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Meet Mama and Papa of Abie

The Milwaukee Journal – Nov 22, 1942    Meet Mama and Papa of Abie BEHIND the folksy characters of Mr. and Mrs. Cohen in “ Abie’s Irish Rose ” ( NBC -WTMJ, Saturdays, 7 p. m.) are two distinguished Yiddish actors of more than a generation of stand and motion picture experience. They are Menashua Skulnick, Polish born actor often called “a second Charlie Chaplin,” and Anna Appel, about whom Brooks Atkinson once wrote in the New York Times, “She could play a telephone book.” Miss Appel, born in Rumania, came to America 35 years ago with her parents and played her first part in a charity school play in Montreal. Now she has chalked up 28 years of successful performances. She was an active member of the Yiddish Art theater in New York for 17 years and has been a star character actress on Broadway and in motion pictures. Her first bid from Hollywood and thought was a prank. Late one night her telephone rang. It was long distance. A strange voice asked: “How would yo
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Kids’ Programs Worry Everybody but Kids

The Milwaukee Journal – Nov 8, 1942      Kids’ Programs Worry Everybody but Kids By Richard Match In the New York Tunes “LOOK—up in the sky!” “It’s a bird!” “It’s a plane!” “It’s Superman !” These magic syllables are “Once upon a time--,” 1942 style. They introduce the time hallowed fairy tale as the modern American youngster knows it and wants to know it. Every day, as supper time draws near, young America, aged 7 to 14, rushes for home,  hearth and radio to absorb his or her daily hour of modern children’s “literature.” Young ears listen avidly as the heroic Captain Midnight and five or six other modern Jack the Giant Killer spend 15 minutes ranging a 1942 Never-Never Land. The old fantastic two headed giant has been replaced by master spies and super-criminals. The fair damsel in distress is now a stolen airplane design. And a twin motored monoplane takes Jack farther and faster than seven league boots ever did. None of that hard to believe, o

Hope Gets No Help in Books

The Milwaukee Journal – Sep 27, 1942 Hope Gets No Help in Books By Larry Feathers HOLLYWOOD , Calif.—Thousands of town wits and barbershop cutups throughout the land aspire to the thrones of Jack Benny , Bob Hope , Fred Allen and other top comics of screen and radio—and all entertain the same idea how their goal can be achieved. What to do? Simple! Start off by buying a large filing cabinet and cluttering it with old joke books. Then go through the tomes and “modernize” the antique puns. Thus, where a reference is made to horse car in Joe Miller’s classic volume, the fledgling craftily substitutes “trolley,” repeats the gag to himself—and has visions of wowing ‘em. Nothing to it at all, according to youngsters who aspire to profitable laugh provoking careers. In fact, they firmly believe that Jack Benny and company get by today by pursuing exactly such methods. “Just a lotta silly bunk,” says a rather successful young fellow named Lester Townes Hope, co

The Gooks—Vic, Sade and Rush

The Milwaukee Journal – Oct 20, 1940 The Gooks—Vic, Sade and Rush NINE years ago last June, Paul Rhymer was dozing comfortably in NBC continuity office in Chicago. Everyone had gone and, in the quiet of the Saturday afternoon, he was enjoying his spring fever in an orgy of laziness. Into this placid scene strode C. L Menser, looking for a continuity writer to dish up a script for three actors he wanted to audition the unluckiest guy in the world, simply because he hadn’t gone home, but he pounded out a script and turned it in. The three actors never were hired, but Rhymer’s script was it was “ Vic and Sade ”-now the most popular serial story on the air. Just recently, the women’s national radio committee announced its last survey showed that the whimsical story of the “Gook family, halfway up in the next block,” appeals to women in every block and every farm because it’s “complete in each broadcast” and because it’s “about people like ourselves.” “ Vic and Sade

Phil Harrises Re-Estimated, And the Verdict Is ‘Good’

St. Peterburg Times – Jan 31, 1950                   RADIO IN REVIEW Phil Harris es Re-Estimated, And the Verdict Is ‘Good’ By JOHN CROSBY Probably no show in radio ever started out less auspiciously than the Phil Harris – Alice Faye operation back in the Fall of 1946. Radio critics everywhere shuddered in rare unison. Looking back through my yellowing clippings on this program, I discover that first few episodes were largely kissing games, which immensely simplified the task of the writers. Either Phil was kissing Alice. Or both of them were kissing the children. What little dialogue there was revolved around this osculation, more or less reviewing it. “Ya ain’t giving, honey,” Mr. Harris would mutter, a bad notice for Miss Faye. Or he’d exclaim –there’s no more exclamatory comedian in the business than Harris—“You blond beautiful bundle of dynamite! Put your arms around me and tell me how much you love me!” While not exactly opp

NO SUPERMAN—BUT GOOD

NO SUPERMAN —BUT GOOD For a long time, the American Broadcasting Company’s Terry and the Pirates—Monday through Friday from 5 P. M. to 5:15 EST—a show ostensibly for the kids, has been up among the most adult programs on the air. Terry—the leading character—has been carrying on a relentless fight against fascism, a fight started months before the actual war began and now, continuing with sensible warnings against the enemy which has not been completely routed everywhere, nor completely conquered. Terry is played by Owen Jordan, a medium height young man, with dark, curly hair and grinning brown eyes. And, in a way, Owen is a kind of perfect choice for the part. He’s really interested in children. Last fall, for instance, he appeared at some seventeen high schools in and around New York, lecturing to students of the drama on the possible use of radio in child education. His lectures were based on more than the dramatic aspects of radio, too. He’s been a teacher and made use

Radio and Television in Review

February 16, 1951 Pitts-Post Radio and Television in Review:  Intelligence, Wit and Charm By JOHN CROSBY “Young people are children callously pulling the wings off butterflies. The chief purpose of education is to impart an understanding of the butterfly’s viewpoint ,” observed Dr. William Todhunter Hall, president of Ivy College. <John Crosby> That fairly well sums up the point of view of “ Halls of Ivy ” a surprisingly sophisticated one, on which RonaldColman impersonates Dr. Hall, and Mr. Colman’s real wife, Benita, engagingly plays his liberal and humanitarian philosophy expressed in “ Halls of Ivy ,” ( NBC -KDKA, 8 p. m. Wednesday) is not anything that would provoke controversy even in the bar of the Union League Club. Just the same, it is a rare and wonderful thing to find such mature and worthy sentiments expressed so repeatedly and so wittly on a radio program. *   *    * “ Halls of Ivy ” has been on the air a year now and—let’s face