Slattery's People

Slattery's People is a 1964–65 American television series about local politics starring Richard Crenna as title character James Slattery, a state legislator, co-starring Ed Asner and Tol Avery, and featuring Carroll O'Connor and Warren Oates in a couple of episodes each. James E. Moser was executive producer. The program, telecast on CBS, was nominated for a Golden Globe Award.

Slattery's People
Ed Wynn Richard Crenna Slatterys People 1964.JPG
Crenna with guest star Ed Wynn, 1964.
Created byJames E. Moser
StarringRichard Crenna
Ed Asner
Tol Avery
Theme music composerNathan Scott
Country of originUnited States
Original languageEnglish
No. of seasons1.5
No. of episodes36
Executive producerJames E. Moser
ProducerMatthew Rapf
Production companiesBing Crosby Productions,
in association with Pendick Enterprises and the CBS Television Network (filmed at the studios of Desilu)
Paramount Television
CBS Paramount Television
CBS Television Distribution (current)
Original networkCBS
Picture formatBlack-and-white
Audio formatMonaural
Original releaseSeptember 21, 1964 –
November 26, 1965

Slattery's People is mainly notable for having been one of the few American television series spotlighting the travails of local politicians, a topic that other programs of the period mainly avoided. Episodes opened with the following admonition: "Democracy is a very bad form of government. But I ask you never to forget: All the others are so much worse."[1]

Many television critics highly praised the series. Many politicians also approved of the program. U.S. Representative James C. Corman said in a Congressional Record statement on September 30, 1964, “I am pleased that they have taken the high road to show a legislator’s life, and have not pandered to sensationalism or unreality to stimulate an audience following.” This series was a major career change for Crenna. Following more than a decade as a lead actor in two popular network comedies, Our Miss Brooks and The Real McCoys, his role as Jim Slattery opened doors for later guest appearances in several dramatic programs and feature films.

Moser's script for the pilot ("Question: What is truth?") was printed as an appendix in Teleplay; an introduction to television writing by Coles Trapnell.

Television composer Nathan Scott wrote the theme music for Slattery's People.[2]

Guest starsEdit

  • Philip Abbott in "Question: What is Honor? What is Death?"
  • Joan Blackman as Pat Allison in "Question: Remember the Dark Sins of Youth?"
  • Russ Conway in "Question: Bill Bailey, Why Did You Come Home?"
  • Don Keefer as George Farnum in "Question: What Did You Do All Day, Mr. Slattery?"
  • Joyce Meadows as Gert in the episode "Question: Is Laura the Name of the Game?"
  • John M. Pickard as Vance Durant in "Question: How Long Is the Shadow of a Man?"
  • Judson Pratt as Harry Daniels in "Question: How Impregnable Is a Magic Tower?"
  • Robert F. Simon in "Question: What Did You Do All Day, Mr. Slattery?"
  • Joan Tompkins as Dorothy Ralston in "Question: What Time Is the Next Bandwagon?"
  • Arthur Hill as Dr. George Allison and Michael Constantine as Paul Hungerford in "Question: Remember the Dark Sins of Youth?"
  • Ed Wynn as Ezra Tallicott on "What Ever Happened to Ezra?"
  • Tommy Sands in "Question: Why the Lonely, Why the Misbegotten?"
  • Ricardo Montalban as Rodriguez in "Question: What Became of the White Tortilla?"
  • Claude Akins as Dr. Roy Kirk and Barbara Eden as Lucrezia Kirk in "Question: When Do We Hang the Good Samaritan?"
  • Forrest Tucker as Bill Bailey in "Question: Bill Bailey, Why Did You Come Home?"

Episode listEdit

Season 1 (1964–65)Edit

No. in
Title Directed by Written by Original air date
11"Question: What is the Truth?"Lamont JohnsonJames E. MoserSeptember 21, 1964 (1964-09-21)
22"Question: Why the Lonely, Why the Misbegotten?"TBABarry TriversSeptember 28, 1964 (1964-09-28)
33"Question: Remember the Dark Sins of Youth?"TBADean RiesnerOctober 5, 1964 (1964-10-05)
44"Question: Whatever Happened to Ezra?"TBATBAOctober 12, 1964 (1964-10-12)
55"Question: What Are You Doing Out There, Waldo?"TBATBAOctober 19, 1964 (1964-10-19)
66"Question: What Became of the White Tortilla?"Sydney PollackJack Guss & William P. McGivernOctober 26, 1964 (1964-10-26)
77"Question: Where Vanished the Tragic Piper?"TBAAnthony LawrenceNovember 2, 1964 (1964-11-02)
88"Question: Is Laura the Name of the Game?"TBANorman KatkovNovember 9, 1964 (1964-11-09)
99"Question: What is a Genius Worth This Week?"TBAJack GussNovember 16, 1964 (1964-11-16)
1010"Question: What is Honor, What is Death?"TBAWilliam P. McGivernNovember 23, 1964 (1964-11-23)
1111"Question: Do the Ignorant Sleep in Pure White Beds?"TBATBANovember 30, 1964 (1964-11-30)
1212"Question: Which One Has the Privilege?"TBANorman KatkovDecember 7, 1964 (1964-12-07)
1313"Question: How Long is the Shadow of a Man?"TBABob & Wanda DuncanJanuary 1, 1965 (1965-01-01)
1414"Question: What is a Requiem for a Loser?"TBAJack GussJanuary 8, 1965 (1965-01-08)
1515"Question: What Did You Do All Day, Mr. Slattery?"TBAWilliam P. McGivernJanuary 15, 1965 (1965-01-15)
1616"Question: How Do You Fall in Love with a Town?"TBATBAJanuary 22, 1965 (1965-01-22)
1717"Question: Does Nero Still at Ringside Sit?"TBADean RiesnerFebruary 5, 1965 (1965-02-05)
1818"Question: How Do You Catch a Cool Bird of Paradise?"Mark RydellMichael ZagorFebruary 12, 1965 (1965-02-12)
1919"Question: When Do We Hang the Good Samaritan?"TBABob & Wanda DuncanFebruary 19, 1965 (1965-02-19)
2020"Question: Is Democracy Too Expensive?"Robert GistS. Lee PogostinFebruary 26, 1965 (1965-02-26)
2121"Question: Did He Who Made the Lamb Make Thee?"Richard C. SarafianWilliam P. McGivernMarch 5, 1965 (1965-03-05)
2222"Question: Who You Takin' to the Main Event, Eddie?"TBATBAMarch 12, 1965 (1965-03-12)
2323"Question: What's New in Timbuctoo?"TBATBAMarch 19, 1965 (1965-03-19)
2424"Question: Bill Bailey, Why Did You Come Home?"TBAStanford WhitmoreApril 2, 1965 (1965-04-02)
2525"Question: What Time is the Next Bandwagon?"TBAPreston WoodApril 9, 1965 (1965-04-09)
2626"Question: What's a Swan Song for a Sparrow?"Robert GistJack GussApril 16, 1965 (1965-04-16)

Season 2 (1965)Edit

No. in
Title Directed by Written by Original air date
271"A Sitting Duck Named Slattery"TBAPreston WoodSeptember 17, 1965 (1965-09-17)
282"He Who Has Ears, Let Him Bug Someone Else"TBADavid RintelsSeptember 24, 1965 (1965-09-24)
293"How Impregnable is a Magic Tower?"TBASheldon StarkOctober 1, 1965 (1965-10-01)
304"The Unborn"TBAPat FielderOctober 8, 1965 (1965-10-08)
315"Rally Round Your Own Flag, Mister"TBADavid KarpOctober 15, 1965 (1965-10-15)
326"What Can You Do with a Wounded Tiger?"TBABob & Wanda DuncanOctober 22, 1965 (1965-10-22)
337"The Hero"TBAPreston WoodNovember 5, 1965 (1965-11-05)
348"Of Damon, Pythias and Sleeping Dogs"TBATBANovember 12, 1965 (1965-11-12)
359"The Last Commuter"Marc DanielsDavid KarpNovember 19, 1965 (1965-11-19)
3610"Color Him Red"TBAPat FielderNovember 26, 1965 (1965-11-26)

See alsoEdit

Quentin Durgens, M.P., a similar Canadian TV series that aired around the same time.


  1. ^ "- YouTube". Retrieved 2021-05-09.
  2. ^ Burlingame, Jon (2010-03-03). "Nathan Scott, 94, scored TV shows - Composer's credits included 'Dragnet,' 'Lassie'". Variety. Retrieved 2010-03-10. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)

External linksEdit