The Great Gildersleeve

Harold Peary
The Great Gildersleeve (1941-1957) was the arguable founding father of the spin-off program, as well as one of the first true situation comedies (as opposed to sketch programs) in broadcast history. Hooked around a character who had been a staple on the classic radio hit Fibber McGee and Molly, The Great Gildersleeve enjoyed its greatest period in the 1940s, when Harold Peary graduated the character from the earlier show into the sitcom and in a quartet of likeable feature films at the height of the show's popularity.