No slip of the Lip: Old-time radio listening, 29 September

It Pays to Be Ignorant: Why do Some People Eat with Their Knives? (CBS; AFRS Rebroadcast, 1944)

The Lip rarely met a radio microphone he didn’t love . . .

Surely there are those listening to tonight’s guest and thinking, considering the state of the baseball team he manages, that it takes one to know one.

Leo Durocher is hardly the shy, retiring type, of course, but the Lip customarily thinks of ignorance in terms of what he thinks afflicts either a game’s umpires or, now and then, some of his own Brooklyn Dodgers players. Tonight, alas, he’s going to deal with ignorance on a (very) slightly higher plane. And if you didn’t know he was in on the gag (I’d go back to Brooklyn but it’s safer here), you’d swear Locquacious Leo would be reaching for rye bottle. Every one in the case.

Poor Durocher. He never did make the cut on the show this farce spoofs, Information, Please. Moe Berg (catcher and OSS spy), Lefty Gomez (pitcher/flake—and with New York’s legendarily irascible mayor Fiorello H. La Guardia in the bargain), Grantland Rice (sportswriter), and Red Barber (announcer) did. But you might be able to make a case that Durocher had at least as much fun becoming an ignoramus for a day as that quartet did trading brains.

Poor Roni Wilson. The WAVE yeoman second class, our evening’s second guest, will have an extremely tough act to follow.

Quizmaster: Tom Howard. Panel: Harry McNaughton, George Shelton, Lulu McConnell. Announcer: Ken Roberts. Music: Don Novick Orchestra. Writers: Ruth and Bob Howell.

 

FURTHER CHANNEL SURFING . . .

Comedy

Fibber McGee & Molly: Back from Vacation—Gildy Says Goodbye (NBC, 1941)The number one neighbourly nemesis (Harold Pearyof the Sage of 79 Wistful Vista (Jim Jordan) is wrapping up his move to Summerfieldto oversee the estate of his orphaned niece and nephew (and become his own radio hit for the decade to come), and said sage—freshly returned from summer vacation (“Home is a four-letter word meaning ‘no tipping’”)—may not necessarily be as glad to see his pompous pal go as you might think, until the subject of Gildersleeve’s perpetually-borrowed lawnmower comes up yet again. Molly/Teeny: Marian Jordan. Mrs. Uppington: Amanda Randolph. Wimpole/The Old-Timer: Bill Thompson. Announcer: Harlow Wilcox. Music: Billy Mills Orchestra, Martha Tilton, the King’s Men. Writer: Don Quinn.

Bob & Ray Present the CBS Radio Network: Mr. District Defender (Guess! 1959)The demonic duo take their whacks at radio legend Mr. District Attorney, after taking a flyer on some of their actual or alleged mail, answering questions about their baby telescope, and taking Wally Ballou’s report on an insurance fire from the Maine coast. Writers, so we’ve been told: Bob Elliott, Ray Goulding.

 

Crime Drama

Broadway is My Beat: The Lars Nielson Murder Case (CBS, 1951)—A torch singer keeping a two-decade, heartbreaking secret buys a gun to protect herself from an ardent fan who calls her continuously, and may be following her as well, including into her dressing room while she’s performing on the bandstand, sending Clover (Larry Thor) on a hunt for a midwestern salesman from her hometown who fits a police sketch based on the singer’s description . . . a hunt that ends with his corpse in her apartment. Muggavan: Jack Kruschen. Tartaglia: Charles Calvert. Additional cast: Unknown. Announcer: Bill Anders. Music: Alexander Courage. Director: Elliott Lewis. Writers: Morton Fine, David Friedkin.

 

Western

Gunsmoke: The Brothers (CBS, 1956)—Matt (William Conrad) and Chester (Parley Baer) are worried about Leif Tugwell (Vic Perrin), a one-time sharpshooting marshal and old friend, who may have run afoul of a hotshot young Texas tough (Sam Edwards) gunning for him in earnest over a perceived disrespect—and whose insidious disease leaves him unable to fire a gun at all. Kitty: Georgia Ellis. Doc: Howard McNear. Announcer: George Fenneman. Music: Rex Khoury. Sound: Tom Hanley, Bill James. Director: Norman Macdonnell. Writers: William Lester, John Meston.

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