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Edgar Bergen and Charlie McCarthy on NBC radio I can't remember how old I was when I found out that Charlie McCarthy wasn't a real little boy. I doubt I really believed he wasn't a kid until I saw a photograph of Edgar Bergen with Charlie sitting on his lap in one of those radio-TV magazines. No matter -- Charlie remained as real a person to me as all those other wonderful radio folks I had met in the theater of the imagination during my youth. Charlie McCarthy was, of course, the creation of ... (read more
Charlie McCarthy and Mortimer Snerd on Charlie McCarthy #6 (1949) This past semester I've been teaching American humor to a group of 11th and 12th graders who have been brought up on Steve Martin, Bill Cosby, George Carlin and Richard Pryor. Sure, they've seen Bob Hope and Edgar Bergen and they remember Jack Benny and Groucho Marx. But Jack Carson? Judy Canova? Joe Penner? Fred Allen? Wasn't he the coach of the Red Sox? Well, being a OTR freak,I had to set these kids straight on just ... (read more
Wendell Niles and Marilyn Monroe on NBC Radio in 1952 Wendell Niles was part of that elite period when radio announcers were indeed as well-known as the programs on which they worked. Involved with virtually every aspect of show business for over 65 years, he certainly has had a career to look back upon. Born in Montana on Dec. 29, 1904, Wendell Niles' first professional experience came in 1923 when he organized an orchestra. This proved to be quite a successful venture as Niles and His ... (read more