Riley worked in an aircraft plant in California, but viewers usually saw him at home, cheerfully disrupting life with his malapropisms and ill timed intervention into minor problems. His stock answer to every turn of fate became a catch phrase: ‘What a revoltin’ development this is!”
Season 1 Ep.01: Tonsils
Riley visits the company doctor after swallowing a small fish bone. The doctor finds he’s suffering from tonsillitis and needs an operation immediately. Riley over reacts and turns the situation into a life and death struggle despite the reassurance of family and friends. Riley goes to the extreme of even preparing a will and testament. The surgery is canceled at the last second and he is returned to his room. He then has to go through the emotional trauma of the operation again when the surgeon arrives to complete the treatment.
Jackie Gleason played Chester A. Arthur, before William Bendix did it. The original series ran from October 1949 to March 1950. The second series ran from January 1953 to August of 1958.
The series ran on radio in 1943 and 1944 and starred Bendix.
Chester A. Riley worked at a aircraft plant as a riveter. Rosemary DeCamp played his wife.
There is a classic quote from the series, whenever Riley got into a jam. “What a revoltin’ development this is!” Sid Tomack, played his co-worker Jim Gillis. John Brown also starred. He played Riley’s sarcastic friend nicknamed “Digger” The smiling undertaker always said, “”Guess I’d be shoveling off…” Brown,also starred in The Burns and Allen Series and was blacklisted by the “red scare” of the 50s.
Cast and Crew:
Jackie Gleason, Rosemary DeCamp and Lanny Rees
Director: Herbert I. Leeds
Writers: Irving Brecher, Alan Lipscott and Reuben Ship
Production Company: Filmtone Productions
Audio/Visual: mono, black & white
Date Release: 1949
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Filed Under: Life of Riley