Tuesday, May 24, 2016

What Might've Been: Munroe (1963)

Think of Four Star Productions, and what comes to mind? Westerns, such as The Rifleman or Wanted: Dead or Alive. Crime dramas, such as Burke's Law or The Detectives. Sitcoms? Not so much.

Oh, sure, Four Star had their own stable of comedies, but not a lot of hits. We previously looked at their Smothers Brothers Show, which was a 1 year wonder. In 1963, having already tried a service comedy with Ensign O'Toole, which was Four Star's answer to McHale's Navy, the studio tried an Army comedy with Munroe.

It was meant to be a star vehicle for Guy Marks, a veteran character actor who'd been in a supporting role on The Joey Bishop Show the previous year. However, while Marks was the headline star, he was actually a second banana again. Why? The title character, you see, was a dog.

Munroe was a rebellious service dog who got his masters (Marks & Jan Stine) into all kinds of stereotypical sitcom trouble spots. Unfortunately, the pilot went unsold, but is accessible online, so here it is.

Marks went back to being a supporting player, and his last series of note had him playing a Native American opposite Tim Conway on Rango (1967), and we all know Conway's poor track record as a headliner. Marks could sympathize with him.

Rating: B.

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