|Dennis Olivieri and Betty Hutton|
When I first came across this sitcom that I never heard of on the Internet Archives -- a site that lists thousands of public domain TV shows, films, radio broadcasts and more for free watching or downloading -- my attention was caught by the term "CRAPTASTIC" -- the term with which the person who uploaded the show onto the site labeled the series, meaning it was bad, bad, bad. How bad is The Betty Hutton Show? I just had to find out, wouldn't you know? Judging by the three episodes available for viewing, it was pretty bad. In other words: Craptastic! Hutton plays Goldie Appleby, a manicurist who becomes guardian of three park avenue children. Their lawyer is played by Tom Conway [George Sanders' less interesting brother], who had a long, long list of mostly B movie credits. The teenage girl is played by child star Gigi Perreau [Journey to the Center of Time], and the boys by Peter Miles and Dennis Olivieri, who is a very talented boy and easily out-acts almost everyone on the show, including Hutton, who is generally terrible. Norma Varden [Witness for the Prosecution] plays Goldie's aunt, and is also vastly superior to Hutton. [Peter Miles was the brother of Perreau and appeared with her in Roseanna McCoy, in which he was excellent.]
In one episode a bosomy client of Conway's sets her cap for the lawyer, so Goldie concocts a dumb story about his having a wife and children. In another Goldie encourages Perreau to take up painting, and a misunderstanding develops when she overhears the girl and a boy friend acting out parts in a play. The third, and most watchable episode, has Goldie dealing with two con artists who try to con her out of money allegedly for an orphanage [they are very well played by Robert Emhardt and Ellen Corby]. This last episode at least has a couple of minor chuckles.
Unfortunately, the others are almost unwatchable. Hutton -- and I admit she was never one of my favorites -- is at her most over-bearing worst, shamelessly mugging, obvious and vulgar, and even seems drunk at times. Unlike Lucille Ball, Joan Davis and even Eve Arden, she has no real skill as a comedienne, but simply lumbers about trying desperately to get laughs.
Betty Hutton, producer, should have fired Betty Hutton, star. The show lasted only one season.
Verdict: Definitely "craptastic!" *.