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She’s Really Anything but a Dope (Gracie Allen)

The Milwaukee Journal – Oct 4, 1942 She’s Really Anything but a Dope By Carlton Cheney DOWN through the ages countless millions of words have been uttered or written about the manifold advantages of being smart. But one may look in vain to the advice of sages and pundits for single observation , a friendly tip extolling the manifold virtues of being dumb. This, it appears, is a gross and deplorable omission which we right here and now set about to correct, being moved to the effort by a visit we paid the other day to the home of Gracie Allen , that darling dunce of the air waves , on the eve of her return to radio with husband-partner George Burns . Gracie and George , as you no doubt know, have been taking a summer vacation, but they will be back on the ether Tuesday night, again supported by Paul Whiteman and his orchestra; Jimmy Cash, the Arkansas Singer; Bill Goodwin, announcer and stooge, and Clarence Nash as Herman the Duck. White the show this season w

Oh, Dinah—Is There Anyone Finer?

THE MILWAUKEE JOURNAL—SCREEN and RADIO          Sunday, April 4, 1943 In a Forthcoming movie, radio’s Dinah Shore will not only sing, she will dance and she will act. Dinah’s a favorite with the soldiers Oh, Dinah—Is There Anyone Finer? By Janice Gaines KNARAVELLA is Dinah Shore ’s cool. She receives a salary of $28 a week. She gets all day Sunday off, half day Wednesday, half day Friday and occasionally when she wants to do some shopping she gets a few hours here and there. “But Knaravella is worth that to me,” says Dinah Shore , the singing radio beauty, “because I’m strictly a home girl and she’s a good cook, and any sort of cook is hard to get these days.” Knaravella has had two raises in three months. She started at $21, mentioned defense work a month later, was raised to $25, was caught looking through the Lockheed want ads, she was jumped to $28. She does not know it set (and you must not send her this column), but Dinah would raise her again at th

Bob Hope Is Radio’s Newest Comedy Star

The Milwaukee Journal – Jun 5, 1938 Bob Hope is scheduled to be radio’s next topline comedian. Following successes on “Your Hollywood Parade,” Bob is set to take the place of the “Mickey Mouse” show next fall. He will get one of NBC ’s top Sunday night periods. The Milwaukee Journal – Jun 5, 1938 Bob Hope Is Radio’s Newest Comedy Star BOB HOPE , comedian heard last on Dick Powell ’s “Your Hollywood Parade,” will be back in the fall—with a program of his own, according to west coast reports. Arrangements now are being made for Bob to replace the “Mickey Mouse” program on NBC next October. So—radio gets another new topline comedian. Actually, Bob Hope is no beginner. He is just about the last of the top row vaudeville and musical comedy stars to come over to radio. He has played in shows with Bea Lillie, Jimmie Durante , Ethel Merman, George Murphy, Fannie Brice, Bing Crosby and Eddie Cantor, all of whom preceded him to Hollywood and most of whom

Jimmy Durante: There’s Only One Genuine Schnozzle

The Milwaukee Journal – Apr 4, 1943 There’s Only One Genuine Schnozzle FROM the eminence of a barker’s booth, a frantic voice shouted out over the heads of the passing Coney Island crowd: “Ladies and gentlemen! Ladies and gentlemen, hear the gr-r-reat JimmyDurante . Yes, it’s on a record, madam. Hear him sing his own songs. Yessir, yessir! The great Jimmy Durante !” And the person who thus gloriously advanced the fame of Jimmy Durante was none other than the Schnozzle himself, now heard regularly over NBC -WTMJ on the Garry Moore show (9 P. M., Thursday) For it was his privilege in the pauses between the piano playing and gags to step up on the stand and stimulate the sale of his own records. At Diamond Tony’s of Coney Island fame, where he wore a black turtle neck sweater and played a frenzied “ Wild Cherries Rag,” the exhilarated patrons called for more. Jimmy got $25 a week here, though he couldn’t read music except casually. But who should know anything about that e

George Burns Loves Gag He Pulled 3,000 Times

The Milwaukee Journal – Feb 16, 1941 George Burns Loves Gag He Pulled 3,000 Times A STATISTICIAN with a flair for adventure made a pilgrimage recently to the home of George Burns and GracieAllen . He emerged a week later, weakly muttering facts and figures which summarized something like this: George and Gracie , in the 18 years of their career together, have used up approximately 40,000 jokes. One joke which makes George laugh has been used 3,000 times, and it’s still good for laughs from George. Burns and Allen , long before they became NBC stars, played seven years of vaudeville with only two routines, titled “Sixty Forty” and “Lamb Chops.” Each act ran 14 minutes, and changes in routine were events of such importance that George and Gracie , before inserting a new joke, went to some small town to break it in. “Now,” Gracie says, “the new joke is broken in, and is still going strong on our NBC programs.” When Burns and Allen, booked on the Gus Sonn circu

Bill Stern—Teller of Tall Tales

Bill Stern —Teller of Tall Tales SOME radio performers have a way of bringing violent reactions from their listeners. An outstanding example is Bill Stern , the sports commentator. At almost regular intervals someone trots into this department screaming, “Did you hear Bill Stern last night?” Anonymous voices appear on the telephone, reporting Bill Stern ’s latest. What precipitates all this furor is Stern’s penchant for exaggeration. Stern comes on the air at 9:30 p.m. Fridays with dramatizations of what are known as feature stories in newspaper parlance. There is a little song on the show, sort of a singing commercial, and one of the lines is: “ Bill Stern has lots to say.” Stern certainly has. Not satisfied with a good feature story. Stern tries to make it better. He broadcast a story about a Wisconsin boy, who was learning to swim without hands or feet, only Stern made it “without arms or legs,” and made the boy out to be a good swimmer, which he wasn’t. Stern stra

Spike Jones Obituary: May 1, 1965

The Deseret News – May 1, 1965 Spike Jones  Dies InBeverly Hills BEVERLY HILLS CALIF. (UPI)— Spike Jones , a madcap bandleader who made a fortune with his zany music, died Saturday at the age of 53 in his home here. Jones died shortly after midnight. A family spokesman said Jones died in his sleep. His wife, singer Helen Grayco, and a nurse were at his bedside. Miss Grayco said he complained of a headache Friday morning and his physician ordered him to take some medication. The nurse who lived at Jones’ residence summoned the doctor shortly before midnight when she noticed his pulse was irregular Jones died before the doctor arrived. TAKES RIDE Jones’ sister-in-law, Mrs. Teresa Digioia, said Jones was out for a car ride Friday afternoon and “was feeling fine at that time.” First reports indicated Jones died of a heard condition. He had been home from the Santa Monica Hospital three weeks. He was hospitalized March 30 with complication following an asthmatic att

Introducing KEN ROBERTS

Introducing KEN ROBERTS Wall, Street or radio? Ken made the lucky choice KEN ROBERTS enjoys his job as quizmaster on Quick as a Flash, heard Sundays at 5:30 PM, EST over the Mutual network. But the part of the program that really delights him more than anything else is the spot where he stops mc-ing long enough to say, “And now, announcer Cy Harris has a few words to say . . .” For to Ken, that moment is a complete switch in what has almost always been the Roberts routine. As the announcer on Take It or Leave It , Correction Please, Battle of the Sexes and some other shows, someone else was always saying, “And now Ken Roberts with a few words–” “And now ken Roberts with a few words –” Ken Roberts was born on Washington’s Birthday, 1910, in New York City. He attended DeWitt Clinton High School where, incidentally, one of his closest schoolmates was New Calmer, now one of CBS’s top newscasters. Early 1929 saw Ken in dire straits and badly in need of a job. He had heard th

Mad Russian on Eddie Cantor Program: "What Gets Russian So Mad?"

The Milwaukee Journal – Nov 1, 1942 What Gets Russian So Mad? By BCL ON THE Eddie Cantor program exists one of those cases where a stooge is a much funnier than the boss comic. Such a comic—Bert Gordon, the “Mad Russian”—often causes listeners to remark: “Why doesn’t  that guy get a show of his own? He’d  kill ‘em!” Well, as near as we can find out from a survey of expert opinion, the answer is that “The Mad Russian” is “spot” comic, good only for a few minutes at a time. The idea is that Bert’s excruciating accent which makes any word he speaks funny, would in large doses tire the listener. So, too, it is suggested, would Jerry Colonna ’s style wear out—Colonna of the unmatched timing and delivery. The above does not detract from the Gordon charm. When he opens up at 8:30 every Wednesday with his “How do you do?” Eddie Cantor’s show, otherwise pretty dismal except for the singing Dinah Shore , takes on new life. Gordon is actually anything but a mad Russi