Tag Archives: The Halls of Ivy

Benny rides roughshod: Old-time radio listening, 29 November

The Jell-O Program Starring Jack Benny: Buck Benny Tries Again . . . (NBC, 1936)

Jack and Mary will have big reason to celebrate the 1936-37 season . . . (Photo: NBC)

Jack Benny has been building a steady climb since his premiere as a radio lead in 1932, and this season the work pays off—he’ll achieve his first number one finish in his time slot, on his night, and for the entire season in 1936-37.

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Two days in November: Old-time radio listening, 7-8 November

Sylvia Picker, as Alan Ladd’s airy secretary on Box 13 . . . (Unknown publicity photo)

Two days in November. The perfect palliative for electoral hangovers, considering that, the way we got blitzed with political ads this time around, oh brother did we need a drink—even before we went out to vote, if we did . . .

Comedy

7 November

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Arthur’s Alley: Old-time radio listening, 18 October

Texaco Star Theater with Fred Allen: Les Miserables (CBS; War Department Special Services rebroadcast, 1942)

Not quite ready for prime time? (Photo: CBS)

Unusually, Fred Allen acts as his own announcer to open the show, from a nod to the increasingly swift movements of Allied forces across Europe to the introduction of the first orchestral number—before he brings forth actual announcer, Arthur Godfrey.

Godfrey is something of a rising radio star thanks to his morning exercises out of Washington and, as John Dunning (in On the Air) would describe it, there is sufficient buzz in the press over the folksy-sounding capital ad-libber teaming up with network radio’s long-established master ad-libber and satirist.

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The mighty Quinn: Old-time radio listening, 17 October

Quinn, master humourist. (Photo: NBC)

Someday,” Don Quinn will tell a 1965 panel of American comedy writers, three years before he will die himself, “I hope to write the definitive work on comics, comedians, and humourists . . .”

A comic is a strange and fascinating breed; almost always from the wrong side of the tracks; no education—anything for a laugh . . . A cut above him, the comedian, who’s a little more literate, a little more educated . . . And, above the comedian, is the humourist. They fall pretty well into categories.

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Mr. Gordon goes to college: Old-time radio listening, 10 October

The Halls of Ivy: Editorial in the Ivy Bull (NBC, 1951)

Gale Gordon, on campus . . . (Photo: NBC)

Already familiar (too much so, to his faculty and his students) as imperious blowhard high school principal Osgood Conklin on Our Miss Brooks, Gale Gordon more or less kicks himself upstairs when he accepts a recurring role, quite on the side, in a show for which he’d originally auditioned as the program’s lead.

It might seem peculiar, considering his entrenchment as Conklin, but Gordon was actually considered for The Halls of Ivy‘s lead, when creator Don Quinn (Fibber McGee & Molly) arranged to cut an audition disc in 1949.

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