The series began August 25, 1949, on NBC Radio. Set in the Midwest, it starred Robert Young as the General Insurance agent Jim Anderson. His wife Margaret was first portrayed by June Whitley and later by Jean Vander Pyl. The Anderson children were Betty (Rhoda Williams), Bud (Ted Donaldson), and Kathy (Norma Jean Nilsson). Others in the cast were Eleanor Audley, Herb Vigran, and Sam Edwards. Sponsored through most of its run by General Foods, the series was heard Thursday evenings on NBC until March 25, 1954.
On the radio program, the character of Jim differs from the later television character. The radio Jim is far more sarcastic and shows he really rules over his family. Jim also calls his children names, something common on radio but lost in the TV series. For example, Jim says, "What a bunch of stupid children I have." Margaret is portrayed as a paragon of solid reason and patience, unless the plot calls for her to act a bit off; for example, in a Halloween episode, Margaret cannot understand how a table floats in the air. But that is a rare exception.
Betty, on radio, is portrayed as a status-seeking, boy-crazy teenage girl. To her, every little thing is "the worst thing that could ever happen." Bud, on radio, is portrayed as an "all-American" boy who always seems to need "just a bit more" money, though he gets $1.25 (nearly $14.00 in 2021) per week in allowance. Bud is in charge of always having to answer the phone, which he hates. He is also shown as a somewhat dim boy who takes everything literally; for example, Jim might say, "Go jump in the lake," to which Bud would reply, "Okay, Dad; which lake should I go jump into?" He also uses the phrase "Holy Cow" to express displeasure. On radio, Kathy often is portrayed as a source of irritation. She whines, cries and complains about her status in the family as being overlooked. She often is the source of money to her brother and sister, although she is in hock several years on her own allowance. you may have heard the Anderson family on my Thanksgiving episode and if you haven't I would recommend going back and listening to that but this morning we welcome to Anderson family to the show for the first time in the first episode the Anderson family is sitting down for breakfast one day when all the sudden breakfast starts going downhill. Mr and Mrs Anderson's three kids each their father's permission to buy things and use things. but the Anderson's oldest daughter Betty Anderson wants to let her family know that she is getting married. which her father Mr Anderson does not like because she has not even finished college yet. so Betty persuades her parents to let the young man come over for dinner to see how they like him. but they're two other kids bud and their youngest daughter Kathleen are flabbergasted. because their dad won't let them give the money or let them borrow his car. but when Betty is engaged to be married they invite her fiance over for dinner. and it is the pilot episode. in this second episode it is called The exchange card. one morning Mr Anderson is going over the Christmas holiday budget and says how they've been overspending. so Mr Anderson comes up with a plan for the family to save money but each of his children need money to do stuff with and each time Mr Anderson says no. but later on Mrs Anderson comes up with a solution on how to better manage their money. I hope you guys enjoy Mr Robert Young in the NBC comedy show Father knows Best if you like the show please comment and subscribe and enjoy the show guys thanks.