Encyclopedia of Fantasy (1997)

US tv series (1953-1956). CBS, ABC, NBC. Pr John W Loveton, Bernard L Schubert. Dir Richard L Bare, Leslie Goodwins, James V Kern, Lew Landers, Phillip Rapp. Writers Stephen Sondheim and many others. Based on characters created by Thorne Smith. Comics adaptation Topper and Neil * (1 issue 1957) from Dell Comics. Starring Leo G Carroll (Cosmo Topper), Kathleen Freeman (Katy 1954-1955), Thurston Hall (Mr Schuyler), Anne Jeffreys (Marion Kerby), Lee Patrick (Henrietta Topper), Edna Skinner (Maggie 1953-1954), Robert Sterling (George Kerby). 78 30min episodes. B/w.

A follow-up to the Topper Movies, this features the further misadventures of Cosmo Topper, who has to contend with three unwelcome houseguests – the Ghosts of Marian and George Kerby and their dog, a large St Bernard. The Kerbys, an irreverent and fun-loving couple, were killed in a skiing accident and, while still stuck on Earth, make it their posthumous mission to bring some fun into Topper's dull existence (> Posthumous Fantasy). Only Topper can see or hear them, and he eventually gives up trying to convince others. To make matters worse, their dog is an alcoholic and prone to drunken romps through the house.

The series enjoyed two successful years on CBS, then went on to re-runs on both ABC and NBC. The ghosts were played by real-life couple Anne Jeffreys and Robert Sterling, with Leo G Carroll, best-known as Alexander Waverly in The Man from U.N.C.L.E. (> SFE link below), as Topper. [BC]


This entry is taken from the Encyclopedia of Fantasy (1997) edited by John Clute and John Grant. It is provided as a reference and resource for users of the SF Encyclopedia, but apart from possible small corrections has not been updated.