Surprising Details from Your Favorite Sitcoms You Never Noticed

February 6, 2024

Unlikely Partners Made "Car 54, Where Are You?" a Fan Favorite. 

This collection of colorized images from classic 1950s and 1960s black-and-white television shows will have you reminiscing about some of your favorite past series. If you were a fan when these shows originally aired, you will love to learn the behind-the-scenes secrets, fun facts, feuds, and tragedies that were not publicly known about these classic shows at the time. Sit back, relax, and enjoy a blast from the past with these colorized screen stills from classic black-and-white television shows.

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It was like The Odd Couple, but in a squad car. The creators of Car 54, Where Are You? wanted to depict two different personalities but they also wanted a visual representation of their differences. That’s why they cast 6-foot, 5-inch Fred Gwynne as Francis Muldoon and 5-foot, 7-inch Joe E. Ross as his partner, Gunther Toody. Appearances aside, Gwynne’s character was a reserved, brainy, and shy bachelor, while Ross’s character was dim-witted, loud-mouthed, and married to a hen-pecking wife. The juxtaposition of the two unlikely partners made the series popular among viewers from September of 1961 to April of 1963. 

"My Favorite Martian" Nearly Ruined Ray Walston's Acting Career. 

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When it debuted in 1963, My Favorite Martian was the first television sitcom with a science fiction theme. It was often lumped with Bewitched and I Dream of Jeannie as the earliest sci-fi series, but the later two are really based in magic, whereas My Favorite Martian is a focused on science and technology. Character actor Ray Walston was cast as the title role. Later, Walston said he regretted taking the role, but he did so because he needed the money. After the show ended in 1966, Walston had trouble landing other roles. Casting directors had trouble seeing him in more serious roles. Despite this, Walston said that the best thing about the show was meeting his co-star, Bill Bixby. Walston and Bixby became good friends.