My Three Sons

Season 5 Episode 18

Here Comes Charley

Aired Unknown Jan 14, 1965 on ABC
out of 10
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Episode Summary

Here Comes Charley
With Bub permanently away in Ireland, Steve finally resorts to domestic assistance and the Douglas home is afflicted with a fiery dragon of a housekeeper named Fedocia. When Steve is desperately trying to solve the problem of getting rid of her the situation is saved by the arrival of Bub's younger brother Charley, a recently retired Ship's cook on leave. With Steve away on business and Charley about to leave for San Francisco, Chip is unhappy that he won't have a parent to come to his school's Open Night. The family soon learns that Charley's crusty disposition masks a soft heart.moreless

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  • Uncle Charlie pays a visit and plans on a short stay. He would stay for another seven and a half show seasons.

    This episode is reminiscent of two other episodes that I've reviewed. Like "London Memories", it has a character that I can identify with, in this case Uncle Charley. Like "A Woman's Work", it has a poignant moment involving Chip, only this time it represents a welcome, not a farewell. Steve has hired a woman named Fedocia to act as cook and housekeeper. She is a terror, and incompetent. There's a buzz at the doorbell. It's Uncle Charley, Bub's brother, and a Merchant Marine. He's a fresh new face at the time, and he is introduced to the boys, his great-nephews (he had met Steve years earlier). When Steve invites him to stay, Fedocia decides to leave, a happy occassion for all. He is there only until his ship sets out to sea a few days later. Steve has to go out of town for a few days, and Charley agrees to look after things before embarking out to sea. As he is about to leave to catch a plane, he realizes how sad Chip is that there won't be an adult to accompany him to his school's open night. Charley cancels his flight and goes to Chip's school. When Chip sees him, his sadness turns to joy and the two embrace, reminiscent of the farewell moment between Chip and Bub in "A Woman's Work", only it's a happy moment, rather than a melancholy one. Charley's temporary stay turns permanent, much like my own employment with my company, which began 26 years ago as a stop along the way in my life. Like me, Charley will make it out to sea. One of these days.

    Bub is referred to as if the Douglases expect him back, but it was understood that he was gone for good, and Uncle Charley was here to stay, replacing Bub as cook, housekeeper, and loved one. William Demarest was already in the opening credits beginning with this episode.moreless
Meredith MacRae

Meredith MacRae

Sally Ann Morrison Douglas (1963-65)

Barry Livingston

Barry Livingston

Ernie Thompson Douglas (1963-72)

William Demarest

William Demarest

Uncle Charley O'Casey (1965-72)

Fred MacMurray

Fred MacMurray

Steve Douglas (1960-72)

Tim Considine

Tim Considine

Mike Douglas (1960-65)

Don Grady

Don Grady

Robbie Douglas (1960-71)

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (0)

  • QUOTES (0)

  • NOTES (6)

    • A few years ago Columbia House issued some of the old episodes on videocassette via a subscription service for continental U.S. residents and this episode was part of that collection, despite the fact that they mis-titled the entry "Here Comes Uncle Charley". The above title is the correct one.

    • Production Supervisor John G. Stephens says that they originally had a script written where Bub and his supposed relative were going to meet. That didn't work, because Bill Frawley and Bill Demarest hated each other. Months after leaving the show, Frawley still visited the set and made it clear to one and all that he had no love for Demarest. Don Grady recalls that "Bill would come out and grumble 'Jesus Christ, I wouldn't have said the line like that!' Nothing subtle". Demarest tried to ignore him but he was not a subtle man either and there were words and bad feelings. Eventually Frawley was told that he was no longer welcome to come to the studio to observe the filming. Stanley Livingston remembers the whole time as being "really painful", and Don Grady observes that "The show was never the same after he left, even though it went on for seven more years".

    • Yet another milestone episode foreshadowing the way characters leave and begin with the series. William Demarest is introduced as the cantankerous Uncle Charley O'Casey. Bub is mentioned several more times, soon to be never referred to again. Bill was the obvious choice to take over for Bill Frawley as he had been a friend of Fred MacMurray's since the 1930s; and just like Frawley, they worked on several films together. In the 1977 Reunion Special, Demarest, then in his late 80s, said that he had known MacMurray for over 40 years and never new a nicer man or a better friend!

    • The Quaker Oats Co. and Ken-L Ration Dog Food were the original sponsors of this episode. They are also mentioned by the show's announcer, and you will note that this particular episode's opening is slightly reworked so as to delete William Frawley's usual credit. For obvious reasons, "And as Uncle Charley... William Demarest" does not appear until the following episode, although it is seen and not heard during the end credits. (Note that these original openings have been replaced in syndication with a standard opening theme. All references to sponsors of the past are now, for the most part, removed from all prints.)

    • There is a blooper in this episode when Robbie is rushing around in the kitchen and has to head out through the service porch and almost slips over as he exits the scene. In any case, it's funny!

    • The poignant moment where Uncle Charley comes to Chip's Open Night at school hits the spot exactly in its emotional wallop. A very touching scene.