You have no idea who they are, I'll bet.

Meet Peg Lynch and Alan Bunce. “Ethel and Albert, “as they were known in a previous show called. It began on a small Minnesota radio station, went national, and ran from 1944 to 1950. Hardly any episodes survive.

The series was revived in 1957 and ran three more years. It ran under the name “The Couple Next Door,” since they didn’t have the rights to the old name. I’m sure there were a few tweaks; the daughter was kept young, and Aunt Eva became Aunt Effie - played to perfection by the Wicked Witch herself, Margaret Hamilton. Nearly all the “Couple” shows survive, and they’re quite remarkable. Not just for the chemistry between Bunch and Lynch. Not just for Lynch’s performance. No, it’s the writing.

Peg Lynch wrote the entire show. Five a week. Let’s count up the number of women writing network sitcoms back then. Done? Okay.


Radio historian Gerald Nachman (in Raised on Radio) called the show "insightful and realistic... a real leap forward in domestic comedy--a lighthearted, clever, well-observed, daily 15-minute show about the amiable travails of a recognizable suburban couple" which combined "the domestic comedy of a vaudeville-based era with a keen modern sensibility. Lynch made her comic points without stooping to female stereotypes, insults, running gags, funny voices or goofy plots."

Long story arcs comprised of stand-alone episodes; simple concepts elaborated to amusing complexity and wrapped up in 13 minutes; low-key but always lively. It might take a few to get the meter, but after a dozen you may realize what a gem this show was.

The rest of this site is devoted to some odds and ends left over from their TV and industrial film versions, and lots of music cues from the CBS music library.