September 1972 - 1974
n the fast-paced modern age there
will always be a generation gap between parents and their
children. Wait Till Your Father Gets Home was made during a time
in American history when social upheaval and cultural activism
were arguably at their height (or at least it was made near the
end of that era), and so the concept of the series - which
explored the clash between a hard working conservative father
and his new age liberal kids - was highly relevant to the time
period in which it was made, even if the concept was far outside
the scope of Hanna-Barbera Studio's usual fare.
Harry Boyle had traditional,
conservative views about life, family and responsibility. He
worked long hours as the president of Boyle's Restaurant
Supplies and provided a good home for his wife and children.
Irma Boyle, Harry's wife and mother of their three children,
was a full time housewife who was generally content in her
role and always supportive of her husband and kids. Their
eldest son, Chet, was a 22 year old, unemployed college
graduate who still lived at home. He was a loafer with no
ambition or direction in life. When pressured by his father
to get a job (which was a common theme on the show) Chet
claimed he needed time to "find himself" and that he was a
"thinker, not a worker." His favorite pastimes were playing
guitar and visiting the ghetto to give motivational pep
talks to the underprivileged. Middle child Alice was 15
years old and had a weight problem. She tried dieting but
was never presented as being overly self-conscious or even
really concerned by her weight. Like Chet, most of her views
were in accordance with those of the hippie culture.
Youngest son Jamie was the exact opposite of his two
siblings. At 9 years of age he was already an ambitious
capitalist who took every opportunity to gain money.
The family were neighbors with
Ralph Kane, an obsessive conspiracy theorist who was perpetually
on the lookout for communists. Ralph was the leader of a group
of like-minded individuals who called themselves 'Vigilante
Company B' and actively investigated what they considered
non-establishment activities and people, in order to expose
their communistic plots. Perhaps even more fanatical than Ralph
was his "Sergeant" Sara Whittaker, who was as ornery as she was
old (which was in both cases 'very'). Harry was constantly
exposed to Ralph's wild points of view and random suspicions,
but he just shrugged them off and told Ralph that he was crazy.
Even though their differences would seem insurmountable, the two
didn't let it affect their friendship, except the few times that
Ralph became suspicious of someone in the Boyle household for
engaging in an activity he deemed sympathetic to the communist
cause (which could be almost anything).
seasons Harry struggled to temper the new age ideals of Chet and
Alice with real-life pragmatism. He met with success a good deal
of the time, but success can be fleeting and all too temporary -
a lesson that Harry Boyle was to learn again and again.