rand’s esoteric otr

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Here’s Morgan - June 10, 1946

December 19th, 2010

Here's my Christmas gift to you.  Or, at least some of you that are fans of the acerbic wit of Henry Morgan.

Henry Morgan was a bit ahead of his time with his cynical comedy that would later flower with comedians like Bob and Ray and publications such as Mad magazine.  Morgan got his start with a quarter hour stream of consciousness comedy show on Mutual where he was famous for skewering sponsors and poking fun at the conventions of radio.

There's only a few episodes floating around of Morgan's fifteen minute show, even though Goldin lists several as being in existence - many from the Mutual run from 1941-42 and only two when the show was carried on ABC in 1945-46.  Here's a previously lost episode of Morgan's work that I've not seen documented elsewhere, originally heard on June 10, 1946 on ABC and originating at WJZ, New York.

The show dates from just a few months before Morgan would start a half-hour comedy-variety series on ABC.  (You can hear several episodes from the run at archive.org and I posted an AFRS version of one episode a few months ago in the blog.)

In the show, Morgan pokes fun at Walter Winchell, takes us inside the mind of a landlord, referencing wartime rationing and shortages, and comments on the recent film "Cluny Brown" and Orson Welles's doomed Broadway musical version of "Around the World in 80 Days".  The commercials include Gallo Wine, Esquire boot polish and Topps chewing gum.

This episode of "Here's Morgan" appears to have survived because it was transcribed - the disc is part of a recent purchase I made of odd test discs and "throwaways" from various stations from a private collection.  So, it can pay off to carefully go through stacks of odd discs like this from local stations.

If you would like to know a bit more about Henry Morgan, WFMU has an extensive blog entry appreciation of Morgan's work.  And here's a profile of Morgan from the April 14, 1947 edition of Life magazine that includes some great photos, including the famous "praying to the razor" shot that got him in trouble with his sponsor, Eversharp.  (The ads interspersed with the article, by the way, are just a wonderfully funny as Morgan's parodies and include one featuring Senator Claghorn from the "Fred Allen Show".)

There's no scan on this transcription since there's no label - just a very light grease pencil notation on the label reading "Morgan" and "6-10-46" on the signle sided lacquer.

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  • DavidinBerkeley

    I like HM, and will be interested to see what he’s like here.

    Dec 20, 2010 at 6:25 pm
  • Jim

    Randy,

    Thank you for another great year of dubs and shares.

    Happy Holidays

    Dec 24, 2010 at 11:19 pm
  • Dan Riedstra

    Randy,

    I think I have either one or more 1941 Henry Morgan shows. If you’d like to hear them I would be glad to make you CD copies and send them along to you. Just drop me an email and let me know.

    Thanks for all of your time and efforts on the OTR shows.

    Dan

    Dec 27, 2010 at 1:26 pm
  • dbf

    Thank you! - love Henry Morgan and it’s always nice to hear something “new” from him :-)

    Jan 4, 2011 at 4:31 pm