Just in case you missed the first time . . .
- 31 December: Here’s to the New Year
- 24 December: ‘Tis the night before Christmas
- 20 December: From Macy’s to Dickens on the plains
- 12 December: Eden rocked
- 9 December: The aftermath, continued . . .
- 8 December: Immediate aftermath
- 7 December: The date still lives in infamy
- 5 December: The mean widdle man-kid
- 21 November: Freed fall
- 20 November: A twin triumph for Lurene Tuttle
We’re building a history here . . .
Tag Archives: Fibber McGee & Molly
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.
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.
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:
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.
“The last thing in the world I should have done was go into the theater because was inordinately shy as a young man,” Gale Gordon—perhaps old-time radio’s most mellifluous blowhard—once said. “I couldn’t open my mouth. At a party, I was the one stuck up against the wall. I was embarrassed about talking. I felt that I couldn’t talk well.”
Tonight we give you three radio episodes that display as well as anything he ever did how profoundly Gordon—whose blowhards such as Mayor La Trivia, Osgood Conklin, and sponsor Scott (The Phil Harris-Alice Faye Show)a—overcame that inordinate shyness. But they also present impeccable evidence that, somewhere in the direct run-ups to such classic explosions, is one of the greatest supporting actors radio has ever known.