Tag Archives: Fibber McGee & Molly

17 December: Less can be just right at 79 Wistful Vista

The Jordans in the 1950s. (Photo: NBC.)

The Jordans in the 1950s. (Photo: NBC.)

With the need to ‘write funny’ no longer present because the episodes were pre-recorded in a studio,” Clair Schulz will write in Fibber McGee & Molly On the Air (1935-1959), “too many of the fifteen-minute Fibber McGee & Molly shows seem intent on developing a story that would continue the next day instead of making each episode amusing and rewarding.”

That would be true now and then but not in the larger picture. The shift to the fifteen-minute dailies probably seemed jarring at first to listeners who couldn’t accept the unfamiliarity of new announcer John Wald, the departure of several supporting characters other than Teeny, Dr. Gamble, Wallace Wimpole, and the Old-Timer, or the absence of the long familiar music interludes.

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14 November: Waxing wartime

Fibber & Molly up to their necks in Johnson's wax products. (Photo: S.C. Johnson.)

Fibber & Molly up to their necks in Johnson’s wax products. (Photo: S.C. Johnson.)

Fibber McGee & Molly has been remarkably effective in putting over wartime issue stories other comedies often stumble to deliver, largely because the first couple of 79 Wistful Vista and their master writer Don Quinn avoid lapses into blatant propaganda. And, with the full consent and support of their sponsor.

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9 November: The extended lives of Fibber and Molly

 

Jim & Marian Jordan, the irrepressible McGees . . . (Photo: NBC.)

Jim & Marian Jordan, the irrepressible McGees . . . (Photo: NBC.)

They were as homey in person as they sounded.

Harold Peary, their former cast member, about Jim and Marian Jordan, a.k.a. Fibber McGee & Molly.

Fibber McGee & Molly‘s “lasting charm, however,” Gerald Nachman has written of them (in Raised on Radio), “was in the unspoken but enduring affection Fibber and Molly seemed to feel toward each other despite his stubborn fulminations and her skeptical Irish nature . . . Molly forgave McGee his every illusion and self-delusion, waiting for ‘Himself’ to calm down and admit what a jerk he’d been. Surpassing all the other husband-and-wife comedy teams, perhaps including even George Burns and Gracie Allen, Fibber McGee and Molly were radio’s most identifiably loving couple.”

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6 June: D-Day On the Air—Seventy 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, seventy 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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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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