Our Miss Brooks (Radio)

For years, Eve Arden made a pretty good living playing sarcastic, wise-cracking second leads in movies. She even got an Oscar nomination in 1945 for her role in Mildred Pierce. But around that time, she decided it was time to broaden her appeal and try to get some lead roles and parts that were less abrasive. She managed both with the hit radio show Our Miss Brooks, which went on the air in 1948. It cast her as Connie Brooks, an English teacher at Madison High School who struggled with wayward students and red-tape bureaucracy. Connie was a bit nicer than most of the characters she’d played before, which is to say she only skewered people now and then.

Sharing the mike with her were veteran comic actor Gale Gordon (as the school principal, Osgood Conklin), Robert Rockwell (as Biology teacher Philip Boynton), Richard Crenna (as gawky student Walter Denton) and a wide array of good character actors as pupils and faculty. Wilbur Hatch, whose name is familiar to everyone from the I Love Lucy credits, conducted the orchestra.

Our Miss Brooks aired on Sunday nights. The first ticket above from 3/8/53 is for a live broadcast done from the CBS studio on Vine Street. The other two tickets are from 1954, by which time the show was being recorded Friday evenings at the CBS facility on Sunset for transmission the following Sunday evening. It lasted on the air until 1956, by which time it had already made a successful transition to television with pretty much the same cast.