Tag Archives: Don Quinn

24 January: Fibber without Molly? T’ain’t no laughing matter, McGee

At any period during the show’s long, distinguished, and beloved life, Fibber McGee & Molly could give the impression that without Marian Jordan’s presence as honey-natured Molly—at least after the show got its first makeover and her character was smoothed just so—the show would have fallen apart, the world of Wistful Vista would have collapsed like the proverbial house of cards without her affectionate sensibility.

But according to Clair Schulz, in Fibber McGee & Molly On the Air, 1935-1959, the precise opposite turns out to have been the case:

 

The Jordans. (Photo: NBC.)

The Jordans. (Photo: NBC.)

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7 April: “Too much” McGee?

The irrepressible Jordans as the irrepressible McGees. (Photo: NBC.)

The irrepressible Jordans as the irrepressible McGees. (Photo: NBC.)

When rummaging through the archive of this journal, a correspondent wrote me cheerfully enough to say: “Too much Fibber McGee & Molly.” Which struck me as being along the line of a blues lover’s collection bearing “too much” Muddy Waters or B.B. King; or, a jazz lover’s collection bearing “too much” Duke Ellington or Miles Davis.

Everybody‘s a critic.

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4 April: The McGees didn’t always have it easy

The Jordans, at the height of their career. (Photo: NBC.)

The Jordans, at the height of their career. (Photo: NBC.)

At least twice upon a time the First Couple of 79 Wistful Vista and their nonpareil writers have been compelled to compensate on the air for a serious illness suffered by each partner. It speaks much that they were able to do it almost seamlessly, especially the first time around.

In 1937-38, about the most anyone associated with Fibber McGee & Molly felt compelled to say when Marian Jordan took a long leave of absence early in the season was that she suffered “nervous exhaustion.” As would be revealed only decades later, Marian Jordan—under enough pressure from the radio show, the frequent personal appearance demands, and trying to raise two children—suffered a long battle with the bottle, and at long last she surrendered and had herself hospitalised.

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The War at 79 Wistful Vista: Old-time radio listening, 14 November

Fibber McGee & Molly: Fibber Attends Night School; a.k.a. Fibber and Molly Fight Inflation (NBC, 1944)

Fibber, Molly, and Johnson’s Wax, if not first then maybe best in World War II . . . (Photo: NBC, S.C. Johnson.)

Few if any old-time radio comedies were quite as accommodating in supporting the World War II effort as Fibber McGee & Molly, and with the full and uncompromised support of their longtime sponsor. That support didn’t begin or end with the show’s legendary D-Day broadcast, in which Jim and Marian Jordan, ever the McGees, turned over the entire half hour—which aired on the same day D-Day launched—to patriotically themed music, with only occasional interjections from the couple and one break-in from NBC News.

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Wistful vittles: Old-time radio listening, 23 October

 

Dining with disaster? (Photo: S.C. Johnson & Son/NBC)

There are those who believe the only thing better than one dinner date with the First Couple of 79 Wistful Vista is two such dinner dates—provided that you keep Fibber McGee as far from the kitchen as you keep a Dodger fan from a Giant fan, that is . . .

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