Like so many 50s shows, the regular sponsors are a strange combination – Bobbi Home Permanents and Pamper Shampoo (hawked by young Vera Miles) alternating with Pall Mall Cigarettes, with young couples singing and dancing about “the FUN of smoking.”
I had watched a STANLEY episode several years ago at the Paley Museum (all 19 episodes were kinescoped though the show was never rerun) and was quite taken with the live ambiance and the make-mistakes-but-get-on-with it style of the program. Props don’t work, camera placement is occasionally off-kilter, Buddy Hackett sweats up a storm and ad-libs to the surprise of his co-stars, especially Carol Burnett, who keeps up with him masterfully. The credit roll at the end gets stuck once and is then over-cranked to compensate. The background singers and announcer Don Pardo are occasionally off-mike. Producer Max Liebman loved live TV and event programming and faded quickly away when the medium went to film and tape.
Events moved slower then – though STANLEY was canceled in December 1956, the show stayed on until March 1957, when it was replaced by a Western (what else?), TALES OF WELLS FARGO.
The first episode is available for viewing at archive.org – the DVD kinescope print is of better quality and even includes the audience warm-up by Hackett and Pardo that preceded the show, with a number of off-color Buddy jokes.