|The short-lived Jim Backus Show.|
Although a longtime TV mainstay, Backus had a love-hate relationship with series work, and claimed to have formed a support group called Series Anonymous. "Agents love to put an actor in a series," he groused in 1969, "'cause you don't bother them for nine months ... You live in a vacuum and come out asking who's president." Series Anonymous, he joked, would do an intervention for an actor offered a series role. "They call me up, bring over a bottle of booze, and I talk them out of it."
Apparently no one did that for Jim himself. You can read about his starring sitcom, The Jim Backus Show: Hot off the Wire in my book Lost Laughs of '50s and '60s Television. Jim also figures, naturally, into my new book on I Married Joan star Joan Davis, due out this spring. Jim's memoirs painted a less-than-flattering picture of Joan as a colleague; my book provides another perspective, and I hope will encourage you to seek out this classic comedy of early TV.