Did Gracie Allen Ever Actually Say “Goodnight, Gracie”?

Here is the latest in a series of examinations into urban legends about TV and whether they are true or false. Click here to view an archive of the TV urban legends featured so far.

TV URBAN LEGEND: At the end of the George Burns and Gracie Allen Show, Burns would say “Say Goodnight, Gracie” and Allen would follow with, “Goodnight, Gracie.”

George Burns and Gracie Allen met in 1922 and soon began a vaudeville act together. Their act quickly developed into the act that they would become famous for – Burns as the straight man playing to Allen’s ditzy “Dumb Dora” routine. They would marry in 1926.

After years on vaudeville and a number of appearances in the pictures, the pair transitioned to radio in the late 1930s, which is where they made the last refinement on their act during the 1940s. Up until that point, their marriage was not written into the act. Around 1940, they finally did and their radio show became more of a traditional sitcom.

That sitcom style continued to the medium of television, as the couple debuted their TV series The George Burns and Gracie Allen Show in 1950.

By the time Allen retired in 1958 (Allen had been fighting heart disease for years, which almost certainly was what led to her wishing to lighten her workload – the couple produced almost THREE HUNDRED episodes in the eight years they were on the air), the show was a massive commercial and critical hit.

People absolutely loved Gracie Allen’s personality.

However, perhaps the most popular part of the show is something that actually never happened on the show!!
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