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.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Foul Ball: The Way It Was, 26 February

Conklin (Gale Gordon) has a tall enough order for Connie (Eve Arden): yank up the English grades of oafish Stretch Snodgrass (Leonard Smith) to keep him eligible for baseball, while Stretch has a companion problem---he's smitten with a new transfer student . . . who just so happens to have transferred from Madison High's staunchest baseball rival.

Boynton: Jeff Chandler. Walter: Richard Crenna. Harriet: Gloria McMillan. Mrs. Davis: Jane Morgan. Writer: Al Lewis.

Digs at legendary 20th Century Fox magnate Darryl F. Zanuck---whom Alice Faye believed undermined her when he became enamoured enough with Linda Darnell---have become periodic gags for Faye and husband Phil Harris on their hit radio show. Here, Phil's learned from Zanuck himself that his scenes in Wabash Avenue were cut out and, determined to prove himself on screen, he becomes just desperate enough to think he can make his own movie . . . and that Remley (Elliott Lewis) can settle merely for writing and directing it, with Alice playing just "a bit part."

Willie: Robert North. Julius: Walter Tetley. Announcer: Bill Forman. Music: Walter Sharp, Phil Harris Orchestra. Writers: Ray Singer, Dick Chevillat.


THE FIRE CHIEF: ED BECOMES A WARDEN (NBC, 1935)---After having his butcher arrested for selling him horse meat ("I knew it was horse meat because, after I ate it, I spent the rest of the day rubbing my nose against an honest policeman's sleeve"), Ed (Wynn) has applied for a new job---at the state prison. Cast, music, and writers: Unknown.

FIBBER McGEE & MOLLY: FIBBER LOSES HIS FOUNTAIN PEN (NBC, 1946)---Late as usual writing his Christmas thank yous, the Sage of 79 Wistful Vista (Jim Jordan) isn't going to write a word, until or unless he can find the gold-tipped pen, a long-ago gift from his old vaudeville partner, which he used the day before to do his income tax. Molly/Teeny: Marian Jordan. The Old Timer/Wimpole: Bill Thompson. Doc: Arthur Q. Bryan. Mrs. Carstairs: Bea Benaderet. Himself/Dry cleaner: Harlow Wilcox (announcer). Music: Billy Mills Orchestra, the King's Men. Writers: Don Quinn, Phil Leslie.

THE HENRY MORGAN SHOW: DEDICATED TO AMERICAN LANDLORDS (ABC, 1947)---After slightly botching his customary introduction ("'Anybody,' I meant!") and solving the housing shortage ("More houses---or, less people"), our antihero salutes American landlords in his usual fashion, before Vladimir Morgan (three guesses) tells the tale of "Peter and the Landlord." Cast: Arnold Stang, Art Carney, Florence Halop, Madeline Lee. Music: Bernie Green Orchestra. Writers: Henry Morgan, Carroll Moore, Jr., Aaron Ruben, Joe Stein. (Note: Audio file mistitled as "The Invention of Work." For that matter, the audio file for the 26 March 1947 installment, "Dedicated to American Landlords," is mistitled as "The Invention of Work!")

FIBBER McGEE & MOLLY: FIBBER'S HIGH SCHOOL ATHLETIC TROPHY (NBC, 1954)---McGee (Jim Jordan) found it wrapped in an old jersey, behind an old trunk in the attic, and---after it provokes Molly (Marian Jordan) to remember his high hurdling record ("Saturday night, ten o'clock, on the dot, my father would raise the upstairs window, and you'd leap over the porch swing, over the porch railing, and over the front fence, in three and a half seconds flat!")---he tries to find some silver polish to take off the tarnish, the better to remember just why he won the trophy in the first place. The Old Timer: Bill Thompson. Doc: Arthur Q. Bryan. Lester: Bob Easton. Announcer: John Wald. Writer: Phil Leslie.

THE COUPLE NEXT DOOR: PAINTING OF AN ANCESTOR (CBS, 1958)---It's delivered to the house from Aunt Effie and provokes an interesting debate between husband (Alan Bunce) and wife (Peg Lynch), neither of whom can figure out just which of their ancestors is portrayed. Writer: Peg Lynch.


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