"Ward, I'm worried about the Beaver" - The motherly expression of concern
uttered by June Cleaver (Barbara Billingsley) to her husband Ward (Hugh
Beaumont) on the sitcom LEAVE IT TO BEAVER/CBS/ABC/1957-63. Beaver was, of
course, their younger, freckle-faced son Theodore (Jerry Mathers). Other
family catchphrases heard were "Gee, Wally," (Beaver's ubiquitous
hook-line) and "Boy, Beave, are you gonna get it." (Wally's warning to his
little brother) Years later, June still worried about the grownup Beaver
on the sitcom revival STILL THE BEAVER and THE NEW LEAVE IT TO BEAVER on
the Disney Channel in 1985-86 and THE NEW LEAVE IT TO BEAVER/TBS/1986-89.
See also -
"We'll be ready to go in exactly thirty seconds" - Favorite expression of
veteran newscaster Edward R. Murrow who hosted PERSON TO
PERSON/CBS/1953-61, an interview program that visited (via TV transmission
hookup) two celebrities at their homes. He also hosted the documentary
series SEE IT NOW/CBS/1952-55; and the discussion series SMALL
WORLD/CBS/1958-60. His famous sign off was "Good Night...And Good Luck."
"Well, I'll be a blue-nosed gopher!" - Goofy exclamation of Ollie, the
head wrangler on THE SPIN & MARTY segments of the MICKEY MOUSE CLUB serial
in the 1950s.
"Well, I'll be a dirty bird!" - Favorite catchphrase of mild-mannered
comedian George Gobel that became a national catchphrase in 1954 when he
starred on his own comedy variety program THE GEORGE GOBEL
SHOW/NBC/CBS/1954-60. His other popular saying was "You don't hardly get
those no more!"
"Well, isn't that special!" See -
NICKNAMES: "The Church Lady"
"What a crazy guy!" - Hookline for a skit about an Army Sergeant featuring
the mild-mannered comedian Wally Cox seen on THE STEVE ALLEN SHOW in the
"What a revoltin' development this is!" - The exasperating cry of Chester
A. Riley, heard each week on the sitcom THE LIFE OF RILEY/NBC/1949-58.
Chester was a softhearted aircraft factory worker living in Los Angeles
with his long-suffering wife, Peg (Rosemary DeCamp); his younger son,
Junior (Lanny Rees); and his older daughter, Babs (Gloria Winters). The
phrase "What a revoltin' development this is!" was first coined by the
sharp-witted comedian, Groucho Marx during a phone conversation with the
series' creator Irving Brecher in the 1940s. Brecher originally wrote the
"Riley" script for a radio program slated to star comedian Groucho Marx.
It was to be called THE FLOTSAM FAMILY. However, the attempt at selling
the script failed. Upon hearing the bad news Groucho remarked "What a
revoltin' development this is!" Brecher's found the phrase very unique and
asked if he could use it. Groucho agreed. Brecher rewrote/repackaged the
script under the title THE LIFE OF RILEY and the rest was not so revoltin'.
Jackie Gleason was the first to play Chester A. Riley on television
(1949-50). Later, William Bendix, who originally starred on the radio
version of the series, assumed the role of Riley for the remainder of the
series run. Groucho Marx went on to host the spectacularly popular
game/audience participation show YOU BET YOUR LIFE/NBC/1950-61. TRIVIA
NOTE: Daffy Duck says the phrase just after being suited up in a toreador
outfit by the bull in the animated feature Mexican Joyride (1947).
"What would you do if you had a million dollars?" - Question posed to the
audience of the dramatic anthology THE MILLIONAIRE/CBS/1955-60. Each week
an eccentric, never seen billionaire John Beresford Tipton (voice of Paul
Frees) gave his personal secretary Michael Anthony (Marvin Miller) a check
for one million dollars (tax free) to be delivered to a lucky stranger.
All they had to do was promise never to reveal where they got the money
and the fortune was theirs to spend. Mr. Tipton would then follow the
recipients and see how the money affected their lives.
"What'chu talkin' 'bout, Willis?" - Favorite expression of Arnold Jackson
(Gary Coleman), an adopted black boy living in a Park Avenue apartment
with his older brother Willis (Todd Bridges) on the sitcom DIFF'RENT
STROKES/NBC/ABC/1978-86. When Arnold didn't understand or was shocked at
hearing something, he whipped his head around and gave his classic retort.
"What's the deal with...?" - Catchphrase of standup comic Jerry Seinfeld
as heard in his comedy routines and on his sitcom SEINFELD/NBC/1990-98.
While onstage Jerry often asked his audience "What's the deal with_____"
and then began a mocking tirade on a variety of trivial topics. For
example: "What the deal with Grape Nuts? You open the box. No Grapes. No
Nuts. What's the deal? Who are the ad wizards who came up with that?";
"What's the deal with the Professor? He can make a radio out of a coconut
but he can't fix a hole in the boat!"; and "What's the deal with Oprah?
She's fat. She's thin. She's fat. She's thin. I mean pick a body and let's
go with it!" Jerry also questioned his audience with the phrase "Didja
ever notice...?" New reporter Andy Rooney on his final segment of CBS's 60
MINUTES pondered similarly, asking the TV audience "Did you ever wonder
why" or "How come?" as he examined things in America's popular culture.
"Who is buried in Grant's tomb?" - The consolation question asked by Groucho Marx on the quiz game show YOU BET YOUR LIFE/NBC/1950-61. Groucho
Marx hated to see his players go home empty-handed and so when players
lost at the game he asked them this obviously simple question and then
gave them some money for their troubles.
"Who loves ya, baby?" - The favorite saying of Lt. Theo Kojak (Telly
Savalas), the lollipop sucking New York City homicide detective of Greek
descent on the police drama KOJAK/CBS/1973-78. On a skit from SATURDAY
NIGHT Phil Hartman parodied Telly Savalas' catchphrase saying " I'm Telly
Savalas. And if you're like me, you like to be near the action. And when
there isn't any action, then you gotta make your own. And baby, that's
when you need to join the Player-With-Yourselves Club. That's right, baby.
The Player-With-Yourselves Club entitles you to masturbation privileges at
hotels all over the world. Who loves yourself, baby?"
"Who says I'm dumb?" - When Corporal Randolph Agarn (Larry Storch) from
the sitcom F TROOP/ABC/1965-67 unwittingly gave Sgt. Morgan O'Rourke
(Forrest Tucker) a solution to a problem he remarked to Agarn "I don't
know why people say your dumb?" Agarn quickly snatched off his hat and
inquired "Who says I'm Dumb?" The reruns of the program are popular and
Larry Storch still hears fans yell out "Who says I'm dumb" wherever he
"Who was that masked man?" - Classic question posed on the western
adventure THE LONE RANGER/ABC/1949-57. The masked man was, of course, the
Lone Ranger (Clayton Moore/John Hart) a frontier vigilante and former
Texas Ranger named John Reid who roamed the Old West helping persons in
distress with the assistance of his faithful Indian companion, Tonto (Jay Silverheels). As he rode away into the sunset yelling "Hi-Yo, Silver and
A-w-a-a-a-y!" there was always someone who asked the burning question "Who
was that masked man?"; and someone else just as eager to respond "Why that
was the Lone Ranger!"
"Whoop-dee-doo" - Satirical catchphrase of blue-collar
bigot Archie Bunker (Carroll O'Connor) on the sitcom ALL IN THE
FAMILY/CBS/1971-79. See also -
"Why not!" - With index finger gesturing straight up, the mustachioed
comedian Dayton Allen popularized the phrase "Why Not!" first seen during
a skit called "Why Not" on THE STEVE ALLEN SHOW in the 1950s. The phrase
was so popular that two towns (in Mississippi and North Carolina) renamed
themselves Why Not! A cartoon by Hi Rosen in the Washington Post in 1959
depicted undeclared candidates John F. Kennedy, Lyndon B. Johnson and
Hubert H. Humphrey answering reporters questions on whether they'd be
candidates in the 1960 election. They all answered with a resounding "Why
"Will it be a hit (Bong!)...or a miss (Clunk!)?" - Question posed on THE
JUKE BOX JURY/ABC/1953-54 when host Peter Potter asked the studio audience
to evaluate a new record. The program, which ran locally in Los Angeles in
the 1950s, consisted of celebrities who listen and discussed the
possibilities of the songs popularity. The program was later re-titled THE
PETER POTTER SHOW.
"Will the real...please stand up?" - The famous closing line for each
round of the popular game show TO TELL THE TRUTH/CBS/1956-67 where three
contestants purporting to be the same person tried to mislead panelists
who asked questions to determine which of the three contestants was the
real thing. The program was hosted by Bud Collyer, Garry Moore, Joe
Garagiola and Robin Ward. Famous panelists regulars included Peggy Cass,
Kitty Carlisle, Orson Bean, Phyllis Newman and Tom Poston.
"Will you sign in, please?" - At the beginning of the game show WHAT'S MY
LINE/CBS/SYN/1950-75 host John Daly directed his guest to sign their name
to a blackboard before taking a seat. Contestants then were asked simple
"Yes" or "No" questions by a group of celebrity panelists who tried to
guess the occupation of each guest (already revealed to the viewing
audience and moderator John Daly). During the "Mystery Guest" spot, the
panelists wore blindfolds and the contestants often disguised their voices
to elude identification. Regular panelists included Dorothy Killgallen,
Arlene Francis, Bennett Cerf, and Steve Allen. See also "Is it bigger than
"Work!" - On the sitcom THE MANY LOVES OF DOBIE GILLIS/CBS/1959-63,
Maynard G. Krebs (Bob Denver), the beatnik sidekick of teenager Dobie
Gillis (Dwayne Hickman) was seemingly allergic to work. Whenever anyone
used the "dirty" word within listening distance of this bearded bohemian,
it caused him to wildly flinch and involuntarily shout "Work!"- the word
that seemed to be the furthest thing from his mind. Episode No.70 "Dobie
Plays Cupid" was the first episode where Maynard uttered his trademark
"Works for me!" - Cool comeback of Los Angeles Det. Sgt. Rick Hunter (Fred
Dryer) when he agreed with something on the police drama
"Would you believe?" - Catchphrase of espionage agent Maxwell Smart (Don
Adams) on the spy spoof GET SMART/NBC/CBS/1965-70. Agent Smart was prone
to exaggerate things. Once, when he was about to be killed by Mr. Big
(actually an evil Kaos dwarf) Max asked, "Would you believe that seven
Coast Guard cutters are converging on us at this very minute?" "I find
that hard to believe," replied Mr. Big. "Would you believe six?" "I don't
think so," added Mr. Big. Grasping for straws Max finally asks "How about
two cops in a row boat?" The phrase "Would you believe" had been used by
Don Adams earlier in his career when he played on THE BILL DANA
SHOW/NBC/1963-65 as a house detective named Byron Glick who also said
"Would you believe?" Other catchphrases used by Maxwell Smart were "Missed
me by that much!"; "Sorry about that, Chief!"; "That's the second
biggest...I ever saw"; "Thanks-I needed that"; and "And I'll be loving
"Would you like to be Queen for a Day?" - The popular question asked by
emcee Jack Bailey (and later Dick Curtis & Nancy Myers) at the beginning
of QUEEN FOR A DAY/NBC/ABC/SYN/1956-64/1969-70. The audience responded
with a resounding "Yes!" The program featured a group of four or five
hopeful female contestants who told a sad story of why they should be
crowned "Queen for a Day." One pathetic example of a person in need was
"My husband needs a new artificial eye because last winter his froze and
cracked." Winners were determined by the applause meter and then draped
with a sable-trimmed red velvet robe and awarded a jeweled crown.
"Wunnerful, Wunnerful" - Familiar catchphrase of musician and bandleader
Lawrence Welk when he hosted THE LAWRENCE WELK SHOW/ABC/SYN/1955-82. The
show featured the lovely singing Lennon Sisters; accordionist Myron Floren;
singer/piano player Larry Hooper (the one with the deep bass voice);
dancers Bobby Burgess and Barbara Boylan; and, of course, the "wunnerful,
wunnerful" Champagne music which made his program so popular with the
older generation. "And...a one...and a two."