Let George Do It

Listen to “The Great Detectives Present Let George Do It” on Spreaker.
Let George Do It may be the Rodney Dangerfield of Old Time Radio Detectives. Rarely is the show mentioned in the same breath as star Bob Bailey’s other show Yours Truly Johnny Dollar, Dragnet, Sam Spade, or Philip Marlowe.

Yet, there are more episodes of Let George Do it in existence than there are of Sam Spade or Phillip Marlowe or even Sherlock Holmes. Why is this show so enduring and how did it stay on the air for eight seasons?

In 1946  the show began following George Valentine, a man out of the service who had an idea for a business, “Personal notice: Danger’s my stock in trade. If the job’s too tough for you to handle, you’ve got a job for me. George Valentine.”

The show was uncertain of its own identity, struggling between being a sitcom or being a serious detective story. Initial shows leaned towards the former, but it became the latter. In listening to Let George Do It, you get the feeling of seeing a shabby rookie become an all-star.

The show is carried by the peformance of George Valentine by Bob Bailey who played the lead role for the first seven years before leaving the series to focus on screenwriting in 1953.  Valentine doesn’t easily fit in with gruff hard boiled detectives like Marlowe and Spade, nor is he a self-assured intellectual like Sherlock Holmes or Nero Wolfe. Valentine is good natured and personable, but he carries himself like a poker player. Valentine plays it close to the vest, and then at the end of the episode when he comes up with the solution, you realize he’s been holding a full house.

The mysteries are well-crafted with surprising solutions that rarely fail to entertain.  Let George Do It is more than Bob Bailey warming up to play Johnny Dollar, it’s a truly entertaining and underrated show in its own right.

Original Run: October 18, 1946-September 27, 1954

Numbers of Episodes: 416 (episodes missing: 205)

Network: Mutual Broadcasting System

About the Characters:

George Valentine:  A serious but amiable detective with relatively good relations with the police. While he’ll use force if he has to, Valentine uses his wits far more than he does his first. Valentine avoids hasty allegations and  waits until the right moment to reveal the crooks.

Claire Brooks: Referred to as Claire in early episodes, later as “Brooksie,” Brooks is initally skeptical of her new boss. Over time, they grow into a respectful working relationship with her assisting him with his investigations as a “Girl Friday.”

About the Stars:

Bob Bailey (1913-1983): On television and in the movies, he was a bit player, with his biggest role in film being as a straight man in the Laurel and Hardy Film, Jitterbugs.

It was on radio that Bailey had his greatest success. In addition to Let George Do It, Bailey led the remarkable revival of Yours Truly, Johnny Dollar. While most radio dramas were bowing to television and cashing in their chips, Bailey touched off a revival of Johnny Dollar that would ensure that Old Time Radio went off the air with a bang rather than a whimper.  CBS moved its radio production to New York City and left Bob Bailey behind in 1960. In 1962, he played a bit part in the Bird Man of Alcatraz.

Frances Robinson (1916-1971): The first “Brooksie”, Robinson was yet another veteran character in this cast, with 79 roles to her credit.

See Also:

Bob Bailey IMDB Profile

Frances Robinson IMDB Profile

Let George Do It Episodes with Bob Bailey:

Olan Soule Episodes:

Christmas Episodes (played out of order):

Thanksgiving Episode (plays out of order):

* indicates played out of ot of order.

Log Source: Digital Deli and OTRSite

  8 comments for “Let George Do It”

  1. Jessica
    October 19, 2009 at 10:00 pm

    I have been a fan of LGDI ever since I heard it for the first time several years ago. I enjoy your Dragnet show and am looking foward to your new show and your take on LGDI. Thanks for adding this to your line-up!

  2. Cam Brager
    November 18, 2010 at 12:21 pm

    Hey Adam, love the show. You’ve opened a whole new wold to me. Thank you. I’ve been catching up on all the previous podcasts of the show and as I listen to the later intro’s to Let George Do It, I keep thinking his addvertisement sounded vaguely familier. Then I remembered a TV show from the 80’s that had a similar intro: “If you’ve got a problem, and no one else can halp, maybe you need to hire The ‘A’ Team”. Of course it has nothing to do with detective shows but maybe they got their idea from some of the old radio shows like this one.
    Keep up the good work.


  3. momylisa
    March 11, 2011 at 9:02 pm

    I love the show, “Let George Do It”! Never heard it before. I am a Bob Bailey fan, from “Yours Truly, Johnny Dollar”. The humor is awesome! By the way, I love the commercial in all Old Time Radio shows, that is part of the experience! And no, I am not taken back to my childhood either, I was born in 1969, so I’m a second generation, not first. I fell in love with OTR about 12 years ago and have been an avid collector ever since. I love all things vintage so the commercials are as dear to me as the shows! I don’t know why so many complain about them. I have heard many of the shows that you share, but I can listen to them over and over. I bought your app and have started from the beginning. Keep up the good work, Adam, and thank you for your dedication.

    Lisa in Indiana

  4. Casie
    May 19, 2011 at 10:27 am

    Adam, Thanks for bringing “Let George Do It” back to life. I have to say that Virginia Gregg is an incredibly talented voice actress and has done a great job jumping in as Brooksie. However, I can’t help but miss Frances Robinson and the chemistry she and Bob Bailey had going. That said, Ms. Gregg will take some getting used to, but I still love the show and the intense episodes they’ve aired as of late (The Rose Petal Staircase, Too Near the Sky, etc). Keep up the good work Adam!

  5. albie
    August 25, 2013 at 3:23 am

    Anyone know it the crossover episode from September 1947,Sam Spade visits George,is in existence.thanks

  6. Reuben Hart
    July 27, 2015 at 3:54 pm

    Listen to George from its inception to its demise. In L.A. the sponsor was your friendly Chevron Gas Stations.

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