Remember WENN; Season 4 Photo Graphic 1. "Some Time, Some Station"
2. "Thanks a Lottery"
3. "You've Met Your Match"
4. "And If I Die Before I Sleep"
5. "Hilary's Agent"
6. "Birth of A Station"
7. "The Follies of WENN"
8. "Pratfall"
9. "Work Shift"
10. "Past Tense, Future Imperfect"
11. "The Sunset Also Rises"
12. "At Cross Purposes"
13. "All's Noisy on the Pittsburgh Front"


Note: a photo is worth a thousand words.

dividing line

The character of C.J. has been replaced by Lester, the night sound engineer mentioned in "In the WENN Small Hours." The supervising producer is now Richard Dooley.
1. "Some Time, Some Station" (originally telecast 06/19/98)
Written by Rupert Holmes. Directed by Juan Jose Campanella.
Betty and Pruitt       There's barely time to recover from the gunshots in the Green Room before Betty and Scott must cope with a new problem: Victor appears to have forgotten everything in his life since he left WENN in the spring of 1940. (22'56")
  Guest Cast: Rollie Pruitt: Jonathan Freeman. Cleaning Lady (Mrs. Etruscan): Lola Pashalinski.
          and John Bedford Lloyd as Victor Comstock
  Episode Notes: A story that clips along at a breathtaking pace, along with some breathtaking physical comedy—and a change of pace from the ominous season finale, with welcome bits of sentiment as well. Melinda Mullins steals the show once more as Hilary copes with Jeff's return; and catch the expression on her face when she realizes who she hit with the water—for a moment she looks almost frightened! Wow, Mr. Eldridge was right; Betty is a bobcat when she's angry. (Hmm. What's C.J. doing at O'Malley's? Planning his "escape"?) And then there's that expression on Scott's face at the end, a cliffhanger all in itself.
  WENN Programming/Sponsors: Bedside Manor is featured prominently. And of course there's What's Wrong With This Program? <g>
  Episode Trivia: The pub Scott and Victor met at was "The George and Dragon." Scott has been in Calcutta on his travels. The "letter" Pavla showed Hilary is actually a piece from the Modern American Monologues book Pavla told Betty that Jeff "asked" her to pick up in "Mr. & Mrs. Singer," "The Missive of Farewell" by D. P. Daw.
  So Who's the Contact and What's the Scoop on Pavla?: Well, Jeff is Victor's contact. Jeff had asked Pavla to bring Hilary a encoded letter (using their "Magic" code), but instead the letter she presented Hilary was "The Missive of Farewell," which Jeff had written out for her and which she doctored to make it look like Jeff had written it to Hilary. Pavla, actually working for the Germans, found out Victor was alive and blackmailed Jeff into marrying her simply so she could get a working permit in the US—her ambition to become an actress was true enough. Presumably when her ambitions were foiled at the end of "Mr. & Mrs. Singer," she revealed Victor's secret to the Nazis, causing his capture and brainwashing. As for Rollie Pruitt, we assume Jeff's phone call to Washington included a request for someone to "escort" him to a nice warm, cozy...jail cell.

          What? He Was Expecting Sympathy?:
          {Mackie walks in to discover Scott tying up Pruitt}
          Pruitt {weakly}: "Mr. Bloom, Scott Sherwood has shot me."
          Mackie {offhand}: "It had to happen sooner or know, Pruitt, now
          that Scott's broken the ice—and maybe your left clavicle—I'd just like to
          mention that you are the worst lowlife to ever walk the halls of this station."
          Scott {grimly}: "He's a Nazi saboteur, Mackie."
          Mackie: "Aw, gee, that too?"

When is WENN?: This episode takes place September 1, 1941.

2. "Thanks a Lottery" (originally telecast 06/26/98)
Written by Rupert Holmes. Directed by Howard Meltzer.
Mr. Eldridge       Mr. Eldridge's "ship comes in" when he wins $70,000 in the Swiss Lottery. But the corporate office has a new rule that says employees must retire at age 65, leading to his imminent—and reluctant—departure. (27'33")
  Guest Cast: Harry: Ross Benjamin.
          and John Bedford Lloyd as Victor Comstock
  Episode Notes: A "warm cocoa" episode in the midst of summer—one that leaves you with a smile on your face and a tear in your eye, from Betty and Scott's opening encounter to Mr. Eldridge's sendoff to "you know how I like my station to shine." George Hall's sweet performance and the continuing saga of Hilary and Jeff (or is that Geoff?) are two of the highlights in an episode peppered with reflection on past events (notice the reprise of "Like a Brother" musical motif?) and foreshadowing of the future—and ending on a note that may prove the most talented actor at WENN is Tom Eldridge himself. Hmmm, looks like Scott was distracted by all these references to things past: he left one of Pruitt's pictures up. First appearance of Lester, the evening sound engineer presumably now promoted to daytime duty. Gus Kahana is mentioned.
  WENN Programming/Sponsors: Bedside Manor is again featured, with several new characters, including Jeff's "cousin" Geoffrey and servants Eugie and Calvin.
  Episode Trivia: Mr. Eldridge's winning lottery number is 8057. WENN has been shunted off into another corporation, "W-E-N-N-terprises," controlled by a principal stockholder; both WENNterprises and GLOBE Enterprises have corporate office in Boston. Mr. Eldridge's great-nephew, Harry, is an accountant. Mackie has been offered the role of Polonius in a regional tour of Hamlet.

          {Scott has broached the subject of "that line"}
          Betty: "Oh. Well...I was thinking that yesterday when you said that you-"
          {looks away} "um...'something'..."
          Scott {hopefully}: "Love?"
          Betty {with a tremor}: "...'something' me," {recovers} I wanted you to know
          I realize that when you said that you...'something'-"
          Scott: "You."
          Betty {logically, while Scott nods}: ", obviously you were trying to
          distract Victor the terrible state he was in, by saying something startling,
          unexpected, you know...the very last thing he would ever expect to hear."
          Scott {matter-of-fact}: "Oh, sure. And, then of course when you then put
          your life on the line for me, I realized you knew Victor would never harm you
          of all people-"
          Betty {rapidly}: "Yes, exactly, so I guess we both understand each other..."
          Scott: "Completely. So..."
          Betty: "Well."
          Scott: "Exactly."

          Understood All Too Completely:
          Hilary: "Good morning, all! {small laugh} Bedside Manor seems so empty of
          late, but listeners, starting today I have a...special guest staying here in the
          east wing, Jeff Singer's cousin—" {glares at Jeff, through her teeth}
          "—distant cousin, if he knows what's good for him—and, how interesting that
          his name is 'Geoffrey' as well, but spelled with a 'G'—as in 'genocide to
          gigolos who regenerate their gender like gerbils.'"

When is WENN?: This episode begins on September 2, 1941.

The Face is Familiar...: Ross Benjamin is the son of Richard Benjamin and Paula Prentiss, the stars of the critically acclaimed—and also underappreciated—1960s series He and She.

3. "You've Met Your Match" (originally telecast 07/03/98)
Written by Rupert Holmes. Directed by Richard Shepard.
bowed boxes        Hilary's scheme to convince Jeff she's "back in circulation" by using the WENN matchmaking series You've Met Your Match backfires in some spectacular ways. (24'39")
  Guest Cast: Distinguished Man: Patrick Garner.
          and John Bedford Lloyd as Victor Comstock
  Episode Notes: The long-awaited confrontation scene between Scott and Victor—in which Scott (literally) takes his lumps in good grace—is one of many memorable scenes in a fun free-for-all, while the fighting between Jeff and Hilary takes a turn for the vindictive. Another one to watch multiple times because you may be laughing so hard you've missed the more subtle jokes—or this installment's Wizard of Oz reference. (A list of favorite lines in this episode would probably extend from the Writer's Room out the front door and down to the front of the building.) Hmm, I've always contended that Victor and Scott were more alike that we imagined...
  WENN Programming/Sponsors: You've Met Your Match, a WENN series in which couples matched up in the studio are treated to a meal (and then come back and report about their dates), is sponsored by Walden Chocolates.
  Episode Trivia: Hilary has worked with producer Billy Rose and director Tyrone Guthrie. Scott's name was in the box with the blue ribbon, Mr. Foley's with the red. Pittsburgh restaurants include Chez O'Shea (O'Shay?), with French/Irish cuisine (their specialty seems to be corned beef and cabbage au poivre), and Wong's Mandarin Beer Garden, with Chinese/German food (the noisy one).

          In the Wrong Key:
          {Hilary paces the Green Room as Eugenia practices "silent piano"}
          Hilary: "My being so tantalizingly single has caused Jeffrey to plummet into a
          lack of despair and self-degradation."
          Eugenia: "Gee, Hilary, what should we do?"
          Hilary: "Do? Why would we do anything?" {after pause} "But Jeff's conduct
          is becoming unbecoming to both of us. My actions must make it clear to him
          that I'm no longer available." {sits; decisive} "Eugenia, I want to start dating
          on a regular basis."
          Eugenia {hesitant}: "Well...all right, Hilary...but wouldn't we have a better
          time if we went out with men? I-I-I suppose we could play squash at the
          YWCA or-or-or go square dancing-"
          Hilary {interrupts quickly}: "Eugenia!" {quieter} "You've misunderstood me
          Eugenia {relieved}: "Oh, thank God."

4. "And If I Die Before I Sleep" (originally telecast 07/10/98)
Written by Rupert Holmes. Directed by Juan Jose Campanella.
Hysterical Betty       The cast of WENN attempts to break the marathon broadcasting record of a competing station by presenting Betty's script When in Rome, an adaptation of all of Shakespeare's Italian plays—but lack of sleep eventually catchs up with them.(23'37")
  Guest Cast: Charles Abernathy: John Ratzenberger. Nurse Naomi Brumpton: Marceline Hugot.
          and John Bedford Lloyd as Victor Comstock
  Episode Notes: Victor and Scott double-teaming Hilary, Eugenia's sparkling morning mood, and Scott's "miracle cure" for Betty's eyes are just some of the highlights in an episode that descends into mad hysteria as the cast's waking hours proceed. The final sequences rival the "fractured series sequence" in "A Capital Idea" for hilarity, but Betty's "Oh, Mr. Sanders, the butterfly shrimp are so comfortable when I'm interrogating the splendid tenements" wins hands-down for rational incoherency. Say, wonder if that "Beautiful Dreamer"-based commercial is Merrick Mattress' ultimate revenge on Scott for selling them static... <g> So, now who's for a field trip to Des Mwan for some decapitated coffee?
  WENN Programming/Sponsors: Merrick Mattresses (of Monroeville) sponsors both of this episode's programs, a 15-minute version of A Tale of Two Cities and Betty's epic, When in Rome. (A product called "Van Winkle" decaffeinated coffee also figures in the plot, but they aren't exactly a sponsor.)
  Episode Trivia: Eugenia doesn't function well until after her morning coffee. The previous broadcasting marathon record holder was Bob Brightly of Philadelphia station WTN, who was on air for 53 hours straight, a feat noted by The Gimlet Guide to World Records. Scott's travels have also taken him to Madagascar—and Des Moines, Iowa.

          Her Ultimate Fantasy:
          {Hilary's 15 minutes of sleep is over}
          Jeff {shaking her shoulders}: "Hilary, you have to get up."
          Hilary {sleepily}: "Oh, no—I was having the loveliest dream."
          Jeff: "Oh, what were you dreaming?"
          Hilary {dreamily}: "That I was asleep."

5. "Hilary's Agent" (originally telecast 07/17/98)
Written by Rupert Holmes. Directed by Richard Shepard.
Doris       Enraged that she isn't getting any stage roles, Hilary pretends to be her own agent, but spends most of her time hiding the fact that Hilary and "Doris Snithing" are one and the same while jockeying to get the lead in producer Rex Noble's version of Antony and Cleopatra. (24'41")
  Guest Cast: Rex Noble: Daniel Benzali. Brian Wilburforce: Heath Lamberts. Fireman: Andy Fowle.
  Episode Notes: An episode that once again begs the question: "Where is Melinda Mullins' Emmy award?" (Or at least Emmy nomination.) Listen carefully during the fire alarm scene, especially when Eugenia comes on, okay? <g> Many references to past episodes: Noble talks about Grace Cavendish and the Broadhurst Theatre, Wilburforce is eating from a box of Walden Chocolates, when Hilary is reciting from Antony and Cleopatra you hear the mysterious music from "Magic," Mr. Foley's hors d'oeuvres are puppy biscuits from Parsons Pets.
  WENN Programming/Sponsors: Valiant Journey is performed, with Scott as Philip and Jeff as Leonard (and without Hilary as Daphne).
  Episode Trivia: Virginia Mayo was once a WENN intern (as Virginia Jones from Missouri). Hilary once played one of the Three Witches in Macbeth. Betty's a whiz at Chinese checkers.

          Just Waiting His Turn:
          {Hilary has just fired her ineffective agent; as he exits, Mr. Eldridge enters
          with plate in hand}
          Mr. Eldridge: "Here's your sandwich, Hilary."
          Hilary {still fuming}: "He calls himself an agent."
          Mr. Eldridge {puzzled}: "I thought his name was Brian."
          Hilary: "I'm well rid of him."
          Mr. Eldridge {agreeably}: "Ah, you're right there."
          Hilary: "You're right. I could do a better job for myself."
          Mr. Eldridge {nods}: "You could do better."
          Hilary {inspired}: "You're right. I could do better!"
          Mr. Eldridge: "Is it my turn to go again or can we stop now?"
          Hilary {idea forming}: "Mr. Eldridge, tell Gertie to get me an open line from
          the writer's room..." {starts to exit, then confides} "...and not a word of this
          to anyone!"
          Mr. Eldridge {to himself}: "Your secret is safe with me...because I don't
          know what it is."

          What a Recommendation!:
          Jeff: "Hilary, this...agent of yours, she's bullying everyone who deals with her.
          Rex Noble tells my theatre friends he feels beaten down and bludgeoned, and
          Betty says your agent hasn't met a demand she didn't like. This Doris
          Snithing is insensitive, insatiable, and relentless! Hilary, I guess what I'm
          saying is... {grins} you think she'll be my agent, too?

6. "Birth of a Station" (originally telecast 07/24/98)
Written by Rupert Holmes. Directed by Juan Jose Campanella.
Cora       When a young woman expecting a baby goes into labor at the station, a transit strike makes her transport to the hospital impossible. (22'20")
  Guest Cast: Cora: Debra Wiseman. Gus Kahana: Jeff Bergman.
  Episode Notes: A neat twist ending highlights this amusing offering, and everyone who's been missing Mackie will enjoy his cameo "from the road." Interesting how Scott immediately speaks up for male nurses; another one of his past professions perhaps? O'Malley's is mentioned once more—but no word if C.J. escaped... <g>
  WENN Programming/Sponsors: Young Doctor Talbot is our featured program, with Jeff returning to the title role and Mr. Eldridge playing Senior Surgeon Hadley, Hilary again as Nurse Treadwell, Eugenia as a scrub nurse (a previous episode about birth was called "A Labor of Love"). Another series called Hospital Romance is mentioned (with a previous chapter called "A Child Shall Lead the Way").
  Episode Trivia: Mackie, as of this episode, is in Dayton, Ohio; it sounds as if this tour of Hamlet features John Barrymore. Both Gertie and Maple live within walking distance of the station. Cities Hilary visited during her tour with The Rivals included Minneapolis. There is a radio store in the lobby of WENN's building. Betty starts to say WENN's address, but is cut off (by her opening words, it may be supposed that their street address is 419 S. Isabella Street, the address seen on the stationery posted on the bulletin board in the hallway). Lester is knowledgable about amateur (ham) radio operation.

          She Says It With a Simile:
          Betty {walking up from writer's room}: "Well, folks, it's official. {Scott and
          Gertie, at reception, look up} "As of ten minutes ago, the transit strike has
          Scott: "For real?"
          Betty: "Uh-huh. Pittsburgh is now the world's largest bus stop. Public
          transportation is dead in its trolley tracks, taxis are bidding us 'Hail!' and
          Gertie {rises}: "When will it end?"
          Betty: "When talks with the truckers stop being stalled, when management
          reverses its gears, when the union gives it the green light-" {pauses, considers}
          "-and that's as deep into a metaphor as I go."

7. "The Follies of WENN" (originally telecast 07/31/98)
Written by Rupert Holmes. Directed by Richard Shepard.
Maple's hips       When an old acquaintance of Scott's offers $1000 for a burlesque show for visiting cronies, the cast decides to put on their own to use the money to save Mr. Winthrop's school from foreclosure. (22'36")
  Guest Cast: Phineas Parkington: Michael Cullin. Luke Winthrop: Charles Antalosky. (Credited as "Bradley Winthrop.") Miss Frye: Marian Seldes. Policeman: Robert Clohessy.
          and Mickey Rooney as Mr. Hardy.
  Episode Notes: While the long arm of coincidence sets up the situation in this episode—echoing a tried-and-true part of the burlesque tradition—its result is a confection of song. Maple, Eugenia, and Betty each have a musical number that reflects their personality, plus we're treated to Scott and Jeff's mathematical comedy act (an echo of "the Amazing Ballinger"), Mr. Foley's reaction to Eugenia's brassy torch song, and Hilary really "getting into" her part—plus George Hall doing a few dance steps! The funny finale contains more than its share of inside jokes. Look, there's Michael Roberts again—and um, can someone get poor Lester some oxygen?
  WENN Programming/Sponsors: No regular series are performed, but the dress shop The Tailored Woman is mentioned.
  Episode Trivia: Parkington belongs to the Cleveland chapter of the Mystic Fraternal Order of Lemmings. Mr. Hardy is the chairman of the Barbican Hotel for Women review committee, Miss Frye is the committee vice chairman, and Luke Winthrop the president.

          A True Sense of Charity:
          Hilary: "Good morning, Gertie."
          Gertie: "We'll see. There's a Mr. Winthrop here, from the Winthrop School."
          {Hilary glances back briefly at a man in reception who is holding his head as
          if in distress. Gertie hands her a business card, adds softly} "He says you
          know his brother."
          Hilary {studies card}: "Luke Winthrop. Winthrop...Winthrop...oh, yes, you
          have that school for...children."
          Winthrop: "We had that school for children." {nearly in tears} "The bank is
          foreclosing on Monday. My family's work. The light of hope and knowledge
          for my poor students!—extinguished forever!"
          Hilary {unmoved}: "And I'm Hilary Booth, of course."

          A Tough Audience:
          {Maple is instructing Eugenia, Betty, and Hilary in burlesque dancing}
          Maple: "Now, here's the tricky part—the bump. Imagine somebody threw a
          hand grenade at you-"
          Hilary: "Everyone's a critic."
          Maple {continues}: "-and ya have to knock it away with your hips right
          back at the enemy. Pretend the audience is the enemy."
          Hilary {knowingly}: "I see you worked Buffalo."

When is WENN?: No date involved, but the burlesque show takes place on a Sunday.

8. "Pratfall" (originally telecast 08/07/98)
Written by Rupert Holmes. Directed by Joanna Kerns.
Glebe       Everyone's a-flutter at WENN when they receive 16 nominations for the Pittsburgh Radio Achievement awards, a.k.a. The Golden Lobes—including Jeff and Scott both nominated for their titular roles in Young Dr. Talbot—but it's Hilary who's scheming when she finds out one of her co-workers has been enlisted to nominate someone for the prestigious Pittsburgh Radio Achievement Trophy. (23'40")
  Guest Cast: Sheldon Glebe: John Henson. "Walt" Winchell: Ronald Frazier.
  Episode Notes: Awards shows are neatly skewered (plus there are amusing jabs at repetitive comedy routines and early Yuletide store decorations), Mary Stout has yet another field day as Eugenia tries to breathe some truth into her exercise program, Scott and Hilary are hilarious in a more likely partnership than one might think, and John Henson plays the PRAT host to the obnoxious hilt, while another WENNer makes good use of Poe's purloined letter technique. How ironic that the winners over Jeff and Scott should be from the hapless WEEP; guess their program manager is suddenly paying for better programming! Jeff will recite his credits at the drop of a hat, won't he? <g> And—hmm, wonder what happened to that envelope with Victor's address on it?
  WENN Programming/Sponsors: We see both Eugenia's morning exercise series, Your Gym With Eugenia, and yet another encore of Young Dr. Talbot (both nominated for PRAT awards). Betty's spread of the writing nomination includes her work on The Hands of Time, Our Fleeting Passion, The Crimson Blade, Sam Dane Private Detective, and This Family Robinson. Laugh a Little with Mackie Bloom is also a nominee.
  Episode Trivia: Eugenia knits. Hilary had not previously won a Golden Lobe.

          It's Un-derstandably Contagious:
          Jeff {agitated}: "I don't think you can do this to me, Betty—not two days
          before the Golden Lobes! I mean, having Scott replace me as young
          Dr. Talbot could tip the voting in his favor."
          Betty {arms crossed}: "I have more to think about than just these awards.
          We've been getting a ton of complaints about how you and Hilary aren't
          getting along on Young Dr. Talbot."
          Jeff: "That's because Hilary keeps injecting her personal problems into the
          program! Hilary knows that I can't get unmarried until they find my unwife,
          and until I do, she's undertaken to undo and unhinge me with every under-
          handed and unprincipled way possible. She's unbalanced, Betty!" {grunts}
          "It's unbearable!
          Betty: "Well-" {thinks} "-then tell Hilary that I'm only giving the two of you
          un-" {corrects} "-one last chance."

When is WENN?: This episode takes place October 9 and 10, 1941.

9. "Work Shift" (originally telecast 08/14/98)
Written by Rupert Holmes. Directed by Juan Jose Campanella.
Sage       Motivational speaker Arden Sage dares the crew at WENN to "walk in one another's shoes" for a day, so they swap roles, to the grief of listeners, sponsors, and themselves alike. (23'45")
  Guest Cast: Arden Sage: Greg Germann. Chet Randolph: Peter Gerety.
  Episode Notes: By the finale you'll be rooting for Scott to punch out the insufferable Arden Sage, but in the meantime enjoy Maple's chordless typing, Gertie's tenure as "baked ham," Eugenia's devotion to her organ's well-being, the Booth solution for handling switchboards, and yet another Wizard of Oz reference—plus the musical delights of Maple's backhanded sales jingle, Betty's "Variations in the Key of Chopsticks," and "Foley and Bremer" performing Swan Lake on air (a WENN classic!). BTW, check out the switchboard closeups on freeze frames; some odd labels there. <g>
  WENN Programming/Sponsors: Big Joe and Little Jo, a series starring, respectively, Jeff and Hilary, is being performed as the story opens while Scott is trying to gain more sponsorship from Chet Randolph at Pittsburgh Weiner. The Merton family own Pennsylvania Penny Savings and Loan. Hands of Time is performed as well, with Gertie and Mr. Eldridge in the roles of Elizabeth and Brent.
  Episode Trivia: Maple's address is 237 Beaumont Street, Apartment 4B. Arden Sage's books include The Glue of Humanity, and one half his royalties go to the arts.

          Eldridge, 1; Booth, 0
          Hilary: "Mr. Eldridge, I embarrassed myself on the radio because of your
          Mr. Eldridge {busy sorting papers}: "My mistake? No, no, I didn't hire you."
          Hilary {pointedly): "When people get too old to do their job competently,
          they ought to retire."
          Mr. Eldridge {unaware}: "Oh, now, Hilary, you have years to go yet before
          you have to think of that."
          Hilary: "On the other hand, why should I blame you?"
          Mr. Eldridge: "Because you do it so well."
          Hilary {fuming}: "Betty mistypes, you miss the point, Gertrude 'Miss
          Switchboard Operator of 1941' appoints herself artistic director—I'm up to
          here in incompetence!"
          Mr. Eldridge {admiringly}: "And yet—you let us know it only now and then."

10. "Past Tense, Future Imperfect" (originally telecast 08/21/98)
Written by Rupert Holmes. Directed by Danny Leiner.
Victor       Betty recalls her first working day at WENN, when a small misunderstanding escalates into many major ones—all of them unfortunately involving her reputation. (23'20")
  Guest Cast: Victor Comstock: John Bedford Lloyd.
  Episode Notes: The whole doesn't quite live up to the parts in this flashback episode; the directing seems listless, so that the progression of the storyline in the framing sequences is often more lively than segments of Betty's tale. But Eugenia gets "Best Line" honors once again, and the illustrated rules of writing radio drama are a hoot. John Bedford Lloyd, as always, is at his best, whether it be as Victor clueless to his own double ententres or realizing his personal life always takes second place to his ambitions. Check out the magazines both Maple and Gertie are reading; it looks like Life with the title Wide World pasted over it (presumably to keep from infringing on copyright). Echoing the first episode, note the reprise of the bars from Rupert Holmes' "Soap Opera."
  WENN Programming/Sponsors: Bedside Manor, sponsored by Ingrams Coffee, opens the episode, and later The Hands of Time (which Betty at first refers to as Time on My Hands) is performed. Foley's Fairy Tales features fairy tales done completely in sound effects.
  Episode Trivia: Betty's first full working day at the station is October 2, 1939 (which means she arrived at WENN on September 29). Victor is working at the Pentagon (or is that the "Pentagram"?).

          Recursively Speaking:
          Betty {to Mr. Eldridge "holding the fort" for Gertie}: "Good morning!"
          Mr. Eldridge: "I know you. You were here on Friday."
          Betty: "Yes. And aren't you Mr. Eldridge?"
          Mr. Eldridge: "Aren't I what?"
          Betty: "Mr. Eldridge."
          Mr. Eldridge: "Yes." {returns to his reading}
          Betty {starting again}: "Good morning!"
          Mr. Eldridge: "I know you. You were here on Friday."
          Betty: "Yes. And you're Mr. Eldridge!"
          Mr. Eldridge {a bit dismayed}: "Is there no way out of this?"

          The Loss Saddens Him:
          {Miss Booth confronts Betty about some changes in the script}
          Hilary: "It's a wonderful first try, Betsy. I just need the writing to sound a little
          more like me: intelligent, articulate, witty—everything this...isn't. You just
          haven't captured my personality."
          Mackie {dryly}: "Yes, the police have been combing the countryside for it."

          Her Reputation Precedes Her:
          {A discussion of Betty's "surprising" personality revelations is going on}
          Eugenia: "Who would ever have thought?"
          Mr. Eldridge {disapproving}: "A nice girl like Betty!"
          Gertie {incredulous}: "We broke peanut brittle together."
          Eugenia: "But then, who are we to judge?"
          Mr. Eldridge: "Well, I'm Tom Eldridge, this is Gertie Reece-"
          Gertie {restraining him}: "No, no, Tom." {to Eugenia} "'Let he who is without
          sin cast the first stone.'"
          Eugenia {sighs in resignation}: "I guess that would be me, darnit."

When is WENN?: This episode takes place on or after November 3, 1941 (in the present) and on October 2, 1939 (in the flashback).

11. "The Sunset Also Rises" (originally telecast 08/28/98)
Written by David Ives. Directed by Juan Jose Campanella.
Norma Dismal       When Excelsior TV offers $1000 for the best "teleplay" (celebrating the first television set in Pittsburgh), Gertie writes The Sunset Also Rises, a play about a faded radio star attempting to make a comeback (or is that "renaissance"?). (23'37")
  Guest Cast: Victor Comstock: John Bedford Lloyd. Man in Trenchcoat: David Pursley.
  Episode Notes: A mixed bag indeed. The spoof portions of the movie classic Sunset Boulevard are generally hilarious as well as a visual treat; Mullins and O'Rourke milk their roles delightfully and George Hall has a funny bit as "Norma's" male alter ego, plus Mr. Foley's brief cameo as a silent star is priceless, and you can spend one viewing counting the running gags. Kudos extended to the set dressers and also Juan Campanella's direction (check out the framing of Gertie's face when she's talking about television, for example). But the dialog suffers from the absence of the Holmes touch and many of the gags sound like retreads from other comedy series; plus a couple of the characters get short shrift or sound "off." Additionally, if you've never seen Sunset Boulevard, most of the jokes won't make any sense—and personally, I could have gone without ever hearing the word "putz" used on Remember WENN.
  The rest of the cast for The Sunset Also Rises:
              Spaetzle/Miland Floss: Christopher Murney
              Norma Dismal: Melinda Mullins/Amanda Naughton/Mary Stout
              Joe Sherwood: Kevin O'Rourke
              Joan Booth: Melinda Mullins
              Norman Dismal: George Hall
              Big Breakfast Rep: John Bedford Lloyd
              Man from Sears Roebuck: David Pursley
  WENN Programming/Sponsors: Eugenia is performing Community Bulletin Board (whether this is a stand-alone series or part of something else is unknown). The Sunset Also Rises is finally produced as a radio play to replace a forfeited P.U. football game.
  Episode Trivia: Gertie is attending television and radio writing classes at the YMCA.

          Paid by the Word:
          {Gertie has shown her teleplay The Sunset Also Rises to Betty}
          Gertie: "It's only a work in progress, of course. You see, I have been taking
          this course-" {Holds a book up entitled Be a TV-Wright!} "-on writing for
          radio and television at the Y."
          Betty: "Why?"
          Gertie: "YMCA."
          Betty: "No, I know that, but 'why write a television play'?"
          Gertie: "Oh! For one thousand dollars! Excelsior is having this script contest,
          and, before I send it in, I thought I oughta get your opinion as a fellow, you
          know, wordsworth."
          Betty: "Wordsmith."

12. "At Cross Purposes" (originally telecast 09/04/98)
Written by Rupert Holmes. Directed by Howard Meltzer.
Jeff       Jeff's stage role in Charley's Aunt may save him from a persistent process server sent by the scheming Pavla Nemkova—but other members of the cast have their own reasons for wanting to disguise themselves for the gentleman. (22'59")
  Guest Cast: Cribby Menlo: Ray Iannicelli. Vocal Appearance: Nicholas Holmes.
  Episode Notes: In the finale of the first and last "Newsday Wensday", Betty talked about a day that was like any other; as then, it is here: no premonitions, only fair-play clues to us with the gift of foreknowledge—aware that on that December Sunday, after church is done, after the Sunday funnies are chuckled over, as people walk out to attend movies, afternoon services, chat with friends, nothing ever will be the same again...and the chill is still there when Betty conveys the fateful news. Plausible—even down to where the clothing came from—enjoyably silly slapstick, including Hilary's fashion commentary, Maple's wonderful malaprops, the recurrence of our old favorite "Camptown Races," the admirable "Admiral Crichton"—and Doug Thompson is even mentioned. Guess we know whose side Gertie is on in the matter of Victor v. Scott. <g> Now if we could only figure out what that muffler was for...
  About Pavla's Fate: Ever since the Czechoslovakian con-artist appeared in "Mr. and Mrs. Singer," fans have continually proposed fateful finales for her. The most popular seemed to have been some explosive encounter with Hilary, whether it be physical or verbal. IMHO, Pavla's chequered career couldn't have come to a better ending: Hilary doesn't have to soil her hands dealing with the two-timer, and Cribby Menlo will use her as she used Jeff, eventually heaping as much humilation on her as she did on Hilary. Perhaps her comeuppance will eventually involve her deportment to a less-friendly location, but should she land up on the streets—all the better...
  WENN Programming/Sponsors: Rance Shiloh, U.S. Marshall is being performed, with Eugenia as Jessamina the piano player, Jeff of course in the title role, and Hilary as Miss Lilly Bell. It's followed by a program of spiritual music, Holier Than Thou, and then by Sunday afternoon pro football.
  Episode Trivia: Jeff's appearing at the Pittsburgh Playhouse as Lord Fancourt Babberley in Charley's Aunt. According to Maple, Scott is only scared of three things in this world: that Betty will like Victor more than him, that someone will give him tickets to the ballet, and that he will re-encounter Cribby Menlo, the world's most persistent process server. (Evidently Cribby has met both Scott and Maple before, in Hollywood, where Scott was involved with two "gentlemen" named Sperry and McGurk who were selling a phony H2O gasoline formula.) Maple's hair is naturally red. Eugenia is making her conducting debut (of an elementary school band).

          She's Always Well-Orchestrated:
          {Eugenia enters while Betty, Jeff, and Hilary are in the station manager's
          Eugenia: "I've just finished my program of spiritual music, Holier Than Thou,
          and now the football broadcast has started, so if it's all right with you folks,
          I'm going to go ahead and change for my conducting debut."
          Betty: "Good luck, Eugenia. Are you nervous?"
          Eugenia: "A little. Leading an elementary school band all by yourself is nothing
          to shake a stick at."
          Hilary: "I'm sure you know how to conduct yourself in public, Eugenia."
          Eugenia {delightedly}: "Thanks, Hilary!"

          Up Front About It:
          {Scott, dressed as a woman, and Maple, dressed in a man's outfit, including
          a turban, try to make it past Cribby Menlo}
          Menlo {loudly, rising}: "Excuse me! You, with the turban! You're not Jeff
          Singer by any chance?"
          {They turn slowly to face him}
          Maple {in as deep a voice as she can muster}: "I come from the exalted
          kingdom of Caraway on Rye. I am its Chief Impotentate and...Grand

When is WENN?: This episode, of course, takes place on December 7, 1941.

13. "All's Noisy on the Pittsburgh Front" (originally telecast 09/11/98)
Written by Rupert Holmes. Directed by Juan Jose Campanella.
Scott       The gentlemen at WENN prepare to enlist while Jeff attempts to get Hilary to say yes to his marriage proposal and Betty copes with an unexpected military man. (24'17")
  Guest Cast: "Captain Amazon": J.K. Simmons. Gus Kahana: Jeff Bergman. Male Attendant: Harry Murphy.
          and John Bedford Lloyd as Victor Comstock
  Episode Notes: The usual twists are just around the corner—World War II may have landed on WENN's doorstep, but skewed business as usual still prevails: Mr. Foley semaphore signals endearments and Captain Amazon comes to life via an overzealous listener. This year's cliffhanger isn't as desperate as last year's, but on the other hand it's been multiplied by three (presumably for three times the screams... <g>), with Hilary delivering a bombshell almost as startling as the one that ended first season. Many memorable scenes ranging from the hilarious—Maple and Eugenia's bet, Mr. Eldridge's telegram delivery—to the sentimental—Scott's speech to Betty about why he volunteered, Victor's explanation of why "silly radio shows" must go on.
  WENN Programming/Sponsors: The WENN news is sponsored by Lubridor Hair Cream. Amazon Andy is performed (featuring Captain Amazon, played by Mackie; Binky [who seems to have developed a lisp], performed by Scott, and Maple's Judo Judy [once Japanese and suddenly now a Norwegian freedom fighter]), now sponsored by Dutch Uncle Cocoa, and The Hands of Time, Valiant Journey, Custard the Clown, Glint Grab Bag, and Rance Shiloh are all mentioned.
  Episode Trivia: Scott is poker buddies with a major. Jeff is 4F due to the knee he injured in London, while Mr. Foley has flat feet. (Mr. Eldridge and Mackie were considered too old.)

          Halt! Who Goes Where?
          {Mr. Eldridge enters the station manager's office}
          Mr. Eldridge: "Betty, Victor, we just got a telegram."
          Victor: "What does it say?"
          Betty {reading}: "'Station WENN will today receive newly appointed
          captain-'" {glances at Victor in puzzlement} "'-from Special Services. Stop.
          He to supervise all your operations. Stop. Fullest cooperation expected.
          Stop.' What does it mean?"
          Mr. Eldridge: "Well, whatever we're doing, I think they want us to stop."

          All Bets are On:
          Hilary: "Jeffrey, I accept."
          Jeff {looking up from his script}: "You accept what?"
          Hilary: "Your proposal."
          Jeff {incredulous, smiles}: "Hilary...Hilary, you've made me the happiest man
          in radio."
          Hilary: "I know. I had originally scheduled dragging you over the coals until
          the spring of '43, but, world events being what they are-"
          Jeff {earnestly}: "Great! This time I know we can make it work."
          Hilary: "I don't know about that, but what the hell..."
          {They kiss passionately while Maple and Eugenia look on}
          Eugenia {sentimental}: "Ohhh, isn't that wonderful?"
          Maple {sighs}: "Yeah...I got a buck that gives it till Thursday."
          Eugenia {more practically}: "I got a five spot that says they don't last the
          Maple: "You're on."
          Eugenia: "Let's see the color of your money."

          Straight from the Heart:
          {Betty sees Scott in uniform for the first time}
          Betty {shocked}: "Scott, you' the Army now."
          Scott: "Signed up the morning after Pearl Harbor." {Self-consciously brushes
          his uniform} "Pretty good fit, huh? For just off the rack...they're shipping me
          out tonight."
          Betty {dismayed}: "You're leaving."
          Scott: "Hey, if I fought with the Spanish Freedom Fighters for cities like
          Madrid and Toledo, I sure as hell am going to fight for towns like Toledo,
          Ohio, and Valencia, Pennsylvania." {gentler} "If I'm gonna win this thing for
          all the Betty Roberts in this country, maybe that means I haveta do without
          the one I care about for a while. Maybe that's how this whole thing works."

When is WENN?: This episode takes place December 12, 1941.

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Victor/Betty/Scott screen capture courtesy Rodney Walker.

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