Thursday, January 31, 2013

More Quiz Kids stuff

Not too long ago, I mentioned that it wasn't just Jack Benny and Fred Allen appearing on the Quiz Kids as I presented a photo of Bob Hope on the show.

Here's an ad I found that proves that Walt Disney was also a guest.

Favorite underrated character podcast

Check it out.  And please RSS subscribe to my podcast site!

Some stories behind OTR

Podcasts about the War of the Worlds broadcast, the real Lone Ranger and the real Sherlock Holmes!  I've found and listened to these and give them my full approval.  I think you will enjoy these.

From the Stuff You Missed in History Class folks:

Orson Welles and the War of the Worlds

Who Was the Real Lone Ranger?

Who Was the Real Sherlock Holmes?

Mary Livingstone podcast

A 5 minute podcast is up about Mary Livingstone.

Monday, January 28, 2013

80 years ago this week: The Lone Ranger

There's a nice article in yesterday's Detroit Fress Press newspaper about The Lone Ranger and the fact that it began 80 years ago this week (the article states on the 31st of January but experts tell me it was actually January 30th.)

Trivia under the letter, "A"

I was recently gifted with the John Dunning book, "On the Air."  It's great reading.

I want you to be aware of trivia I find in the book.

Jerry Siegel, the Superman creator, would not allow Bud Collyer (who played Superman/Clark Kent on radio) to be known until six years after the show was on the air!

In 1939, there was a show on the air DEVOTED to African folk music.  It was called, "Africa Trek."

Jack Benny's Polly was a genius

Polly (Mel Blanc) was Jack Benny's bird.  Polly could not only talk in English but also in Spanish.  She could sing, play the piano, read and read music as well!

Usually I am not a fan of "talking animals" on radio sitcoms but Polly was an exception.

Friday, January 25, 2013

Audio interview with Frank Nelson

Frank Nelson, great character actor and famous for being the man who bothered Jack Benny so often and who's catchphrase was, "Yessssssss?" did an interview with John Dunning in the 1970's.


Rare Jack Benny Show rehearsal

Here's a rare Jack Benny Show rehearsal from 1955 with guest star, Bob Hope.  Enjoy!


Wednesday, January 23, 2013

The 21st Precinct vs. Dragnet

I happen to enjoy both the 21st Precinct and Dragnet.  Both shows are in my top 10 favorites, for sure.  Dragnet lasted a lot longer than the 21st Precinct did and eventually wound up on television.  To my knowledge, the 21st Precinct never made it to the screen.

Both are police shows; Dragnet was the West Coast variety, the 21st Precinct was East Coast.  Dragnet was hard-hitting, (realistic but) monotone and somewhat violent.  The 21st Precinct was much more realistic because you always saw yourself at the same places when you listened.  The Dragnet detectives were in a different department every week.  At the 21st Precinct, you were in the muster room, the Captain's office or upstairs with the detectives.  Sure, you were on location too - and those locations are where Dragnet really gets beat.  The 21st Precinct had many foot traffic officers on the streets of New York City and much of the time while listening to the show, that's where you were.  Dragnet used no call boxes - but in almost every episode of the 21st Precinct, someone would use a call box.

Almost every crime (episode) in Dragnet is about something important.  I suppose the same can be said about the 21st Precinct.  However, take an episode where a little girl is missing in each.  The Dragnet episode is bloody and brutal while the 21st Precinct episode is much more suspenseful and the girl winds up being found, unharmed.  Yes, brutal murders do occur but in the case of the little girl, don't you "pull" for the girl to be found unharmed?

I really enjoyed the career of Jack Webb and there's something to be said about his matter-of-fact style, especially when it came to radio/TV police work.  But the actors on the 21st Precinct were not at all like their robot-like counterparts; they were realistic and human.  They showed emotions (other than anger) and they seemed to care for the welfare of the people involved.

This is truly a case of two very similar shows being very, very different.  If you listen to both shows, drop a comment and tell me how you feel.

Strange photo of the day~horns

Wow I haven't posted one of these in ages.  Maybe I can find some more - they are so much fun!

Quiz Kids didn't just feature Benny and Allen

In the surviving Quiz Kids episodes we have, there are a couple with guest Jack Benny and another with Fred Allen.  Even on that show, the "feud" was flying.

It looks like the Quiz Kids had other big stars as guests as well.  Below is a photo of Bob Hope doing a guest appearance on the show:

Gene Krupa - one of the best drummers ever

NBC News ad featuring WWII

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

One of the most popular shows - Blondie! (1946)

Bob Crosby!

Bob Hope (1946)

Truth or Consequences...a fun show

It's Fred Allen!

Bergen portraits with Charlie

Jack Benny (1946)

1200 Jack Benny radio scripts?

I haven't looked at them all, but there APPEARS to be 1200 different Jack Benny radio scripts here.

The FBI Files on Jack Benny

Check 'em out:



As Jack might say...  "Well!"

Monday, January 21, 2013

The coolest thing I've ever done?

I still get a big kick out of Comic Weekly Man and the LIVE comics I helped create there.  Imagine, 50 years later, I sat at my computer and helped create/finish OTR.  It's enough to boggle the mind! 

Here I am, a big nobody - but thanks to the internet and a little imagination, I hooked up comics and audio from 50 years ago.  That's pretty cool in my book.

I am going to have to go back and do some more of Comic Weekly Man.

Sam and Henry

Though few early Amos 'n' Andy shows are available, they are a good many Sam and Henry episodes out there.

Sam 'n' Henry lasted almost two years (almost 600 episodes!) before Gosdin and Correll became Amos and Andy.

You can find Sam 'n' Henry here.

More about audience participation

This past weekend, I posted about audience participation and Eddie Cantor.

It got me thinking about shows who would encourage applause when actors entered one year and then obviously discouraged this practice the next.   This is most evident on the Jack Benny Show.  Skip around different years and you will see what I mean: Phil Harris gets a big ovation one year and then the next, nothing!

This probably wasn't a big deal in real time but we have a chance to listen to any surviving show at will and if you just happen to be listening on "shuffle" then you may notice a difference right away.

Sunday, January 20, 2013

1941: Kellogg's Ant Powder

Don't participate!

from 1986 Nostalgia Digest

Trivia time

Most OTR trivia fans know (and often say) that Have Gun Will Travel (1957) was the first - and only TV show that later became a radio show.  I've heard and read this a bunch of times - it must be true!

Well, it's not true at all.  The first TV show to later become a radio series was The Somerset Maugham Theater in 1951.

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Lum and Abner Write President Roosevelt

Some Lurene Tuttle

For Green Hornet OTR fans only!

Today's your lucky day, Green Hornet fans:

audio: A panel of people at an OTR convention discuss the Green Hornet

audio:  Al Hodge (The Green Hornet) discusses the show

New to you - crime shows you may want to try out

It's been a while since I have sat down with "new" programs to listen to.  No, they aren't new, just new to me.  There are so many programs available out there that there are so many little hidden gems that it makes it fun to try and sample a bit of everything.

I found the following programs in the OTRR library and I did this by first looking at an early 1950's radio/tv magazine and then notice a bunch of programs that I had either forgotten about or never heard of before.
  • Top Secret  - I haven't heard much of this but it sounds like it is set during WWII.  A female spy does dirty work for... I don't know who.  The sound isn't great on any of this I've heard.  But, it's intriguing.
  • Pursuit - An American show about Scotland Yard.   Again, I haven't heard much of these but I look forward to listening to more.
  • The Silent Men - Soldiers from every facet of the service are involved in all kinds of secret stuff during WWII.  This isn't bad but it isn't great either (I've listened to about ten of them.) 
  • Did Justice Triumph? - A This is Your FBI-type show except about the police.  Not quite as thick and realistic as Dragnet more like the aforementioned FBI show.  Not bad.
  • Treasury Agent - I haven't heard this yet.
  • Under Arrest - I haven't heard this yet.
  • T-Man - There are only a couple of episodes available and I listened to them a long while back.  I thought they were good - but there are only a couple known episodes.

Monday, January 7, 2013

Norman Tokar as Henry Aldrich

I love the Aldrich Family.  Sometimes, I honestly forget how much I enjoy the show, because I often will listen to the series so quickly that I simply forget about it.

I like Ezra Stone as Henry the best but I also like Norman Tokar as well.

Here's a piece on him from 1943:

Abner lost his voice & Lum took over

(from May 22, 1943 Movie Radio Guide)

Red Skelton movie (1943) "I Dood It"

I have never seen this film but it was directed by Vincente Minnelli - that's a pretty good sign that this was at the vey least, a decent motion picture.

It was based off his radio roles, so you might try renting it sometime if you like this sort of thing.

Judy Canova and Dennis Day

Judy and Dennis did a movie together in 1943, called "Sleepy Lagoon."  Here are a couple of photos and an article about them:

An interview with Bud Collyer (Superman) and Joan Alexander (1966)

Great insight into one of my favorite shows, The Adventures of Superman, with Bud Collyer (who played both Clark Kent and Superman) and Joan Alexander, who was a very versatile actress.

(((HEAR)) Bud Collyer and Joan Alexander

An interview with Bret Morrison (LaMont Cranston) & Grace Matthews (Margo Lane)

From 1966, an interview with Bret Morrison and Grace Matthews as they recall their days on The Shadow.

(((HEAR)))  Brett Morrison and Grace Matthews

A 1974 interview with the versatile Mel Blanc

Mel Blanc did an interview in 1974.  I present it to you, commercial-free.

(((HEAR))) Mel Blanc

An interview with William N. Robson (1976)

Nice (commercial-free) interview here with William N. Robson, the sensational radio producer and director who worked for years on the CBS network on such shows as Suspense and Escape (among many others.)  I think you will enjoy this interview, which was done in 1976.

(((HEAR))) William N. Robson

Tommy Cook (Junior) talks a little Life of Riley (1972)

Tommy Cook, who played Junior (for most of the run) on the Life of Riley, spoke a little about the show in 1972 in an interview.  Unfortunately, there's not much in it...

(((HEAR))) Tommy Cook

Do you have problems viewing the articles I post at the OTRr Buffet?

I understand some people have trouble viewing some of the articles posted here.

There are a couple of solutions to this: 

#1, if you see a "click to enlarge" (or even if you don't see this) left click on your mouse over the article.

#2 If the article is still too small, go back to the original article and RIGHT click on your mouse and choose OPEN IN A NEW WINDOW.  This should give you the article and chance for you to enlarge it even more with another mouse click.

#3 If all else fails, you can right click on the original article and choose to download it to your own computer; then you can view the article at your lesiure and size you choose on your graphics program.

Sunday, January 6, 2013

A Nostalgic look at Mr. Peavey

click to enlarge

Did you know this existed? The Secret Life of Rochester Van Jones

I'm sure that you die-hard Jack Benny fans are aware of the two-part audition show called, "The Secret Life of Rochester Van Jones."  But some of you other Jack Benny fans might not be aware of it.

It's obviously a show about Rochester, Benny's valet.  The two-part audition sounds like it came off perfectly.  It's funny and ... well, what happened?  I dunno but I don't believe it ever became a show.

At any rate, you can listen or download them here:

50-05-12 The Secret Life of Rochester Van Jones (part 1)

50-05-12 The Secret Life of Rochester Van Jones (part 2)

Did you know this existed? Here's Comes Mr. Kitzel!

Artie Auerbach as Mr. Kitzel
You die-hard Jack Benny fans might be aware of the existence of the audition called, "Here Comes Mr. Kitzel."

Others of you may not know of the show but if you enjoy Jack Benny's radio program, chances are you will enjoy this interesting audition.

The sound on this is amazingly good!

50-12-27 Here Comes Mr. Kitzel

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Vic and Sade blog "finished"

Well it's taken me a year and half -and just a bit more, but I'm technically finished with the Vic and Sade blog.

It was very, very rewarding as I learned a lot and met a lot of very interesting people.

I even put together a book.

Now realize, I'm not asking you to go and visit the blog and take a look around but if you haven't seen the blog since it's been finished, you might realize just how large it is (I dare say it rivals any OTR website in size and might be larger... who knows.)

Anyway, some recent additions can be found here.  The blog can be found here.

And if you don't listen to Vic and Sade, I suggest you download a few of my hand-fixed (commercial-free, organ-free) episodes and sit back and listen to what genius Paul Rhymer created.
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