CTVA US Comedy - "The Life of Riley" (NBC) Season 2 (1953-54)

The Classic TV Archive - US Comedy Series

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Starring: William Bendix (as Chester A. Riley)
with: Marjorie Reynolds (as Peg Riley). Tom D'Andrea (as Jim Gillis)

Season 2 (NBC) (1953-54)
Episode Guide compiled by The Classic TV Archive
with contributions by:
John King,  Tom Alger, Rina Fox
TV Guide /   Library of Congress (telnet://locis.loc.gov)
Internet Movie Database (http://us.imdb.com)
UCLA Film and Television Archive

 ############## The Life of Riley #############
############## season 2 1953-54 ##############
NBC Fridays 8:30pm (39 episodes)

2.01 [027] Life of Riley: RILEY'S STOMACH ACHE
18Sep1953 orig. NBC airdate (13Aug1954 NBC repeat date)
Synopsis 1:
Riley makes a midnight raid on the icebox and winds up
with an upset stomach.
Synopsis 2:
A raid on the icebox has Chester taking his final farewells of the family.
Synopsis 3:
Riley overeats and thinks he is going to die. There will be a show next week but it took Riley up to the
last minute to believe it. [Brooklyn NY Daily Eagle]

2.02 [028] Life of Riley: RILEY, THE ANIMAL LOVER
25Sep1953 orig. NBC airdate
Riley buys a junkman's broken-down horse to save it from the glue factory, but he can't find a place to keep it.

2.03 [029] Life of Riley: RILEY FACES FATHERHOOD
2Oct1953 orig. NBC airdate
Synopsis 1:
Riley thinks he's about to be a father again when Gillis plays a trick on him.
Synopsis 2:
Riley mistakenly believes Peg is pregnant.

2.04 [030] Life of Riley: PEG'S BIRTHDAY PRESENT
9Oct1953 orig. NBC airdate
Synopsis 1:
Riley finds a silver fox fur while riding on the bus. He brings it home with him and has every intention of
returning it, until Peg finds it.
Synopsis 2:
Riley fans will find this to their liking; Riley finds a fur-piece and forgets his wife's birthday. [Brooklyn NY Daily Eagle]

2.05 [031] Life of Riley: RILEY'S SURPRISE PACKAGE
16Oct1953 orig. NBC airdate
(27Aug1954 NBC repeat)
Synopsis 1:
Riley becomes jealous when he thinks that Gillis has won an award.
Synopsis 2:
Jealousy backfires as Riley selects a gift for the most popular member of the "Brooklyn Patriots." [Springfield, Mass., Union]
Synopsis 3:
You'd hardly believe that amiable oaf Riley capable of such a thing. When he's asked to suggest a surprise
for Gillis, Riley recommends a subsidized visit from his mother-in-law. We don't expect Riley to try anything like that again.
[16Oct1953 Brooklyn NY Daily Eagle]

2.06 [032] Life of Riley: RILEY'S OLD FLAME
23Oct1953 orig. NBC airdate
Riley thinks an old friend he knew in Brooklyn is still in love with him.

2.07 [033] Life of Riley: RILEY HEARS BELLS
30Oct1953 orig. NBC airdate (10Sep1954 NBC repeat)
Guest cast:
Cathy Downs ....... Music Teacher
Synopsis 1:
Junior has a crush on his music teacher and claims he hears "bells ring" when he speaks to her. Riley goes to see
the teacher about this strange phenomenon. [RF]
Synopsis 2:
Riley thinks a beautiful teacher is in love with him.
Synopsis 3:
Love bells start ringing for junior over music teacher. [Boston Herald]

2.08 [034] Life of Riley: RILEY'S SURPRISE PARTY
6Nov1953 orig. NBC airdate
Riley plans a surprise party for Babs but the party holds more surprises for him than her.

2.09 [035] Life of Riley: JUNIOR'S VACATION
13Nov1953 orig. NBC airdate
Riley and Gillis worry about their sons who are off on a trip.

2.10 [036] Life of Riley: RILEY'S BURNING AMBITION
20Nov1953 orig. NBC airdate
Synopsis 1:
When the plant foreman is sent out of town on a special job, Riley takes his place.
Synopsis 2:
Riley is determined to become temporary foreman. But If you know Riley, you know he'll find some way to be thwarted
before he achieves his ambition. Above average William Bendix show. [Brooklyn NY Daily Eagle]

2.11 [037] Life of Riley: RILEY'S HAUNTED HOUSE
27Nov1953 orig. NBC airdate (05Aug1955 NBC repeat date)
Synopsis 1:
Peg and Riley are bored with their new ranch house.
Synopsis 2:
Brooklyn's Chester A. Riley (William Bendix) will find his new ranch house falls short of a fast-talking real-estate
agent's description. Riley and wife Peg will forsake their city home in Los Angeles for a few days stay at the ranch,
leaving the children, Bab and Junior at home. The city-bred riveter and his wife will be soon disenchanted with the
rural life. Since neither wants to admit it to the other, they plan to scare each other into leaving. Friend Jim Gillis
is Riley's accomplice, while Honeybee does the dirty work for Peg. The episode will be entitled "Riley's Haunted House."
[05Aug1955 Dallas Morning News]

2.12 [038] Life of Riley: RILEY'S SEPARATION
04Dec1953 orig. NBC airdate (01Jul1955 NBC repeat date)
Synopsis 1:
Riley insists that Peg go to a wedding she doesn't want to attend.
Synopsis 2:
A pretty funny show for this series. Riley forces Peg to chaperone their daughter in San Francisco but all their friends
think they've had a fight. Riley asks Gillis what wrecks most marriages and Gillis has a
logical answer: "weddings." [Long Island City NY Star Journal]
Synopsis 3:
A misunderstanding will start the rumor that Riley has ordered his wife and daughter from under his roof. [Dallas Morning News]

[---] 11Dec53 - re-run of season 1 episode "Riley Gets Engaged"

Note: In their 11Dec1953 TV listings, The Boston Daily Record lists the episode "Riley's Anniversary"
(Friday 8:30pm, WJAR, channel 10, Providence, Rhode Island). "Riley's Anniversary," possibly postponed, didn't air until 4Jun1954.

2.13 [039] Life of Riley: RILEY THE WORRIER
18Dec1953 orig. NBC airdate
Riley fixes Babs up with a blind date.

2.14 [040] Life of Riley: RILEY'S SECOND HONEYMOON
25Dec1953 orig. NBC airdate
Riley is advised to take a vacation.

2.15 [041] Life of Riley: RILEY TEACHES JUNIOR BOXING
1Jan1954 orig. NBC airdate
Riley teaches Junior to box.

2.16 [042] Life of Riley: RILEY BALANCES THE BUDGET
8Jan1954 orig. NBC airdate (08Jul1955 NBC repeat date)
Synopsis 1:
Riley takes a job in a department store to earn extra money.
Synopsis 2:
Riley tries to balance the budget. [08Jul1955 Geneva Daily Times]
Synopsis 3:
As in every situation comedy, the Rileys have budget problems. Riley gets a part-time job to help out, and lands one
that's ideally suited to his mentality. Trite situation, but more laughs than usual. [08Jul1955 Long Island Star Journal]

2.17 [043] Life of Riley: RILEY'S LOVE LETTERS
15Jan1954 orig. NBC airdate
Synopsis 1:
Riley finds a love letter to his wife while going through some old papers.
Synopsis 2:
Riley sees green when he finds a love letter to Peg signed "Sam."
--same episode?
26Aug1955 NBC repeat
Synopsis 1:
A letter to his wife spells trouble with his boss. [Yonkers NY Herald Statesman]
Synopsis 2:
A sarcastic letter goes to Riley's boss by mistake. [NY Times]

2.18 [044] Life of Riley: JUNIOR'S DOUBLE DATE
22Jan1954 orig. NBC airdate
Riley gives Junior advice when he learns Junior is about to go on his first date.

2.19 [045] Life of Riley: RILEY'S URANIUM MINE
29Jan1954 orig. NBC airdate (15Jul1955 NBC repeat date)
Synopsis 1:
Riley thinks he has discovered Uranium in the backyard of his friend Gillis. He finds himself in trouble when he tries
to get the rights to the alleged Uranium deposits.
Synopsis 2:
Riley and Gillis swap homes in a uranium search. [Cleveland Plain Dealer]

2.20 [046] Life of Riley: RILEY BRIGHTENS THE CORNER
5Feb1954 orig. NBC airdate
In a weak moment, Riley donates the family's beds to the Darkest Hour mission.

2.21 [047] Life of Riley: BABS USED CAR
12Feb54 Friday, orig. NBC airdate (22Jul1955 NBC repeat date)
Synopsis 1:
Riley buys a used car, but it turns out to be a stolen vehicle.
Synopsis 2:
Chester buys a used car for his daughter, Babs, and finds it is a stolen one. [22Jul1955 NY Times]

2.22 [048] Life of Riley: RILEY AND THE BOSS'S NIECE
19Feb1954 orig. NBC airdate
Synopsis 1:
Riley's boss asks Riley to find a date to escort his niece to a dance.
Synopsis 2:
Sterling Holloway gets his first big role on tonight's show (he's been a regular for weeks) and he makes the most of it.
He's a reluctant escort, coerced by Riley into taking a female monster to a college dance. Of course Riley's plan doesn't
work out, but his efforts lead to some good laughs. [Brooklyn NY Daily Eagle]

2.23 [049] Life of Riley: RILEY AND THE COP
26Feb1954 orig. NBC airdate (29Jul1955 NBC repeat date)
Synopsis 1:
Riley rents his attic in an attempt to solve his budget problems.
Synopsis 2:
Trouble as usual will be the general situation when bullets and blackjacks make Riley think he may have made a slight mistake
in renting his attic to a stranger. [29Jul1955 Dallas Morning News]
Synopsis 3:
Riley rents attic to stranger who plays with bullets and blackjacks. [Long Island Star Journal]

2.24 [050] Life of Riley: THE CIRCUS COMES TO TOWN
5Mar1954 orig. NBC airdate
Riley fears junior has run off to join the circus.

2.25 [051] Life of Riley: RILEY IN A RUT
12Mar1954 orig. NBC airdate
Trying to get a new job, Riley does some research in the local library.

2.26 [052] Life of Riley: RILEY, SURPRISE WITNESS
(copyright title - "Riley surprises witness")
19Mar1954 orig. NBC airdate
Waldo sprains his thumb on a lawnmower he borrowed from Gillis.

2.27 [053] Life of Riley: RILEY AND THE BEAUX ARTS BALL
26Mar1954 orig. NBC airdate
Riley learns that Babs is going to the beaux arts ball.

2.28 [054] Life of Riley: RILEY HOLDS THE BAG
2Apr1954 orig. NBC airdate
When involved in an automobile accident, Riley demands that he and the other driver exchange licenses.

2.29 [055] Life of Riley: RILEY TAKES UP ART
9Apr1954 orig. NBC airdate
Synopsis 1:
Riley has decided to become a painter.
Synopsis 2:
Riley paints Glllis' drawers, but don't worry, they're on his bureau, not his person. It's all part of Riley's sudden
affectation for art. And strange as it may seem, our boy has talent. [Brooklyn NY Daily Eagle]

2.30 [056] Life of Riley: RILEY'S GOOD DEED
16Apr1954 orig. NBC airdate (12Aug1955 NBC repeat date)
Synopsis 1:
Riley is determined to do a good deed every day.
Synopsis 2:
Chester A. Riley embarks on a program of daily good deeds. The story, entitled "Riley's Good Deed," tells of his first
victim, friend and neighbor Gillis, who is confined to bed as the result of an accident at the aircraft plant. Riley
plans a campaign to cheer Gillis. He persuades the plant foreman and other friends to visit the invalid. But Gillis
has made a quick recovery and leaves his sick bed to go fishing. He returns with his catch in time to greet his visitors
and the foreman fires him. Riley feels responsible for this "revoltin' development" and takes off from work to find a
new job for Gillis, with the usual results. [12Aug1955 Dallas Morning News]

2.31 [057] Life of Riley: RILEY, THE HEIR
23Apr1954 orig. NBC airdate (19Aug1955 NBC repeat date)
Synopsis 1:
Riley is notified that he has inherited a fortune.
Synopsis 2:
Fair weather friends will besiege Chester A. Riley when they hear he has inherited $50,000. Friends, neighbors and salesmen
will descend on Riley in droves, while his wife begs him not to spend money he doesn't yet have. [19Aug1955 Dallas Morning News]

2.32 [058] Life of Riley: RILEY TAKES OUT INSURANCE
30Apr1954 orig. NBC airdate
Synopsis 1:
Bab's boyfriend sells Riley an insurance policy covering all types of accidents.
Synopsis 2:
Riley tries collecting damages when he sprains his ankle in a poolroom.
Synopsis 3:
Riley sprains his ankle and has trouble collecting the insurance.

2.33 [059] Life of Riley: RILEY FACES MOTHER'S DAY
7May1954 orig. NBC airdate
Riley has a special present for Peg on Mother's Day.

2.34 [060] Life of Riley: RILEY, THE NEWSBOY
14May1954 orig. NBC airdate
Riley volunteers to take over junior's paper route.

2.35 [061] Life of Riley: RILEY AND THE FOREMAN'S GIFT
21May1954 orig. NBC airdate
Riley and his co-workers take up a collection to buy a farewell gift for their shop foreman.

2.36 [062] Life of Riley: RILEY TAKES A ROOMER
28May1954 orig. NBC airdate
Junior's teacher, Miss Jessup, decides to become a boarder in Riley's house.

2.37 [063] Life of Riley: RILEY'S ANNIVERSARY
[LP26669] (synopsis 212) (copyright date 20Nov53)
4Jun1954 orig. NBC airdate
  The Life of Riley - Riley's Anniversary, Part 1
The Life of Riley - Riley's Anniversary, Part 2
The Life of Riley - Riley's Anniversary conclusion
Synopsis 1:
Riley and Peg plan surprise parties for each other.
Synopsis 2:`
Riley takes a few of his neighbors' suggestions on how to be boss in his own home. The ideas are alright,
they just don't work. Standard for series. [Brooklyn NY Daily Eagle]

2.38 [064] Life of Riley: RILEY MEETS THE PRESS
11Jun1954 orig. NBC airdate
Riley arranges to have the newspapers cover his wife's club meeting.

2.39 [065] Life of Riley: RILEY IN BROOKLYN
[LP26680] (copyright date 24Dec53)
18Jun1954 orig. NBC airdate
Cast includes:
Lugene Sanders
Wesley Morgan
In Brooklyn, Riley is crushed when his old friends ignore him.
--Same episode?
18Jun1954 NBC
Synopsis 1:
Riley plays matchmaker for his unmarried sister. [Long Island City NY Star Journal]
Synopsis 2:
Chester A. Riley's brotherly concern for his unmarried sister turns both Riley and his friend Gillis into
marriage brokers. [Elyria Chronicle Telegram]

Summer repeats:
25Jun1954 - repeat of 1.10 RILEY INVADES THE FIGHT GAME (from 6Mar53)
02Jul1954 - repeat of 1.13 RILEY'S FAMILY REUNION (from 27Mar53)
09Jul1954 - repeat of 1.23 RILEY GETS ENGAGED (from 05Jun53)
16Jul1954 - repeat of 1.20 RILEY CULTIVATES BABS (from 15May53)
23Jul1954 - repeat of 1.21 RILEY'S UNCLE BAXTER (from 22May53)
30Jul1954 - repeat of 1.22 RILEY OUTWITS CUPID (from 29May53)
06Aug1954 - repeat of 1.25 RILEY MEETS A RIVAL (from 19Jun1953)
13Aug1954 - repeat of 2.01 RILEY'S STOMACH ACHE (from 18Sep53)
20Aug1954 - repeat of 2.02 RILEY, THE ANIMAL LOVER (from 25Sep53)
27Aug1954 - repeat of 2.03 RILEY FACES FATHERHOOD (from 2Oct53).
03Sep1954 - repeat of 2.05 RILEY'S SURPRISE PACKAGE (from 16Oct53)
10Sep1954 - repeat of 2.07 RILEY HEARS BELLS (from 30Oct53)

 ############## The Life of Riley #############
############### end of season 2 ##############

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