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Behind Trouble with Father


Stu Erwin and wife June Collyer in “Trouble with Father”

2,839 words

An online blogger [2] and CC commenter recently pointed out [3] that everything is a “goddamned cold fish to the face.” As often as possible, I like to discover where that comes from.

Recently I experienced the cold fish to the face phenomenon while watching an old episode of Trouble with Father (ABC, 1950–1955), a half-hour TV comedy series starring Stu Erwin and his real-life wife June Collyer. (The show is known under several different names, including The Stu Erwin Show.) 

Erwin played a small-town high school principal whose comic mishaps revolved primarily around his home and family. In “Great Debate” (1951), he and other leading men in the community were pitted against their wives’ “rebellion” against domesticity and gender inequality.

Margaret Dumont, Groucho’s stuffy old WASP sidekick from the Marx Brothers movies, played one of the Fifties’ feminists. “Margaret Dumont” was the stage name of Daisy Baker. Though born in Brooklyn, she was raised partly in the South by her godfather, author Joel Chandler Harris.

The entire episode, complete with original General Mills’ Wheaties and Betty Crocker commercials, can be viewed online at YouTube [4], together with 26 of the show’s 128 other episodes.

It is important to note that “Great Debate” is relatively innocuous by today’s standards, and at any rate is not representative of the series as a whole, which is generally quite enjoyable.

TV’s Prototypical “Bumbling Father”?

Trouble with Father is still in existence because it was one of the first television shows filmed on 35 mm film—predating even Desi Arnaz’ and Lucille Ball’s use of traditional Hollywood film techniques to record I Love Lucy. Many early TV shows no longer exist and others survive only as inferior kinescope recordings—films made of a television screen during the initial, live broadcasts.

In The Complete Directory to Prime Time Network and Cable TV Shows, 1946–Present (9th ed., 2007), Tim Brooks and Earle Marsh characterize the show as “perhaps TV’s leading bumbling-father series in the 1950s,” with Erwin portraying “a well-meaning, folksy, but completely incompetent middle-aged suburban parent” whose “every attempt to fix or improve things, surprise someone, or bring up the kids turned to disaster.” His wife June “generally came to the rescue.”

In the final season, 1954–1955, “the producers made an effort to portray Stu as a little less blundering—something devoutly wished for by actor Erwin,” but by then the show had run its course.

I have since seen this characterization all over the Internet, sometimes using Brooks’ and Marsh’s own words.

Erwin is also depicted as “the very first Bumbling Dad on television” [5] on the website Television Tropes & Idioms. The recurrent use of the adjective “bumbling” makes me wonder if everyone is taking their cue from Brooks and Marsh.

Due to the tremendous power of television to mold psychology and direct society, this perspective would be significant if it were accurate.

However, it isn’t really the impression I get from watching the show. With the exception of a few individual episodes in which specific writers had an ideological axe to grind, Erwin’s character seems inoffensive. No one else in the program is notably competent, including his wife. Even so, the family is not dysfunctional, the wife and two daughters defer to Erwin as head of the household, his character is not mocked or ridiculed, and the parents and children have traditionally-defined roles.

Rather, the humor is of a familiar American sort reminiscent of the essays and movie shorts of Robert Benchley, depicting a common man overmatched by seemingly mundane tasks.

On balance, I find the show to be humorous and entertaining. Unlike most sitcoms, Trouble with Father had no laugh track or live studio audience to cue viewers when to laugh. I confess that I didn’t even notice their absence until I saw it mentioned on the Internet.

Early Racist TV Propaganda

Anti-white propaganda, or what we now know to have been anti-white propaganda, was not uncommon in the early days of television.

It was most often framed, fraudulently (as it frequently still is), in terms of required “fairness” to the Other rather than open hatred of whites—although today explicit anti-white racism permeates television programming.

Systematically propagated and endlessly reiterated messages like this do not magically parachute ready-made into millions of homes. They are carefully crafted and broadcast with the intention of psychologically manipulating the target population.

Mass propaganda does work. The minds, worldviews, values, and beliefs of tens of millions of people, including society’s most prosperous, capable, and intelligent members, are radically altered by such methods.

Therefore it is important to think concretely about who crafts false ideas and imposes them upon society.

Numerous examples from the 1950s spring to mind.

Captain Video and His Video Rangers (DuMont Television Network [6], 1949–1955) was one of the most popular children’s shows in TV’s early days. Breaks between scenes were filled with Ranger Messages. While messages on many children’s programs focused on issues such as safely crossing the street, Ranger Messages dealt with topics like “freedom,” the Golden Rule, and (one-sided) nondiscrimination. A vivid example is this one-minute Captain Video spot from 1949 [7].

Singing cowboy Gene Autry had a popular TV program aimed at children. A “Cowboy Code” of Ten Commandments was created to propagandize millions of young viewers. One of the commandments was “[The Cowboy] must not advocate or possess racially or religiously intolerant ideas.”  [8]

In “The Letter Bride [9],” a 1956 episode of the popular Lone Ranger TV show, whites didn’t want Chinese people moving into town. The miscreants were punished by the Lone Ranger, who considered (white) racism especially heinous.

In 2010, a New York Times reader queried the paper [10]:

Television shows in the New York area, and possibly beyond, during the early 1950s would broadcast animated jingles about tolerance. I recall one ad that sang that Thomas Jefferson could have been Jefferski or Jefferwitz. Another was about a trapeze flier named Joe Schmo who crashed because he wouldn’t grab the hands of partners labeled “wrong race” and “wrong religion.” Who was behind those cartoons, and what became of them?

If you doubt the effectiveness of television propaganda, consider that this writer was recollecting in detail messages he’d imbibed during his childhood 60 years before. Those short spots remained in his memory all that time.

Columnist Michael Pollack replied that the spots, usually no more than a few minutes in length, began on radio (Old Time Radio was the predecessor of television) and later migrated to Captain Video and other TV programs. They were created by the Jewish Anti-Defamation League (ADL) and Left-wing groups such as the so-called “Institute for Democratic Education,” so low profile that it was invisible.

Perhaps the biggest collection of tolerance jingles was written by [Jews] Hy Zaret and Lou Singer in 1947, and recorded as an album, Little Songs on Big Subjects. Many of the 11 tunes were later used in cartoons on television. The songs included “What Makes a Good American,” “I’ve Got a Church,” and “The Brown-Skinned Cow.” Impressed by the tunes’ success on the radio, station WNEW commissioned the two men to compose a series about the United Nations, “Little Songs About the U.N.”

Pollak acknowledged that “Some conservatives hated the ads.”

More than some, I’d guess.

The time horizon of Jews is much longer than that of whites, just as whites’ is longer than that of blacks. With the exception of a handful of white conservatives, it must have seemed innocuous. Who could perceive the deeply malevolent intention behind it? Who knew, then, that it would persist, institutionally, across several generations as the various principals running the campaign lived and died?

A Mostly White Program

Minutes into the “Great Debate” I knew I was watching propaganda packaged as “entertainment.” In this case it was anti-male cant designed to undermine traditional male-female relationships in the family.

I became curious about the episode’s genesis.

Trouble with Father was broadcast over Leonard Goldenson’s ABC television network. So the show’s content had to be palatable to Jews. This fact is to a large extent dispositive. Television was a monopoly gatekeeper (strictly speaking, a 3-network oligopoly). That represented enormous power.

Leaving the network aside, Trouble with Father was an uncharacteristically white program, even behind the scenes.

The producers were Hal Roach, Jr. and Roland Reed. The show was filmed on the Roach Studios lot.

Hal Roach was the son of renowned independent Irish American producer Hal Roach, Sr. (Laurel and Hardy, Our Gang). I was unable to turn up anything about Roland Reed of Roland Reed Productions, but will assume that he was also white.

The director of the episode, Howard Bretherton, was white.

Of course, these men were all perfectly aware of the party line that couldn’t be crossed, just as the most unlettered boob today knows what is politically correct and what isn’t—a set of unwritten rules rivaling the U.S. Code in length and complexity. Cross the line, and they wouldn’t be selling product to ABC, CBS (Jew William Paley), or NBC (Jews David, and, later, Robert, Sarnoff).

With one exception, the actors were also white: Stu Erwin as the father, June Collyer as his wife, Ann E. Todd as their eldest daughter, and Sheila James as the youngest child.

Tulsa-born Sheila James (a stage name; her real name is Sheila Kuehl) was an appealing child. She is best known as the teenage girl smitten with Dobie Gillis in The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis (CBS, 1959–1963).

In her mid-30s she graduated from Harvard Law School and from 1994 to 2008 was a Left-wing California state legislator (D.), first in the Assembly, then in the Senate representing Tom Hayden’s old Los Angeles district (she succeeded him when he left office).

Kuehl is now a fat lesbian who sponsored a great deal of anti-white legislation. She sponsored a bill to insure that only Left-wing content could be published in California school books, and was also a major promoter of socialized medicine.

In 2006 she authored California’s hate crimes act. Hate crime laws, state and federal, are the brainchild of the Jewish ADL. Wikipedia smirks, “Her bill targeted crimes, not First Amendment protected speech.”

What does this mean? Call evil good and good evil, up down and down up, white black and black white, and that makes it so?

How many legs does a dog have if you call a tail a leg? Four, because if you call a tail a leg, it’s still a tail.

The only non-white on the program was Willie Best (a.k.a “Sleep ‘n Eat”), the family’s black handyman. He was in the Hollywood mold of fellow Negro actors Stepin Fetchit and Mantan Moreland—the sort society doesn’t like shown anymore.

To be honest, his depiction on the program wasn’t really “racist.” Certainly it cannot hold a candle to what Jews routinely pump out about whites today.

At any rate, the actors had no say in the show’s content.

The Jew in the Woodpile

Since there were so many whites involved in the program, I became curious where the socially inappropriate content came from.

When malign content appeared in Trouble with Father, as it did from time to time, it seemed to derive primarily from the show’s writers. Scriptwriters for the program included Arnold Belgard, Erna Lazarus, Lee Loeb, Al Martin, Lester Pine, and Edward E. Seabrook.

Judging from the names, several were Jewish.

One episode with negative content was “In the Shade of the Old Family Tree” (1953). It ridiculed the family pride of D.A.R./Mayflower-type Old Americans, an attitude still common at the time. Such feelings fostered group consciousness that Jews loathed.

When a neighbor couple discovered prominent Pilgrim ancestors in their family tree, Stu stated that Erwin family tradition indicated that he was descended from Peter Stuyvesant.

After a great deal of mockery and social jockeying, it turns out that he was descended instead from a horse thief and a Revolutionary soldier who was a “traitor” to our country (i.e., a Loyalist).

The episode was written by Jewess Erna Lazarus.

In “Great Debate” Stu and other men in the community became concerned about their wives’ club activities, neglect of domestic duties, and desire for female independence. A reluctant Stu was nominated to be the group’s spokesman. (All the men were intimidated by their wives.)

Stu ran an “Irate Husband” letter in a newspaper owned by one of the men, which resulted in his trying unsuccessfully to defend his position on the radio against June. The program ends with the women leading their husbands—all prominent figures in the community—off by the ear.

The author of the episode (the only one he wrote for the series) was Oliver Crawford.


TV Scriptwriter Oliver Crawford

Crawford, it turns out, had just begun his writing career. He later became a highly successful television writer for shows like Star Trek, Bonanza, Quincy, M.E., Perry Mason, and the Kraft Television Theatre, in addition to penning novels and plays.

After discovering his name, which I was unfamiliar with, I thought he might be white. But after years of painstakingly applying the inductive method to the question “Who’s a Jew?” [12] you develop a certain feel for them. The author’s real name turned out to be Oliver Kaufman.

“Victim” of the Blacklist

Two years after the episode aired, Crawford was summoned before the House Committee on Un-American Activities (HCUA). Subsequently he was blacklisted for a brief time. I assume he was a party member like his good friend Sam Wanamaker (also Jewish), but the scanty sources will not state that such was the case.

It doesn’t matter. Employing the same standards used to label people “racist,” “anti-Semitic,” or “neo-Nazi” today, Crawford/Kaufman unquestionably qualifies as a Communist.

Keep in mind that the blacklist was imposed by Hollywood’s top Jewish executives in order to safeguard Jewish control over motion pictures and television, not by anyone else. Many “blacklisted” Jews and Communists simply continued writing for the studios under fictitious names.

In New York City during his brief exile, Crawford created a comic strip and showed his artwork in galleries.

After four years, in 1957, his daughter later said, “my father got a call to come back to Hollywood. He said, ‘What about the blacklist?’ They said ‘Shhh. Don’t say anything.’ So we returned to Los Angeles, and my father’s career never stopped.” A Jewish actor named Sam Levene got him his first job.

Crawford continued to pour Left-wing propaganda into his scripts.

In Death Valley Days (1962) he injected the theme of “religious tolerance,” garnering an award from the National Conference of Christians and Jews; “Let That Be Your Last Battlefield” (1969) for Star Trek  featured a man who was half black and half white; his script for The Bold Ones was about surrogacy (an arrangement whereby a woman who may or may not be the genetic mother carries and delivers a child for another couple or person); “Love and Grandma” (1970) for Love, American Style was about an old woman having extramarital sex with a man in a retirement home.

In his novel The Execution (1978), Elsa Spahn recognizes Malibu restaurateur “Papa Grossman” as Dr. Wilhelm Gebhert, the “Butcher of Birkenau.” She shares her discovery with her four mahjong partners—three Jewesses, one half-Jew, and a goy, all of whom had been raped in the camp by the “diabolical sadist.” Since Gebhert had already served a short war crimes sentence, he is beyond the reach of the law. The five women draw lots to see who will murder him. The winner: widow Frieda Friedkin. She polishes Gebhert off with chloral hydrate, giving her her first orgasm in thirty years.

This righteous tale of moral uplift was made into a TV movie starring Loretta Swit in 1985, for which Crawford also wrote the screenplay. (Talk about lucrative.) Jewish Hollywood Communist John Randolph played the judge. In the movie, the German victim is a doctor who had experimented on the women in the camp when they were girls. The producers gave special thanks to the Simon Wiesenthal Center.

Crawford liked The Execution: “You don’t have to explain the villainy. You don’t have to explain your villain. He’s there.”

Yes, it’s a deeply-embedded fairy tale now. It has been elaborated in so many different variations that the line between truth and fiction vanished long ago.

As a member of the board of directors of the Writers Guild for decades, Crawford pushed for “financial restitution” for the “victims” of the Hollywood blacklist (including himself). He got the anti-Communist loyalty oath removed from the group’s membership application.

Keep in mind that I’d never heard of Oliver Crawford before seeing “Great Debate.” I had no idea what I’d find before my search, if anything.

Still, the episode, even in a comparatively innocuous presentation, was a cold fish across the face. So I looked into everyone involved with the show to concretely identify, if possible, the likely source of the propaganda.

Despite the existence of millions of ambitious white opportunists and dedicated anti-white Leftists, you can identify patterns like this more often than not in most areas of social activity.

The consistency of the pattern is uncanny.