The Donna Reed Show (1958–1966)
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April Fool 

Buzz Berry, Mary's favorite rock singer, is coming to town for a show. On the night of the show, however, Buzz comes down with a bad case of the measles, and is taken to the Stones' house ... See full summary »



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Episode cast overview:
Mary Stone
Jeff Stone
Nancy Randall ...
Melinda Plowman ...


Buzz Berry, Mary's favorite rock singer, is coming to town for a show. On the night of the show, however, Buzz comes down with a bad case of the measles, and is taken to the Stones' house to be treated by Alex, and is forced to stay there for a few days to recuperate. When word leaks out that he is staying there, the Stones' house is besieged by his adoring fans. Written by

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Plot Keywords:

april fool's day | See All (1) »


Comedy | Family





Release Date:

1 April 1959 (USA)  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(Westrex Recording System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


The title is based on April Fools' Day or All Fools' Day which is celebrated on April 1st and is marked by the commission of hoaxes and other practical jokes of varying sophistication on friends, family members, enemies, and neighbors. This episode was originally broadcast on April Fool's Day in 1959. See more »


The Next Best Thing to Love
Written by Fred Karger & Stanley Styne
Performed by James Darren
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User Reviews

Columbia Pictures presents… James Darren!
27 June 2009 | by See all my reviews

Mary (Shelley Fabares) is just wild about rock 'n' roll singer James Darren (as Buzz Berry). Donna (Donna Reed) counts her daughter playing Mr. Darren's latest hit record eleven times, and Alex (Carl Betz) calls it "horrible noise." When Mary learns Darren will be playing a concert at the Civic Auditorium, she has to attend or "absolutely DIE." Unfortunately, Darren catches the measles, and has to cancel. After doctor Alex makes the diagnosis, Jeff (Paul Peterson) tells manager Jesse White (as Lou Vance) the "teen idol" should hide from fans at the Stone's home. Mary wants to tell her girlfriends, but must keep Darren's presence a secret.

"There's No Such Thing as the Next Best Thing to Love" (the record Mary plays) was Darren's first Colpix single. This record, and the second, the title track, touted his about-to-be-released "Gidget", starring Sandra Dee. The film became a hit, and Darren became a successful recording star. Columbia (movies), Screen Gems (television), and Colpix (records) were a cross-promotional company; later, in 1962, they turned Ms. Fabares and Mr. Peterson into teen idol recording stars. An album featuring the all three was eventually released. In this context, it's interesting to see Fabares fainting over, and Peterson lip-syncing to, Darren's recording.

This episode introduces the more familiar "Donna Reed Show" graphics - and a jazzier instrumentation to the opening credits. It was the first of several changes in the opening segment. The opening ends without Ms. Reed's final hair "flip" (but, Donna-watchers should be more than compensated by her admiring looks at Darren's shirtless physique). Since these episodes were not aired in the order taped, it's safe to assume the few episodes with the revised graphics were produced later. "April Fool" had to be moved-up in the running order, to both promote Columbia's "Gidget" film, and take advantage of the show falling on April Fool's Day.

***** April Fool (4/1/59) Oscar Rudolph ~ James Darren, Shelley Fabares, Jesse White

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