Just in case you missed the first time . . .
- 6 June: D-Day On the Air—73 Years Later
- 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
We’re building a history here . . .
Tag Archives: Henry Morgan
Should Henry Morgan have been a bigger radio star? John Crosby, the heralded radio critic of the New York Herald-Tribune, probably thought so as he wrote for 13 September 1946, after the new show premiered:
Some time ago I expressed the wish that Henry Morgan, one of radio’s original wits, would some day be given a big half hour program of his own with entertainers, an orchestra and all the trimmings. Well, he’s got one now, The Henry Morgan Show, and you’ll find him, in the East, on the American Broadcasting Company network.
It’s probably safe to assume that the only time in our hero’s life in which he didn’t even think about slapping back was tonight’s date 99 years ago. Alas, his birthcry wasn’t exactly “Good evneing, anybody, here’s Morgan.” Not even because he was born Henry Lerner van Ost, Jr. And he’d require at least a quarter century to come before Kate Smith annoyed him enough to hit back at her “Hello, everybody!” (After playing a snippet of her theme song on something resembling a circus calliope.
Henry Morgan isn’t now and never will be a ratings champion. Which probably doesn’t bother him when all is said and done. The now 31-year-old satirist is forging a career as something of a contemporary version of Fred Allen: the cerebral cynic who doesn’t quite wrap to broadcasting’s conceits and takes a cheerful bludgeon to them, caring almost nothing for the consequences.
It may prove the last time old-time radio’s eventual most shameless iconoclast (“If Fred Allen bit the hand that fed him,” historian Gerald Nachman will recall in due course, [he] tried to bite off the whole arm”) gets any kind slap without even thinking about slapping back.
Neither, alas, is the newborn’s birthcry, “Good evening, anybody, here’s Morgan.” (OK, so I made the headline a lie.)
“the easiest way to get into radio,” wrote Fred Allen (or fred allen, as he signed those letters not signed “f.a.,” Faljek Prink, Mr. A., or other appellations), “is to become a quiz contestant. when it is your turn and you come to the microphone whip out a revolver, kill the master of ceremonies and take over the quiz program yourself. a lot of listeners will be grateful to you for killing the m.c. and good will is important if you hope to survive in radio . . .