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.

Saturday, February 28, 2009

The Only Way to the White House: The Way It Was, 28 February

Perhaps their second greatest comedy stunt launches tonight, when George (Burns) is surprised to discover the Surprise Party has a presidential candidate---Gracie (Allen), "because that's the only way you can get to the White House, you can't just walk in and sit down!" That's almost nothing compared to what he doesn't think when he learns she's promised the entire cast government jobs if she's elected.

Himself: Truman Bradley (announcer.) Cast: Frank Parker. Music: Ray Noble and His Orchestra. Writers: George Burns, Paul Henning.


THE JELL-O PROGRAM WITH JACK BENNY: JACK PLAYS "THE BEE" (NBC, 1937)---After weeks of practise, following the gauntlet throw-down from Fred Allen ("who even thinks wrestling is crooked"), Jack (Benny) girds himself to play "The Bee" at last . . . after getting through a letter from Mary in New York, a couple of odd jokes from Kenny's (Baker) new girl friend, and an offer to let the audience affirm he isn't carrying a trick violin, unaware that playing the piece only begins the real challenge. Cast: Kenny Baker, Andy Devine, Phil Harris, Don Wilson (announcer). Music: Phil Harris Orchestra. Writers: George Balzar, Al Boasberg, Milt Josefsberg, John Tackaberry.

THE FRED ALLEN SHOW: LIFE AT THE SOUTH POLE (NBC, 1940)---That's life as seen by the Mighty Allen Art Players and reported about Admiral Rupert T. Allen (f.a.), who's been stranded with his exploration team on Antarctica, with a tenuous short-wave connection, a frostbitten jaw, and a restless team cook. Until then, the Ipana News World in Review revises a newspaper survey on rooming houses, Statue of Liberty custodian David Ledmerer gets a chance to be grilled and chilled by the master satirist, and the Town Hall Tea Shoppe exchanges singing waiters for educated, talking waiters. With Portland Hoffa. The Mighty Allen Art Players: John Brown, Charles Cantor, Wynn Murray, Minerva Pious, Walter Tetley. Announcer: Harry Von Zell. Music: Peter van Steeden Orchestra, Wynn Murray, the Merry Macs. Writers: Fred Allen, Harry Tugend, Herman Wouk.

mr. ace and JANE: HIRING A MAID (CBS, 1948)---There comes a time in every man's life when he has to bring a prospective customer home for dinner. In a situation like that, a man likes to think of his wife as the little woman who helps him close the deal. I like to think of Jane that way. Excuse me a minute while I do . . . Well, enough daydreaming.

All (Goodman) Ace wants to do for one night is hire a maid for dinner, to impress his new client, a rich soapmaker . . . whose wife inadvertently hires Jane (Ace) as their maid, after she mistakes Jane---who's mistaken Ace's one-night idea for a sign of domestic dissatisfaction---for a job seeker at the employment agency where Jane was to do the hiring. Those, alas, were only mistake numbers one, two, and three . . . Norris: Eric Dressler. Ken: Ken Roberts. Additional cast: Evelyn Barton, John Griggs, Cliff Hall, Pert Kelton. Announcer: Ken Roberts. Writer: Goodman Ace.


1893---Ben Hecht (writer/panelist: Information, Please), New York City.
19141914---Jim Boles (actor: I Love a Mystery, King's Row), Lubbock, Texas.
1915---Zero Mostel (actor/comedian: The Chamber Music Society of Lower Basin Street), Brooklyn.
1922---Joyce Howard (actress: Mary Noble, Backstage Wife), London.
1928---Louise Erickson (actress: A Date With Judy, The Great Gildersleeve), Oakland.


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