TV’s coolest half hour thanks in large part to Henry Mancini’s soundtrack. The album won the 1959 Grammy for Best Album of the Year. Craig Stevens is the stylish P.I. Peter Gunn. Lola Albright is his singer girlfriend Edie Hart. She works at Mothers. Mother is Hope Emerson. Pete’s police friend is Lt.Jacoby played by Herschel Bernardi. This is one of the best shows of the era.
Typical episodes: “The Fuse” w/Ross Martin - Carlo Matzi comes home to a surprise birthday party organized by his wife Maria (Maxine Cooper). His family is there including his brother Sal (Ross Martin). Carlo says he’ll go out and get pizzas. He starts the car. It’s his last ride.
Carlo was running for reelection as president of his waterfront union. He’s had a clean rep and it looks like his hood challenger Jake Lynch had the bomb put in his car. At the hospital Gunn tells the family and Lt.Jacoby he’ll investigate.
Outside a hood forces Gunn into a car. He’s taken to a steambath to meet Lynch. Lynch hires him to find out who placed the bomb. He says he’s not dumb enough to do it since suspicion would automatically be placed on him.
Back at Mother’s Gunn gets a phone call from a guy named Benny. He tells him to meet him and he’ll give him some info. Sal is waiting for him outside the club. He warns him not to mix in. It looks like war is coming to the waterfront.
Gunn goes to the meeting place. Benny’s there….dead. Two hoods jump Gunn and Sal wades in and evens the odds. Sal braces one of the hoods and is told they were sent to deal with Gunn by Maria. Gunn calls her and sets her up for the fall. He knows there’s someone else behind her.
In 1962 Ross Martin played a great villian in “Experiment In Terror.” The movie also had a Henry Mancini soundtrack. He showed his lighter side as Artemus Gordon in “The Wild, Wild West” (1965-69).
Maxine Cooper was Velda, Mike Hammer’s secretary in the must see noir classic “Kiss Me Deadly” in 1955.
“Let’s Kill Timothy” – Based on a story by “Peter Gunn” director Blake Edwards. This episode plays it for laughs. George, Tiny and Caspar break into a safe and rob it of a hundred grand in jewels. Caspar tells them to stay inside and look for more. They look and he takes off with the loot.
Mother’s is closed for the night and she’s singing a rowdy song. Caspar comes in and tells Gunn he wants to hire him to bodyguard Timothy. He says he’ll go out and get him. Outside he sees George and Tiny. The two go into Mother’s and brace Gunn. He tells them he hasn’t seen Caspar.
They leave by the front and then Caspar comes in the back with Timothy. Timothy is a seal. Caspar tells Gunn to meet him later at the train station with Timothy. Gunn goes to Lt.Jacoby’s office with Timothy. Jacoby has an arrest warrant for Caspar.
Gunn visits eccentric artist Vladimir. He says he does sound paintings. Fifty dollars later he tells Gunn where to find Caspar. When Gunn walks outside he sees George and Tiny making off in their car with Timothy. Gunn calls Jacoby and they meet at the address. Inside the place is a mess and so is Caspar. He tells them why Timothy is so important.
As corny as this episode is the real fun part is Herschel Bernardi playing it absolutely straight.