When Paul Lynde – with sort of a straight face – played a heterosexual husband and father in his own 1970s sitcom
I just love the unexpected things that YouTube can bring into your life. I’ve been binge-watching the old Marlo Thomas sitcom That Girl! which has aged shockingly well so that must be why episodes of The Paul Lynde Show popped up as a suggestion.
The television sitcom aired on ABC from September 13, 1972 to March 14, 1973 and it’s no wonder it didn’t last longer. It’s bloody awful and yet I watched with interest how a clearly homosexual actor fared playing the head of a “traditional” family with wife and kids. Paul Lynde, best known for Bewitched, The Hollywood Squares and Bye Bye Birdie, doesn’t try to butch it up one bit which makes this kind of fascinating.
The series starred Lynde as Paul Simms, a general-practice attorney and the father of a family that consisted of his wife Martha (Elizabeth Allen) and daughters Barbara (Jane Actman) and Sally (Pamelyn Ferdin). The Simms family lived in the fictional city of Ocean Grove, California.
It also starred John Calvin as Barbara’s husband, Howie Dickerson, an eccentric university student who was of genius intelligence (IQ 185) and was a whiz with everything and full of advice, but inexplicably, he could not manage to hold down a job. In other episodes, Jerry Stiller and Anne Meara appeared as Howie’s divorced parents, Barney and Grace Dickerson. Howie’s misadventures around the house and his lack of steady employment brought his father-in-law to a state of slow-burn anger and drove him to distraction.