Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Review: Knights of the Road (aka Gleason and Armstrong)

Knights of the Road is an early 1930's radio serial in the comedy vein.  The surviving copies sound very good and I am fixing them up where they sound even better (more on this when I am done with them.)

Since this is the early 1930's, the nomenclature is far different than it is the 1940's or '50's.  This is part of the show's charm as this is depression-stricken America.

The show revolves around two friends, Robert Armstrong and Jimmy Gleason.  They two use their real names.    They were fairly big movie stars back in the day and teamed together in many pictures.

They want to open a gas station.  They want to do things right.  They want their business to bud.  Unfortunately, they have little or no capital of their own.  But Armstrong's girlfriend's father does have some money and he's willing to set the boys up.  He sees a potential in Armstrong and knows he loves his daughter.

However, before he hands over the money, he wants them to take a trip across the country to take a look at other gas stations and see what the good ones are doing; learn the best things they have going for them and use those ideas.  He's got a whole list of rules and things they must do and though they really don't like the restrictions, they stick to the rules as closely as they can!

That doesn't sound so very interesting, but it is.  For one thing, they are a magnet for trouble.  It seems every time they could get a ticket for doing something dumb, they do.  But then every time they could win a big prize, they do.  Every time there's an opportunity to save a rich man's baby from sudden castastrophe, they do.  Every time they get the opportunity to make the front page of the paper, they do.  Every time there's... well you get the picture.

One day is a good day, the next day is a great day!  Then the next day is a horrible day and you begin to wonder if the trip will continue.  Then the next day is a good day again.  And on and on.

This is a fun show, especially if you can tease yourself by listening to just one show a day.  They last only about 10 minutes and they are all missing their opening, closings and commercials.  It's like an audio book.  And it's a darn fine program.

©Jimbo 2010/2011

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