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The Harold Peary Show Radio Program

Dee-Scription: Home >> D D Too Home >> Radio Logs >> The Harold Peary Show

Billboard article of August 26th 1950 teases the new Harold Peary Show
Billboard article of August 26th 1950 teases the new Harold Peary Show

Harold Peary circa 1950
Harold Peary circa 1950

More popularly remembered as The Great Gildersleeve, Hal Peary had performed over Radio since 1925
More popularly remembered as The Great Gildersleeve, Hal Peary had performed over Radio since 1925

Harold Peary in a 'crusading' moment at the CBS mike as 'Honest Harold' Hemp for The Harold Peary Show
Harold Peary in a 'crusading' moment at the CBS mike as 'Honest Harold' Hemp for The Harold Peary Show

Hal Peary's real-life wife of five years, Gloria Holiday, portrayed Station KHJP's PBX Operator in The Harold Peary Show
Hal Peary's real-life wife of five years, Gloria Holiday, portrayed Station KHJP's PBX Operator in The Harold Peary Show

Announcer Bob LeMond, only recently Lt. Bob LeMond, had helped found the South Pacific's Mosquito Network for the AFRS
Announcer Bob LeMond, only recently Lt. Bob LeMond, had helped found the South Pacific's Mosquito Network for the AFRS

In 1951 Hal Peary seized on the recent visibility in The Harold Peary Show to launch a brief recording career for Coral Records. He'd previously recorded several chlidrens' recordings for Capitol Records
In 1951 Hal Peary seized on the recent visibility in The Harold Peary Show to launch a brief recording career for Coral Records. He'd previously recorded several chlidrens' recordings for Capitol Records


It was clear from early in Hal Peary's career that he was a home town success story. The Oakland Tribune in particular, traced Harold Peary--Portuguese-born Harold Jose Pereira de Faria--and his rapidly expanding career from the mid-1930s forward. When San Leandro, California's favorite son hitched his 1937 wagon to rising Radio stars Jim and Marian Jordan of "Fibber McGee and Molly," it was clear that young Hal Peary's talent, with his booming voice and unforgettable laugh, would propel him as far as he cared to take it.

Hence, this clearly partisan Wood Soanes send-up from the October 25th 1950 edition of the Oakland Tribune--on Peary's first real solo outing over CBS Radio, The Harold Peary Show

Curtain Calls
 'Honest Harold' Peary Note
Cheers Morning Mail Chore
     Harold Peary was in the mail bag the other day, and, for me, that is always a treat.
     One of Peary's virtues is that he can never, and has no intention of getting the sand of San Leandro out of his feet.
     Most people in show business who come up the hard way, get pretty important.  Not Peary!
     Many years ago when he started out as a tent show actor, he used to send me weekly reports of his "successes."
     "We played 'Grover's Corners' last night" he would write, "and there was tremendous applause when I outwitted the villain and saved the gal from the on-coming freight train.  Of course there were only 50 people in the tent but if 50 people put their minds and their palms to it, they can achieve tremendous applause.  One of these days you are going to be proud of me!"
     So, the other day I received a communication from "Honest Harold"--that's the title of the character he is playing on the radio now that he is out of the "Great Gildersleeve" series.  I don't imagine the letter is privileged because none of his notes ever have been.  This one bore an inscription on the envelope:  "Private, Personal and to be Read Aloud to All Who Will Listen."
     "Dear Wood:  The virus flu has had me down again and I have been trying to bake it out between shows at Palm Springs.  Imagine me at Palm Springs!  Anyway it worked and I have been able to make all scheduled appearances.
     "Everytime I start losing weight, I get everything.  My wife called this one "The Portugese plague!"
     "Speaking of losing weight, I am down to 178 and look the skinny Peary after a season of tent show trouping I did in '20 earning two bills per week for 18 weeks, in Stockton and Medford . . . I've got to get over that 'paunchy look' I had as Gildersleeve.  TV is just around the corner.
     "Honest Harold" seems to be catching on and the press have been most kind helping us to get started.  I hired a demon press agent, Henry Rogers of Rogers-Cowan and they have been getting me the sort of publicity that I have never been able to crack before--columns, the syndicated kind, and motion picture fan mags etc., and a lot of good fat newspaper stuff in the East and Middle West.
     I'm really enjoying the new character and my part in forming it--but being an employer and having a 'Package Show' sounds great--but the work connected with it is no joke . . . government forms . . . libel insurance to buy . . . bookkeeping of all sorts . . . it's a seven day a week job . . . all that besides getting the script out with the writers . . . casting the actors . . . helping the musical director with his musical bridges . . . screaming at the censor . . . All in all I think I'll live.
     "By the way has Mrs. Soanes finished laying the stones on your Marin Patio?  . . . As ever Hal."
     Not yet, dear Harold, and she could use a strong boy with a weak mind as hod-carrier.  Are you in the mood?

As must be apparent, Bay Area writer Wood Soanes and San Leandro's Hal Peary had been friends for a couple of decades prior to 1950. To be a bit more accurate--and unbiased--The Harold Peary Show was still struggling after its first couple of months of national broadcasts. Hal Peary's first solo jump from the safe envelope of Fibber McGee and Molly had been the NBC spin-off of "Fibber," The Great Gildersleeve, starring Peary as the inimitable, garrulous Throckmorton Philharmonic Gildersleeve.

The Great Gildersleeve, one of Radio's earliest spin-offs, was an unqualified success by any measure. A Kraft Foods vehicle, The Great Gildersleeve was deemed successful enough to take the Hal Peary and Throckmorton P. Gildersleeve to Film, beginning with RKO's The Great Gildersleeve in 1942. Thereafter followed in rapid succession, Gildersleeve's Bad Day and Gildersleeve On Broadway in 1943 and Gildersleeve's Ghost in 1944.

Hal Peary's success in both Radio and Film thus firmly established The Great Gildersleeve continued its inexorable climb to become one of Radio's most iconic programs of the era--but it remained a Kraft-controlled vehicle throughout--until the 'poaching war' between NBC and CBS.

The post-WWII skirmishes over Radio supremacy escalated into a full-out war between NBC and CBS when CBS successfully pilfered both Jack Benny and Burns and Allen from NBC in 1949-1950--with unprecedented talent contracts for the era. NBC was forced to up the talent ante by shoring up its remaining talent with far higher pay, show budgets and perks. Hal Peary for his part, had long hoped to make the jump to Television--and return to Film as well. Having lost a great deal of weight, Peary felt that the time was never better for greener pastures. CBS offered Peary an extremely attractive seven-year contract which also stipulated that Hal Peary could produce his own projects. This was somewhat reminiscent of CBS' previous $1 Million contract it awarded to Joan Davis in the mid-1940s. Unfortunately for Hal Peary, the parallels between the two CBS contracts were all too similar.

John Crosby's syndicated review of The Harold Peary Show from the March 1st 1951 edition of the East Liverpool Review fairly well sums up the state of Hal Peary's first project under his CBS contract:

RIR Love Begins At Forty

     LAST SUMMER the intellectual hierarchy at the Columbia Broadcasting System announced triumphantly that they had absconded with one more N.B.C. star, namely Harold Peary who had been the Great Gildersleeve on N.B.C. since the year two.  Mr. Peary, said C.B.S., had been signed to a seven-year contract and would create a new show and a new character for that network.
     It must have seemed like a a bright idea at the time.  Events have proved it to be an unqualified disaster both for the network and Mr. Peary.  Seven years of the Harold Peary Show!  I don't even think radio will last that long, much less that program.
     The Harold Peary Show, (C.B.S. 9 p.m., Wednesdays), to get down to cases, is a half-hour pullulation of middle-aged adolescence.  It is laid, an apt word for it, in the fictional small town of Melrose Springs where love among the middle-aged germinates like orchids along the Amazon.  Even on The Great Gildersleeve, Mr. Perry had grave difficulties coping with the opposite sex.  The very sight of a girl set him to giggling and, in general, behaving like a 13-year-old.  But, as Gildie, at least he had a few outside interests.

AS HONEST HAROLD, in his new show, the girls occupy all his time.  And, in spite of the fact that he has held hands with an awful lot of babes now, he doesn't seem to getting any better at it.  He still comes apart at the seams at the sight of a pretty face.  The dialogue which ensues during these erotic seizures defies description.  So I'll describe it anyway.

     "I'm coming over to see you, Theodora."
     "Oh, goodie-woodie!"

     Or:  "Pucker up, Florabelle."
     "I'm puckered."
     "I'm tuckered.  Let's go home."

     These passionate utterances, you ought to be warned, are accompanied by such mewing and lowing and gurgling that you may get the idea you're in a barnyard rather than someone's parlor.

     All the girls have flowery names like that -- Florabelle, Theodora, Evalina.  A couple of others are named Tempest and Sunshine.  All I can say is that these babes, who are constantly being overtaken by paroxysms of giggling, richly deserve those handles.  They generally refer to Honest Harold, you'll be interested to know, as "teddy bear", "tootsie roll" and other forms of endearment.

     Love runs rampant even among the old folks on this show.  Honest Harold's mother, who belongs to the Sunny Side of Seventy Club, had a brief fling not so long ago with Zeke Rivers, another Sunny Side member.  They sat around the parlor making eyes at one another and gorging themselves on peanut brittle.

NO REVIEW of the Peary show would be complete without some mention of the Peary laugh, a national phenomenon almost as awe-inspiring as Yellowstone National Park.  Mr. Peary can laugh in three octaves with such intensity, flexibility and volume that in my vicinity we use the program as a moose call.  C.B.S. is so proud of this curious accomplishment that it staged a national laugh contest in 177 cities.

     I don't know who won it and I don't care.  On The Great Gildersleeve the laughter assignment was handled exclusively by Mr. Peary.  But on the new show, everyone helps out.

     Honest Harold's two friends, Doc Yancey and Pete, are both equipped with fruity chuckles and, as mentioned earlier, the girls have almost incessant fits of giggling.  In the rare intervals, when the cast isn't chortling, the studio audience is guffawing, sometimes happily drowning out some of that regrettable dialogue.

     When Honest Harold isn't chasing girls, you're likely to discover him playing with his BB gun or his model planes.  A case of arrested development all along the line, I guess.

     I don't know who the Peary show is aimed at, exactly.  Not me certainly.  Conceivably it is meant to inform and instruct the older folks in small towns.  Gosh, if the old folks haven't got anything better to do with their time than to listen to Honest Harold, they ought to buy a television and look at the Zoo Parade.  They'll find the animal noises much more authentic, possibly even more intelligent.

(c) 1951, New York Tribune

We'll be the first to admit that John Crosby's Radio and Television reviews were invariably caustic--with rare few exceptions. But Crosby was also invariably fair--albeit somewhat snarky. We've read over 300 of Crosby's reviews of the era and we'd have to say that, on sum, Crosby possessed a remarkable knack for zeroing in on his subjects' weaknesses--and strengths.

In re-reading Hal Peary's letter to writer Wood Soanes, it becomes apparent that Peary's own references to the rigors of both producing and starring in his first project for CBS were somewhat prophetic. As usual, John Crosby correctly identified the real weaknesses in The Harold Peary Show--the program's writing and production.

To be fair to both Crosby and Peary, John Crosby had often rhapsodized over The Great Gildersleeve in previous reviews of the Hal Peary era of the show. One could reasonably conclude that CBS had at least hoped that The Harold Peary Show and its 'Honest Harold' character might capitalize on Peary's decade of association with his signature Throckmorton P. Gildersleeve character. There's no disputing that Peary's signature chortles translated reasonably well to the character of 'Honest Harold' Hemp.

And indeed, among Hal Peary's other accomplishments over Radio, Peary's appearance in the March 21st 1951 episode of The Harold Peary Show marked Peary's 10,000th performance over the medium:

The Billboard announced Hal Peary's 10,000th appearance over Radio in its March 24th 1951 issue.
The Billboard announced Hal Peary's 10,000th appearance over Radio
in its March 24th 1951 issue.

Hal Peary transports Summerfield to Melrose Springs--almost

Given the production independence Peary's CBS contract afforded him, CBS ordered an audition of The Harold Peary Show, produced in August 1950. The audition featured a stellar cast of West Coast Radio talent and a script written by Hal Peary himself. The audition introduced the 'Honest Harold' Hemp character, its setting in the mythical small town of Melrose Springs, and its featured inhabitants:

  • KHJP Radio personality 'Honest Harold' Hemp [Hal Peary] (the imaginary Western U.S. Call sign, "KHJP" were Harold J. Peary's initials)
  • Station KHJP's PBX operator, Gloria [Gloria Holiday, Hal Peary's real-life wife]
  • Melrose Springs' only Veterinarian, Dr. Yancey, better known as 'Old Doc Yakyak' [Joe Kearns]
  • Mr. Peabody, KHJP's Station Manager [Olan Soulé]
  • Mrs. Hemp, Honest Harold's mother [Jane Morgan]
  • Dr. Yancey's niece--and Honest Harold's love interest--Evalina [Cathy Lewis]

Whereas Hal Peary's most famous characterization had been as a mover and shaker in his previous communities of 'Wistful Vista' and 'Summerfield', as 'Honest Harold' Hemp of mythical Melrose Springs, Hal Peary adopted a somewhat more hapless and romantic characterization. Harold Hemp was a featured performer over Melrose Springs' only Radio station, KHJP. His daily program, "Honest Harold, The Homemaker" aired to morning audiences of domestics, predominantly female homemakers and Melrose Springs' elderly population.

Radio station KHJP, as well as Melrose Springs only newspaper--and most everything else in Melrose Springs--were owned and controlled by Mr. Carruthers, or 'Boss Carruthers,' depending on the personal views of individual Melrose Springs' inhabitants. In an effort to cater to Melrose Springs' elderly citizenry, 'Honest Harold' had fashioned 'The Sunny Side of Seventy Club,' as a component of his daily Radio broadcasts over KHJP. The eventual goal of The Sunny Side of Seventy Club was to establish a physical recreation hall or 'clubhouse' in town, in order to afford Melrose Springs' elderly a permanent place to congregate, socialize and remain active.

The irony of this undertaking was that 'Honest Harold' himself was very much a boy at heart--in just about every imaginable respect, including the area of romance. The Harold Peary Show thus traced Honest Harold's hapless radio promotions, crusades, romances, and naive shortcomings through its thirty-nine broadcast episodes.

Premiering during CBS' 1950 Fall Season roll-out, The Harold Peary Show debuted to tepid CBS fanfare on September 17th 1950--a Sunday evening timeslot--for its initial two weeks. When long-running Amos 'n' Andy returned from its Summer hiatus to reclaim its traditional Sunday evening timeslot, CBS moved The Harold Peary Show to Wednesday nights at 9 p.m. EST.

Having retained only Peary as Honest Harold, Gloria Holiday as KHJP's PBX operator, Gloria, Jane Morgan as Mrs. Hemp, and Joe Kearns as Dr. Yancey from the audition cast, The Harold Peary Show was still supported by a growing ensemble of the West Coast's finest Radio talent. Frances Robinson assumed the role of Harold's love interest, Evalina, and subsequent broadcasts featured Art Baker, Eddie Firestone, Parley Baer, Isabel Randolph, Shirley Mitchell, Cliff Arquette, Ken Christy, Wally Maher, Peter Leeds, and Bob Bailey, among many others.

Hal Peary, to his credit, knew his target audience and made every effort to deliver as much--as he legally could--of his signature Gildersleeve characterizations. Honest Harold was just as warm and likeable as Gildersleeve, but necessarily played more to Honest Harold's hapless character--both in Life and in Love. Peary's natural charm showed through, irrespective of the new character, but it also seemed immediately obvious that Peary was pointedly aware of this contractual proscription to avoid painting Harold Hemp as a clone of Throckmorton P. Gildersleeve.

In one new respect at least, Peary scripted himself several opportunities to exercise his considerable singing talent throughout the new series, vis a vis his fictional KHJP Radio program, Honest Harold the Homemaker. This was one of the few new treats that Peary offered his adoring Radio fans. Peary couldn't have restrained his signature chortle no matter how confining the CBS contract. And indeed playing to that inevitable element of his comedic performances over Radio, Peary launched a promotional search in a reported 103 cities across America to find "Miss Mirthquake of 1950," a woman possessed of "America's heartiest laugh." The promotion ended upon finding a 47-year-old Knoxville, Tennessee woman, Mrs. Lena Duncan. Mrs. Duncan was transported by Knoxville station KNOX to Hollywood to appear--with her shattering laugh--in the November 22nd 1950 Thanksgiving episode of The Harold Peary Show.

From the October 19th 1950 edition of the Cedar Rapids Gazette:

'Honest Harold'
     Looking for New
          Type of "Miss" 

By Maralyn Marsh.
     HOLLYWOOD (INS)—Laugh, gal, laugh.  The more raucous you roar, the more chances you might become "Miss Mirthquake of "Honest Harold" Peary, radio and screen cut-up who bellylaughed his way into millions of homes as the "Great Gildersleeve", is looking for the femme with the heartiest guffaw.
     When he finds her, the original Laughing Boy will slap the Miss Mirthquake tag on her.  This is a nationwide laugh look, with cuties chuckling into 177 CBS mikes in 177 cities.
     Peary, whose gregarious giggle ripples from his toes on up, says if he can get America laughing—there just will not be any more wars.  So, with keen insight, he figures that if the women start hitting the giggle trail, their spouses and sweeties will follow suit.
     Hal, a charter member of "Laugh and Avoid Ulcers, Inc.," roared:
     "If we can educate America to keep laughing, we are doing a lot.  Believe me, in this day we have to teach most people to let themselves go and give out with an honest chuckle."
     The hardest thing in the world is to take a person and tell him or her to laugh, says Hal.  Therefore, the contest has been a very funny one—gals step up to the mike and explode with the strangest sounds, all of which are supposed to be genuine laughs.
     Strangely enough, chicks with the smallest chassis usually come up with the biggest bellows.  Hal, who portrayed "Gildie" for 12 years and who just switched networks and characters to "Honest Harold", cites himself as a perfect example.
     As "Gildie", he weighed 227 pounds.  But he has sloughed avoirdupois 'til he hits 179 on the scales for his role as Harold, the Homemaker — and swears his laugh is bigger than ever.
     Only today Los Angeles and Hal picked the local "Miss Mirthquake" to compete with the other 176 finalists Nov. 1.  She is plumpish, gray-haired Mrs. Dorothy Mary Martin, a two-children merry soul with a three-bell bellow.
     Mrs. Martin, a mere five-feet, three-inch gal, out-laughed femmes with 200-plus frames to guffaw her way to the first lap of the laugh title.
     Naturally, laughs are contagious.  That is one of Hal's objectives — he swears he can make the whole country rock with mirth as he coaxes varying humor howls from the ladies.
     This will continue until Nov. 1 when a panel of laugh makers makes the final selection of "Miss Mirthquake" from recordings sent to Hollywood from the scattered chuckle centers.
     Judges will be Hal, Jack Benny, Marie Wilson, Eve Arden, Lucille Ball and Alan Young.
     So, as Peary himself advocates, forget those worries and start smiling.  Then laugh—you might grow rich.

And as a follow-up, this from the syndicated Erskine Johnson column of the December 21st 1950 edition of the Dixon Evening Telegraph:

     There were, I can assure you, a couple of mirthless quakes as "Miss Mirthquake" passed through Hollywood.

     Mrs. Lena Duncan, plump, grayhaired and 47, of Knoxville, Tenn., won the title in a contest conducted on Hal Peary's radio show to find the woman with America's most contagious laugh. Ladies in 103 cities competed, via recordings, and Lena won the inevitable trip to Hollywod with a laugh that sounds like the cackle of a ticklish hen being amplified through the San Francisco Bay fog horn.

     But her reaction to Hollywood, during a week's stay, was no laughing matter. Obviously no movie fan, Lena told me:

     "I went out to the MGM studio and met Red Skeleton."

     But she really mowed 'em down with a report on "Cyrano":

     "I didn't like the picture," she said. "I don't care for war movies."

Pretty much relying on his own popularity and his limited promotional staff, such newsy bits were about all the advertising or promotion that The Harold Peary Show received over the course of its 39-week run.

Series Derivatives:

The Harold Peary Show: 'Honest Harold,' The Homemaker; AFRTS END-357 'Honest Harold'
Genre: Anthology of Golden Age Radio Situation Comedy-Variety
Network(s): CBS; The AFRTS
Audition Date(s) and Title(s): 50-08-23 Honest Harold the Homemaker
Premiere Date(s) and Title(s): 50-09-17 01 Honest Harold the Homemaker
Run Dates(s)/ Time(s): 50-09-17 to 51-06-13; CBS; Thirty-nine, 30-minute programs;
Syndication: CBS; The AFRTS [END-357 'Honest Harold']
Sponsors: Sustained
Director(s): Norman Macdonnell [Producer/Director]
Harold Peary [Creator]
Principal Actors: Harold Peary, Cathy Lewis, Jane Morgan, William Tracy, Parley Baer, Olan Soulé , Maurey Alden, Gloria Holiday, Joseph Kearns, Frances Robinson, Art Baker, The Firehouse Five, Lena Duncan, Eddie Firestone, Harry Stanton and the Fire Boys, Isabel Randolph, Mary Jane Croft, Ed Begley, Jess Kirkpatrick, Tyler McVey, Shirley Mitchell, Dick Crenna, Cliff Arquette, David Light, Jack Moyles, Leif Erickson, Robert Easton, Ken Christy, Lynn Allen, Earl Warren, Butch Cavell, June Whitley, Sammy Ogg, Les Tremayne, Forrest Lewis, Peter Leeds, Stuffy Singer, John McGovern, Bob Bailey, Jeffrey Silver, James Widener, Mary McGovern, Wally Maher, Gwen Delano, Mary Alda
Recurring Character(s): 'Honest Harold' Hemp, Melrose Springs' radio announcer for Station KHJP [Hal Peary]; Gloria, KHJP's PBX Operator [Gloria Holiday (Mrs. Harold Peary)]; Mr. Stanley Peabody, Station Manager of KHJP [Olan Soulé ]; 'Boss' Carruthers, owner of Melrose Springs' newspaper and Station KHJP; Dr. Yancey ['Old Doc Yakyak'], Melrose Springs' Veterinarian [Joe Kearns]; Evalina, Doc Yakyak's niece, Mr. Carruthers' Secretary, and Harold Hemp's love interest [Cathy Lewis, Frances Robinson]; 'Little Billy,' Harold's ex-jockey cousin--and assistant; Mrs. Hemp, Harold's mother [Jane Morgan]; Tempest and Sunshine Yancey, Dr. Yancey's daughters; Mrs. Carruthers, 'Boss' Carruthers' wife; "Essie the Essex," Harold's Essex automobile; "Silver Moon," Doc Yakyak's buggy horse; Harold's friend, Pete [Parley Baer]
Protagonist(s): None
Author(s): None
Writer(s) Harold Peary [Audition script]
Harold Peary, Bill Danch, Gene Stone, Jack Robinson, Dick Powell
Music Direction: Jack Meakin [Composer/Conductor]
Eddie Stanton and The Firehouse Four
Musical Theme(s): "The Honest Harold Theme"
Announcer(s): Bob Blah [Announcer for audition]
Bob LeMond [Announcer]
Estimated Scripts or
Episodes in Circulation: 38
Total Episodes in Collection: 38

RadioGOLDINdex, Hickerson Guide.

Notes on Provenances:

The most helpful provenances were newspaper listings.

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The Harold Peary Show Radio Log

Date Episode Title Avail. Notes
Honest Harold the Homemaker

50-09-10 Wisconsin State Journal
WBBM 6:60 David Rose Orchestra; WKOW 6:30 Hit the Jackkpot.

50-09-10 New York Times
7:30-WCBS--Hit the Jackpot--Quiz, With Bill Cullen

50-09-15 Tucson Daily Citizen
Hal Peary, ex-Gildersleeve on NBC, will introduce himself as a new character, Honest Harold, when he starts his first CBS series Sunday evening. He will have that spot for two weeks, pending the return of Amos and Andy, then will move to Wednesday night. Peary's old role Is being continued on NBC where it is portrayed by Wlllard Waterman.
Honest Harold the Homemaker
[Premiere; replaces Hit the Jackpot, which moves to Tuesday night]

50-09-15 Racine Times
Hal Peary, ex-Gildersleeve on NBC, will introduce himself as a new character, Honest Harold, when he starts his first CBS series at 6:30 Sunday evening. He will have that spot for two weeks pending the return of Amos and Andy, then will move to Wednesday night. Peary's old role is being continued on NBC, where it is portrayed by Willard Waterman.

50-09-17 Wisconsin State Journal
WBBM 6:30 David Rose Orchestra; WKOW Hit the Jackpot.

50-09-17 New York Times
7:30-WCBS--Honest Harold--Comedy With Harold Peary.

50-09-17 San Antonio Express
Honest Harold, KTSA, 6:30 p.m.--
Harold Peary introduces a new characterization as a radio commentator in a small town called Melrose Springs.
Honest Harold, Crusader
50-09-23 The Emporia Gazette
A new program has joined the Sunday night schedule at 6:30 p. m. on KMBC. The show is "Honest Harold" starring Harold Peary. It's a situation comedy involving Peary, as a radio announcer in a small, mythical American city. The complications are amusing and deftly handled by Peary.

50-09-24 Wisconsin State Journal
WBBM 6:30 Honest Harold.

50-09-24 San Antonio Express
Harold Peary Show, KTSA, 6:30 p.m.--
Honest Harold promises to curb his desire for civic crusades, but gets tangled in new troubles with his rival.

50-09-30 Emporia Gazette
"The 'Harold Peary Show" moves to 8 o'clock Wednesdays, beginning this week, right ahead of the Crosby program.

The Sunny Side of Seventy Clubhouse
[Amos 'n' Andy returns to its own spot; The Harold Peary Show moves to Wednesdays]

50-10-04 Wisconsin State Journal
8 p.m.--Harold Peary (WBBM):
"Honest Harold" meets "Sincere Sam," a confidence man.

50-10-04 San Antonio Express
Harold Peary Show, KTSA, 8 p.m.--
Moving to a new time, "Honest Harold" has an unfortunate encounter with "Sincere Sam" Smith, who turns out be be just the opposite of his nickname.

50-10-06 Blytheville Courier News
TV Ban Scares 'Em
The no-television clause in movie contracts is keeping radio actors out of camera range. Radio's Hal Peary who Just launched his new "Honest Harold "show for the airwaves, says:
"Radio people have been refusing studio contracts for the past five years because of this TV thing. I've turned down six pictures myself.
I don't belong to anybody but me, and that's the way I want it. Television is too important. I'll be in it within three months."
Harold Falls For A Chanteuse
50-10-11 Wisconsin State Journal
WBBM 8:00 Harold Peary;
WKOW 8:00 Honest Harold.

50-10-13 Wisconsin State Journal
TYPE CASTING: Gloria Holiday, who plays Gloria, the PBX operator on the "Harold Peary Show," formerly worked on tlie switchboard at CBS, Hollywood That was before she became Mrs. Peary.

50-10-15 Cedar Rapids Gazette
What-next-department: The Harold Peary show is now searching for "the woman, in America with the heartiest' laugh"
The Runaway Boy
50-10-18 Wisconsin State Journal
WBBM 8:00 Democrat News National Guard;
WKOW 8:00 Harold Peary
Harold's Campaign Speech
50-10-25 Wisconsin State Journal
WKOW 8:00 Harold Peary
Harold Tries To Lose the Election
50-11-01 Wisconsin State Journal
8 p.m.--Harold Peary (WKOW):
mayor tells about his job, and Harold tries to lose an election.

50-11-01 San Antonio Express
Harold Peary Show, KTSA, 8 p.m.--
The burning desire of "Honest Harold" Hemp to become mayor of Melrose Springs turns to ashes after a disheartening interview with the present mayor.
Cousin Raymond Visits
50-11-08 Wisconsin State Journal
WKOW 8:00 Harold Peary
Getting A Job For Raymond
50-11-15 Wisconsin State Journal
WKOW 8:00 Harold Peary
Thanksgiving Play 'The Courtship of Miles Standish'
[Thanksgiving Program]

50-11-22 Wisconsin State Journal
8 p.m.—Harold Peary (WKOW):
with Mrs. Lena Duncan, "Miss Mirthquake of 1950."
Title Unknown
50-11-29 Wisconsin State Journal
WKOW 8:00 Harold Peary;

50-11-29 New York Times
9:00-WCBS--Harold Peary Show

50-11-30 Oakland Tribune
One of the most earth-shaking of the recent competitions on the air lanes was a 177-city search for "Miss Mirthquake of 1950," or—to put it in English—the girl with the heartiest laugh. This little gem was conducted by Harold Peary, the former "Great Gildersleeve," to whip up a little interest in his new show. "Miss Mirthquake of 1950" was run to earth in Knoxville, Tenn., in the person of Mrs. Lena Duncan, age 49. Mrs. Duncan was shipped to Hollywood and put on the "Honest Harold" program where she emitted her mirthquaking laugh. Ears were split as far east as Denver.

Harold Meets the Hummer
50-12-06 Wisconsin State Journal
WKOW 8:00 Harold Peary
Harold Helps Raymond and Gloria Go To the Dance
[Christmas Program]

50-12-13 Wisconsin State Journal
8 p.m.--Harold Peary (WKOW):
double date but only one man.

50-12-13 Bakersfield Californian
HONEST HAROLD finds himself in the unusual position of having dates with two different girls for a dance to be held in Melrose Springs during the HAROLD PEARY SHOW tonight. If you want a date with laughter tune in at 6.
Christmas Party For the Old Folks
[Christmas Program]

50-12-20 Wisconsin State Journal
8 p.m.--Harold Peary (WKOW):
Christmas party for oldsters.

MAIL BAG: From Karla Dahl . . .
"Is the person who plays The Great Gildersleeve' and 'Honest Harold' on the Harold Peary show the same" person? On the Gildersleeve show he is called Willard Waterman. (There couldn't be two people with voices that much alike.)"

Sorry, Karla, but there could—-in fact, there are. Harold Peary is "Honest Harold" and Willard Waterman is "The Great Gildersleeve." Peary created the Gildersleeve role, which was taken over by Waterman when Peary moved from NBC to CBS.

50-12-20 San Antonio Express
Harold Peary Show, KTSA, 8 p.m.--
In the spirit of Yuletide, a group of Melrose Springs townspeople, led by "Honest Harold" Hemp begin a movement to give a Christmas party for the old folks.
New Years Barn Dance
[New Years Program]

50-12-27 Wisconsin State Journal
WKOW 8:00 Harold Peary
Mrs O'Day's Warbleware Party
51-01-03 San Antonio Express
Harold Peary Show, KTSA, 8 p.m.--
Honest Harold Hemp lands a job for his cousin Raymond as a home demonstrator of pots and pans and other kitchenware, with many comic ensuing complications.
Harold Loses His Sponsor and Tries A New Show
51-01-10 San Antonio Express
Harold Peary Show, KTSA, 8 p.m.--
When his boss, Stanley Peabody, goes out of town to attend a convention, Honest Harold takes over the management of Peabody's radio station.

51-01-10 WIsconsin State Journal
8 p. m. —Harold Peary (WKOW):
Honest Harold becomes radio station manager.

51-01-10 Bakersfield Californian
Now let's outline the rest of the evening's enlertainment KERN has for you: At 8 P.M.
HONEST HAROLD tries to improve conditions and policies of the radio station he works for when the boss goes out of town.
He assumes temporary management with the result that he almost succeeds in losing one of the station's top accounts. Tune in at 8 and find out how he gets out of his folly of "mismanagement."
Harold Thinks Of Going To New York
51-01-17 San Antonio Express
Honest Harold Hemp on the Harold Peary Show gets a flattering offer from the big city. KTSA 8 p.m.
Harold Gets Engaged - Twice
51-01-24 Wisconsin State Journal
WKOW 8:00 Harold Peary
Civic Achievement Award
51-01-31 Wisconsin State Journal
8 p.m.--Harold Peary (WKOW): city
ordinance boomerangs on civic award campaign.
Harold's Mother Has A Suitor
51-02-07 Wisconsin State Journal
8 p.m.--Harold Peary (WKOW):
Hemp's mother becomes an actress.

51-02-07 Bakersfield Californian
At 6
HONEST HAROLD Hemp decides that his mother has become too much of a homebody. He encourages her to engage In amateur theatricals in Melrose Springs. But to his chagrin Mother Hemp is cast opposite a "geezer" whome Harold bitterly dislikes. It'll be hilarious!
Mistaken Valentines
[Valentine's Day program]

51-02-14 Wisconsin State Journal
8 p.m.--Harold Peary (WKOW):
Valentines get mixed.
Florabelle Returns
51-02-21 Wisconsin State Journal
8 p.m.--Honest Harold (WKOW):
old flame returns.
Willis Can't Pass the Physical
51-02-28 Wisconsin State Journal
8 p.m.--Harold Peary (WKOW):
romantic rival appears.
Red Cross Drive
51-03-07 Wisconsin State Journal
8 p.m.--Harold Peary (WKOW):
first-aid class simulates a disaster.

51-03-07 Bakersfield Californian
. . . HONEST HAROLD conducts a class in first aid beginning at 6 tonight. He and his students take their activities SO seriously that they decide to stimulate a disaster for the purpose of demonstrating the thoroughness of their training.
Income Tax
51-03-14 Wisconsin State Journal
WKOW 8:00 Harold Peary
Cousin Marvin Comes To Stay
51-03-21 Wisconsin State Journal
8 p.m.--Harold Peary (WKOW):
10,000th broadcast; Harold learns he's second cousin to a "little monster."
Cousin Marvin's First Day of School
51-03-28 Wisconsin State Journal
8 p.m.--Harold Peary (WKOW):
Marvin enters school.
Modernizing Doc's Office
51-04-04 Wisconsin State Journal
WKOW 8:00 Harold Peary

51-04-04 Bakersfield Californian
... Dog days come to HONEST HAROLD when be discovers that his crony, Dr. Yancey, the veteran veterinarian, is on the verge of losing his post. Ol' Doc for years has been the consulting physician for the local dog pound of Melrose Springs. When HONEST HAROLD tries to help a load of laughs follows. It all begins at 6:00PM tonight.
Hemp Forms A Boy's Club Branch
51-04-11 Wisconsin State Journal
8 p.m.--Harold Peary (WKOW):
Hemp forms branch of Boys Clubs; star receives national award.
Harold Decides To Clean Out the Cellar
51-04-18 Wisconsin State Journal
WKOW 8:00 Harold Peary

51-04-18 Bakersfield Californian
. . . Tom Sawyer used a method to get the fence white-washed without doing the job himself . . . but the method doesn't work on the HAROLD PEARY SHOW when Honest Harold tries to inveigle his friends into helping with the boresome task of spring housecleaning ... his friends desert him and go on a picnic. Harold solves the problem by dating Florabelle and joining his friends on the outing. The HAROLD PEARY SHOW at 6 tonight.
Circus Day
51-04-25 Wisconsin State Journal
8 p.m.--Harold Peary (WKOW):
Melrose stages a circus.
Marvin's Gang
51-05-02 Wisconsin State Journal
WKOW 8:00 Harold Peary
Harold and Mr Walker Vie For Class
51-05-09 Wisconsin State Journal
8 p.m.--Harold Peary (WKOW):
Hemp meets a sharpie.
Does Florabelle Have A New Lover
51-05-16 New York Times
9:00-WCBS--Hal Peary Show
Marvin Is Invited To A Party
51-05-23 Wisconsin State Journal
8 p.m.--Harold Peary (WKOW):
Hemp becomes delivery boy so cousin Marvin can attend party.
Harold Is Marshall For A Day
51-05-30 Wisconsin State Journal
8 p.m.--Harold Peary (WKOW):
Hemp as a gullible marshal pro-tem.

51-05-30 Bakersfield Californian
Earlier at 6, the gullibility of Honest Harold Hemp reaches a new high on the HAROLD PEARY SHOW. It all happens when Pete, the duly appointed marshal, is called out of town and Harold volunteers to take over his duties. In no time at all Harold is taken in by a sob story from the lone inmate of the town pokey. And thereby hangs the tale of a hilarious situation.
Peabody's Sister Takes Over the Radio Station
51-06-06 Wisconsin State Journal
WKOW 8:00 Harold Peary
Marvin Decides To Stay With Harold
[Final program; Replaced by Johnny Dollar]

51-06-13 Wisconsin State Journal
WKOW 8:00 Harold Peary

51-06-13 Bakersfield Californian
... A Father's Day motif pervades the HAROLD PEARY SHOW tonight when Honest Harold is moved by the fact that his fatherless cousin Marvin has written a Father's Day essay extolling him. Even though Marvin has given Harold something of a bad time for the past week, the latter is disappointed when relatives show up to take the lad home. Listen at 6 tonight.
51-06-20 Wisconsin State Journal
WKOW 8:00 Yours Truly, Johnny Dollar

AFRTS END-357 'Honest Harold' Radio Log

Date AFRTS No. Title Avail. Notes

Title Unknown
53-12-28 Pacific Stars and Stripes
"Honest Harold", played by Harold Peary (not the same on who plays "The Great Gildersleeve") is a new series being presented at 7 p.m. Wednesday. Harold gets involved in a campaign to raise money for the Sunny Side of Seventy Club.
Title Unknown
Title Unknown
Title Unknown
Title Unknown
54-01-25 Pacific Stars and Stripes
"Honest Harold" with Harold Peary leads off Wednesday evening's entertainment at 7:30 with the usual antics of the small-town character.
Title Unknown
Title Unknown
Title Unknown
[Moves to Mondays]

54-02-14 Pacific Stars and Stripes
A number of schedule changes have been announced by FEN as a result of the influx of new programs.
"Honest Harold" replaces "My Friend Irma" at 9:30 a.m. Monday, while "Howard Barlow," a musical program, takes over "Harold's" spot at 7 p.m.
Title Unknown
Title Unknown
Title Unknown
Title Unknown
54-05-10 Pacific Stars and Stripes
Comedian Harold Peary makes his weekly appearance on "Honest Harold" at 9:00 a.m. He plays the father of a somewhat difficult boy named Marvin in this situation comedy.

The Harold Peary Show Radio Program Biographies

Harrold Jose Pereira de Faria [Harold Peary]
(Harold Hemp)

Stage, Radio, Television and Film Actor

San Leandro, California, U.S.A.
Hal Peary, wife Gloria and son Page, circa 1949

1934 Calling All Cars
1937 Fibber McGee and Molly
1940 The Rudy Vallee Sealtest Show
1941 Tenth Anniversary Salute To Movie Radio Guide
1941 Kraft Music Hall
1941 The Great Gildersleeve
1941 NBC's Fifteenth Anniversary Party
1942 Command Performance
1942 The Charlie McCarthy Show
1943 Lux Radio Theatre
1944 The Abbott and Costello Show
1944 The First Nighter Program
1944 Mail Call
1945 A Tribute To...
1945 Lady Esther Screen Guild Theater
1945 The Victory Chest Program
1945 NBC Parade Of Stars
1946 The Rudy Vallee Show
1946 Command Performance
1947 Texaco Star Theater
1947 Family Theater
1948 Holllywood Star Time
1948 Guest Star
1948 We Care
1948 The Walking Giant
1948 Sealtest Variety Theater
1949 Boys Club Week Program
1950 Honest Harold (The Harold Peary Show)
1952 Stars Over Hollywood
1956 CBS Radio Workshop
1964 Arch Oboler's Plays
1971 Same Time, Same Station
1972 KFI Fiftieth Anniversary Show
1979 Sears Radio Theater
To the Rear March
Here's To Veterans
California National Guard Show
The Golden Days Of Radio
Harold Peary circa 1950
Harold Peary circa 1950

Hal Peary at home with first wife, the former Betty Jourdiane and their parakeet 'Ginger'
Hal Peary at home with first wife, the former Betty Jourdiane and their parakeet 'Ginger'

Peary answers some of his The Great Gildersleeve fan mail at home circa May 1945
Peary answers some of his The Great Gildersleeve fan mail at home circa May 1945

The Peary's Spanish-style home in California
The Peary's Spanish-style home in California

Married ten years, Hal Peary and his second wife, Gloria Holiday, appeared together over The Harold Peary Show for its Fall 1950 Season.
Married ten years, Hal Peary and his second wife, Gloria Holiday, appeared together over The Harold Peary Show for its Fall 1950 Season.
From the April 1st 1986 edition of the Orange County Register: 
Radio's 'Great
Gildersleeve' dies
 Associated Press
     TORRANCE--Harold Peary, the actor whose booming vibrato livened the character of the Great Gildersleeve during radio's golden age, has died at age 76.
     Peary died Saturday at Torrance Memorial Hospital, a spokeswoman said.
     A Portuguese immigrant who was born Harrold Jose Pereira de Faria, Peary became best known for his portrayal of Throckmorton P. Gildersleeve, the next-door neighbor of Fibber McGee.
     The character of Gildersleeve, originated in 1937, was  blundering baritone whose heart of gold usually was well concealed.
     "You're a baaaaaaaard man, McGee" became a national catch phrase, as did imitations of Gildersleeve's dirty laugh.
     Peary's character was such a hit that in 1941 he was given his own radio show, titled "The Great Gildersleeve," considered one of the first spinoffs created from another series.
     The Greet Gildersleeve," also acclaimed as one of the last great comedy series of radio, continued until 1958, although Peary left the program in 1950.
     Peary started his career at 11 by singing at neighborhood functions.  He later turned to television, playing guest roles in many series, including "That Girl," "The Doris Day Show" and "The Brady Bunch."

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