by Cleveland Amory
TV Guide, January 7, 1967
It's a funny business--this business of being funny. Of all the new comedies on your TV screen this year, only two really are funny---Grade-A funny, that is. And neither of these, we hasten to point out, is pasteurized--in other words, they're not concerned with hicks, hillbillies or their spin-offspring. Both comedies are, in fact, not only urban but even urbane--which, if nothing else, is a high relief from the suburbane.

These two shows are Occasional Wife, which we considered last week, and this one. Both were executively produced by one and the same man--Mr. Harry Ackerman, of I Love Lucy fame. Love on a Rooftop, in contrast to OW, doesn't even have much of a special idea--it's just the story of two newlyweds starting life on a rooftop. And each episode seems to start out with about the smallest thing imaginable. We recall, for example, one plot that revolved entirely around the delivery, to the rooftop, of a chocolate hen. Early one morning a neighbor, Carol Parker (Barbara Bostock), knowing that David Willis, the young husband (Peter Deuel), likes chocolate, brings him the hen. David, in the absence of his wife Julie (Judy Carne), puts it in the icebox. During the afternoon, however, Julie gives the hen to a neighboring 6-year-old. And hence that night, when David comes home after a hard day at the office and goes to the icebox, he feels--well, henpecked. "Darling, that chocolate hen was my private property. And you had no right . . ." All of which quickly escalates from brush spat to total war. In the end Julie surrenders in the time-honored wifely way--conditionally. "Darling," she says, "I should try a little harder to understand your point of view--no matter how silly it is."

The remarkable thing about this episode was that, starting with practically nothing, it ended up with practically everything. It was a marvelous satire, complete with a fine dream sequence of the maligned husband looking back on his courtship. Along with its fine inventiveness, this show has splendid acting by its principals, Mr. Deuel and Miss Carne; as well as by its featured players, like Herb Voland, who plays Miss Carne's father; and, above all, Rich Little as neighbor Stan Parker.

Another episode revolved around Stan's love for a pigeon. Before it was over, there was everything from the loss of the pigeon to a note from Stan to David ("something that will not cause either side to lose face") to dress-tearing and even apartment-wrecking. This episode was one more good example of the show's ability to start out with something pretty, thin and then manage its thickening without ever once--wonder of wonders--getting sickening.

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