One of this year’s regular pleasures has been listening to Eve Arden in Our Miss Brooks broadcasts on satellite radio.
I’ve loved the show since I was very young, but previously was only familiar with the television version. Like so many entertainments, listening to it on wireless and mentally filling in the visuals decorating the actors' voices (with their flawless diction and vivid intonations) is the superior aesthetic experience.
As beautiful and radiant as she was, Eve Arden’s honey- ochre voice defines her, and she delivers all of Connie Brooks’ clever observations, asides, straight lines and punch lines with devastating, unerring, but gentle precision.
Our Miss Brooks, for anyone unfamiliar with it, is a fairly straightforward American high school situation comedy, which is both middle-of-the-road and nicely, unexpectedly offbeat.
Consistently amusing, unlike today’s feel-bad, sarcastic and smutty television comedies, it earns its laughs and vibrates in tune with human nature as I used to perceive it.
With Gale Gordon (as Madison HS principal Osgood Conklin)
Two of the show's other actors, the great Gale Gordon and the then-faux-juvenile (he had already fought bravely in World War II in both Europe and the Pacific) Richard Crenna, were also masterful voice artists. I happily accept Gordon’s narrow range because he’s so funny inside it, but historical perspective makes Crenna’s versatility and varied career achievements incredibly impressive.
Merry Christmas, Eve.
Our Miss Brooks: Home Cooked Meal (television link)