“Love, American Style”

TV series like this don’t usu­al­ly sur­vive: an anthol­o­gy series based on a sin­gle top­ic (in chse, love in all its accept­ed forms of the day) with­out a cen­tral char­ac­ter or actor (except for the ever-present ornate brass bed) usu­al­ly don’t have the abil­i­ty to car­ry an audi­ence. “Love, Amer­i­can Style” sur­vived for five sea­sons and for many years after­ward in syndication.

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And as usu­al­ly hap­pens with long-run­ning come­dies, there will be at least one (in thie case, two) sto­ries involv­ing hypnosis.

‘Love and the Hypnotist’

At his bach­e­lor par­ty, RIch Lit­tle was hyp­no­tized and giv­en the sug­ges­tion to act like a child when­ev­er he hears a bell ring. On the day of the wed­ding, the hyp­no­tist is fran­tic in try­ing to locale him, because the hyp­no­tist did­n’t remove the sug­ges­tion. And, of course, a bell will ring peri­od­i­cal­ly through­out the wed­ding cer­e­mo­ny, thanks to a stray cat with a bell on its collar.

‘Love and the Hot Spell’

Prospec­tive groom Jack (Mike Far­rell) has a prob­lem, or, rather, his prospec­tive bride Karen (Patri­cia Stitch) does: she’s so ner­vous about the wed­ding that she’s almost ready to call it off. For­tu­nate­ly best man Herb (Steve Franken) is a hyp­no­tist and pro­pos­es hyp­no­tiz­ing Karen to help her get over her ner­vous­ness. And, just because he’s a pal. Herb also adds a post-hyp­not­ic sug­ges­tion that will turn Karen into the “sen­sous woman” when­ev­er she hears the word “umbrel­la”.

But he does­n’t expect that the weath­er will turn to rain and every­one is say­ing the word “umbrel­la”, so Karen is becom­ing pas­sion­ate with every man she sees, includ­ing the min­is­ter! The only way to break the hyp­not­ic spell is to say the words “Bot­toms Up!” And when its all over, Herb hyp­no­tizes Karen once more and tells her to for­get the sug­ges­tions and to for­get the events relat­ed to them. So there­fore, she for­gets even get­ting mar­ried, forc­ing Jack to call out for his friend once more.

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