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The Life of Riley
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The Life of Riley

The radio program starring William Bendix as Riley initially aired on the Blue Network, later known as ABC, from January 16, 1944 to June 8, 1945. Then it moved to NBC, where it was broadcast from September 8, 1945 to June 29, 1951. The supporting cast featured Paula Winslowe portraying Peg, Riley's wife, as well as John Brown, who portrayed not only undertaker "Digger" O'Dell but also Riley's co-worker Jim Gillis. (Brown also played the character of Waldo Binny.) Whereas Gillis gave Riley bad information that got him into trouble, Digger gave him good information that "helped him out of a hole," as he might have put it. Brown's lines as the undertaker were often repetitive, including puns based on his profession; but, thanks to Brown's delivery, the audience loved him. The program was broadcast live with a studio audience, most of whom were not aware Brown played both characters. As a result, when Digger delivered his first line, it was usually greeted with howls of laughter and applause from surprised audience members.



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EPISODES

Riley Wants To Build A House

Riley Plans To Build A House

The Butler Pt 2

Riley Rents a Hse-Moves frm Hotel

Telephone Story

Van Planten Thtr Pt 1

The Barber Chair

Riley's Bday (Thinks Baxter Giving Party)

Riley Is Best Dressed Man

Proxy Wedding Pt 2

Baxter Goes To NY

The Dog Catcher

Riley Fixes Dinner for Mother's Day

Fish Story

Baxter & Waldo's Aunt

The Houseboat Vacation Pt 1

The Houseboat Vacation Pt 2

Making Each Other Jealous

Muley's Surprise Party for Riley

The Boss's Son-In-Law

Halloween Haunted House

Piano Lessons for Junior

Big Football Bet

Turkey Hunt

Bridesmaid Babs

Most Popular Boy

Riley's Mash Note at Night School

Special Christmas Present

Roswell's a Guest for Christmas

New Yr's Eve Party

Silver Gloves Boxing

The Wedding Anniversary

Riley Takes Phone Booth Nickels

$5.00 Is Missing

The BPLA Initiates New Member

Riley Trains Junior's Dog

Riley Helps Luigi Pass English Exam

Expectant Fathers

Junior Runs Away

Riley is a Pal to Junior

Five Dollars is Missing

Peg's Mother Visits

Neighbor Feud Over Jr's Goat

Jr is Head of Household

Change of Time

Riley Refuses to Let Babs See Simon (Thinks he's a Suicide)

Sidney Monahan is a House Guest

The Football Game

Roswell Visits

Will Babs & Simon Marry

Phonograph Record Saves Riley

Job Promotion Exam

Grandma's Boyfriend

Riley's Tonsillectomy

Junior's School Play (aka 1946-02-26)

Babs Music Scholarship

Riley Buys An Insurance Policy

Junior Races Egbert - Poison Ivy

Riley Finds A Silver Fox Fur Coat

The Bread Shortage (Riley Thinks Jr. is a Shoplifter)

Giant Easter Bunny

Gambling Doesn't Pay

Rileys Take In The Gillises After A Fire

Junior Forgets Mother's Day

Junior Sells Peanuts at the Circus

The Riley Family of Actors

The Bread Shortage & the Black Market

Morris Buys The Riley House

Paper Route Subscription Contest To Go To Camp

Riley Gets Promoted (aka 1946-09-17)

Riley Doesn't Want Peg to Work for Sidney Monahan

Riley Bribes Jr. to win Football Game

Good Neighbor Week

The School Formal Dance (Helene's Swap Shop Dress For Babs)

Riley Sues Bus Company

Job In South America

Peg & Riley Both Run For Park Supervisor

Egbert & Jr go to Boy Scout Camp

Music Brings Riley And Peg Together (starts at 46 Sec)

(AFRS) Riley, Football Hero for the Night Club Team

Riley Gets Free Medical Advice From Simon's Uncle, A Horse Doctor

New Year's Eve - 10 Dates For Babs

Efficiency Expert

Riley & Simon, Business Partners

Riley's Honeymoon

Riley Switched At Birth

Riley's Birthday Forgotten

(AFRS) Simon Is Advice to the Lovelorn Column Editor

Riley, The Milkman

Riley The Gentleman (New Chair)

Riley the Child Beater

Real Life Soap Opera `Marriage Can Be Beautiful'

Riley the Boxer (Jr. the Coward)

Simon the Waiter, Blackmails Riley

Launching Babs In Society

Model Son, The Mother's Day Speech

The Accident Insurance Policy

Babs Almost Gets A Job In San Francisco

Riley & Gillis Spend Aa Week at the Lake

Riley Thinks Peg Is Leaving Him

Riley Enrolls At PIP Instead Of UCLA

Babs Has Two Dates

Jr Wants To Run Away From Home

Venus w Radio in Stomach is Art Object (Statue) for the Piano

Riley Gets A Promotion - Old Age Sets In

Riley, The Cop

Football Pool Card (Tape Waver)

Bean Counter (aka Win a Buick Contest)

Foreman's Job (aka Thanksgiving at Gillise's)

Are We Ever Going to Get a Car

Equal Rights For Women

Lay-Offs (aka 1945-09-08 #077 Layoffs)

Babs Quits School

Riley Punches his Foreman

Juvenile Delinquency

Riley Meets a Gangster (Burt Lancaster) (or Peg Studies French)

How to Pick a Mate

Problem Child

Christmas Bonuses from Mr. Stevenson (aka 1946-12-24 Christmas Eve)

Riley's Movie Premier (Riley Family are guests at Premier)

Won't Let Peg Help Jr. With Homework

Riley Talks in His Sleep About Gertrude

Riley Breaks Pegs Chinese Bowl

Junior Drops Out of School (aka Jrs Deliv. Bus)

The Geiger Counter (Tape Waver)

Riley Buys a Television

(AFRTS Re-Broadcast) Leaking Roof (Tape Waver)

Traffic Court

Riley The Rent Collector

Riley Is In A Rut

Louella's Farewell Party

LUX Theatre Play


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