The Paul Lynde Show

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The Paul Lynde Show
Created byRon Clark
Sam Bobrick
(based on a play by Phoebe Ephron)
Directed byWilliam Asher
Bruce Bilson
Jack Donohue
Jerry London
Oscar Rudolph
Coby Ruskin
George Tyne
StarringPaul Lynde
Elizabeth Allen
Jane Actman
Composer(s)Shorty Rogers
Country of originUnited States
Original language(s)English
No. of seasons1
No. of episodes26
Executive producer(s)Harry Ackerman
Producer(s)William Asher
Camera setupMulti-camera
Running time22–24 minutes
Production company(s)Ashmont Productions
Screen Gems
Original networkABC
Audio formatMonaural
Original releaseSeptember 13, 1972 (1972-09-13) –
March 14, 1973 (1973-03-14)

The Paul Lynde Show is an American sitcom that aired on ABC. The series starred comedian Paul Lynde and aired for one season, with original episodes airing from September 13, 1972, to March 14, 1973, it has recently been added to the weekend schedule on the Antenna TV network.


The series starred Lynde as Paul Simms, a general-practice attorney and the father of a family that consisted of his wife Martha (Elizabeth Allen) and daughters Barbara (Jane Actman) and Sally (Pamelyn Ferdin); the Simms family lived in the fictional city of Ocean Grove, California.

It also starred John Calvin as Barbara's husband, Howie Dickerson, an eccentric university student who was of genius intelligence (IQ 185) and was a whiz with everything and full of advice, but inexplicably, he could not manage to hold down a job, and Jerry Stiller and Anne Meara as Howie's parents, Barney and Grace Dickerson. Howie's misadventures around the house and his lack of steady employment drove his father-in-law to distraction and got him in a slow-burn anger.

Critics perceived the show as derivative of All in the Family, then television's most popular primetime program, and the Paul Simms role bore similarities to Lynde's best-known film role, that of Harry MacAfee from the film and musical Bye Bye Birdie. For his role in the series, Lynde was nominated for a Best Actor Golden Globe.



Title Directed by Written by Original air date
1"Howie Comes Home to Roost"William AsherSam Bobrick & Ron ClarkSeptember 13, 1972 (1972-09-13)
2"Whiz Kid Sizzles as Quiz Fizzles"William AsherEd JuristSeptember 20, 1972 (1972-09-20)
3"The Landlord"William AsherS.A. LongSeptember 27, 1972 (1972-09-27)
4"No Nudes Is Good Nudes"TBATBAOctober 4, 1972 (1972-10-04)
5"To Commune or Not to Commune"Bruce BilsonBob Fisher & Arthur MarxOctober 11, 1972 (1972-10-11)
6"How to Be Unhappy, Though Poor"William AsherS.A. LongOctober 18, 1972 (1972-10-18)
7"Pollution Solution"Jack DonohueBob Fisher & Arthur MarxOctober 25, 1972 (1972-10-25)
8"To Wed or Not to Wed"Ernest LossoBud GrossmanNovember 1, 1972 (1972-11-01)
9"Unsteady Going"Jack DonohueRobert Fisher & Arthur MarxNovember 8, 1972 (1972-11-08)
10"Whose Lib?"TBATBANovember 22, 1972 (1972-11-22)
11"Meet Aunt Charlotte"George TyneEd Jurist & Stan DrebenNovember 29, 1972 (1972-11-29)
12"An Affair to Forget"TBATBADecember 6, 1972 (1972-12-06)
13"Martha's Last Hurrah"TBATBADecember 13, 1972 (1972-12-13)
14"Paul's Desperate Hour"TBATBADecember 20, 1972 (1972-12-20)
15"No More Mr. Nice Guy"George TyneBernie KahnDecember 27, 1972 (1972-12-27)
16"The Bare Facts"TBATBAJanuary 3, 1973 (1973-01-03)
17"Howie's Inheritance"Jerry LondonLawrence MarksJanuary 10, 1973 (1973-01-10)
18"P.S. I Loathe You"TBATBAJanuary 17, 1973 (1973-01-17)
19"The Congressman's Son"George TyneLeo RifkinJanuary 24, 1973 (1973-01-24)
20"Out of Bounds"TBATBAJanuary 31, 1973 (1973-01-31)
21"Is This Trip Necessary?"TBATBAFebruary 7, 1973 (1973-02-07)
22"Everything You Wanted to Know About Your Mother-in-Law But Were Afraid to Ask"TBATBAFebruary 14, 1973 (1973-02-14)
23"Back Talk"TBATBAFebruary 21, 1973 (1973-02-21)
24"Barbara Goes Home to Mother"TBATBAFebruary 28, 1973 (1973-02-28)
25"Togetherness"TBATBAMarch 7, 1973 (1973-03-07)
26"Springtime for Paul"TBATBAMarch 14, 1973 (1973-03-14)


Scheduled opposite the first half of the Top 30 hit The Carol Burnett Show on CBS and the Top 20 hit Adam-12 on NBC, the series garnered low ratings and was canceled after one season (26 episodes). After the series ended, Lynde continued as center square on The Hollywood Squares until leaving the show in 1979.


The show was based on the play Howie, about a lawyer, played by Lynde, whose daughter marries a slacker named Howard, or "Howie"; the Lynde character despises him as he is not interested in earning money or traditional pursuits. Howie was developed for CBS in 1962, as a replacement for The Dick Van Dyke Show, but when that series was saved from cancellation, plans for Howie were shelved.[1]

William Asher later resurrected the Howie concept for ABC and Screen Gems as a replacement for Bewitched. Asher and then-wife Elizabeth Montgomery were contractually obligated for two more seasons of Bewitched for ABC. Montgomery was not interested in continuing the series (she and Asher were also on the verge of divorcing), and The Paul Lynde Show (along with the first incarnation of Temperatures Rising) was created to fulfill the contract. Lynde had appeared numerous times on Bewitched as "Uncle Arthur". Asher designed The Paul Lynde Show to be ABC's counterpart to CBS's All In The Family; however, the show lacked the controversial and topical issues brought up by All In The Family, due to ABC's continued restriction on social issues at the time; this was despite Lynde's rewrite of the show's dialog in an effort to make the series more lively and comedic.[1]

The show was filmed before a live audience, with a laugh track occasionally added during post-production. Unusual for such a series, the production included a frequently seen backyard set with a fully functional swimming pool, which Lynde would occasionally fall into.

The next season, ABC would cast Lynde as the lead on the re-tooled Temperatures Rising over Asher's objections; that series lasted until 1974.


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