The Great Radio Comedians by Jim Harmon
In the days of Old Time Radio, kids were going off to school on weekdays, while mothers were doing housework and fathers were at their jobs. On Sundays, everybody settled down and listened to the radio.
Early on Sunday afternoon there was Gene Autry’s Melody Ranch and The Shadow, but the line-up of comics turned on the sunshine and laughter: Jack Benny and Fred Allen, and in later years, Eddie Cantor, Amos ‘n’ Andy, Lum and Abner, and the Phil Harris-Alice Faye Show. Add to them Garrison Keillor, Edgar Bergen and Charlie Mccarthy, Duffy’s Tavern, Fibber Mcgee and Molly, and Fanny Brice as Baby Snooks, and afternoons became a weekly laugh festival.
Rediscover the hilarious yet sometimes sad back stories of radio’s raucous rascals in Jim Harmon’s illustrated memory chest. Chapters include:
Those Brats We Loved But Could Never Be (Edger Bergen’s Charlie McCarthy and his nemesis, W.C. Fields; Red Skelton’s “Junior”; Fanny Brice’s Baby Snooks.)
Wistful Vista (Fibber McGee and Molly and The Great Gildersleeve.)
Suds In Your Eye (Lorenzo Jones, Vic and Sade, Easy Aces, and One Man’s Family).
So Many Voices (Lum and Abner, The Goldbergs, Baron Munchausen, Joe Penner, and Ed Wynn).
Kingfish and Co. (Amos ‘n’ Andy)
When Teenagers Were Kids (Henry Aldrich)
Sidekicks ( Jack Armstrong’s Billy, Tom Mix’s Wash, The Lone Ranger’s Thunder Martin, Green Hornet’s Michael Axford, Buck Rogers’ Black Barney, and I Love a Mystery’s Doc Long).
Murder Is No Joke (The Saint, Sherlock Holmes, The Shadow, Sam Spade)
No Funny Answers Please (Dr. I.Q., Kay Kyser, Truth or Consequences, Groucho Marx’s You Bet Your Life).
Thanks for the Memories (Bob Hope).
Songs and Laughter (Bing Crosby, Al Jolson, Jimmy Durante, Garry Moore, and Eddie Cantor).
The Thirty-Nine-Year-Old Skinflint (Jack Benny)
Down Allen’s Alley (Fred Allen)