About Christmas TV History

Friday, January 20, 2012

Betty White: Life With Elizabeth (1954)

Betty White: the comeback queen of comedy
Happy Birthday Betty White!  This week Betty White celebrates her 90th birthday and I've been inspired to write several blog posts as a tribute to her wonderful legacy on television.  I've already written about her late 1950s sitcom Date With the Angels and a special Christmas episode featuring her character Sue Ann Nivens on The Mary Tyler Moore Show.

Life With Elizabeth ran from 1953-55.
Here is another Christmas episode featuring Betty White in an early TV series.  Life With Elizabeth is a domestic sitcom with gentle humor in which each half hour episode is comprised of three vignettes.  This 1954 holiday story "Christmas Presents" is the second segment in the episode.  In this story, Elizabeth and her husband Alvin promise each other they won’t peak into each other’s hiding places to see their wrapped gifts.  But neither one can curb their curiosity.  Do you ever sneak a peek at your Christmas presents?

This rare vintage television series can be difficult to find but I found an uploaded video of this Christmas segment on Youtube:

I love Elizabeth and Alvin's gestures surrounding their pact to not peek!  Alvin is played by comedic actor Del Moore--do you recognize him?  Among his many roles, I recognize him as the college dean in Jerry Lewis' movie The Nutty Professor.  I wish there was a good clip of it on Youtube.  Dr. Warfield (Moore) is tricked by Buddy Love into acting out a dramatic scene from Hamlet on top of a table.  It's a classic.

Watching these old television shows is one of my great passions in being a researcher/writer about Christmas TV.  I get a real thrill out of discovering and watching TV shows I've never seen before.  Have you heard of Life With Elizabeth?  What's the oldest TV show you still enjoy watching?

1 comment:

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