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The Life of Riley

The Life of Riley starring William Bendix as lovable, blundering, Chester A. Riley, was a radio situation comedy broadcast during and after wartime 40s. Because of its overwhelming radio popularity, Riley graduated as easily to a 1949 feature film, as it did to 1950s television. Also, in 1958, it hit the newsstands, when Dell Comics released "The Life of Riley" in comic book form.

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Although "The Life of Riley" had originally begun as a proposed Groucho Marx radio series "The Flotsam Family," the sponsor balked at what would have been essentially a straight head-of-household role for the comedian. Groucho went on to host Blue Ribbon Town from 1943 to 1944 and then "You Bet Your Life" from 1947 to 1961. Producer Irving Brecher saw Bendix as taxicab company owner Tim McGuerin in Hal Roach's The McGuerins from Brooklyn (1942). "The Flotsam Family" was re-worked, with Bendix cast as blundering Chester A. Riley, a wing riveter at the fictional Cunningham Aircraft plant in California.


His frequent exclamation of indignation became one of the most famous catch phrases of the 1940s: "What a revoltin' development this is!" The radio series greatly benefited from the immense popularity of a supporting character, Digby "Digger" O'Dell (John Brown), "the friendly undertaker."

Episodes

The Life of Riley 1946-05-04 #111 Rileys Take In The Gillises After A Fire
Show Details30min 6s
The Life of Riley 1946-04-27 #110 Gambling Doesn't Pay
Show Details29min 28s
The Life of Riley 1946-04-20 #109 Giant Easter Bunny
Show Details27min 36s
The Life of Riley 1946-04-13 #108 The Bread Shortage (Riley Thinks Jr. is a Shoplifter)
Show Details28min 40s
The Life of Riley 1946-04-06 #107 Riley Finds A Silver Fox Fur Coat
Show Details27min 42s
The Life of Riley 1946-03-23 #105 Junior Races Egbert - Poison Ivy
Show Details29min 17s
The Life of Riley Louella's Farewell Party
Show Details14min 22s
The Life of Riley 1947 Are We Ever Going to Get a Car
Show Details29min 21s
The Life of Riley 1950-05-08 (LUX Theatre Play #702)
Show Details49min 21s
The Life of Riley 1951-04-13 #313 Riley Is In A Rut
Show Details29min 14s
The Life of Riley 1951-03-30 #311 Riley The Rent Collector
Show Details28min 46s
The Life of Riley 1950-10-13 #288 Traffic Court
Show Details28min 42s
The Life of Riley 1950-03-10 #270 (AFRTS Re-Broadcast) Leaking Roof (Tape Waver)
Show Details27min 42s
The Life of Riley 1949-10-28 #251 Riley Buys a Television
Show Details28min 39s
The Life of Riley 1949-10-14 #249 The Geiger Counter (Tape Waver)
Show Details28min 53s
The Life of Riley 1949-05-20 #246 Junior Drops Out of School (aka Jrs Deliv. Bus)
Show Details28min 44s
The Life of Riley 1949-04-22 #242 Riley Breaks Pegs Chinese Bowl
Show Details28min 51s
The Life of Riley 1949-04-15 #241 Riley Talks in His Sleep About Gertrude
Show Details29min
The Life of Riley 1949-04-01 #239 Won't Let Peg Help Jr. With Homework
Show Details28min 45s
The Life of Riley 1949-03-04 #235 Riley's Movie Premier (Riley Family are guests at Premier)
Show Details28min 41s
The Life of Riley 1948-12-24 #225 Christmas Bonuses from Mr. Stevenson (aka 1946-12-24 Christmas Eve)
Show Details27min 29s
The Life of Riley 1948-10-22 #215 Problem Child
Show Details28min 47s
The Life of Riley 1948-10-08 #214 How to Pick a Mate
Show Details29min 11s
The Life of Riley 1948-04-10 #196 Riley Meets a Gangster (Burt Lancaster) (or Peg Studies French)
Show Details25min 43s
The Life of Riley 1948-04-03 #195 Juvenile Delinquency
Show Details28min 42s
The Life of Riley 1948-03-06 #191 Riley Punches his Foreman
Show Details28min 59s
The Life of Riley 1948-01-24 #185 Babs Quits School
Show Details29min 43s
The Life of Riley 1948-01-24 #184 Lay-Offs (aka 1945-09-08 #077 Layoffs)
Show Details28min 57s
The Life of Riley 1948-01-10 #183 Equal Rights For Women
Show Details29min 8s
The Life of Riley 1947-11-29 #177 Foreman's Job (aka Thanksgiving at Gillise's)
Show Details29min 21s
The Life of Riley 1947-11-22 #176 Bean Counter (aka Win a Buick Contest)
Show Details29min 21s
The Life of Riley 1947-11-01 #173 Football Pool Card (Tape Waver)
Show Details27min 33s
The Life of Riley 1947-10-11 #170 Riley, The Cop
Show Details29min 8s
The Life of Riley 1947-10-04 #169 Riley Gets A Promotion - Old Age Sets In
Show Details29min 12s
The Life of Riley 1947-09-27 #168 Venus w Radio in Stomach is Art Object (Statue) for the Piano
Show Details31min 9s
The Life of Riley 1947-09-20 #167 Jr Wants To Run Away From Home
Show Details29min 5s
The Life of Riley 1947-09-13 #166 Babs Has Two Dates
Show Details29min 46s
The Life of Riley 1947-09-06 #165 Riley Enrolls At PIP Instead Of UCLA
Show Details30min 39s
The Life of Riley 1947-07-05 #164 Riley Thinks Peg Is Leaving Him
Show Details30min 55s
The Life of Riley 1947-06-28 #163 Riley & Gillis Spend Aa Week at the Lake
Show Details30min 55s
The Life of Riley 1947-06-21 #162 Babs Almost Gets A Job In San Francisco
Show Details29min 50s
The Life of Riley 1947-05-31 #159 The Accident Insurance Policy
Show Details29min
The Life of Riley 1947-05-10 #156 Model Son, The Mother's Day Speech
Show Details29min 48s
The Life of Riley 1947-05-03 #155 Launching Babs In Society
Show Details29min 5s
The Life of Riley 1947-04-26 #154 Simon the Waiter, Blackmails Riley
Show Details28min 55s
The Life of Riley 1947-04-19 #153 Riley the Boxer (Jr. the Coward)
Show Details28min 31s
The Life of Riley 1947-04-12 #152 Real Life Soap Opera `Marriage Can Be Beautiful'
Show Details28min 59s
The Life of Riley 1947-04-05 #151 Riley the Child Beater
Show Details28min 53s
The Life of Riley 1947-03-29 #150 Riley The Gentleman (New Chair)
Show Details28min 44s
The Life of Riley 1947-03-22 #149 Riley, The Milkman
Show Details28min 55s
The Life of Riley 1947-03-15 #148 (AFRS) Simon Is Advice to the LoveThe Life of Rileyn Column Editor
Show Details29min 46s
The Life of Riley 1947-02-08 #143 Riley's Birthday Forgotten
Show Details28min 50s
The Life of Riley 1947-02-01 #142 Riley Switched At Birth
Show Details28min 55s
The Life of Riley 1947-01-25 #141 Riley's Honeymoon
Show Details28min 37s
The Life of Riley 1947-01-18 #140 Riley & Simon, Business Partners
Show Details29min 37s
The Life of Riley 1947-01-11 #139 Efficiency Expert
Show Details29min 52s
The Life of Riley 1946-12-28 #137 New Year's Eve - 10 Dates For Babs
Show Details25min 50s
The Life of Riley 1946-11-30 #133 Riley Gets Free Medical Advice From Simon's Uncle, A Horse Doctor
Show Details25min 40s
The Life of Riley 1946-11-02 #129 Peg & Riley Both Run For Park Supervisor
Show Details22min 41s
The Life of Riley 1946-11-23 #132 (AFRS) Riley, Football Hero for the Night Club Team
Show Details29min 1s
The Life of Riley 1946-11-16 #131 Music Brings Riley And Peg Together (starts at 46 Sec)
Show Details26min 57s
The Life of Riley 1946-11-09 #130 Egbert & Jr go to Boy Scout Camp
Show Details27min 19s
The Life of Riley 1946-10-26 #128 Job In South America
Show Details22min 59s
The Life of Riley 1946-10-19 #127 Riley Sues Bus Company
Show Details23min 9s
The Life of Riley 1946-10-12 #126 The School Formal Dance (Helene's Swap Shop Dress For Babs)
Show Details24min 47s
The Life of Riley 1946-10-05 #125 Good Neighbor Week
Show Details25min 44s
The Life of Riley 1946-09-28 #124 Riley Bribes Jr. to win Football Game
Show Details29min 38s
The Life of Riley 1946-09-14 #122 Riley Doesn't Want Peg to Work for Sidney Monahan
Show Details29min 54s
The Life of Riley 1946-09-07 #121 Riley Gets Promoted (aka 1946-09-17)
Show Details30min 4s
The Life of Riley 1946-06-29 #119 Paper Route Subscription Contest To Go To Camp
Show Details29min 32s
The Life of Riley 1946-06-22 #118 Morris Buys The Riley House
Show Details27min 52s
The Life of Riley 1946-06-08 #116 The Bread Shortage & the Black Market
Show Details29min 23s
The Life of Riley 1946-06-01 #115 The Riley Family of Actors
Show Details29min 38s
The Life of Riley 1946-05-25 #114 Junior Sells Peanuts at the Circus
Show Details29min 4s
The Life of Riley 1946-05-11 #112 Junior Forgets Mother's Day
Show Details27min 12s
The Life of Riley 1946-03-16 #104 Riley Buys An Insurance Policy
Show Details29min 34s
The Life of Riley 1946-03-09 #103 Babs Music Scholarship
Show Details29min 26s
The Life of Riley 1946-02-02 #098 Junior's School Play (aka 1946-02-26)
Show Details30min 31s
The Life of Riley 1946-01-26 #097 Riley's Tonsillectomy
Show Details24min 58s
The Life of Riley 1945-12-15 #091 Grandma's Boyfriend
Show Details29min 52s
The Life of Riley 1945-12-08 #090 Job Promotion Exam
Show Details27min 37s
The Life of Riley 1945-12-01 #089 Phonograph Record Saves Riley
Show Details28min 42s
The Life of Riley 1945-11-24 #088 Will Babs & Simon Marry
Show Details29min 47s
The Life of Riley 1945-11-03 #085 Roswell Visits
Show Details29min 1s
The Life of Riley 1945-10-27 #084 The Football Game
Show Details29min 38s
The Life of Riley 1945-10-20 #083 Sidney Monahan is a House Guest
Show Details29min 47s
The Life of Riley 1945-10-06 #081 Riley Refuses to Let Babs See Simon (Thinks he's a Suicide)
Show Details29min 25s
The Life of Riley 1945-09-29 #080 Change of Time
Show Details29min 18s
The Life of Riley 1945-09-22 #079 Jr is Head of Household
Show Details23min 3s
The Life of Riley 1945-09-15 #078 Neighbor Feud Over Jr's Goat
Show Details29min 49s
The Life of Riley 1945-05-13 #069 Peg's Mother Visits
Show Details30min 21s
The Life of Riley 1945-03-25 #063 Five Dollars is Missing
Show Details29min 50s
The Life of Riley 1945-03-18 #062 Riley is a Pal to Junior
Show Details30min 17s
The Life of Riley 1945-03-11 #061 Junior Runs Away
Show Details29min 46s
The Life of Riley 1945-03-04 #060 Expectant Fathers
Show Details30min 20s
The Life of Riley 1945-02-25 #059 Riley Helps Luigi Pass English Exam
Show Details28min 39s
The Life of Riley 1945-02-11 #057 Riley Trains Junior's Dog
Show Details29min 35s
The Life of Riley 1945-02-04 #056 The BPLA Initiates New Member
Show Details27min 49s
The Life of Riley 1945-01-28 #055 $5.00 Is Missing
Show Details29min 20s
The Life of Riley 1945-01-21 #054 Riley Takes Phone Booth Nickels
Show Details29min 43s
The Life of Riley 1945-01-14 #053 The Wedding Anniversary
Show Details24min 9s
The Life of Riley 1945-01-07 #052 Silver Gloves Boxing
Show Details30min 7s
The Life of Riley 1944-12-31 #051 New Yr's Eve Party
Show Details31min
The Life of Riley 1944-12-24 #050 Roswell's a Guest for Christmas
Show Details30min 7s
The Life of Riley 1944-12-17 #049 Special Christmas Present
Show Details29min 33s
The Life of Riley 1944-12-10 #048 Riley's Mash Note at Night School
Show Details29min 24s
The Life of Riley 1944-12-03 #047 Most Popular Boy
Show Details29min 19s
The Life of Riley 1944-11-26 #046 Bridesmaid Babs
Show Details28min 40s
The Life of Riley 1944-11-19 #045 Turkey Hunt
Show Details22min 36s
The Life of Riley 1944-11-12 #044 Big Football Bet
Show Details29min 45s
The Life of Riley 1944-11-05 #043 Piano Lessons for Junior
Show Details29min 52s
The Life of Riley 1944-10-29 #042 Halloween Haunted House
Show Details29min 58s
The Life of Riley 1944-10-22 #041 The Boss's Son-In-Law
Show Details28min 35s
The Life of Riley 1944-10-08 #039 Muley's Surprise Party for Riley
Show Details28min 20s
The Life of Riley 1944-09-24 #037 Making Each Other Jealous
Show Details29min 41s
The Life of Riley 1944-09-03 #034 The Houseboat Vacation Pt 2
Show Details25min 40s
The Life of Riley 1944-08-27 #033 The Houseboat Vacation Pt 1
Show Details28min 58s
The Life of Riley 1944-06-25 #024 Baxter & Waldo's Aunt
Show Details28min 17s
The Life of Riley 1944-06-04 #021 Fish Story
Show Details13min 46s
The Life of Riley 1944-05-14 #018 Riley Fixes Dinner for Mother's Day
Show Details22min 20s
The Life of Riley 1944-05-07 #017 The Dog Catcher
Show Details21min 10s
The Life of Riley 1944-04-30 #016 Baxter Goes To NY
Show Details29min 44s
The Life of Riley 1944-04-23 #015 Proxy Wedding Pt 2
Show Details27min 32s
The Life of Riley 1944-04-09 #013 Riley Is Best Dressed Man
Show Details29min 38s
The Life of Riley 1944-04-02 #012 Riley's Bday (Thinks Baxter Giving Party)
Show Details31min
The Life of Riley 1944-03-26 #011 The Barber Chair
Show Details31min
The Life of Riley 1944-02-20 #006 Van Planten Thtr Pt 1
Show Details31min
The Life of Riley 1944-02-13 #005 Telephone Story
Show Details31min
The Life of Riley 1944-02-06 #004 Riley Rents a Hse-Moves frm Hotel
Show Details30min 28s
The Life of Riley 1944-01-30 #003 The Butler Pt 2
Show Details21min 45s
The Life of Riley 1944-01-16 #001 Riley Plans To Build A House
Show Details27min 39s
The Life of Riley 1943-07-25 (Pilot) Riley Wants To Build A House
Show Details28min 3s