Generic Radio Workshop Script Library (BACK)

Series: Father Knows Best
Show: Pilot Episode
Date: Dec 20 1948

Father Knows Best premiered in autumn, 1949 over NBC. It's time slot was 8:30 p.m. (Eastern) on Thursday nights. The show was sponsored by Maxwell House Coffee. It continued for five years until it transferred to television.

This particular script, however, was not one that occurred during the regular run of the program. Rather, it was an audition, or pilot, show. The networks would run these from time-to-time to see what kind of reaction they got from both listeners and critics.

This Father Knows Best aired on Monday, December 20, 1948. Since it was an audition, it ran without a commercial sponsor.

On this version, Father Knows Best was about the Henderson Family, not the Anderson's, as we came to know them. This was due to the fact there was already a radio program called The Anderson's. By the time the show started it's own regular run the family name had been changed to Anderson.

The role of the father, Jim, was created with Robert Young in mind. He, of course, went on to do the TV role, then became Marcus Welby, MD. He also appeared in scores of movies ranging from Hitchcock's Secret Agent to Northwest Passage, to Sitting Pretty.

Announcer:

Ladies and Gentlemen, from time to time radio programs of vastly individual, divergent types are presented to advertising agencies, sponsors and the broadcasting networks. Each of them striving to achieve a definite and conclusive effect. There is, for example, the mystery show:

SIREN SOUND, CRASHES, BANGING AND SCREAMS CONTINUE UNDER REST OF ANNOUNCER'S NEXT SENTENCE.

Announcer:

Programs of this sort are presented for thrills, suspense, intrigue. Then, there's the comedy show:

Male voice:

Hey, Louie! Here's one that'll kill ya. Why did the chicken cross the aisle? Ya give up? Cause it was a cross-aisled chicken'. Ha-Ha-Ha-..

A LITTLE BIT OF LAUGHTER AND MOVEMENT CONTINUES AS ANNOUNCER GOES ON.

Announcer:

Programs of this sort are presented for laughs, for rib-tickling mirth, for genial good fellowship. The program you're about to hear, FATHER KNOWS BEST, starring the eminent actor, Mr. Robert Young, is presented for... the next thirty minutes.

MUSIC:

GLISSANDO AND BUILD INTO A TRANSITION TO SCENE (for about 15 seconds) AND CONTINUES UNDER ANNOUNCER.

ANNCR:

In an average town, Springfield, on an average street, Maple, lives an average American family, the Henderson's. The husband, Jim, is very much in love with his wife, Margaret, and they're both quite fond of their three children, Betty, Bud, and Kathleen. Which, I should say, is an average way for parents to feel. On this particular morning, which is an average sort of day, the Henderson's are ready for an average sort of meal, breakfast.. Well, they're suppose to be ready, but you know how it is. The average mother calls:

Margaret:

Jim, your breakfast is on the table.

Announcer:

And the average answer is:

Kathleen:

Mother, I can't find my skates.

Margaret:

Kathleen, come in and start your breakfast.

Kathleen:

Ohh.. breakfast, don't you understand, Mother, this is a crisis. How can I go to school without my skates.

Margaret:

Eat your breakfast, dear, and we'll look for the skates later.

Kathleen; Oh, but I have looked for them. I've looked just every place. They simply varnished.

Margaret:

(Correcting mispronounced word)Vanished, Kathy. Did you look in the hall under the telephone table?

Kathleen:

Mother, that's practically the first place I looked.

Margaret:

Well, how about the service porch?

Kathleen:

They aren't there, they aren't anywhere. Ohhhh, what am I going to do?

Margaret:

You're going to eat your breakfast. I'll run out to the garage and see if you left them there, and don't use too much sugar on your cereal.

Kathleen:

Look way in the back, Mother, near the magazines. Oatmeal, that's all we get around here is oatmeal.

SOUND OF CRASH OF FATHER HITTING SKATES

Father:

Ahhhhhh...

SOUND OF CRASHING DOWN STAIRS WITH A THUD AT BOTTOM

Kathleen:

Never mind, Mother, Daddy found them.

Father:

Who left those skates on the stairs?

Kathleen:

Good Morning, Daddy dearrrrrr.

Father:

I want to speak to you, young lady.

Kathleen:

(Innocently) What about, daddy?

Father:

Skates, ehhhh. How many times have I asked you not to leave your skates on the stairs?

Kathleen:

Ohhh, is that where they were?

Father:

Ohhhh (pain, exasperation).

Kathleen:

Oh, golly, I looked simply everywhere and couldn't find them.

Margaret:

Good Morning, dear. Did you have a nice... Jim! What did you do to your chin?

Father:

I came down the stairs on it.

Margaret:

Let me see. Ohh, Jim, your poor chin.

Father:

Arhhhh..

Kathleen:

Isn't it wonderful, Mother. Daddy fell down the stairs and found my skates.

Father:

I did not fall down the stairs!

Margaret:

Please, Jim, hold still. How can I fix your chin...

Father:

I will not have that child telling people I fell down the stairs. I tripped over her confounded skates. Is that the only place she

can find to leave them?

Margaret:

Well, she's very sorry, dear. Aren't you Kathy?

Kathleen:

Huh, oh sure. Ummm.., Daddy,...

Margaret:

Not now, Kathy. Have some coffee, Jim. It'll make you feel better.

BREAKFAST DISHES SOUNDS INTERSPERSED THROUGHOUT THIS SCENE AT APPROPRIATE TIMES.

Father:

Other people have children, and they have skates. But other people have discipline in their homes, old fashioned discipline. The kind of discipline we had in my home when I was a boy. There was a place for everything and everything in it's place.....

Bud:

(Off mic) Mom.. hey, Mom.

Margaret:

I'm sorry dear, we'll try to do better. What is it, Bud?

Bud:

I can't find my other shoe. Where'd you put it?

Margaret:

Look under the dresser.

Bud:

Oookayy.

Father:

Is that where you generally put his other shoe?

Margaret:

Sometimes...

Father:

Hummm...

Margaret:

How do you want your eggs this morning, dear.

(AT THE SAME TIME)

 

Father:

Ohh, I don't care.

Kathleen:

Daddy, I was just wondering...

Margaret:

Kathy, this is a very bad time to bother your father, we'd better let it go for a while. Ahh, shall I scramble them, Jim?

(AT THE SAME TIME)

 

Father:

Yeah, that's sounds good.

Kathleen:

But, it's important, Mother, it's the most important thing in my life.

Father:

What is?

Margaret:

It's really nothing, dear.

Father:

All right, Kathy, stop looking like Ingrid Bergman, and tell me what it is.

Kathleen:

I need two dollars, daddy, I'm desperate.

Father:

Two dollars? What for?

Kathleen:

Wings.

Father:

What did she say, Margaret?

Margaret:

She said, "Wings'.

Father:

That's what I thought. Why does she need wings?

Kathleen:

I have to be an angel. I told them I would. I just have to be. And they cost two dollars.

Margaret:

It's the school play, dear. Kathleen said she'd be an angel.

Father:

Well... I can certainly see they're not casting to type. Kathy, you get an allowance, don't you.

Kathleen:

If you can call it that? A quarter.

Father:

Umm, when I was nine years old, I had to work for every penny I got. I couldn't walk up to my father and say, "I want two dollars for wings.

Kathleen:

Were you an angel?

Father:

I certainly was not.

Kathleen:

Well, then, you didn't need wings. But I promised I'd be an angel.

Father:

All right, then, find a way to sprout wings.. without my two dollars.

Kathleen:

Ohh, but, Daddy, I'll be just ruined. Ohh.. Mother, can't you...

Margaret:

We won't discuss it any further, Kathy. Your father knows best.

Kathleen:

Ohhh.. how will I face them without wings. They were counting on me.

Bud:

Good morning everybody. How's.. ? What happened to the squirt?

Margaret:

Ohhh, just a minor tragedy. Drink your orange juice, Bud.

Bud:

Say, Dad, I was just think...

Margaret:

Bud, not now. Let your father read the paper.

Bud:

But, I was just going to tell..

Margaret:

Not now, dear, please.

Bud:

But, I have to. Gosh, how much time have I got left?

Father:

You don't mind if I get in on this do you? How much time for what?

Bud:

Well, Dad. We're going on a picnic, tomorrow, a whole bunch of us.

Father:

Fine. Have a good time.

Kathleen:

He can go on picnics, and I can't even have wings. You treat me like an orphan around here. Nobody even loves me.

Margaret:

Oh, Kathy, stop being dramatic. Everyone loves you.

Kathleen:

Sure. But not two dollars worth.

Father:

Kathy, your brother's not asking for two dollars. Your brother is not asking for anything.

Bud:

Except for permission to use the car.

Father:

Except for permission to use...except what?

CLINKS

Bud:

Well,... well, that's what I was going to ask you about. You see, we're, all going out in the country and I told everybody..

Father:

You're not going to use the car.

Bud:

Ohh, but, Dad, if I don't, how am I going to go?

Father:

You have a bicycle, haven't you? When I was your age, I was traveling all over the state on my bicycle.

Bud:

With a girl? How can I how can I take a girl on a bicycle?

Margaret:

Jim, I just thought that...

Father:

One moment, Margaret. James Henderson, Jr., you are fifteen years of age, and young men of fifteen years of age do not go traipsing around the country with girls in my car.

Bud:

But everybody else does, Dad. I mean, they get to use their father's car. Joe Phillips gets to use his father's car, and he's two months younger than I am.

Father:

I wouldn't care if he was three months younger and had wings. You may not have the car.

Margaret:

Bud, you know your father doesn't approve of children driving automobiles.

Bud:

Children? If I want to use the car, I'm too young. If I want to go to the circus. I'm too old. I wish somebody around here would decide how old I am.

Father:

We've decided you're too young. Now that will be all of that.

Bud:

I'll be an outcast, that's what I'll be. I'll be poison with every hunk of date bait in the school. Me and a bicycle.

Margaret:

Bud, you'd better eat your eggs before they get ice cold.

Bud:

What a time to think about eggs. Dad, how'd it be if I...

Father:

No.

Bud:

But I was just going a...

Father:

No.

Bud:

But, you don't even know...

Father:

No. What ever it is, no.

Bud:

Oh, fine. The way I'm treated around here, you'd think I was an orphan.

Kathleen:

Copycat. I said that first.

Bud:

Quiet, squirt.

Margaret:

Kathy, leave your brother alone and finish your milk.

Kathleen:

But, I did say it first, didn't I, Daddy. I said it first and Bud heard me, and he's an old copycat.

Bud:

I am not. I wasn't even listening to you.

Kathleen:

You were too. You heard me say it, then you said it, and you're an old copycat.

Bud:

I am not.

Kathleen:

You are so.

Bud:

I am not.

Kathleen:

You are so.

Father:

Quiet! Both of you be quiet. Oh, Margaret, why can't we ever have a peaceful breakfast in this house?

Margaret:

I'm sorry, dear

Father:

I don't think it's asking an awful lot. When I was a boy, we had wonderful breakfasts, quiet breakfasts, peaceful breakfasts. We had respect for our elders.

Bud:

Sure, but you didn't have a kid sister, like the brat.

Kathleen:

I am not a brat.

Bud:

Your are a brat, if I ever saw one.

Kathleen:

I am not.

Bud:

You are so.

Kathleen:

I am not.

Bud:

You are so.

Father:

Quiet.

Betty:

(Entering from off mic--very sweet, sing-song voice) Good morning, Mother. Good morning, Father.

Bud:

What's the matter with her?

Betty:

I know, I was looking out the window at a bird. It was sitting on an egg.

Bud:

How could you ever tear yourself away.

Bettv:

Dear, Bud. Such a lovable little moron.

Margaret:

Betty, dear, you sound so strange this morning. Is anything wrong?

Bettv:

Wrong. Oh, Mother, how can you even say that? In this lovely wonderful world, how could anything be wrong?

Kathleen:

Hey, Pop. You'd better hide your wallet. This one's going to be a pip.

Bettv:

Father, if you don't do something about that child....

Father:

Thank you. I believe I can manage my family without your assistance. (Reproachfully) Kathy.

Kathleen:

Yes, Daddy.

Father:

As your father, I am quite capable of handling my own financial affairs. It may be a strain, but I can manage.

Kathleen:

Yes, Daddy.

Father:

And I would prefer that even if moments of stress, you refrain from addressing me as, "Hey, Pop."

Kathleen:

OK, Daddy.

Father:

Finally, I believe that I am as well qualified as you to recognize the devious routes employed by your sister in leading up to the announcement that she needs a new dress.

Kathleen:

That's telling her, Pop.

Father:

Wha...

Kathleen:

I mean, 'Daddy."

Betty:

You're all very amusing, but I don't I need a new dress.

Margaret:

Dear, are you sure you feel all right?

Betty:

I feel fine.

Father:

Betty, you mean you don't want any money?

Betty:

No, Father, why?

Father:

You don't want to borrow the car?

Bettv:

Of course, not.

Father:

Well, Heh, heh.. At least there's one sensible child in this family. Betty, I'm proud of you.

Betty:

Thank you, Father.

Father:

Yes, Sir, what this country needs is more children who leave their father's alone at the breakfast table. I think I'll have another cup of coffee, Margaret.

CUP AND SAUCER CLINKS

Margaret:

All right, dear.

CLINKS

Margaret:

There you are.

CLINKS

Father:

Thank you.

CLINKS

Father:

Well, Betty, what's the good word in your little world.

Betty:

Oh, just the most wonderful thing has happened, Father. I'm going to be married.

CLINKS AND SPILLED COFFEE

Father:

(Choking on his coffee.) Ohhh!

Margaret:

Jim, hold your arms up over your head! Quickly, Bud. pound your father on the back!

SLAPS ON BACK

Bud:

Why for, what happened?

Margaret:

Don't stand there, do something. Do you want him to choke to death? Jim?

SLAPS ON BACK CONTINUE

Father:

(Choking) I'm all, right, I think. (coughs)

Bud:

You're going to be fine. Dad's just fine.

Father:

(Coughs) Well, stop beating me on the back, or I'll never be all right.

SLAPS STOP

Bud:

Oh, but Mother told me..

Margaret:

I did not tell you to break your father's spine.

Bud:

But, you told me to pound him.

Margaret:

With your hand, not your books.

Bud:

Ohhh!

Father:

Bud, you're going to be late for school.

Bud:

I get it, come on Kathy.

CLINK

Kathleen:

Come on, where?

Bud:

You're going to school.

Kathleen:

I don't have to leave for ten minutes.

Bud:

Hah! That's what you think.

Kathleen:

Hey, stop pulling me you brute, I have to get my things. Father..!

Bud:

(say before Kathleen says "Father‚??) See you later, everybody.

DOOR SLAM

Father:

All right, Betty. Now, ahhh, what was that newsy little item you dropped into the middle of my coffee?

Bettv:

Hmmm. Ohh, you mean about getting married? Isn't it wonderful.

Father:

Margaret, did you know anything about this?

Margaret:

Not a word, Jim. I still don't. Betty, you're joking, aren't you?

Betty:

Joking?! Mother, do you think I would joke about the most sacred thing in a woman's life?

Margaret:

Jim, she isn't joking.

Father:

Betty, you wouldn't mind giving us a little more information, would you? You know, just in case we want to get in touch with you later.

Bettv:

I don't know what you mean, Father.

Father:

Well, just for a start. who is it?

Betty:

Who's who?

Father:

The boy. My prospective son-in-law, what's his name.

Bettv:

Billy. He's wonderful.

Margaret:

Ohhh, Betty, not Billy Smith.

Bettv:

Just wonderful.

Father:

Which one is he?

Margaret:

Oh, you know, Jim, the one who hates football players. The one Betty thinks is esthetic.

Father:

Esthetic? Heh. heh, if it's the one I think it is, that's a new way of spelling anemic.

Betty:

Father! Billy is delicate. You have to be delicate if you have a beautiful soul.

Father:

Well, that's exactly what this family needs, somebody with a beautiful soul. Margaret, I have to get down to the office. Explain to Betty that she'll be happier if she waits. Make certain, you know, the usual woman to woman talk.

Margaret:

All right dear.

Betty:

Oh, you don't have to worry about us, Father. Billy and I talked it all over last night and we both decided against a hasty marriage. We intend to wait.

Father:

That's fine. I'll be home at the usual time, dear.

Margaret:

All right, Jim.

Betty:

We're not going to be married until Saturday.

Father:

If you.. Saturday!

Betty:

Uh huh, Saturday night. We were going to make it in the afternoon but we decided to go to the basketball game, first.

Margaret:

Jim, this is an emergency. Put your hat down.

Father:

I'll put more than my hat down. Betty this the most ridiculous piece of conversation I have ever heard.

Betty:

Father, you mean you don't approve?

Father:

Now that's the most intelligent remark you've made since you got up. I most decidedly don't approve.

Betty:

But, I don't understand, you've always liked Billy's father.

Father:

You mean Hector Smith? Of course, I like Hector Smith. He's one of my best clients. Why don't you marry him?

Betty:

But he is married.

Margaret:

Betty, your Father and I have always thought to..

Father:

Just a moment, Margaret, I'll handle this. Betty, you're seventeen years of age. You're in your first year at the university, You will not marry Billy Smith or anyone else 'till after your graduation, and that's final.

Betty:

Graduation. But, that's three-and-a-half years, I'll be over twenty-one. Why, why, the best years of my life will be gone.

Margaret:

Well, darling, we can always have Bud push you up to the altar in a wheelchair.

Betty:

You're laughing at me. I think you're horrid. You're just old fashioned, both of you. You've forgotten what it is to be young and in love. You don't seem to understand that things are different now.

Father:

Oh, Betty. Nothings any different. Things like that don't change.

Bettv:

They do to! Things change all the time. People change, customs change, everything changes. Only you won't admit it.

Margaret:

Oh, darling, why don't you listen to your father? Things are no different now than when we were your age. The young people wore different clothes, and they sang different songs, but fundamentally, they were the same and even then boys and girls didn't rush headlong into marriage. Not until they were ready for it.

Father:

You bet they didn't. They listened to their fathers. They were willing to benefit from a lifetime of experience. Why, when I was courting your mother I was....

Betty:

Mother, how old were you when you married, Father?

Margaret:

Well, I...

Betty:

Yes, Mother...

Margaret:

I was seventeen.

Father:

But that was different.

Betty:

Why?

Father:

Well, because things were different in those days. The, ahhh, people were different, the times were different.

Betty:

You said they weren't.

Father:

Well, they were. Ahhh, some of them were. Some of them weren't and some of them were. Only the ones that weren't were more than the, ahhh...Margaret?

Margaret:

Betty, ahh, don't you think it would be a nice idea if Billy and his family were to have dinner with us tonight?

Betty:

Oh, Mother. would you? Really?

Father:

Margaret, I don't want the Smiths for dinner tonight or any other night. I think the idea of a dinner for the Smiths is not only ridiculous but unnecessary. I forbid the marriage, and that's that.

Margaret:

Oh. Jim, you know you like having people in for dinner. The Smiths are very pleasant, and you might be able to sell Hector some more insurance.

Father:

Yeah, that's right, I might at that. But, look, Margaret, I'm going to have a tough day at the office, I couldn't take a dinner tonight. Let's make it next week. Or, next month

Margaret:

Dear, we can't put it off for even a day. I'll call the Smiths and see if they can make it. Shall I tell them that dinner will be at 7:30?

Father:

7:30? What's the matter with 6 o'clock? I'll be starved by 7:30.

Margaret:

Jim, it just isn't done.

Father:

Well, it's going to be done tonight. We'll have dinner at six.

Margaret:

I'll ask them to be prompt, dear, at 7:30.

Betty:

And Mother, can we dress? I mean, can I wear my new dinner gown? Can I Mother, oh please, can I?

Father:

Betty, there will be no dressing for dinner.

Betty:

But, Father, I... Mother, Please?

Margaret:

I'm sorry dear, but you know I never contradict your father. After all, your father knows best.

MUSIC CHORD--PAUSE, THEN MUSIC CONTINUES TO FINAL FLOURISH.

MUSIC THEME BEGINS SECOND ACT

Announcer:

It's been a long day for the Hendersons.

MUSIC FANFARE UNDER

Announcer:

The specter of a fair young child married and gone before her time has hung like a pall throughout the day. It would have, that is, if the Hendersons hadn't been so busy. Jim, you see, had a hectic day at the office.

MUSIC, TWO BEATS

Father:

Six! Why you robber, how about the two strokes you had in back of that tree?

MUSIC CHORD

Father:

And don't tell me those snakes followed you over from the last hole.

Announcer:

Ah hem, at the office.

HARP GLISSANDO

Announcer:

Bud has been involved in the intricacies of a higher education.

SWEET MUSIC UNDER BUD'S LINES

Bud:

But, Margie, it's healthful riding on a bicycle. Well, look at all the fresh air you'll get, and the beautiful muscles. We could even..

TELEPHONE CLICK, THEN SEVERAL CLICKS.

Bud:

Margie, hello, Margie, hello....

Announcer:

Kathy has been involved in serious plans for the future.

MUSIC STRUM LIKE ON GUITAR, WITH VIOLIN MUSIC UNDER

KATHY'S LINES, THE ANNOUNCER'S LINES AND THROUGH

HECTOR'S LINES.

Kathv:

What do you mean they don't take girls in the foreign legion? I'll bet they do, especially without wings. You just wait, you'll see.

Announcer:

Margaret, well, Margaret has been very busy cooking an extra special dinner for the Smiths. And if it's one thing Margaret can do, it's cook.

Hector:

Yes, sir, Margaret, if there's one thing you can do, it's cook. That's what I always say.

Announcer:

You see, now we can proceed. Ahh, proceed.

Margaret:

Thank you, Hector. Do you care for another piece of pie?

Father:

Margaret, please,

(DISH CLINK)

 

Father:

I've already had two helpings.

Kathy:

You've had three.

Father:

Kathy. Ahh, how about another cup of coffee, Hec? Nothing like a cup of Margaret's piping hot coffee.

Hector:

Well, if you insist.

Elizabeth:

Hector..

Hector:

I guess I'd better not...

(CUP CLINK)

 

Hector:

...Jim. Ahh, you know how it is, doctor's orders.

Father:

Oh.. sure. Well, how about you, doctor? ahh... Elizabeth.

Elizabeth:

Thank you, no. One cup of coffee is quite sufficient.

Father:

Well, I'm a two cup man, myself. You know, I was reading just the other day...

Clink

Elizabeth:

Jim, it's not that we don't enjoy your informative little talks...but I was under the impression that this dinner had, well, should I say, a more or less, definite purpose.

Father:

Hmm...

SETTING CUP DOWN CLINKS

Father:

...oh you mean, Oh, sure, absolutely. You know, I had a long talk with Hec before dinner...

Margaret:

Jim, dear, I hate to interrupt, but, ahh, don't you think it would be a good idea if Bud took Kathy to the movies?

Father:

In the middle of the week, I certainly do not .. Oh, I see what you mean. Ah, Bud, ah, how'd you like to take Kathy to the movies?

Kathy:

Oh, boy!

Bud:

I wouldn't. I can't think of anything I'd rather do less.

Father:

Well, that's fine. Here's a dollar, have a good time.

Bud:

Ah, Dad, do I haf ta?

Kathy:

Yes, you haf ta.

Father:

That'll be enough of that, Kathy.

Margaret:

Bud, I'm surprised. You ought to be glad to take your sister to the movies.

Bud:

I'd rather go with a gorilla. You don't know what she's like. She never even looks at the picture. She sits around backwards and stares at the people.

Kathy:

They're funnier. I like to look at their faces.

Father:

All right. Well, get going, come home right after the show.

Bud:

If I'm still alive. Good night, everybody. Come on Squirt.

Kathy:

Hey, stop pulling me. Why do you always have to pull me?

DOOR SLAM

Elizabeth:

Lovely children.

Margaret:

They mean well. I think.

Betty:

Mother.

Margaret:

Yes, Betty.

Betty:

Mother, Billy and I have been talking, and... Billy, you tell them.

Billy:

(gulp) We'd, dah, We'd, dah, would it be alright if we went to the movies?

(At same time)

 

Hector:

Father:
Oh, no..I should say not. We're here for a purpose, a very definite purpose.

Hector:

(Emphatically) Yes, Sir.

Father:

We have a problem to discuss, and we're going to do it right now.

Elizabeth:

Frankly, I think the whole thing is idiotic. Imagine, discussing a ridiculous subject like marriage with these these children.

Billy:

We're not children, Mother. We're quite adult. We have adult minds, adult bodies, adult passions...

Elizabeth:

William!

Father:

As I said before, Hector and I had a long talk, just a while ago. Right, Hec?

Hector:

Right.

Father:

And we're in complete agreement on the subject. Right?

Hector:

Right.

Father:

We both feel that open discussion is the only sensible procedure in a matter of this sort. Right?

Hector:

Right.

Elizabeth:

Hector. Stop being so agreeable.

Hector:

Right. I. .eyii, I mean, yes, dear.

Father:

Margaret. Elizabeth. Hector and I have agreed on what we consider a very sound solution to the entire problem. We have decided to permit Betty and Billy to be married immediately.

Betty:

Daddy.

Billy:

Golly. Hollycow.

Elizabeth:

I never heard anything so outrageous in my entire life. Hector, get your hat. William, we're leaving this instant.

Billy:

I'm not going mother.

Elizabeth:

As soon as we're... William!

Billy:

I'm 18, Mother, I've got a mind of my own. I love Betty, and we're going to be married.

Elizabeth:

Well, I never..

Father:

All right now that's settled, you're going to be married.

Betty:

Oh, Mother, isn't it wonderful.

Margaret:

(Bewildered) I don't know.

Father:

Yes, sir. Nothing like marriage and responsibility to set a man straight. Where do you kids figure on living? After you're married, I mean.

Billy:

Ohhh, well, ahh we sort of figured on we'd move in...

Betty:

Mother, couldn't Kathy move in with Bud? Then Billy and I could have her room and...

Father:

That's ridiculous, Betty. You've got to have a home of your own. A place for your roots to take hold and grow. Right, Hec?

Hector:

Right.

Billy:

Well, gosh that would be kind of expensive and on my allowance...

Hector:

Oh, don't worry about your allowance, Billy. Married men don't go around taking allowances from their fathers.

Billy:

They don't?

Father:

Of course not, they're too proud to be supported by their father.

Billy:

I'm not.

Father:

Of course you are. You'll work. You'll sweat and slave. But you'll come home every week with a juicy pay envelope for your little wife.

Bettv:

Isn't that sweet.

Billy:

But, I.. ahh don't know how to do anything.

Betty:

That's not so. Poets make a living, and Mother, he writes the most beautiful poetry.

Margaret:

I'm sure he does, dear.

Betty:

Recite the one about my hair. It's just wonderful.

Billy:

Aw, Betty..

Betty:

Well, it is. Raven tresses on a lofty brow, swept by the winds of time. Isn't that beautiful?

Father:

Well, you could get a small house. Ahhh, poet size.

Hector:

Say, Jim, I saw an apartment advertised the other day. It'd be just right for the kids. Ahh, hundred and a quarter a month, furnished.

Father:

Of course, that's without utilities. You know, gas, electricity, telephone...

Hector:

And food, don't forget food.

Father:

That's right, and laundry and cleaning.

Margaret:

Oh, they won't have to worry about that, Jim. Don't you remember when we were first married, I did all our laundry and cleaning and cooking. I'm sure Betty would want to at least that for Billy. Won't you, dear?

Betty:

I guess so.

Billy:

Betty.

Betty:

Yes,Billy.

Billy:

Could I talk to you for a moment? Privately.

Betty:

Of Course. Will you excuse us please. We'll be right back.

Father:

It's all right kids. Take all the time you need. We're in no hurry.

Hector:

Are, aahh, are they gone?

Father:

I think so. (laughter)

Hector:

(laughter) Jim, we did it. Yes sir, by golly. we did it.

Father:

Ohh, it was nothing, really.

Margaret:

Jim, stop looking so smug. What was nothing?

Father:

The psychological attack I planned for tonight. You see, I felt our wisest possible course, from a tactical standpoint, lay in a feint to their left flank and a drive through the middle. Do you follow me?

Margaret:

Yes, dear. Right up to the part where you started to talk.

Father:

Margaret, the whole thing is elemental.

Hector:

Yes, and very clever.

Father:

We pretend to give our consent. That's the feint.

Elizabeth:

Believe me, I almost did.

Father:

Then we hit them with both barrels, the cost of living, the struggle for existence, they retire in disorder, their armored units are smashed, their rear guard is demolished. What a fight.

Margaret:

Dear, dear, the enemy is back.

Father:

Hmm, Oh, ahh, come on in kids. Everything all settled?

Betty:

I think so, Father.

Billy:

Hmmm, pretty much so, sort of.

Father:

That's fine. Now, ahhh, what did you finally decide?

Betty:

You know very well what we were forced to decide. We have to wait.

Hector:

Why.... Betty, I thought that you and Billy...

Betty:

Mr. Smith, you don't have to continue the ridiculous performance you and my father were putting on.

Father:

Betty.

Betty:

Oh, Father, you can be so juvenile at time, really. A hundred and a quarter a month.

Billy:

We know some kids who have one for forty-five.

Betty:

You older people ought to get straightened out on the simple facts of life before you start fooling around with psychology.

Margaret:

Jim, your mouth is open.

Father:

Well, ahh, now see here, both of you kids....

Margaret:

Just a moment, Jim. Betty, exactly what do you and Billy intend to do?

Betty:

Well, as long as our families are determined to exercise parental prerogatives, we'll just have wait until we're financially self-sufficient. Right, Billy?

Billy:

Right.

Elizabeth:

Well, I never..

Father:

Betty, about how long do you figure it's going to take you and Billy to, ahh, become financially independent?

Bettv:

Ummm, a few years.

Father:

Well, ha, ha, that gives us a little time to look around for a wedding present, ehh, Hec.

Hector:

Yeah, that's right, Jim, couple of years, that's a long time, a lot of things could happen.

Father:

Ah huh.

Margaret:

Hector, how about another cup of coffee?

CLINK OF CUP AND SAUCER

Hector:

Ohh, thank you, Margaret. I think I could use one.

CLINK

Elizabeth:

You know, Margaret, I'm very relieved. I'm so afraid of hasty marriages.

Billy:

Don't mind us, Mother. Just go on talking as if we weren't here.

Elizabeth:

Oh, I'm sorry, dear, it's just that I was so afraid you were going to make the same mistake I did.

CLINK

Hector:

Hooey.

Father:

Ohh, I wouldn't say you made a mistake, Elizabeth. Hec's a pretty nice guy.

Hector:

Well, ahh, thanks, Jim.

Father:

You can send me a check in the morning.

Elizabeth:

I suppose I have been fairly fortunate. But, of course, people aren't always that lucky when they marry beneath them.

Father:

I suppose not, .. when they.. what?

Hector:

A... ahh... Elizabeth, we'd better go, it's getting...

Father:

Wait a minute, Hec. What was that crack you made, Elizabeth?

Elizabeth:

Well, after all, my mother was a Stuyvestant, and I certainly...

Father:

In other words you think Betty isn't good enough for your son.

Margaret:

l'm sure that isn't what Elizabeth meant, Jim.

Father:

That's what she said. Well, isn't that what you said?.. Lizzy.

Elizabeth:

(gasp) . . Don't you dare call me "Lizzy".

Father:

Why not. If you can say my daughter isn't good enough for that...puny excuse of a son.

Hector:

Now, just hold it, Jim.

Father:

Writing poetry. What makes you think he's such a bargain?

Hector:

My boy has a fine head on his shoulders.

Father:

What shoulders? I've seen better heads on a small beer.

Hector:

Is that so!

Father:

Yesss. That's so.

Elizabeth:

This is what comes from slumming.

Margaret:

Slumming! Now, you listen to me Elizabeth Smith. Your mother may have been a Stuyvestant. but my father spent half his life picking your father out of the gutter.

Father:

He wasn't lying down because he was tired.

Elizabeth:

I think I'm going to faint. Hector, I'm going to faint.

Hector:

Go ahead, dear, I'll catch ya.

Billy:

You ought to be ashamed, upsetting my mother with your vulgar insinuations.

Father:

Vulgar? Why you little pip-squeak. If you were my son, I'd vulgar you so hard you wouldn't sit down for a week.

Billy:

Fortunately, I am not your son. Peasant.

Father:

Peasant?

Betty:

Don't you dare call my father a peasant, Billy Smith. Don't you dare!

Billy:

That's what he is.

Betty:

He is not.

Billy:

He certainly is.

Betty:

Well, I'd rather be a peasant than a...a pip-squeak.

Billy:

Don't you call me a pip-squeak.

Betty:

I will if I want to. Pip-squeak.

Billy:

Peasant.

Betty:

I never want to see you again as long as I live.

Billy:

Well, you won't if I can help it.

Betty:

You're just another...

(Betty and Billy continue in the background.

Elizabeth:

Hector..

Hector:

Ahh, just a minute, dear. Say, Jim...

Father:

I, ahh, sorry I lost my temper, Hec...

Hector:

Say, Jim, that thing about picking Elizabeth's father out of the gutter, is, ahh, that true?

Father:

Sure, it's true. Why?

Hector:

(laughs) Ohhh Boyyy. Just wait until she pulls that Stuyvestant stuff on me again. Well, (clears throat) thanks for a lovely evening, folks. Ehh, come on, Lizzy.

Elizabeth:

Yes Dear.

Hector:

And, ahh, Billy?

Billy:

(from a distance) Yes, Father.

Hector:

Come on, pip-squeak.

THEME MUSIC CONTINUES UNDER ANNOUNCER.

Announcer:

Well, we started with breakfast, and we might as well finish the same way. Let's drop in at the Henderson's at breakfast time the very next morning. The average children are still getting dressed. The average mother is racing around the kitchen. And the average father...

Margaret:

Jim, where are you going?

Father:

Gotta rush, dear. Can't stop for breakfast. Just time to catch the bus.

Margaret:

The bus? But, I thought you said...

Father:

Never mind what I said. Just tell Bud if he gets one scratch on that car, I'll brain him.

DOOR OPENS

Margaret:

All right, dear.

Father:

I'll be home at the usual time. Be a good girl.

Margaret:

I'll try, dear.

DOOR CLOSES

Margaret:

Oh Jim.

DOOR OPENS

Father:

Ehh.

Margaret:

Uhhh, where did you leave the car keys?

Father:

The keys? Oh, they're on the dresser. Ahhh, on top of Kathy's two bucks.

Margaret:

Jim.

Father:

Now what's the matter?

Margaret:

Remind me to tell you, you're an angel.

Father:

I'm a dope.

Margaret:

You are not.

Father:

I've got witnesses.

Margaret:

Well, why should I argue.

DOOR CLOSES

Maragert:

After all, father knows best.

THEME MUSIC TO END SHOW. THEN ORIGINAL THEME UNDER ANNOUNCER.

Announcer:

Members of our cast are Robert Young as Jim Henderson, June Whitley as Margaret Henderson, Rhoda Williams as Betty, Ted Donaldson as Bud, Norma Jean Nielson as Kathy. Robert Young will soon be seen in RKO's "Baltimore Escapade". Ted Donaldson may be seen in Warner Brothers "Decision of Christopher Blake". Others in tonight's cast were Virginia Gordon and Sam Edwards. Music was written and conducted by Herb Vigran ."Father Knows Best" was conceived and written by Ed James. Entire production under the direction of Herb Sample. Bill Foreman speaking.