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I'm Dickens...He's Fenster...And I'm Thrilled This Gem Is On DVD!
on March 26, 2012
UPDATE OCTOBER 23,2012 ON THE RELEASE OF THE SECOND HALF: I just spoke directly with Lightyear Entertainment, who answered my question on, when can we expect the release of the second half of this fabulous show I'm Dickens... He's Fenster? They told me they don't have a date as of yet, the reason being they have to sell more of this first half in order to generate enough money to do the prep work necessary to release the second half. So, I hope more people find out about this wonderful old show and buy it, so the wait will be shorter! It just wouldn't be the same without the second half, especially just to see the great ping pong tournament again! Let's keep our fingers crossed that sales pick up this Holiday Season and Thank You Lightyear for answering my question for us fans who have to have the second half of this GREAT show!
I'm Dickens...He's Fenster is one of the rarest and funniest one season sitcoms that hasn't been completely seen in 50 years. Although on rare occasion, a few of the episodes were shown on smaller networks by special request in a few cities, no broadcasting company would ever spend the money for syndication for a one season show with only 32 episodes. The most requested episode was Table Tennis, Anyone?, as it's genius comedy was rated as hilarious as the Lucy And The Chocolate Factory episode from I Love Lucy.
This is not the typical one season television show that was canceled because it was a flop. This hilarious 1962-1963 show was shown on ABC at 9:00 p.m. on Friday nights. It was up against the top rated NBC's Sing Along With Mitch and Route 66 on CBS. By the time the unbelievably high final ratings came in near the end of the season in 1963, ABC did not have the foresight to renew I'm Dickens...He's Fenster for another season and so this very funny show never saw a second season. Not renewing their contracts, left the cast and main characters of John Astin and Marty Ingels already signed on to other projects- John Astin signed on to The Addams Family. By the end of this first and only season, I'm Dickens...He's Fenster not only beat out both Sing Along With Mitch and Route 66 in the ratings, but critics gave the show rave reviews from the NY Times, The Hollywood Reporter and Time Magazine. This left the viewers back in 1963 truly disappointed in never seeing a second season of the two best friend carpenters played by Astin and Ingels.
This show was created, written, directed and produced by the fantastically talented Leonard Stern, who's other contributions to television include The Honeymooners, Sergeant Bilko, The Steve Allen Show, Get Smart, He And She and McMillan And Wife. While having his home remodeled in 1961, Stern couldn't believe the construction workers sealed a ladder inside his chimney and couldn't pass up writing a sitcom about such real life unbelievable hilarity. The show is about two young blue collar carpenters- Harry Dickens (Astin) and Arch Fenster (Ingels). Dickens is married to Kate played by Emmaline Henry and Fenster is a bachelor. The comedy surrounds Harry Dickens longing for an exciting life that best friend bachelor Arch Fenster enjoys with his little black book, which Harry's wife Kate would never allow, and their fellow workers getting into hilarious predicaments on the job with their boss Mr. Bannister. Many guest stars got their television beginnings on this show, and some of the guest stars include Yvonne Craig (Batgirl), Lee Meriwether, Harvey Korman, Chris Korman (Harvey's son), Sally Kellerman, Ellen Burstyn, Edy Williams, Jim Nabors and more. It's going to be really great seeing these tv stars again in their television debuts, on this 30 minute black and white situation comedy.
This one season of I'm Dickens...He's Fenster is being sold in half sets by TV Time Machine Productions, which is a company owned by Lightyear Entertainment. Lightyear Entertainment bought out RCA Video Productions in 1987, who owned this show and many other old gems. TV Time Machine Productions said they have digitally restored these episodes to perfection for the show's 50th anniversary, and added many Bonuses. In this Volume 1 they will include Episodes 1-16; NEW interviews with John Astin, Marty Ingels, director Arthur Hiller, Creator Leonard Stern and others; Audio Commentary from John Astin, Marty Ingels, Yvonne Craig, Lee Meriwether, Chris Korman, Leonard Stern and others; 4 featurettes; a tribute to Leonard Stern; commercial bumpers; promos; cast commercial; thank you video and a 6 page booklet. They stated Volume 2- the second half with episodes 17- 32 will follow soon.
I can't wait till April 24th, 2012 to see those two wonderful carpenters Dickens and Fenster make me laugh again after not seeing them since 1962! They are just PERFECT together, like this over 10 hour bonus packed dvd set!
VOLUME 1- The first half of this Season 1 includes Episodes 1-16:
01. 09-28-1962 A SMALL MATTER OF BEING FIRED (this is the pilot)
02. 10-05-1962 NURSE DICKENS
03. 10-12-1962 THE DOUBLE LIFE OF MEL WARSHAW
04. 10-19-1962 HARRY, THE FATHER IMAGE
05. 10-26-1962 PART-TIME FRIEND
06. 11-02-1962 THE ACTING GAME
07. 11-09-1962 THE TOUPEE STORY
08. 11-16-1962 A WOLF IN FRIEND'S CLOTHING
09. 11-23-1962 PARTY, PARTY, WHO'S GOT THE PARTY?
10. 11-30-1962 THE YELLOW BADGE OF COURAGE
11. 12-07-1962 THE JOKE
12. 12-14-1962 LOVE ME, LOVE MY DOG
13. 12-21-1962 HERE'S TO THE THREE OF US
14. 12-28-1962 GET OFF MY BACK
15. 01-04-1963 HOW NOT TO SUCCEED IN BUSINESS
16. 01-11-1963 THE GODFATHERS
VOLUME 2- The second half of this Season 1, WHICH WILL BE RELEASED LATER AND SOLD SEPARATELY, will include Episodes 17-32:
17. 01-18-1963 THE CARPENTERS FOUR
18. 01-25-1963 THE GREAT VALENCIAGA
19. 02-01-1963 MR. TAKEOVER
20. 02-08-1963 HAVE CAR, WILL QUARREL
21. 02-15-1963 SAY IT WITH PICTURES
22. 02-22-1963 SENIOR CITIZEN CHARLIE
23. 03-01-1963 THE BET
24. 03-08-1963 THE SYNDICATE
25. 03-15-1963 IS THERE A DOCTOR IN THE HOUSE?
26. 03-22-1963 HARRY, THE CONTRACTOR
27. 03-29-1963 TABLE TENNIS, ANYONE?
28. 04-05-1963 KICK ME, KATE
29. 04-12-1963 NUMBER ONE SON
30. 04-26-1963 BIG OPENING AT THE HOSPITAL
31. 05-03-1963 KING ARCHIBALD THE FIRST
32. 05-10-1963 HOTEL FENSTER