Tag Archives: Fibber McGee & Molly

6 June: D-Day On the Air—73 Years Later

Morgan Beatty. (Photo: NBC.)

Morgan Beatty. (Photo: NBC.)

Whether these were old-time radio’s finest hours should be left to those who are there to hear it—surely there remain many among us who were—and to those who will hear, remarkably enough, 73 years to the day later.

It would be remarkable, too, if I could present every last hour of broadcast on this day to that century that came, but the time and space constraints make it impossible at minimum. The entire broadcast days of NBC—6 and 7 June, 1944 (at least, from 0200 hours in NBC’s case)—will survive, miraculously, for the 21st Century listener. So will CBS’s complete coverage of the invasion.

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12 September: Love, marriage, McGees

The Jordans, early in their Fibber McGee & Molly years. (Photo: NBC.)

The Jordans, early in their Fibber McGee & Molly years. (Photo: NBC.)

Jim and Marian Jordan are actually married 21 years when tonight’s broadcast is delivered. The marriage of these childhood sweethearts probably testifies most to their perseverance, since her parents were far less than thrilled about their daughter’s dreams of life in the theater and her romancing by a farm kid who shared those wild-eyed dreams. To say they came up the hard way is perhaps the understatement of the hour.

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8 May: V-E Day in Wistful Vista

Harlow Wilcox (left), Marian Jordan (center), and Jim Jordan (right). (Photo: NBC.)

Harlow Wilcox (left), Marian Jordan (center), and Jim Jordan (right). (Photo: NBC.)

It was only too appropriate that the timing should hold Fibber McGee & Molly due for their regular Tuesday night radio comedy on the same day the end of World War II in Europe—“the first act of the greatest drama the world has ever seen,” as announcer Harlow Wilcox will describe it—is announced officially.

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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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23 January: The McGees as quiz-lings . . .

Can you bear the McGees on a quiz show? (Photo: NBC.)

Can you bear the McGees on a quiz show? (Photo: NBC.)

Poking fun of itself is often an old-time radio staple; poking fun at its periodic fads or nuisances seems almost a requirement. Three of the most consistent at it were Fred Allen, Goodman Ace, and Henry Morgan. All three liked to zing sponsors, of course. But Allen was also wont to zing network executives. And Morgan wasn’t wont just to zing sponsors, he was far more disposed to dropping atomic bombs upon them.

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