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, January 12, 2009

Oh, That Henny Youngman: The Way It Was, 12 January

1906---Could Mum and Dad Youngman have any hint that the son newborn today, as Henry, would find fame in their adopted United States for asking the world to take his wife---please? After he caught his big break thanks to old-time radio; and, thanks more specifically, to Kate Smith, after his manager managed to get him booked on The Kate Smith Hour in 1937, from which point there was little looking back?

It will almost figure that his signature joke was born of misinterpretation. That'd teach him to ask a theater usher to escort her to a seat first by asking, "Take my wife, please." Naturally enough, perhaps, the usher thought it was a gag. Who can blame Mum and Dad Youngman's lad for going along therewith, since it only made a career for him, in hand with Kate Smith's solicitude.

Take Henny Youngman's birthday---please . . .


VIC & SADE: THE VEGETABLE GARDEN (CBS, 1940)---Sade (Bernadine Flynn) freezes Vic (Art Van Harvey) and Rush’s (Bill Idelson) rummy hand with an earth-shattering bulletin that the family absolutely must have its own vegetable garden . . . and their indifference in turn freezes Sade. Writer: Paul Rhymer.

DUFFY'S TAVERN: "AMERICA’S NUMBER-ONE PINUP GHOUL" (CBS, 1945)---That would be Boris Karloff, as described inimitably enough by Archie (Ed Gardner) on the horn to Duffy. (Episode also known as "Frankenstein.") Eddie: Eddie Green. Finnegan: Charles Cantor. Miss Duffy: Sandra Gould. Writers: Ed Gardner, Larry Rhine, possibly Robert Schiller.

QUIET, PLEASE THE ROOM WHERE THE GHOSTS LIVE (ABC, 1948)---As his doctor (James Van Dyke) listens from somewhere between incredulity and helplessness, a man (Ernest Chappell, who also narrates) insisting he be allowed to die in his own home is haunted by a room therein that only he can access . . . in which lives, among other ghosts, a girl (Claudia Morgan) who lived in the home almost two centuries ago. Writer: Wyllis Cooper.

DUFFY'S TAVERN: LADY FROM THE DRAFT BOARD; OR, AUNT SAM WANTS WHO? (NBC, 1951)---She’s a lady from the draft board, and---since his striptease fiancée Peaches LeToure has returned his engagement ring---Archie (Ed Gardner) wouldn’t exactly mind catching her draft. Eddie: Eddie Green. Finnegan: Charles Cantor. Miss Duffy: Gloria Erlanger. Writers: Ed Gardner, possibly Norman Panama, possibly Melvin Frank.


1892---Ed McConnell (host/actor: The Smilin' Ed McConnell Show), Atlanta.
1894---Tommy Handley (comedian: It’s That Man Again; Radio Radiance), Liverpool.
1896---Harry Reser (bandleader: Cliquot Club Eskimos), Piqua, Ohio.
1902---Joe E. Lewis (comedian: Midnight to Dawn in New York and London; Command Performance), New York City.
1905---Tex Ritter (Maurice Woodward Ritter; singer: Lone Star Rangers), Murvaul, Texas.
1910---Patsy Kelly (comedian: MGM Musical Comedy Theater; Hollywood Hotel; Screen Guild Theater), Brooklyn; Luise Rainer (actress: Lincoln Highway; Yesterday’s Children), Vienna.
1911---Lon Clark (actor: Nick Carter, Master Detective; Bright Horizon), Frost, Minnesota.
1912---Sara Berner (actress: The Jack Benny Program; The Jimmy Durante Show), Albany, New York.
1915---Martin Agronsky (newscaster: The ABC Morning News), Philadelphia.
1926---Ray Price (singer: Galaxy of Stars; Grand Ole Opry), Perryville, Texas.


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