Situation Comedy (1947-1954)
Some might remember My Friend Irma as the movie
that served as the launching pad for Dean Martin and Jerry
Lewis. Others recall a television show of the same name.
They actually originated from a old time radio show that ran
before, and concurrently, to the television show. My Friend
Irma tells the story of a extremely dim-witted blonde
stenographer named Irma Peterson, played by Marie Wilson,
and the daily high-jinx that she gets into with her screwy
friends. One of Irma's best friends was her logical and
very dependable roommate, and narrator of the show, Jane
Stacy, played by Cathy
Lewis. Irma was so dumb that she
believed that flypaper was airline stationery paper!
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The show's creator Cy Howard, who also went on to produce
Life with Luigi,
was hesitant to cast the lead roles because he felt that
the show's success depended on the actresses' awesome
portrayal of their characters. His uncertainty flew straight
out the window when Cathy
Lewis arrived to read the part
of 'Jane Stacy.' At the time, Cathy
Lewis, who started
as a singer with Kay Kyser and Herbie Kay, was already
well-established in the radio community. With Cathy
Lewis on board, the show would soar, giving an average Hooper
rating of 20-plus!
See also: Gracie Allen for President.