Know Your Frenches

Kids who grew up on syndicated television in the 1970s, before cable television, might have trouble with this, although they might not even know it: Confusing their Frenches.

Mr. French was a character on the television show Family Affair played by Sebastian Cabot.

Victor French was an actor who appeared most notably (for syndicated television viewers) in Little House on the Prairie and Highway to Heaven.

I’m throwing Merlin Olsen into the mix here because he also had facial hair and because he appeared in Little House on the Prairie as a replacement character when Victor French left the show. Also, he appeared in a Highway to Heaven episode and said to Victor French “All I could see was the flowers and the beard. I thought you were Merlin Olsen.”

Mr. French
Victor French
Merlin Olsen

I am sure this field guide has absolutely no meaning in the second decade of the twenty-first century, where I’m the only one thinking of these particular television programs, none of which I particularly liked but watched we only had five channels and because Sid Meier’s Civilization was still decades away.