Small House of Everything

Small House of Everything

Tuesday, March 3, 2015


Rocky King, Detective (later called Rocky King, Inside Detective), one of the Dumont Networks most popular programs, ran from January 15, 1950 to December 26, 1954.  Rocky King was a member of a large city (read New York) police force. Very few of the episodes of the live crime show survive.  This one, "One Minute to Murder," in that star Roscoe Karns never appeared in the episode.  Detecting duties were performed by Rocky King's assistant Detective Sergeant Lane, played by Earl Hammond.  Another oddity:  there seems to be no record of when this particular episode was aired.

Roscoe Karns was a street-wise character actor and second banana throughout most of his long career, which stemmed from 1906 to 1964.  Arguably, his best-known role was as Oscar Shapeley, the pesky bus rider who tried to pick up Claudette Colbert in It Happened One Night.  He also appeared in another Oscar-winning film,  as Lt. Cameron in Wings.  Taking the role of Rocky King evidently pulled him from a career slump.  He later appeared in 73 episodes of Jackie Cooper's series Hennesey as Admiral Walter Shafer.

Co-star Earl Hammond later moved from character to voice actor on a number of cartoon series such as Starblazers, The Adventures of the Galaxy Rangers, and Thundercats.  His career in film and television covered almost fifty years.

Although she was never seen on camera, Grace Carney appeared in every episode as Rocky King's wife, Mabel.  Carney appeared sporadically three times on television following this show, once in 1956, once in 1958, and once in 1964.  She appeared in only one film, The Owl and the Pussycat, in 1980.  She died in Connecticut in 1999 at age 97.

This episode involves the murder of the owner of a scandal sheet.  At the end of the show, Hammond, as Lane, explains to the audience that Rocky King did not appear that week because of a case of food poisoning.  This varied from the show's normal ending in which Rocky King telephones his wife to tell her the case was closed.

Also appearing in this episode were Ned Wertimer, Mary Jackson, Barbara Joyce, Wylie Hancock, and Steven Gethers.

"One Minute to Murder" was directed by Wesley Kenny and Written by Carl Abrams, with additional dialog from Karns.  Ken Roberts was the announcer and Jack Ward was the organist.  Rocky King, Detective was shot in Dumont's New York offices.


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