Saturday, November 13, 2010

Old Radio

One of my other odd hobbies is listening to old radio shows. That's this kinda stuff.

Today, I listened to an old Bob Hope Show (Mar 25, 1952). Gracie Allen, the better half of Burns and Allen, was his guest. Bob Hope, for you youngsters, was a tireless performer who made many comedy movies (check out the "Road" pictures). He did a lot of television and he spent much of his career entertaining troops around the world, often in war zones. As for Burns and Allen, see if you can find some George Burns bits from his old radio or television show. You won't be disappointed.

Anyway, within a few minutes of show, there were several "gender bender" jokes. Not very good jokes, but I wonder about the writers that week. One of the writers was a young Larry Gelbart. I'm not familiar with the other two writers. Strangely, they were all named Larry.

Bob: You look wonderful.
Gracie: Thank you. So do you.
Bob: You haven't changed since the first day we met. You look just like that same sweet girl....
Gracie: Thank you. So do you.
Bob: That sounds just like a woman driver.
Gracie: Well I have to be. George wouldn't like it if he were married to a man driver.
Bob: You play the part of a Wave.
Gracie: A Wave?
Bob: Yeah, you know. A sailor who wears skirts.
Gracie: Ohhhh. Do they let them do that?
Bob: The Waves do a lot of jobs in the Navy that the men don't want to be bothered with.
Gracie: I understand that perfectly. An admiral wouldn't want to stop what he was doing just to have a baby.
Gracie, to her friend Blanche: I called you over so we could have a man-to-man talk.

1952. Jokes like this were not uncommon, but a series like that makes me wonder.

On the May 13, 1953 show, which he did at Walter Reed Army Hospital Bob was doing a monologue and he just came out with:

Christine: the only soldier who went abroad and came back a broad.

That might be the very first Christine Jorgensen joke on the radio.


  1. George and Gracie; gentle humor that you might not understand if you didn't really listen. I am old enough to remember listening to them on the radio, then seeing their television program.

    Bob Hope was a wonderful person too. Thanks for the memories Meg.

  2. Halle ~ I caught the catchline at the end. I wonder how many other readers will get it.

    Since 1974 or so, I've always had birds around the house. My first two finches were named George and Gracie.

    Ms Perfect ~ Bob is topical, and I sometimes miss his references to 1940s and 50s politicians or personalities, but he's fun, he has Jerry Colonna, and he gave and gave and gave.


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