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Joanie, we barely knew ye: Old-time radio listening, 22 October

Joanie’s Tea Room: Will Andy Russell Make a Movie? (CBS, 1945)

Joan Davis, at the height of her old-time radio career. (Photo: CBS)

In most ways, Joan Davis will be done a disservice, from her coming out as a bona-fide radio comedy lead to her premature death fourteen years later.

Bad enough that Joanie’s Tea Room introduces her, invariably, as “America’s queen of comedy,” a title that sounds just a little too smugly pretentious attached to a woman who hasn’t exactly won it, by acclaim or otherwise. Worse is that the introduction and the show itself are accompanied by a somewhat smarmy publicity campaign not of the ill-fated star’s own making.

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