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This was the line blurted out at the beginning of every opening segment from Columbia Pictures most successful film series ever. Of course the series was called Blondie too, which was based on the popular comic strip by Chic Young (who first came up with the idea in 1930). Twenty-eight feature films- all one hour and ten minutes long- were produced: the 1st installment in 1938 called "Blondie", and the last in 1950 called "Beware of Blondie."

The stories in each movie were based on the lives of an all-American family called the Bumsteads: Dagwood the father, Blondie the mother, Alexander the adorable son (Baby Dumpling in the early years), Cookie the younger daughter, and of course Daisy, the wonder dog. Daisy was so intelligent she could almost talk. She did the most incredible tricks. On one occasion she even cried with real human-like tears. The interplay between her and Baby Dumpling was priceless.

Blondie (played by Penny Singleton) was the beautiful, neighborly housewife who wore the pants in the household; which was a rarity on film in those days. She was often seen going to Dagwood's office at the JC Dithers Contruction Company to either ask for a raise for her husband, or to get his job back. Dagwood usually got fired about 2 times an episode.

Blondie was extremely jealous. Anytime Dagwood was out with a female client she would become overly suspicious- especially in one segment where he befriends future, movie-star beauty Rita Hayworth.

The main character, however, was not Blondie, but instead her lovable, bumbling idiot husband, Dagwood. Dagwood (played by Arthur Lake) was always getting into trouble with either Blondie or his boss JC Dithers. He was best known for building those double-decker sandwich monstrosities that no human being could possibly get his mouth around. His funniest traits, though, were his mannerisms: the way he always shook his head saying no when Mr. Dithers would blame him for something; or the way he always opened his mouth real wide, lifting his finger to say something of importance only to come out with an "HUH?" when he realized he had no idea what was really going on. Arthur Lake loved his role as Dagwood so much in fact that he once remarked how he wished he could play the role forever.

One of the funniest segments from each episode were the long-running gags where the poor mailman came to the Bumstead's front yard to bring the mail. Dagwood would always be eating breakfast and then look at his watch, jump up and yell, "I'm late!" He'd quickly gobble down some burnt toast, chug some coffee, and head full throttle towards the front door where Blondie and the kids would be waiting for him with his hat. Daisy and her offspring would be barking madly, while Dagwood kept running out through the door, and then 'POW' right into the mailman. All you could see were hundreds of letters flying through the air, while the dazed carrier was left flattened on the front steps. Over the years, the mailman devised new ways to miss Dagwood in the morning. It didn't make a difference though because he always managed to get creamed. Once he tried to deliver mail at the side window- only to have Dagwood accidentally blow him down with a firecracker. He even got a new route on the other side of town and Dagwood still managed to bowl him over. The odd time Dag would miss the mailman, so instead, Blondie or Alexander would do some ploughing of their own. The best was when Dagwood bought a horse for his boss, and it too sent the mailman flying- to which he replied in a daze, "I could have sworn I just got hit by a horse!" When he bent over to pick up the mail all you could see were the horseshoe marks on the back of his uniform.

The movie series and comic strip were very popular, so when the show moved to CBS radio in 1939, it was also a hit. Arthur Lake and Penny Singleton kept their roles there too. The radio show lasted almost as long as the movie series and ended in 1950. Mr. Lake got to keep the role in another Blondie reprise on CBS TV in 1957 with Blondie played by Pamela Britton. Unfortunately the show only lasted for nine months before being canceled. Arthur's wish to play Dagwood forever had come to an end for him at age 52.

After all these years, Blondie still has a special place in many a heart. Penny Singleton, who became active in the American Guild of Variety Artists, passed away in Nov. 2003 at age 95. Still, the films live on- thanks to King Features, who own the rights, and who also set the Blondie theme song to music in the 1960's.

The Blondie Writing Formula:

The Blondie series was heartwarming and unforgettable; so much so that it lasted for 28 installments. This was due, not only to the hilarity in each, and the perfect actor choices (Arthur was born to play Dagwood), but for something that many forget to mention: the writing formula. Although there were about ten different writers over the years, and three separate directors, they had stumbled upon a writing formula that was tailor-made for the entire series.

This often-used formula by the Blondie writers was a style that brought in usually around four separate idea threads (at different times) that would merge together at the end of each for a finale that hit the smile muscles fast and hard. It was as if every Blondie movie was written by the same person. It's a formula, I must admit, that I have never seen used in film at any time in history. I was always blown away with the way they pulled it off- all in the usual span of only 70 minutes. Hats off to Richard Flournoy who wrote the earliest episodes, and to all those who followed in his footsteps: Karen Dewolf, Connie Lee, Edward Bernds, Jack Henley and all the rest. Thank-you for putting a smile on my face and for making me wax with nostalgia for this series!

To get the best idea of what I am talking about: check out "Blondie in the Dough", which had the most threaded, complex plot of any of the Blondie films. This one was written by Arthur Marx and the screenplay was by Jack Henley.

MY LIST OF THE BEST BLONDIE FILMS: To order them on DVD check the links below

1- Blondie Goes to College (1942- written by Bruckman, Wilson and Breslow)
2- Blondie Brings Up Baby (1939-written by Chapin, Dewolf and Flournoy))
3- Blondie in Society (1941- written by Griffin and Dewolf)
4- Leave it to Blondie (1945- written by Lee)
5- Blondie Meets the Boss (1939- written by Riper and Flournoy)
6- Blondie for Victory (1942- written by Kanin, Dewolf and Lee)
7- Blondie in the Dough (1947- written by Marx and Henley)
8- It's a Great Life (1943- written by Lee and Dewolf)
9- Blondie Plays Cupid (1940- written by Brown, Dewolf and Flournoy)
10- Blondie's Secret (1948- written by Henley)
11- Blondie Knows Best (1946- written by Bernds and Martin)
12- Blondie's Lucky Day (1946- written by Lee)
13- Blondie Takes a Vacation (1939- written by Chapin, Dewolf and Flournoy)
14- Blondie's Blessed Event (1942- written by Flournoy, Dewolf and Lee)
15- Life With Blondie (1945- written by Lee)
16- Blondie's Reward (1948- written by Bernds)
17- Blondie (1938-written by Flournoy)
18- Blondie's Big Moment (1947- written by Lee)
19- Blondie Goes Latin (1941- written by Martin, Dewolf and Flournoy)
20- Blondie's Big Deal (1949- written by Lucille Henley)
21- Blondie on a Budget (1940- written by Brown and Flournoy)
22- Blondie's Hero (1950- written by Henley)
23- Blondie Hits the Jackpot (1949- written by Henley)
24- Blondie's Anniversary (1947- written by Henley)
25- Footlight Glamour (1943- written by Lee and Dewolf)
26- Blondie's Holiday (1947- written by Lee)
27- Blondie Has Servant Trouble (1940- written by Duffy and Flournoy)
28- Beware of Blondie (1950- written by Henley)


Dagwood Bumstead- Arthur Lake (1905-1987) born Arthur Silverlake in Corbin, KY.

Blondie Bumstead- Penny Singleton (google her wonderful web site for lots of photos and info.) (1908- 2003) born Mariana McNulty in Philadelphia, PA.-voice of Jane Jetson.

Dagwood Alexander Bumstead (Baby Dumpling)- Larry Simms (Oct. 1, 1934- July 17, 2009) born in Los Angeles, CA - became an engineer at the Jet Propulsion Lab, and ran his own boat repair business in the L.A. harbour. He retired to Thailand where he lives with his young wife Mali. To see photos of them both in 2000 click here and here. Larry also had a part in "It's a Wonderful Life".

Cookie Bumstead- Marjorie Kent (1939- ) aka Marjorie Ann Mutchie, born in L.A., CA.- where are you Marjorie?

Daisy Bumstead the dog- Spooks (?-?) and his offspring- trained by Rudd Weatherwax and Frank Inn.

JC (Julius Caesar) Dithers- Jonathan Hale (1891-1966) born in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada - he committed suicide after suffering depression which may have been caused by other health concerns.

George M. Radcliffe- Jerome Cowan (1897-1972) born in New York, NY.

Alvin Fuddle (Dag's young nemesis)- Danny Mummert (1934-1974) born in Dallas, TX. Danny's career, as well as his personal life after his movie career ended was varied and tragic. He was, at times, a Film Producer in TV, a Writer in Motion Pictures and TV, and in Commercial Advertising. He married at least 4 times: To Joan H. Hummel, to Helene L Harnett (they had 2 children, Mark E (B. 1959) and Janna H (B 1961), to Mae Louise Horwitz Helms (Md. Feb. 28, 1967) and Linda Louise Earl Moreno (Md. Sept. 8 1972 in Monterey, CA.). Linda was in the process of divorcing Danny (Now known as Dan, or Don, Easton). He did not appear at various divorce proceedings, but was mailed the proceedings c/o his mother Winnifred Mummert, at 2710 1/2 N.W. 12th St., Oklahoma City, OK. On Saturday August 10, 1974 (The day before his divorce would become final), Danny, after having heard some upsetting news about Winnifred's latest boyfriend, borrowed/took her car, and a double barrel shotgun, drove outside the town of Kingfisher, Oklahoma, placed the shotgun in his mouth, and using a pencil to span the two triggers,took his own life. His body was cremated under the auspices of Hahn-Cook/Street & Draper Funeral Home, of Oklahoma City, OK. The remains were buried in Noble IOOF Cemetery plot E-4-R38-9 in Cleveland County, Oklahoma.

1st Mailman Mr. Crumb- Irving Bacon (1892-1965) born in St. Joseph, MO.

2nd Mailman Mr. Beasley- Eddie Acuff (1903-1956) born in Caruthersville, MO.

3rd Mailman- Dick Wessel (1913-1965) born in Wisconsin.

Ollie Shaw Merton- Jack Rice (1893-1968) born in Woodland Hills, CA.

Tommy Cooper- Bobby Larson (1930-2002) born in L.A., CA. He became a teacher in L.A.

Marvin Williams- Don Beddoe (1903-1991) born in Pittsburgh, PA.

Mary the Secretary- Mary Jane Carey, Anna Loos and Alyn Lockwood- Alyn was born in Los Angeles, CA Jan. 15, 1914, and died July 16, 2007 in Tarzana, CA. She was married to Marlin Resinger in 1964. He, and one child, survive.

Mrs. Fuddle- Fay Helm (1913-2003) born in Bakersfield, CA.


Directors: Frank Strayer- from 1938-1943, Abby Berlin- from 1944-1948, Edward Bernds- from 1949-1950.
Produced by Robert Sparks (who was also married to Penny Singleton).
Writers included (in order by date)- Richard Flournoy, Karen Dewolf, Connie Lee, Edward Bernds, and Jack Henley.