Saturday, March 26, 2011


Today marked the 100th anniversary of the birth of playwright Tennessee Williams, known for such works as "Cat On A Hot Tin Roof", "Sweet Bird Of Youth", "The Glass Menagerie", "The Rose Tattoo", and "A Streetcar Named Desire".

And while his works have been performed on television and spoofs of them have appeared on occasion on comedy shows, I was surprised to discover no one has ever portrayed him on TV. But there was a TV character whom I think comes close to being based on him - the playwright Harper Worthington Yeats, played by Strother Martin in the "Baby Fat" episode of 'The Dick Van Dyke Show'. Mr. Yeats had written his first comedy ("Baby Fat") and wanted TV star Alan Brady to play the lead in it. In Alan's opinion, the play was a bomb and he wanted Rob Petrie, the head writer of his TV show, to punch it up with jokes.
If you'd like to see the episode, go to; they have it there....


"An artist in the throes of inspiration must forever be alone."
Harper Worthington Yeats
'The Dick Van Dyke Show'

1 comment:

Brian Leonard said...

Maybe I will watch that episode...but I believe there *was* a tele-version of Tenn, a parody on SNL or SCTV or something similar. Certainly there have been plenty of parodies of his plays (The Simpsons' musical version of Streetcar being the most memorable).