LOVED Perry Mason.
Didn’t watch it much when it originally aired. I was six years old when it premiered, and it was too “grown up” for me. My parents weren’t fans, and this was back in the days when a house only had one television set. It ran on Saturday nights, and there was generally something else to do from 7:30 to 8:30 on Saturdays. I do remember baby sitters watching it if my folks had gone out for the evening.
It wasn’t until I was in college, in 1969, that I became a fan. A local station ran it in syndication every afternoon, just about the time we got back from lunch. A dozen or so of us would crowd around the television in the common room of our dormitory and watch it pretty much every day. I was completely hooked.
I always liked Ray Collins (Boss Jim Gettys from Citizen Kane) as Lt. Tragg. “Lieutenant, I want to show you this .38 caliber revolver maked as Peoples’ Exhibit “A.” Do you recognize it?” “Yes, it has my mark on it!”
Eventually, we started playing “Bong Mason.” If Tragg said, “It has my mark on it,” you had to take a hit. If Paul Drake said, “There’s one thing I don’t understand,” you had to take a hit. If Burger said, “incompetent, irrelevant, and immaterial,” you had to take three hits!
We were usually quite stoned by the end of the show!