Life Is Worth Living

816. LIFE IS WORTH LIVING (c. 1955-USA). Dumont or ABC-TV net. Three programs with BISHOP FULTON J. SHEEN. One of the best liked religious TV programs in all broadcasting, and probably the only one that was on network “prime-time”. Only Bishop Sheen could have achieved this kind of popularity. The Bishop was a superb orator, an amusing speaker, a television “natural”. (When his skull-cap comes off during one of these programs, he remarks, “I’m having trouble with my “yarmulke” tonight.”) Bishop Sheen’s gestures could be described as grandiloquent; freeze-frame almost any instant on these programs and you’ll probably have a format portrait of the Bishop. A natural wit, it’s a bit unnerving at first to hear an Auxiliary Bishop of the New York Diocese telling jokes. (“Did you hear the one about the man who claimed he married an angel? She was always flitting about, always up in the air, and never had a thing to wear!”) For many years the program was on opposite Milton Berle while most of the TV owning population watched “Uncle Miltie”. When Berle was asked about the surprising popularity of his competition, he quipped, “He’s got better writers.” Bishop Sheen used only one setÑa book-lined study with a blackboard (erased during the show by an unseen stage-hand he calls “one of my angels”). The Bishop discusses “marriage” in the first of these programs: how to survive and get along with your spouse, the love between a man and a woman, and God’s love. The second program deals with children and is enlivened by the Bishop reading the poetry of Davidson and Ogden Nash! The third show is called “For Better or Worse”, and deals with the tensions found in marriage. One of television’s most charismatic speakersÑa joy to behold! 71 minutes total. Television Religion