Jeff Kallman's excellent The Easy Ace: A Journal of Classic Radio
is a wonderful place to spend hours on end, rediscovering the Golden Age of Radio
as it's meant to be discovered and celebrated. Article after article
is filled with a wonderful new vignette about Golden Age Radio History.
---The Digital Deli Online.

[I]n his matchless on-this-day approach to chronicling “yesteryear,”
he easily aces out a less organized mind like mine,
which promptly lapsed into a more idiosyncratic mode of relating the past.

Monday, October 22, 2007

Howdy, Bub: The Way It Was, 22 October

22 OCTOBER 1891: DROLLERY ON THE FARM---He probably didn't say it before the doctor gave him that first slap, but the man whose "Howdy, Bub" would introduce one of the wittiest portions of Fred Allen's transcendent "Allen's Alley" segments is born today in Northeast Harbour, Maine.

Parker Fennelly's place of birth seems appropriate in particular, considering that he would entertain 1940s audiences with his knowing, crustily droll, deceptively indifferent New England farmer amidst "Allen's Alley's" mirthful mock-newsiness.

TITUS MOODY: Howdy, bub.
FRED ALLEN: You're starting to sound like Dennis Day. Tell me, Mr. Moody, do you have any trouble sleeping?
MOODY: I only half sleep.
ALLEN: Half sleep?
MOODY: I got short eyelids.
ALLEN: With short eyelids, you can't close your eyes, huh?
MOODY: Only when I frown.
ALLEN: I see. Well, are you the only one awake on the farm?
MOODY: No, daylight saving time has got everything in a swivet.
ALLEN: The animals are bewildered?
MOODY: Yeah, my cow had insomny.
ALLEN: Your cow didn't sleep at all?
MOODY: The bags under her eyes were so big, I didn't know which end to milk.
ALLEN: You were confused, eh?
MOODY: Yeah. First time I milked the wrong end, and got two buckets full of homogenized tears.
ALLEN: Well, have you cured the cow's insomnia?
MOODY: I got a book on hypnotizin'.
ALLEN: Good.
MOODY: I stood in front of the cow...
ALLEN: Yeah?
MOODY I stared right into her eyes...
ALLEN: Uh, huh . . .
MOODY I started wavin' with my hands...
ALLEN: Uh, huh . . .
MOODY: I said, "alacazam, alacazen, you ain't a cow, you're a hen."
ALLEN: "You're a hen." Well, was your hypnotism a success?
MOODY: Yeah. Today, that cow thinks she's a hen.
ALLEN: Well, how do you know?
MOODY: Well, she's sitting on a nest.
ALLEN: You mean---
MOODY: She's laying egg nogs. So long, bub!

---From "Allen's Alley: Do You Have Any Trouble Sleeping," The Fred Allen Show, 26 May 1946.

Though he'll become best known as Titus Moody, Parker Fennelly wasn't limited merely to the Alley on classic radio: he played a Yankee coot on The Stebbins Boys of Bucksport Point and Snow Village Sketches; and, he appeared in scattered appearances on the like of Mystery Theater, Grand Central Station, Suspense, and Duffy's Tavern.

But he will become second best known, of course, as the old grocer hawking Pepperidge Farm products ("Pepperidge Farm remembers!") on television.


1940: GILDERSLEEVE'S DIARY---It's oh so conveniently seen by snickering nemesis McGee (Jim Jordan), to its author's (Harold Peary) consternation, on tonight's edition of Fibber McGee & Molly. (NBC.)

Molly/Teeny: Marian Jordan. The Old-Timer: Bill Thompson. Writers: Don Quinn, Phil Leslie.

1943: THE KINGFISH IS SUED; OR, COURTROOM CATASTROPHE---And, as usual, good luck explaining it to naively dubious Amos (Freeman Gosden) and gullibly blustery Andy (Charles Correll), on tonight's edition of The Amos 'n' Andy Show. (CBS.)

Special guest: Walter Huston. Writers: Freeman Gosden, Charles Correll; possibly, too, Joe Connelly and Bob Mosher.

1950: STRETCH IS IN LOVE . . . AGAIN---Madison High football star Stretch (Leonard Smith) has it bad, and that ain't good, so far as Connie (Eve Arden) is concerned: his paramour is the daughter (Sondra Gould) of heated rival Clay City High's principal, on tonight's edition of Our Miss Brooks. (CBS.)

Mrs. Davis: Jane Morgan. Walter: Dick Crenna. Harriet: Gloria McMillan. Conklin: Gale Gordon. Boynton: Jeff Chandler. Writer: Al Lewis.


1876---Cecilia Loftus (actress: Roses and Drums, Glasgow, Scotland.
1905---Constance Bennett (panelist/interviewer: Constance Bennett Calls on You; Leave It to the Girls), New York City.
1907---Roger DeKoven (actor: Against the Storm), Chicago.
1916---Sidney Miller (actor/director: The Eddie Cantor Show; Jeff Regan, Private Investigator), Shenandoah, Pennsylvania.
1917---Joan Fontaine (as Joan de Beauvoir de Havilland; actress: The Cresta Blanca Hollywood Players), Tokyo.
1920---Mitzi Green (as Elizabeth Keno; actress: Passport to Romance), The Bronx.
1930---Jim Cox (author: Radio Crime Fighters; Great Radio Soap Operas), Pineville, Kentucky.


Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home