Sunday, November 25, 2012

Shows I appreciate more as time goes by

I'm sorry I'm not every active on this blog these days.  I made a descision a couple of weeks ago to write a small e-book about Vic and Sade and I have been busy with that.

I was thinking last night that there are shows I listen to that I appreciate more and more.

These will be in no particular order:

Burns and Allen.  The shows prior to 1942 are ones I am not crazy about.  Despite other flaws in the show after '42, I still find the show to be very entertaining and funny.  I've said this probably 382 times but the show would have been outstanding without the duck.  I'll never understand the duck (literally and figuratively.)

Amos and Andy.  I've come to realize that during the Shorty the barber days, this show is probably at it's all-time best.  I'm near the end of the series now and will write extensively about it in the near future.  A great show.

Suspense.  There are so many shows and they all had top-notch production; even the bad shows aren't hard to listen to.  The good ones will live forever.

Lux Radio Theater.  Pretty much the same thing I said above about Suspense.  CBS had a good formula that no one has ever topped with those two programs.

Challenge of the Yukon.  I think I appreciate this show more as the days go by simply for nostalgic reasons.  It is one of the shows I remember listening to in 1975 when I first found old-time radio.  The shows aren't great but are fun - and it's one show that I don't mind listening to their commercials.

Richard Diamond, Private Detective.  Despite the changeover in some of the cast (thankfully Diamond was always Dick Powell) I enjoy this one too.  There aren't a whole lot of episodes but I find them all to be good stuff.

Bob and Ray.  If I didn't know any better, I don't think I would know Bob and Ray was OTR.  It makes no sense and it's as zany as it can be.  Every day I find myself scrunching my eyebrows and thinking, what...  I am always amused by it.  I don't laugh but I find them just to be absolutely crazy.  They never do what I think they will.  They always keep me off balance.

Monday, November 12, 2012

Ish Kabibble

He's one of OTR's favorites... and I mean that.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Five OTR characters who make me laugh

I have a list of 20 of the funniest characters I have found in old-time radio. I've decided to chop it down because really, after the first handful, they all kind of run together.

The funniest character is Mayor LaTrivia from Fibber McGee and Molly.  There are others that come close but Mayor LaTrivia (who got his name from New York's Mayor La Guardia) was the essential funny character. 

Actually, he was a very serious character.  But Gale Gordon, the man with impeccable timing who played LaTrivia, would find whatever he said twisted and taken literally and hurled back at him by both Fibber and Molly,  Then he would deteriorate - he would become confused then angry.  Like a crashing plane, he'd become uncontrollably sputtering and you waited for that moment when he realized what the McGees had done to him.  He'd stop and the audience would grow quiet after his enormous outburst.  "McGee," he'd say.  And the audience would come back to life.

Just thinking of those moments, which are the highlights of many of my days listening in the evening, give me chill bumps just thinking about him saying it.

At #2 I have Uncle Fletcher of Vic and Sade.  Many people who claim to not like Vic and Sade have never heard Uncle Fletcher.  The arrival of Uncle Fletcher presented a level of humor to Vic and Sade. He's almost funny enough to be at #1.

At #3, I have George Kingfish Stevens of Amos and Andy fame.  The Kingfish twisted English as badly as anyone on radio and you'd think about what he'd was saying later on and laugh to yourself.  "Regusted" instead of disgusted. "Dispossessed" instead of "repossessed" and on and on.  I've a never-ending smile listening to the Kingfish.

At #4 Leroy on The Great Gildersleeve.  The early days, primarily as the older the show got, it seems Leroy wasn't near as funny.  Of course Leroy was 25 or 26 when the show started so... But when he was on there, he was funny, for corn's sake.

The last spot could have been anyone.  Fibber McGee was funny in a lot of different ways.  Gracie Allen - playing herself - was funny and I appreciate her more as the days roll by.  And there are many others I could mention.  But I vote for Baby Snooks.

From what I have read, Fannie Brice would become possessed with Baby Snooks, turning into this creature at show time.  She was just as funny as she was bratty.  This is an overlooked show because many people see the title and believe it is a juvenile show.  It is anything but that.  And Baby Snooks always makes me laugh.

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