Historical Events  TV
George and Gracie

Goodnight, Gracie


George said "Say goodnight, Gracie" and Gracie replied?

Many people (of a certain age) remember the way George Burns always ended his Burns and Allen show from the 1950's onwards, where they produced over 300 episodes. His partner, Gracie Allen, was portrayed as being a friendly nice-but-scatterbrained character, so when he ended by turning to her and saying "Say goodnight, Gracie", she supposedly replied "Goodnight Gracie". 

This meme has been repeated many times over the decades since the show.

The problem is those who remember it as so are experiencing an MMDE, because she didn't say this - she in fact replied with just "Goodnight".

The origin of the phrase doesn't seem to have dissuaded those who swear she said it.

The Burns and Allen show

The TV show ran from 1950 to 1958 on CBS, and won many Emmy award nominations during its run. The couple were married in real life, and the TV show was the continuation of their radio show from the 1930's .

There's a fair bit of residue for this one, i.e. evidence of how it used to be. Goodnight Gracie is an episode of the US sitcom Modern Family, but has no bearing on the phrase apart from the title. Say Goodnight, Gracie is a Gilmore Girls episode, and so on. These don't contradict the response, which is thge issue here, but show how enduring the exchange is which is what is expected for a popular show with a such a long run.

Although it's now claimed the reply from Gracie of "Goodnight, Gracie" wasn't actually said, there are other well-known shows, which came later,  where the spirit of the idea definitely was.  Rowan and Martin's Laugh-In ended with "Say goodnight, Dick" followed by the response "Goodnight, Dick", and the British comedy TV show The Two Ronnies was famous for it's ending of "It's goodnight from me", "And it's goodnight from him".

Legends Revealed has it as a TV Urban Legend.