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40-xx-xx Hank's $200 Wardrobe

Hank Gutstop has gotten a $10 a week job singing tenor for a local church quartet. He needs some clothes and some other items to look presentable, so he asks Vic if he can borrow $200.

Vic doesn't seem to mind lending him the money but knows Sade will never go for it. But before Sade can give her answer, Hank calls and says he lost the job.
Hank, at last, has a job, but there’s a catch…and, of course, it involves Vic’s wallet.

How much money was $200 in 1940? I never bothered to look this up before — though I knew it must have been a pretty large amount — but thanks to the internet and the careful documentation of inflation, we can calculate it to the penny. So hold on to your hats: 200 1940 dollars, in 2014, is $3,329.97. Which is a semester at a reputable public university. Two round-trip tickets to Europe plus car rental and hotel room. More than a month’s pay for a comfortable middle-class worker. This is what Hank Gutstop is asking to borrow from Vic. To pay for a wardrobe. For a job that pays $10 ($166 today) a week.

All I can say is Vic sure has one heck of a blind spot when it comes to Hank Gutstop. There was absolutely no way that he could have framed this proposal that would have made Sade consent to it. How dare he suggest that her reaction amounts to “hysteria” and imply that she’s just tired and cranky (as one might say of a four-year-old). But bless him for asking her permission in the first place.
SEE THE SCRIPT (transcribed by Lydia Crowe)
While the running gag (in every episode that Hank Gutstop gets a job he loses it at the end of the program) is funny, there's an even better gag below the surface. Vic wants to loan useless Hank $200 but neither he or Sade will give Rush a dime! This joke is woven in so slyly by writer Paul Rhymer, that it's barely noticeable.


+ Vic had been playing indoor indoor horseshoes at Ike Kneesuffer's house.

+ It's inferred her that Leland Richards lives on Kelsey Street.

+ The singing job Hank acquired was at the Ellesworth Avenue Church. That's the first time that street or church has been mentioned in the surviving episodes.

Hank can sing... {{{HEAR}}}

Download the complete commercial-free, sound-improved episode!

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