rand’s esoteric otr

rand’s esoteric otr header image 1

Entries Tagged as 'comedy'

It’s Time to Smile - September 30, 1942

January 26th, 2019 · Comments

Note:  This show contains some racial stereotyping themes that may be offensive to some listeners.

Update:  Blog listeners Randy Watts and georgezarr identified the venue for this show as Camp Callan, which was located near San Diego, California.


Finally this week, a bit of a mystery.

Here’s “It’s Time to Smile”, sponsored by Ipana and Sal Hepatica and featuring Eddie Cantor with guest Ida Lupino.  (Sorry for the skip in Lupino’s introduction.). The program was originally heard on NBC on September 30, 1942. 

The show starts out with Cantor and announcer Harry Von Well discussing women in defense work and the Army.  Cantor talks about his family working in defense plants and Cantor says he’s hired a maid to help out, leading to a brief appearance by Hattie McDaniel, introduced as an Oscar winner for “Gone With the Wind”, doing some unfortunate jokes about her boyfriend.

The show was carried live from a military camp and the disc seems to have originated with the military organization associated with the show.  The mystery is which camp they’re actually at.  In the announcer’s opening, it sounds like he’s saying “Camp Kullin, California”, but I can’t find any record of such an outpost.

Anyone else have some thoughts on this one?

Our show was transferred from an original 16” lacquer created for the military.  Since it’s a two-sided disc, I’m guessing this is a dub.

This particular episode of the series appears to be previously lost.

Tags: comedy · African-Americans

Fun at Breakfast with Ford Bond - Dec 23 - Dec 30, 1946

December 22nd, 2018 · Comments

Our first post this week in the blog is a little bit of holiday cheer.  It’s a set of six five-minute syndicated programs, “Fun at Breakfast With Ford Bond” featuring comedians Tom Howard and George Shelton and sponsored by Mennen.  Each show has Howard and Shelton with gags related to the Christmas and New Years season.

Rather than create a blog post for each individual program, all are available in a single .zip file here.

All the shows were transferred from an original Orthacoustic vinyl transcription, matrix numbers ND6-MM-11208 and ND6-MM-11209.  These are sides 5K and 5L in the series set.

Our thanks to blog listener William Harris for his donation of the disc to the collection!

Tags: comedy · Christmas related

Comedy Caravan - April 20, 1945

December 15th, 2018 · Comments

Our final post this week is a half-hour of comedy with Jimmy Durante and Garry Moore, originally broadcast April 20, 1945 on the CBS network, but heard here in a version heard on the Armed Forces Radio Service as program 95 in the series.

Roy Bargy and His Orchestra kicks off the show with “South American Way”.  Garry tries to make a long distance phone call to the FBI.  Georgia Gibbs sings the new ballad, “I Should Care”.  Durante and Moore play twin brothers in a “hillbilly feud” sketch.

Our show was transferred from an original vinyl 16” Armed Forces Radio transcription.  The date is from the disc matrix.

Again, our thanks to blog listener William Harris for his donation of the disc to the collection!

Tags: comedy · Durante and Moore

The Eddie Cantor Show - Feb 14, 1945

December 1st, 2018 · Comments

Finally this week, we hear “The Eddie Cantor Show”, originally broadcast on NBC on February 14, 1945 and heard here in a version distributed by Armed Forces Radio as a replacement for “Duffy’s Tavern” program #89.

I guess Duffy was preempted that week.  Well, I’d rather listen to Cantor anyway.

Eddie kicks off the show singing “Swanee” and the comedy sketch “Around the Clock with Eddie Cantor.  Hoagy Carmichael, hot off his appearance in the film “To Have and Have Not” is the guest and he sings "Billiaduk”.  The show features Cantor, announcer Harry Von Zell, Bert Gordon as “The Mad Russian” and Leonard Sues and His Orchestra.

Our mp3 was transferred from an original Armed Forces Radio vinyl transcription.

Many thanks to listener William Harris for his donation of the disc to the blog!

Tags: comedy

Guest Star - Pgm 64

November 4th, 2018 · Comments

More comedy on the blog now as the Treasury Department presents “Guest Star”.

Program 64 in the series, syndicated for broadcast the week of June 13, 1946, features Eddie Cantor in a routine about running for President.  The show features announcer Harry Von Zell, the Sportsmen Quartet, and Cookie Fairchild and His Orchestra.

The program was transferred direct from an original 16” Treasury Department vinyl transcription.

Tags: comedy · Treasury Department

Guest Star - Pgm 9

October 13th, 2018 · Comments

“Guest Star” is, of course, the long-running United State Treasury syndicated series created to promote the sale of Savings Bonds.  If you’re collecting transcriptions, it’s probably the most commonly-found series, so I really only get the discs if they’re unusual.  And any comedy or drama presentation is unusual in this series usually devoted to musical guests.

Program 9 in the series features a fifteen minute comedy show with guests Jimmy Durante and Garry Moore that plays similarly to their popular CBS program.  Dennis Agay leading the orchestra and chorus opens the show with “California”.  The sketch in the show features Jimmy Durante and Garry Moore running a real estate business and finding themselves with a haunted house.  The announcer is Howard Petrie.

The show was transferred from an original vinyl transcription disc, matrix number ND7-MM-5428.  The date April 3, 1947 is in the matrix.

Tags: comedy · Treasury Department · Durante and Moore

Louie’s Hungry Five - Pgm 300 - September 29, 1931

January 12th, 2017 · Comments

Finally this week, we kick off a series of about twenty consecutive episodes of a previously uncirculated early radio series, “Louie’s Hungry Five”.

The series is a continuing comedy series, similar to “Amos n’ Andy”, about a “Little German Band”.  After Freeman Gosden and Charles Correll left WGN because they wanted to syndicate “Sam and Henry” on records to stations and had such a success with their newly titled “Amos n’ Andy” series, WGN developed this program to jump on the lucrative syndication bandwagon.

After some WGN broadcasts, perhaps in 1929, the series was first distributed in 1930 and was initially pressed on the Marsh Laboratories Electra label and later on Columbia.  At its peak, the show was heard on at least sixty-five stations in 17 states from coast to coast and even in Canada.  Louie’s Hungry Five were making personal appearances around the Chicago area into the 1940s.

Doug Hopkinson and Ryan Ellett produced a detailed and illustrated article about the series that tells the story much better than I can.  Briefly, the show looks at the misadventures of Herr Louie Hasenpfeffer (Henry “Hank” Moeller), the Weasel (Harold “Hal” J. Giles), and Emil, Yohannis and Fritz (all played by unknown actors).

The gimmick on the show, besides the funny continuing stories, were one or two numbers played by the band in each show, usually German “oompah” versions of songs by popular artists like Eddie Cantor.  (I haven’t been able to identify most of the tunes - perhaps listeners here can figure out what they are.)

At its peak, the show was heard on at least sixty-five stations in 17 states from coast to coast and even in Canada.

In this first show in our collection, episode 300 broadcast Tuesday, September 29, 1931, the band is preparing to auction off their belongings to buy tickets for a trip to South America.  The first song they perform is “Springtime in the Rockies”.  You can see the original cue sheet used by the local announcer for the episode by downloading this jpeg.  (And, while I don’t have the actual program, you can view the cue sheet for the previous episode here.)

This group of discs representing around twenty consecutive episodes turned up on eBay and appears to be a different stash of discs discovered by Hopkinson and Ellett a few years ago, even though the episode numbers overlap.  All of my discs include the cue sheet for each episode.

This show was transferred from two 12” Columbia Sound-On-Disc shellac transcriptions, matrix numbers 233253 and 233254.  The discs in my collection are in wonderful shape and were a pleasure to transfer.

We’ll hear what happens to the "Little German Band" next week as the story continues.  I understand Michael Biel has some of the early Marsh Laboratories discs of early episodes in the series and can’t stand them - I enjoy the ones that I’ve got and think it has a certain “early radio” charm.

Tags: comedy · early radio · Louie's Hungry Five

Village Store - Pgm 87

July 10th, 2012 · Comments

Some comedy now with the "Sealtest Village Store", a series with a bit of a convoluted history.

Originally the series premiered in 1943 with Joan Davis as a followup to the "Rudy Vallee Show".  Davis got her own solo show in 1945, with her co-host, Jack Haley, taking over hosting dues until he departed in 1947.  Then, Eve Arden emerged from the cast to carry the program and she was later joined by Jack Carson.  Both Arden and Carson left the program in 1948, with Arden starring in her own sitcom, "Our Miss Brooks".


Program 87 of the series, heard on the Armed Forces Radio Service as "Village Store", was originally broadcast on NBC on May 17, 1945.  The episode has a wartime theme, with Jack trying to make up his mind whether he's going to buy a speedboat or a War Bond.

The mp3 was transferred from an original AFRS vinyl transcription and appears to be a previously lost episode of the series.

There's probably plenty more episodes of this series to emerge from AFRS discs.  Despite being on the air for a few years, Goldin only lists 23 programs existing in his database.

Tags: comedy · WW II related

Fun at Breakfast with Ford Bond - February 28 1946

July 10th, 2012 · Comments

If you were getting ready for work on February 28, 1946 and listening to a local morning show of light patter and music with parts originating from "transcriptions and phonograph records", you might have heard this five minute syndicated feature.


"Fun at Breakfast with Ford Bond" features Bond announcing and comedians Tom Howard and George Shelton cracking jokes - the first routine on the show is about starting a telegraph company.  Howard and Shelton, of course, were heard  on "It Pays to Be Ignorant".

A highlight of the show, is the commercial content for Mennon shaving cream featuring a sultry female announcer to lull you into your day.  Who says sex doesn't sell?

The concept - a short recorded comedy routine for a local morning show - isn't unlike the comedy features syndicated to radio stations today.  Think of it as a 1940s version of "Larry the Cable Guy".

The program was transferred from an original Duane Jones Company vinyl NBC Orthacoustic transcription pressed by RCA, matrix number ND6-MM-3560.

Thanks to the Old Time Radio Researchers Group for adding this one to my collection.  You can hear another episode in the series here.


Tags: comedy

Fun at Breakfast with Ford Bond - February 27 1946

February 1st, 2011 · Comments

Here's a fun little five-minute show, "Fun at Breakfast with Ford Bond".  Sponsored by Mennon and featuring some great little commercials with a sultry female announcer, the program featured Tom Howard and George Shelton doing a short routine.  The series was produced by the Duane Jones Company.

transcription label

The show of February 27, 1946 starts out with a joke about "a case of son".  The program was transferred from an original single-sided vinyl NBC Orthacoustic transcription pressed by RCA, matrix number ND6-MM-3560.

Thanks to the Old Time Radio Researchers Group for this addition to my collection.

Tags: comedy

Podbean App

Play this podcast on Podbean App