Tag Archives: Jack Carson

12 March: Crime didn’t pay for Carson

Carson's comedy couldn't get past the crime fighters. (Photo: CBS.)

Carson’s comedy couldn’t get past the crime fighters. (Photo: CBS.)

It’s hard to know if and how he complained, of course. But up to and including the day he died, Jack Carson—otherwise a distinguished character actor in film—was a perversely inverted testament to the adage that crime doesn’t pay.

When he graduated from hosting the West Coast-only series Signal Carnival to his national CBS series in 1943, Carson at 9:30 p.m. Wednesday nights ran smack up against Mr. District Attorney . . . and got clobbered. On a night when the average Hooper rating was 13.4, Mr. District Attorney delivered a whopping 21.4. Carson’s 8.9 wasn’t even within two county lines of it.

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Gale force: Old-time radio listening, 8 January

If you want to forge a case that Gale Gordon is old-time radio’s premiere slow-burning, pomposity-powered blowhard, you’d have a difficult time finding more solid evidence than the following three entries.

You’d also have a difficult time finding better evidence that, somewhere within the runups to the explosions, there is one of the greatest supporting actors network radio has known.

Fibber McGee & Molly: Fibber Wants to Win a Bean Counting Contest (NBC, 1946)

Kremer’s Drug Store is holding the contest, the proprietor’s mother-in-law won last year’s contest, and McGee (Jim Jordan) thinks he can win it scientifically with his own similar bowl and bean counting at home—never mind who might think he’s full of beans.

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