Thursday, July 3, 2008

Mr. Know-It-All, In A Pickle

You must really be having a bad day when you can't even read properly. In fact, there's not a reference source I found asserting there was one and only one Pickles.

Pickles was portrayed by two actresses, Barbara Perry and Joan Shawlee, who did three episodes in Season Three.

In my book--as well as what you see lazily reading the results in Google--Shawlee was the prominent Pickles. Not only for her three appearances (vs. Perry's two), but for what she brought to the role itself. Perry's Pickles was a giggling bimbo; Shawlee was an aggressive match for Buddy's mischegoss. On top of her role as Pickles, Shawlee will always have a place in comedy history for her role as Sweet Sue in the funniest movie ever made, Some Like It Hot.

Audiences in the early '60s didn't see this without the benefit that I--as a doctorate of 1960s and '70s television--know from a lifetime of daily reruns (or DVD box sets) that allow you to see the different Pickles a few days or hours apart. And with only a small part in five Pickled episodes, the Pickles switch is not as obvious as more prominent TV land hijinks, such as when Elizabeth Montgomery swapped Dicks.

But my vote for the best Pickles ever: the Rosoff Half-Sour. Mmmmm.

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