The Sunday slugging: Old-time radio listening, 8 March

This was more the way it really was with Benny and Allen off mike: the two comedians were actually good friends and mutual admirers. (Photo: NBC.)

This was more the way it really was with Benny and Allen off mike: the two comedians were actually good friends and mutual admirers. (Photo: NBC.)

The mock Jack Benny-Fred Allen feud is about to shift to overdrive now that one of the combatants has moved to Sunday nights . . .

The Jell-O Program Starring Jack Benny: From San Diego Marine Base E (NBC, 1942)

. . . and Sunday night will never be quite the same on old-time radio, now that Fred Allen has moved there . . . at a time late enough to hear him first and zap in kind.

First, however, former sailor Jack (Benny) bounces a few off his own dime in front of a crowd of cheering, laughing Marines, who cheer even louder for Mary (Livingstone) when she complains about the trip down from Los Angeles in the Maxwell (“I’m so black and blue you’d think I’d been dancing at the Paris Inn last night”) and the blowout that caused the delay—not to mention the solution Jack had Rochester (Eddie Anderson) improvise.

Themselves: Don Wilson (announcer), Phil Harris, Dennis Day. Music: Phil Harris Orchestra, Dennis Day. Writers: Sam Perrin, George Balzar, Milt Josefsberg.

Texaco Star Theater with Fred Allen: The Life of Fred Allen (CBS, 1942)

Now that he’s had a perfect opportunity to lance Benny’s boil and Dennis Day’s baboon joke, Fred (Allen) and the March of Trivia march over one of its customary salutes to those in Hollywood who contributed next to nothing to film in 1941; special guest Maurice Evans is enlisted to provide the show a little more savoir faire now that it’s on Sunday nights; John J. McDonald of Holy Cross College, a tenor who’s won the Texaco College Competition, stands for an interview by Mr. Allen; and, the Texaco Workshop Players present “The Hardy Family in the Penitentiary; or, Life with Father”—or they would, if Fred can’t convince them his life story is worth telling.

Themselves: Portland Hoffa, Kenny Baker (vocals), Jimmy Wallington (announcer). The Texaco Workshop Players: John Brown, Wynn Murray, Minerva Pious, Alan Reed. Music: Al Goodman Orchestra, Kenny Baker. Writers: Fred Allen, possibly Herman Wouk, Harry Tugend.




My Friend Irma: Double Trouble (CBS, 1948)—It’s the morning after a double date between Jane (Cathy Lewis) and Richard (Leif Erickson), and Irma (Marie Wilson) and Al (John Brown) . . . and, perhaps needless to say, neither couple is speaking to each other, after Irma inadvertently insulted Richard’s mother, leaving both roommates hoping a home-cooked dinner will win them back. Prof. Kropotkin: Hans Conreid. Mrs. O’Reilly: Jane Morgan. Announcer: Bob LaMond. Music: Lud Gluskin. Director: Cy Howard. Writer: Parke Levy, Stanley Adams.

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