LOVE THAT BOB: "Bob Gets Harvey a Raise" (Original Air Date: 3/11/1958) Starring Bob Cummings as Bob Collins, King Donovan as Harvey Helm, Jesse White as H. R. "Hap" Henderson, Ann B. Davis as Schultzy, Joi Lansing as Shirley Swanson, Lisa Gaye as Collette DuBois. Written by Paul Henning, Shirley Gordon and Dick Wesson. Directed by Bob Cummings.
Series overview of LOVE THAT BOB a.k.a. THE BOB CUMMINGS SHOW previously published here for the one hundredth anniversary of the star's birth in 2008 at this link.
While putting the finishing touches on a mink layout with gorgeous models Shirley and Collette, ace photographer Bob Collins realizes he's made a seperate date with each for that evening. Meanwhile Bob's old war buddy, married milquetoast Harvey, arrives at the studio with a big problem of his own. Out of town furniture buyer "Hap" Henderson ("who everybody knows and everybody owes!") is on his way to the City of Angels expecting a night out with wine, women....and women--prior to signing a big contract with Helm's firm. Needless to say, this is something that Mrs. Helm won't stand for.
Upon Hap's unexpected arrival at Bob's studio, the Furniture King mistakes Collins for Helm, and Harvey persuades his old comrade in arms to keep up the ruse long enough to get the contract. Bob reluctantly agrees, but the "double date" does give him a chance to juggle his own dating dilemna. Telling each model that the other is Henderson's date, Bob takes the overbearing, cigar-chomping bigshot out on the town, with Helm's career hanging in the balance.
Rosemary de Camp and Dwayne Hickman are nowhere to be found in this fourth season entry, but despite the absence of action on the homefront this is still quintessential BOB: hyperactive and thoroughly un-PC. As things quickly move from the studio to the nightclub and back to the studio after a long night, Collins deftly, shamelessly steers Hap, Shirley and Collette from the truth time after time throughout the day and night, with some extremely close calls along the way. My pick for the most amusing: Bob holding hands with both models at the table (while clueless Hap drones on) until a spilled drink reveals the ruse--just one of several sight gags well directed by the series' star.
Unlike some reviewers, I could always take the leap of faith and buy Cummings as a ladies' man on LOVE THAT BOB. After all, he was an untamable bad boy and a single, successful business owner (the latter, of course, making him a "good catch") whose chosen profession also put him in a position to further a model's career. Having said all that, Bob Gets Harvey a Raise is truly a guilty pleasure.
|(L to R) Lansing, White and Gaye|
Bob Gets Harvey a Raise has a plethora of the show's typical sexual innuendos. Also a lot more drinking than usual, with the result that neither Bob nor Henderson is anywhere to be found the morning after--at first, that is. It is insinuated that everyone got so shnockered that Henderson scored! (Listen for the line about the "small but springy" dance floor after the awakening.) Given Hap's overall appeal to the fairer sex (hey, watch it, Hal--it isn't 1958 anymore), this a definite "guy episode", though even men might wince now, all things considered. Nevertheless, taken as uncomfortable humor, it is frequently hilarious.
Bob Gets Harvey a Raise is actually the first of a two parter (Henning loved multi-episode arcs, something he would continue on HILLBILLIES) but part one is far better than part two, Bob Saves Harvey, and works more than well enough as a self-contained installment.
DID BOB SCORE?
See above. If Henderson scored, then you know Bob was a slam dunk.
With more objectification of the models than usual (yes, even for this show), Bob Gets Harvey a Raise is the very definition of a guilty pleasure. Maybe one of the guiltiest. It's a little hard to buy Collette and Shirley putting up with some of the shenanigans at the nightclub, Bob or no Bob. Assuming you can take that leap, the creative minds behind this show weren't tired. Henning, Wesson and Gordon provided the usual sharp, risque lines and funny situations, and Cummings continued to impress with his work behind the camera. Yeah, you'll cringe a few times, but you'll be red-faced from laughter and embarrassment in roughly equal amounts. (*** out of four)
Bob Gets Harvey a Raise is on Youtube for your viewing pleasure at this link.