Welcome to the latest installment of my weekly Family Affair series!
Season 1, Episode 11, “Take Two Aspirin,” 11/28/1966
Written by: George Tibbles. Directed by: William D. Russell.
The prospect of spending three months in New York makes Uncle Bill restless, both at home and at work.
He jumps at the chance to work with his old friend Dave McCovey on a project in Mexico. Dave is building a pipeline, and three other engineers have disappointed him.
Besides respecting Bill’s engineering acumen, Dave also admires his friend’s attitude toward family. “You love ’em but you don’t get tied down,” Dave says, launching Bill into a tizzy of worry.
Meanwhile, at home, Cissy leaves to spend the weekend with a friend, and French comes down with the flu. Buffy and Jody do their best to take care of French, and you can imagine how that goes.
French feels better after a nap–until he sees what Buffy and Jody have prepared for him.
After a quick swoon, French rallies enough to take the twins out for dinner. Cissy arrives home unexpectedly to an empty apartment and becomes alarmed. Uncle Bill picks that moment to phone home again, and his own nervousness increases.
Uncle Bill does reach French later and finds out that he’s okay. While they’re talking, the twins break a vase in the hallway, and French announces that “the Ming” is gone. The phone line cuts out, and Bill’s left believing that the family has been robbed.
Bill decides to head for home. By the time he arrives, of course, everything’s fine. He suggests a school composition topic for Cissy–the tricks that the imagination can play. (Cissy’s planned topic was long hair on men!)
This rather choppy episode is not one of my favorites. Mr. French is at his irritable best sick in bed, though.
The twins’ attempts to cook are also funny.
Dave McCovey: Norman Alden. Ted Gaynor: John Hubbard.
Norman Alden’s voice was perhaps more memorable than his face. He was a ubiquitous guest on 1960s and 1970s TV shows. Generation Xers like me might remember him as Polly’s father on My Three Sons, Frank Heflin on Electra Woman and Dyna Girl, or the voice of Aquaman on Superfriends. He died in July of this year.
Jody’s turtle gets a final mention–he dies while Uncle Bill is out of the country. (Previously referred to as Dinky, the turtle is called Alexander in this episode.) Scotty the doorman is mentioned but not seen. Uncle Bill’s service in Korea comes up again. (He contracted malaria, but he didn’t let it slow him down.)
Today’s Bonus Feature
This article about Anissa Jones is from TV Radio Mirror, March 1967. It includes adorable publicity photos of Jones, Johnny Whitaker, and Sebastian Cabot on an outing at the Los Angeles Zoo.
Enjoy my whole Family Affair series!