CAROLE LOMBARD - My Favorite Actress

Monday, April 18, 2011

The Greatest TV Comedies - Bewitched (1964-1971)

Yes, Bewitched is one of my favorite shows of all time. I remember when TBS would air it alongside I Dream Of Jeannie, and while I also like Jeannie, I thought Bewitched was better. Mainly because of the terrific performance of Elizabeth Montgomery as Samantha. Here is the story: Advertising executive Darrin Stephens (played by two different actors-Dick York and Dick Sargent: York was the better of the two) marries Samantha, a witch and they settle down in Westport, Connecticut at 1164 Morning Glory Circle. Samantha promised Darrin she would give up using magic to live the quiet life with him but that was easier said than done. Especially when Sam's mother Endora (played wonderfully by the great Agnes Moorehead) would pop in unannounced to stir things up. Endora and Darrin did not get along at all. She would constantly mispronounce his name and call him Durwood or Darwin. She would frequently turn Darrin into different kinds of animals or send to far away places. Of course Sam would have to do her best to bring these two together and it was never easy, but it provided plenty of laughs. Sam also had to deal with her nosy neighbor Mrs. Kravitz, who would always see Sam perform some magical trick and couldn't convince her husband of what she saw. Sam's mother wasn't the only relative to drop by. There was her dad, Maurice (played by Maurice Evans) who was debonair and doted on his daughter. But he too, despised Darrin. Sam had an uncle named Arthur (played to the hilt by Paul Lynde). Whenever Arthur showed up, it was like comedy night, as he let loose with a barrage of one liners and jokes. Next was Aunt Esmeralda (played by Alice Ghostley) who was very accident prone. Then there was Aunt Clara (Marion Lorne) who had trouble remembering certain spells. Sam even had a doctor at her beck and call named Dr. Bombay (Bernard Fox). Every fan should know the procedure for calling Dr. Bombay. Sam would recite his name several times like this: Calling Dr. Bombay..Calling Dr. Bombay. And he would magically appear right that second. And finally Sam had her wild sister Serena (Montgomery played both roles to great effect)who would constantly try to get Darrin into all kinds of trouble. That is an impressive cast list right there for supporting characters. And lets not forget Darrin's boss Larry Tate (David White) who was often confused at the antics going on at the Stephen's household. The series would eventually introduce a child into the mix as Sam and Darrin had a daughter named Tabitha (who also had magical powers).
Bewitched was a different type of sitcom during the 60's mainly because of the supernatural aspect of, but it was still one of the funniest ones ever to grace the small screen. Elizabeth Montgomery is truly excellent in her role as Samantha. She imbued Sam with smarts, good looks, and self reliance. She was nominated for an Emmy for five consecutive years for her role and don't ask me why or how she never won at least once. Major oversight on the Emmy's behalf. But anyway, Bewitched is a classic comedy series that ran for 8 years and produced a magical 254 episodes. It still airs today on cable and I watch it every now and then. And for the record I Dream Of Jeannie is a classic in it's own right too and I'm not knocking it. I will probably write a blog about it too. But there is something about Bewitched and Elizabeth Montgomery that had me at the very beginning. Her little quirks and sayings made her so adorable. Like before she performed any magic she would have to twinkle her nose or when she would get into trouble, she would draw out the word weeeellllllllllllll! Good stuff.


Check out this video clip of Samantha going through some highs and lows in emotions...


Caftan Woman said...

"Bewitched" introduced me to my first favourite character actor, George Tobias. He really cracked me up as Abner Kravitz. Both Alice Pearce and Sandra Gould put their own stamp on busybody Gladys. Good memories.

I don't think Esmerelda, the klutziest housekeeper of all time, was Sam's Aunt.

Desiree said...

Ahhh, Bewitched is one of my favorite TV shows, too--my 3rd favorite, actually, and I have 5 of the seasons (the Dick York episodes) on DVD. Sometimes I watch a disc on the weekend with my mom. I really loved the slightly crazier characters like Endora and Serena. I know Liz Montgomery had a lot of fun playing Serena, even donning the black wig and pretending to be her, completely fooling someone in the crew (I forget who). Elizabeth was a great actress and did such a good job in this role... and the clip you showed of her going from laughing to crying and back again in the "Willow tree" episode is amazing, I always thought. It had to have beeen difficult to go back and forth through emotions like that. :)

Desiree said...

Oh, and I must add, Uncle Arthur was also another of my favorites, haha.

Irene Palfy said...

Like many others I am a great fan of this series, too! :")

Audrey said...

I love Elizabeth Montgomery in this role! I agree that her naturalness, charm and those sayings (I always loved the way she says "weelll", and "oh my stars!"). Such a great--and often under-rated performer. The reoccurring supporting cast members were always great, too.

Anonymous said...

Elizabeth Montgomery was amazing in this role. I love Bewitched I have all 8 seasons the Barbie doll, Elizabeth Montgomery Bio and a trash can. I used to watch this show all the time when I was little. Those were the good old days. I will pull them out every once in a while and watch them all over again. I can also wiggle my nose as well. I did it once at school for something and one of my friends was like OMG you can wiggle your nose just like Samantha off of Bewitched. Thanks for the post.


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