TV That Time Forgot: I’m Dickens, He’s Fenster (1962)

A wild sitcom that lasted only a single season, but should have lasted longer, I’m Dickens, He’s Fenster had a talented cast. John Astin was Harry Dickens while Marty Ingels played Arch Fenster, two borderline incompetent carpenters. Emmaline Henry appeared as Dickens’ wife, Kate.

Other series regulars were the construction crew that joined the title character on jobs:  Frank DeVol as Myron Bannister, David Ketchum as Mel Warshaw, Henry Beckman as Bob Mulligan, and Noam Pitlik as Bentley. Notable guest stars who appeared during the show’s brief run included Harvey Korman, Ellen Burstyn, Lee Meriwether and Yvonne Craig.

The show debuted in September of 1962 on ABC in what should have been a very cushy spot between The Flintstones and 77 Sunset Strip. The show was also filmed before a live audience, which was unusual at that time for a show that didn’t feature a well-known star (like Lucille Ball). Alas, the show ran opposite Sing Along with Mitch on NBC and Route 66 on CBS and never attracted enough of an audience for the network to greenlight a second season.

All the principals went on to greater glory. Astin, of course, became famous as Gomez Addams, Ingels had a lucrative career doing voices for Saturday morning cartoon series (and marrying Shirley Jones) and Emmaline Henry was regularly seen on I Dream of Jeannie as the wife of Dr. Bellows. She was also slated to become a regular on Three’s Company when she passed away at the young age of 50.

Despite it lasting only one season, a DVD set of 16 of the show’s 32 episodes is now

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