I wonder how many people alive today can remember watching this show, believed to be television's very first sitcom, when it premiered in 1947. Those who did may not have realized it at the time, but they were watching history unfold in their own living rooms. It was also the first to show a couple sharing a bed, and the last for a number of years, perhaps because at the time no one had yet gotten prudish about such a thing, which had no problem in movies, which were shown in theaters, not in people's living rooms. Television was still in its infancy and still something of a novelty. How unfortunate that practically no visual trace of the existence of "Mary Kay And Johnny" remains. Since it was done live, and video hadn't been developed yet, they used kinescopes for some episodes. Most of them have been tragically, even scandalously, destroyed. I have heard that TV Land has shown some of the few remaining kinescopes.
In 1949, "The Life of Riley" debuted on TV starring Jackie Gleason the first time around (before flopping and returning a few years later with William Bendix reprising his radio role). It too was broadcast live and may have been the next sitcom, and perhaps the oldest with any significant number of surviving kinescopes. 1951 saw the debut of "I Love Lucy", based on a radio show which co-starred Lucille Ball, with Richard Denning as her husband. The radio program, "My Favorite Husband", hadn't even made its debut when "Mary Kay And Johnny" started. As it turned out, "Lucy" would become an American icon, while "Mary Kay And Johnny" would become virtually lost in the pages of TV history, remembered only by the most avid students of said history, and by the relatively few remaining individuals who remember seeing it on their TV screens in those postwar years.moreless