The large screen isn’t the only place the Murphy bed has been portrayed as a vehicle for seduction and—more often—laughs. The fold down Murphy bed has also made appearances in television and cartoons.
In the last minute of an early Warner Brother cartoon, “Honeymoon Hotel” (1934), a couple in the delightfully-buggy town of Bugville are trapped by flames in their hotel room. They survive by jumping into the Murphy bed which folds into the wall. Once they emerge and see the fire is safely extinguished, they hop back into bed with a wink and a smile, presumably for more buggy-love.
In a 1952 Popeye cartoon – “Shuteye Popeye“, the beloved sailor is peaceful snoring in his Murphy bed when a mouse flips the bed into the wall. More recently, a Murphy bed appeared in an episode of Family Guy.
Perhaps the best venues of all for wall bed sight gags are television sitcoms. These half-hour shows are usually faced paced, character-driven and comedic. In an episode of Laverne and Shirley, the gals open a closet door in a friend’s apartment and the Murphy bed flops out. Hilarity—and the laugh track—erupts as they attempt to wrestle the bed back into the wall.
Other hit shows featuring scenes with Murphy beds are Frasier, Cheers, and Love American Style. The latter had an episode titled, “Love and Murphy’s Bed,” in which an electric Murphy bed provides a cozy hiding place for many people.
Hopefully coming soon: Zoom-Room in a feature film, animated short, or on a television screen near you.