Some of the most unique sitcoms in American history were made in black and white. And then, somewhere along the line, they were converted to color and this gave them a new dynamic and not to mention a resurgence in views.
Since the resurgence of such shows, there are now details that we never noticed before. Whether you’re a lifelong fan of I Love Lucy or The Munsters, you might not have noticed these details – whether you watched them in black and white or color.
If you’re a fan of classic sitcoms, let’s look back to see what made these shows so fascinating and why they become colorized. These details will enhance your viewing of the show and make you appreciate them in a way you haven’t before!
Join FactsVerse to learn about how colorized classic sitcoms reveal details we never noticed before…
HOW THE MUNSTERS CAME TO BE
Leave It To Beaver and The Munsters couldn’t be more different when it comes to shows – but alas, both shows had the same creator!
Joe Connelly and Bob Mosher were the creators of Leave It To Beaver and they decided to write about a typical All-American family, something they could relate to. Oddly enough, this was the exact same approach they took with The Munsters – only the characters resembled some of their favorite horror characters.
Just as Leave It To Beaver was a sweet show that families and especially children could enjoy – they wanted the same for The Munsters. The characters might have looked frightening at first but they were sweet and Herman especially was bumbling. This made the show a huge hit among children.
But how exactly did the show’s creators decide on those specific horror characters? How did they decide that Grandpa should resemble Count Dracula and that Herman should resemble Frankenstein’s monster?
It just so happened that The Munsters was produced by Universal and it was this company that owned the copyright to the monster characters that were eventually used for The Munsters. So the show’s creators didn’t have to go through any additional legal rigmarole and didn’t have to worry about paying royalties or anything else.
Living Doll was a unique show about a man who had the perfect wife – although she wasn’t actually real! The show starred Robert Cummings and Julie Neymar and on-screen they looked perfect. There were rumors that Robert Cummings didn’t get along with his co-star and that he left the set several times. However, Julie Neymar has dispelled this myth many times.
Julie Neymar especially loved the show and found it to be a rather unique concept. In fact, she always wanted to ask Efrem Zimbalist Jr. why he turned down the role that eventually went to Robert Cummings. But she loved working with Robert Cummings and felt that he himself was a living doll!
This was a short-lived sitcom that only lasted for 1 season and was thought to be “lost” for several decades before being recovered. It’s found a resurgence since being colorized and we expect it to gain even more traction in the coming years.
WOULD AMERICANS ACCEPT LUCY AND DESI?
We all know that I Love Lucy is a great show and is an American institution in itself. But many people don’t remember that it was actually rather controversial – especially when it came to the marriage between the two main characters.
CBS studios were hesitant to show Lucy, an All-American woman being married to Ricky Ricardo – who would be seen as a foreigner. However, the two had been married together for over a decade and this helped their on-screen chemistry.
Nevertheless, there was huge apprehension on whether audiences would accept seeing a mixed-marriage and whether the show would last like this. Eventually, they relented – but only because Lucy and Desi had to put up a fight.
The two of them traveled around the country and gave live performances. This was done to test out whether audiences would accept an interracial couple in real life. Audiences loved the chemistry, the talent, and the humor that Lucy and Desi brought and it was decided that the show would go on after all.
Being that Ricky Ricardo was of foreign extraction, much of the humor was made at the expense of his English. But if you look back at the show, you’ll notice that only Lucy would make fun of his English.
While making fun of foreign cultures and stereotypes was commonplace in the 1950s and 1960s, the shows creators wanted to show that Ricky was indeed part of the country and didn’t want to put too much focus in making him look like a foreigner.
Therefore, it was only Lucy who could make fun of his English which she did on occasion and perhaps these are some of the funniest scenes of the show!
THE ADDAMS FAMILY
The Addams Family is one of the best sitcoms that America has ever produced and like I Love Lucy, is a cultural phenomenon.
The surname, Addams, came from the family’s creator Charles Addams. But Charles Addams was originally the creator of the original comic strip on which the show and subsequent adaptations are based on.
But did you know in this original comic series, the characters didn’t have first names?
It wasn’t until the show was commissioned that Charles Addams and the show’s creators came up with names for the creepy and kooky characters.
For example, did you know that Gomez was originally going to be named Repelli?
John Astin who played the character was given the choice to decide on the character’s name and its because of him that we now love and remember Gomez Addams.
By the way – side note – did you know that Ted Cassidy played both Lurch and Thing? So, the same actor played the character with the biggest physical presence and the character with the smallest physical presence!
The Addams Family was also the first American sitcom to show characters who owned a home computer. But of course, their computer looked more like a gigantic apparatus than the device you’re using to watch this video right now!
The Addams Family theme song is arguably one of the most memorable in American TV show history. But it could have been even more intricate if it had multiple singers which was the original intention. However, the producers weren’t willing to cough up the cash for multiple singers so it was just Vic Mizzy – but he ended up making a classic that we’re still snapping our fingers to today!
WHEN DENNIS CAME ACROSS MENACE
We all remember Dennis The Menace and how young Dennis would wreak havoc around the neighborhood – and how he especially gave a headache to his neighbor Mr. Wilson.
The original show starred Jay North as the troublesome Dennis. But did you know that after retiring from acting, Jay North actually confronted menace in his real life? He embarked upon a career to help juvenile delinquents.
He worked as a corrections officer and later served as a mentor to help troubled youngsters in Florida. He has dedicated his life to a noble cause after quitting show business. Perhaps there will be fewer Dennis the Menace’s in reality thanks to the original Dennis himself.
THE CLEAVER’S BATHROOM
While this might not seem shocking today, Leave It To Beaver was one of the first American sitcoms to ever show a bathroom and to ever show a toilet.
There were some episodes that were shot partially in the bathroom and one that was almost entirely shot in the bathroom. One notorious episode featured a baby alligator hidden in the toilet tank!
While we might not think of Leave It To Beaver as a rebellious show – it certainly was in more ways than one!
MEET THE GOLDBERGS
Perhaps you don’t remember the show The Goldbergs – which was a sitcom that ran from 1949 to 1956. What makes this show so special is that it was the first American sitcom to showcase a Jewish family.
One must remember the time that this was made. It was a few years after the Second World War and the Holocaust. The show made us peek into the lives of Jewish-Americans – many whom had lived in the country for generations and many who were new arrivals – fleeing Europe and hoping to find a new life in America.
The show originally was a radio play and was then later adapted to the stage. But the TV show became a huge hit and after it was colorized it began to have a resurgence. One hopes that it will have a continued resurgence in the coming years.
30 YEARS TO RESOLVE THE CASE
One of the most famous Western shows of all time was “Have Gun – Will Travel.” But did you know that this show was embroiled in a lawsuit that went on for 30 years?
In the original show, the main character, played by Richard Boone is never referred to by name. The character is sometimes referred to as Paladin and he hands out business cards on occasion.
The show was sued by a man named Victor de Costa who claimed that he went by the moniker Paladin and that he would hand out business cards that had the phrase “have gun will travel” on them?
Well, Mr. de Costa didn’t think so and he sued the producers claiming that they stole his name for the show. In April 1991, the courts decided that he was due compensation and he was given it. However, he died before the court case came to an end so he never actually received this compensation.
So, now let’s hear from you:
Are you a fan of any of these shows? Did you know about any of these fascinating details?
In fact, here’s what we want to know from you:
Do you think that colorizing black-and-white television shows and films were a good idea?
Or does this ruin the original intent of the artists and change the mood of the content?