patricia Harty) to pretend to be his wife? The premise is a bit creaky, but the show has some fun moments and really reflects the swing singles culture that existed back in the 60's. In the clip of the episode below (part one of 3), look for Jack Riley (Mr. Carlin from The Bob Newhart Show) as a rival executive.

This series lasted only 1 season and hasn't been released on DVD. There is some footage available on YouTube - this episode was uploaded by 2nicks.

Obscurity factor: 10 (not available on DVD, one episode and some random footage on YouTube, largely forgotten)


  1. I remember when this was shown on one of the comedy networks back in the early-1990s. I think it was on "HA!" It was well-acted and could be fun, but it was a one-joke premise. It is the kind of premise that seems better suited to a movie than a continuing series. I wonder how they would have kept it going if the show had been a hit. Patricia Harty was very talented. It is a shame she did not have a bigger career. She was the lead in "Blondie" the next season, but that was also not a success.

  2. This episode was taped off Comedy Central - it's branded with it and has ads for the 1992 election.

  3. I love this show. The premise was very funny - and still is today - sort of an "odd couple" feel to it. The narration and cuts were witty and fun. I read somewhere that the premise was not widely appreciated by the more conservative network viewing audience at the time. "Pretending to be married" to advance a career I guess turned off some viewers.

    1. It would have been interesting to see how the storyline developed...