Tag Archives: mr. ace and JANE

Oh, Goody! Old-time radio listening, 15 January

The easiest Ace. (Photo: CBS.)

The easiest Ace. (Photo: CBS.)

This son of Latvian immigrants was born 114 years ago today. He became a newspaper reporter, abbreviated his given surname (Aiskowitz), and caught his big radio break when—doing two spots of criticism and mild humour a week—he had to ad-lib fifteen minutes worth of air time when a scheduled show feed fails the Kansas City station where he worked, prompting him to invite his wife to join an impromptu chat on bridge (a passion of theirs) and a local murder. (“Would you like to shoot a game of bridge, dear?” his loving wife would ask on microphone).

The unexpected segment became such a surprise success that he was invited to create a regular show, making it work well enough to be invited first to Chicago and, in due course, New York, where his creation—a serialised comic eavesdropping in on conversations, situations, and absurdities between a malapropping wife and her tart, harried, but loving husband, their boarding best friend and her newspapering paramour, and a small round of revolving support characters—became a consistent and admired radio presence for fifteen years. Or, as Time will put it on 2 November 1942:

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Goodbye, Jane; Hello, Lucy: Old-time radio listening, 2 October

My Favourite Husband: Young Matron League Tryouts (CBS, 1948)

To move Lucy in, CBS and Jell-O moved the Aces out . . . (Photos: CBS)

You can file this under your “Who knew?” department. But moving My Favourite Husband to open in 1949 on Friday nights at 8:30 p.m. EST meant that CBS first had to take “radio’s original comedy couple” off. And it was CBS who’d talked them into returning to live radio after a three-year hiatus in the first place.

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