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Peter, Peter, Pumpkin Eater


Peter Perkins is a loser. He is sidelined at work and pestered at home. He seeks refuge in daydreams where he isn't criticized by any, but such is his capacity for losing that even they turn against him and he starts to lose control over reality and illusion. However, it is the change in his real life that makes this story intriguing.



Air Dates

  • First Run - January 2, 1978
  • Repeat - June 4, 1978





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12 Responses to Episode 0762

"The name is PERKINS." "That is what I said!" LOL! Cracks me up everytime! Fred Gwynn is brilliant. Definitely of my favorite humorous episodes. Thanks!


Fred Gwynne plays what might be his first comedic role since portraying Herman Munster...and he acted in more Mystery Theater episodes on the radio (82 to be exact) than any of his TV series. His role is Peter Perkins in Peter Peter Pumpkin Eater, a comedy about a man who lives a Walter Mitty-style life to escape his problems. Peter becomes increasingly unable to distinguish between reality and his fantasies, which gets him into trouble with a gangster in real life.

Giggolo Man

This is the first episode that I've listened to from 1978--and it was classic. Very funny thanks to Fred Gwynne pulling off a complicated character. 4 stars.


One of my favorite episodes. Fred Gwynne portrays a believable dreamer who spends most of the time in his own imagination. One of the more inspirational episodes because we get to see the character's growth at the end. 5 stars.




This was a funny one, and as has been mentioned, kind of empowering as well. Fred Gwynne was terrific as Peter "Pumpkin."


This was a great one. And to think it was before video games. The psychiatrist was very funny. Good lesson. Fake it till you make it.


I rate this episode ★★★★☆ for GOOD. This mystery story, written by Sam Dann, was different than our average CBSRMT episodes that are in the Genres of Fantasy & Drama. This story was more of an Action-Comedy Mystery. ACTION, because of the confrontations involving arguments, punches, and guns firing. And COMEDY, because the main character is a henpecked daydreamer, but also the final scene where Peter Perkins builds up more confidence and his wife asks him to listen once in a while, just so she can have someone to communicate with. That’s it?!? No twisted plot or a shocking ending? The moral of this mystery is to communicate more and daydream less? Another way to title this, would be “The So-Called Real World.” There was a variety of music tunes that build up suspense, but also build up the amusing situations. What’s also amusing, is the variety of sound effects during the daydreaming sequences such as machine guns, bombs, grenades, military tunes, baseball crowd cheering, and surgery room. But also, the sound effects in reality such as tableware clinking, piano music at the restaurant, romantic music in the apartment, phone ringing, gun fire, and the newspaper. In our Host’s Prologue, E.G. Marshall begins with the concept of Justice. In ACT-1, the nursery rhyme to “Peter, Peter, Pumpkin Eater” isn’t related to our main character: Peter Perkins. In ACT-2, he quotes Friedrich Nietzsche: “Is life not a thousand times too short for us to bore ourselves?” A good question to ask, since our main character developed a system to escape from reality. In ACT-3, the scientific method of cause & effect which does relate to this story. In the end, he quotes 2 old sayings: “A woman’s mouth is usually filled with words because her heart is empty” and “A man’s mind is filled with silly dreams because his wife doesn’t help him fulfill his most important one.” In his Epilogue, E.G. Marshall quotes an unknown Philosopher: “Life is a shadow play where light and darkness blend and we are only permitted brief blurred glimpses.” His narrations, including his quotes, were deep and ethical and every fan of CBSRMT should take these quotes in consideration. And finally, our cast: Fred Gwynne (as Peter Perkins), Bryna Raeburn (as Hilda Perkins and Charity), Arnold Moss (as the Bartender and the Doctor), and Earl Hammond (as Military Leader, Mr. Benson, a Baseball Empire, a Doctor, and Fats Fergonzie). All 4 of them deserve a lot of recognition on this. Props to Earl Hamond for playing 5 characters, props to Arnold Moss with his dramaturgical tone, props to Bryna Raeburn with her delicate voice, and big props to Fred Gwynne who stole the show as the leading man! If you’re a fan of Fred Gwynne’s work, tune in to this mystery story for it is one of his best roles on CBSRMT. Until next time…pleasant dreams. =0)


Awesome episode. I listened to it twice in a row. The second time around I pictured Herman Munster saying the dialogue and it was hilarious.

Joe Smith

Arnold Moss was unexpectedly funny as the doctor. In fact, he stole the show.

Gary Janney

I always loved Fred Gwynn's shows.


Absolutely a favorite! Fred Gwynne! I can't help but picture Herman Munster as I hear Mr Gwynne's amazing voice!

Kimberly Behan

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