Beyond all of this, though, the legacy of Raymond Burr is a "Perry Mason" that was and always will be extraordinary fun, to be taken seriously only at your own risk. You had to love Perry's sessions with his loyal secretary, Della Street (Barbara Hale), and faithful private eye, Paul Drake (William Hopper).
Paul, in particular, was a real sketch. Although he employed numerous faceless "operatives" of his own, Paul seemed to have only one client. He would be summoned by Perry (you had the feeling that Paul was hanging on a hook in the closet) and sent off to San Diego or somewhere else at a moment's notice, as if he had no other life. And it was Paul who frequently was yanked into the courtroom at the last moment to hand Perry an important clue, which sometimes turned out to be a ruse, a bit of Perry-style theatrics to hasten the murderer's courtroom confession.