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Overview

The Life of Riley, with William Bendix in the title role, is a popular American radio situation comedy series of the 1940s that was adapted into a 1949 feature film, a long-run 1950s television series, and a 1958 comic book.

The show began as a proposed Groucho Marx radio series, The Flotsam Family, but the sponsor balked at what would have been essentially a straight head-of-household role for the comedian. Then producer Irving Brecher saw Bendix as taxicab company owner Tim McGuerin in Hal Roach's The McGuerins from Brooklyn. The Flotsam Family was reworked with Bendix cast as blundering Chester A. Riley, a wing riveter at the fictional Cunningham Aircraft plant in California. His frequent exclamation of indignation—"What a revoltin' development this is!"—became one of the most famous catchphrases of the 1940s. It was later reused by Benjamin J. Grimm of the Fantastic Four. The radio series also benefited from the immense popularity of a supporting character, Digby "Digger" O'Dell, "the friendly undertaker".

Top Billed Cast

  1. Gloria Winters

    Gloria Winters

    Babs Riley

  2. Rosemary DeCamp

    Rosemary DeCamp

    Peg Riley

  3. Jackie Gleason

    Jackie Gleason

    Chester A. Riley

  4. Bob Jellison

    Waldo Binny

  5. Lanny Rees

    Lanny Rees

    Junior Riley

Full Cast & Crew

Last Season

Season 1

1949 | 26 Episodes

Season 1 of The Life of Riley premiered on October 4, 1949.

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The Life of Riley
The Life of Riley

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Facts

Status Ended

Network

  • See more TV shows from NBC...

Certification -

Type Scripted

Original Language English

Runtime 30m

Homepage -

Genres

Keywords

Content Score

86

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