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46-10-10 Mr. Z - Handyman

Mr. Z, a newcomer to the neighborhood, is now living in Mis' Kessler's basement.  (He may in some ways remind you of Uncle Fletcher.)

While he's a nice, kind, polite considerate older gentleman, (he fixed the paw of little Charlie Husher's dog) Vic proposes the idea that he might be an escapee from a Holtmanville - a nearby mental institution.
An interesting Vic and Sade episode that may or may not be "based" on the January 1945 Suspense play called, "To Find Help" -- but when I first heard it, I immediately associated it with the play.

Mr. Z, like Frank Sinatra in the Suspense play, is a handyman. (See Christine Miller's great synopsis of the play.)

Though it's never said Mr. Z is an escapee from an institution, Vic (and Mis' Kessler - on her own volition) seems to think he could be, but are roundly poo-pooed for this by Sade.

This very well could be the last Vic and Sade episode in the series but I have no confirmation on that.


+ Mr. Z had offered to clean up the Kessler's lawn for 75 cents. You'd be lucky in 2012 if you can get that done for $50.00.

+ Mis' Kessler has a daughter named Geraldine, who lived in the basement priot to Mr. Zee.

+ Without being prompted, Mis' Kessler called Holtmanville to see if he was an escapee from the mental institution.

+ Orville Wheenie now seems to know what a pompadour is supposed to do/be.  Whoopee.

+ Cliff Soubier played the part of Mr. Zee.
This episode is as close to real suspense as I have ever heard in the Vic and Sade series. But, just as Jane Austen's /Northanger Abbey/ serves to remind readers that gothic adventure is reserved mainly for thrillers, and that suspicious conduct generally has an innocent explanation, the escaped madman is merely a pleasant eccentric.

But this type of episode also suggests that the network didn't "get" the humor of Vic and Sade. It had been a glorification of the ordinary: a show where nothing happened, but did so in amusing ways. Introducing even the hint of a genuine threat seems to dim the perpetual sunlight of Virginia Avenue. Until now, the characters may have felt intimidated, but never threatened. This episode was part of the show's last season. It's just as well: I doubt the program could have lasted much longer now that its haven of security had been breached.
  - Sarah Cole
Download the complete commercial-free, sound-improved episode!

1 comment:

  1. Strange and perplexing episode. Many bizarre things about Mr. Zee, but as a supposed "lifelong" resident of Illinois, he pronounces the "s" at the end of the word, twice. No real Illinoisan would ever do that.