Wednesday, February 13, 2008

"The Male Ego" episode of The People's Choice

The People's Choice was an NBC television situation comedy starring Jackie Cooper and a basset hound named Cleo. The show ran from 1955 through 1958.

I saw many episodes in rerun shown during the daytime hours in the late 1950s and early 1960s. One episode, "The Male Ego," which aired originally on February 20, 1958, left an impression on me.

Here is a brief summary of that episode from the CTVA US Comedy The People's Choice episode guide.

Sock, played by Jackie Cooper, "loses the sale of a house because the prospective buyer's wife dislikes a minor detail. Convinced that women are beginning to take over the world, Sock goes to sleep and has nightmare on the subject."

The episode guide does not describe the nightmare, but I remember it. Note that I have not seen this episode in over 45 years and I only saw it once, so some of my memories may not be right on the money, but here is what I recall:

Sock's nightmare takes place in a world where the women are taking over and are in the process of acclimating men to their rule. All the women wear futuristic pants suits and they are shown forcing reluctant men to enter a transformation booth, which "refines" their personalities and their attire.

When they exit the booth, the men act effemininely and wear futuristic mini-skirt outfits. As Sock enters the booth, he seeks help from his loyal canine companion, Cleo, but she refuses to help him because Cleo is female and more loyal to the distaff side of civilization rather than her owner.

That is all I remember, but it left an indelible impression on my impressionable mind back then, just another added twist in my gender identity that began when my mother put me in a dress for my christening at age one month.

If anyone has any other details concerning this episode of The People's Choice, I would love to hear them. Or better, if anyone has a video recording of that episode, I'd love to borrow it. (I searched high and low and no recordings exist for sale or viewing anywhere I looked.)

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