Figure 1.--Perhaps the most famous was Eddie on the "Munsters". He fid not wear a real Funtleroy suit, but it was similar to one. And of course his clothes like the other Munsters was part of the gag as all the rest of the people in Mockingbird Heights dressed normally.
We note boys wearing Fauntleroy suits on a number of different television shows and media. Here we see them depicted in historical dramas in realistic situations. There were both series and single shows. We also note them in commedy shows as a kind of running gag. Often the Fauntelroy commedy gag depictions were done with adults. The accuracies of the depictions varied. The children in the "Little Rascals" actually dressed realistically. And there were historical recreations such as in "Little House on the Prarie". Some times they were not real Faunlkeroy suits, but similar in some ways to Fauntleroy suits. Perhaps the most famous was Eddie on the "Munsters". He fid not wear a real Funtleroy suit, but it was similar to one. And of course his clothes like the other Munsters was part of the gag as all the rest of the people in Mockingbird Heights dressed normally.
The Our Gang series had some entries, too, that treated fancy dressing.. In one silent episode, Mickey Daniels portrays a rich boy in a Fauntleroy suit.
What's worse, he has a full head of curly hair, and his mother won't let him get them cut. Dad is sympathetic, but mom has the last word. The Gang has set up their own barber shop (resulting in some boys being almost shaved bald). Mickey comes upon the
gang's shop and asks for a "boy's" haircut. The results may be ragged, but Mickey got what he wanted. father and Mother find him at the shop; Father is amused by the results, but secretly pleased by his son's shorn appearance. Mom is shocked at first , but by film's end seems reconciled. In the talkies, Butch was Alfalfa's nemesis and rival for Darla's affection. In either "Glove Taps" or "came the Brawn", not sure which, Darla has informed Butch
she prefers gentlemen to ruffians. To impress Darla, Butch gets himself dressed up in a Fauntleroy suit! Darla is ever fickle, and now prefers he-men. Alfalfa
and Butch meet in a boxing match, the winner to have Darla's undivided attention. Alfalfa wins, but it's all for nothing; Darla's changed her mind again and
walks off arm in arm with bookish, prim Waldo!
This popular, long running show started out being about girls as in the book by the same name written by Laura Engles Wilder. Perhaps to broaden the audience appeal, boys
were eventually added to the cast. One episode deals with Fauntleroy suits. An obnoxious city boy comes to live with the Olsons, the family who run the general store. The city boy, npt fully understanding where he is, asks where the bathroom is. The Olson's son Willie laughs about an outhouse inside the home. Both Mrs. Olson and the cousin look at Willie as a truly naive about the real world. The city boy proves difficult to deal with and is soon pawned off on the Wilders. Of course he wears a Fauntleroy suit. A HBC reader provides more details, "On the Little House on the Prairie show you discuss, a wealthy cousin of Mr. Olson who was incorrigible and spoiled was sent to be with the Olsens in the country. The boy revelled in his clothes because that set him apart from the poor country bumkins with which he is surrounded. Mrs. Olson, the obnoxious woman running the general store, sees that the height of boys fashion for wealthy children was such Fauntleroy suits. She proceeds to order one for her son and outfits him in it as soon as it arrives. Of course, Willie is mortified. He decides the best way to deal with the problem is to pretend that he likes it and goes outdoors in it. He tears at other boys' clothes until they start to do that to him. The other boys proceed to tear his Fauntleroy suit to shreds. His clothes are ruined and he is able to dress like all of his peers again."
Perhaps no character is more associated with a velvet Fauntleoy suit than Eddie Munster who has appeared countless times in sindication all over the world. The comic premise of the show was the Munsters at 1313 Mockingbird Lane considered themselves as normal and American as apple pie. The neighbors and viewers, however, saw them as a bid odd. Eddie Wolfgang Munster's costume was a good example of this. American television rarely put boys in short pants, let alone a velvet suit. But as the show was done for comic relief, it apparent was alright. The actor, Butch Patrick, was a little shy about wearing his costume, but he never got teased about it as part of the plot lines. He fid not wear a real Funtleroy suit, but it was similar to one. And of course his clothes like the other Munsters was part of the gag as all the rest of the people in Mockingbird Heights dressed normally. He wears his short pants suit suit with a Peter Pan collar and for some reason cable knit kneesocks. the costumes of course are all part of the gag. Unlike many boys costumed in Fauntleroy suits, Eddie is not cast as a spoiled kid, but in all other aspects is a regular kid.
This was a rather unusual show to find a Fautleroy suit depicted. Mr. Haney who is always trying to sell things to Mr Douglas shows up with a truck full of clothes. As a further gag he has two child models wearing fashionably outdated clothes. The boy wears a black Fauntleroy suit with white stockings and strap shoes.
The Fauntleroy suit was a running gag on quite a few variety shows. I remember seeing them on the Milton Bearle show and the Sid Ceaser show. They were also used by Red Skeleton and several other shows. In most cases it was the adult comics that wore them
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