Friday, October 29, 2010

OTR's "Smelly" Clark, Charlie Razorscum and Rochester Van Jones Shine as Superman Eavesdrops!

It's time to smile again with your old pals "Vic & Sade" and Jack Benny as we relive just a little piece of the golden age of OldTime Radio.

Our first "Vic & Sade" episode is from November 6, 1939 and at the very end, we come a fraction of a second from hearing another characters voice as Charlie Razorscum comes to the door. I suspect this was Paul Rhymer's little joke and nod to the audience to all those who had caught on that he was working all this magic with but three voices.

The episode also has yet another reference to the bill for $2 that Kleeburger's Department Store keeps sending to Vic. I don't know if there was ever an episode (remember, thousands were lost) ever explained the root of this bill...but I doubt it. It's funny wnough on it's own.

Favorite VicandSade-onyms from this episode? After Sade asks Rush if he'd washed his hands after loading the coal bin, Rush assures her that his hands are "Clean as toast!"

Let's listen in, shall we?...

The next "Vic & Sade" is from November 7, 1939. In this one Rush recounts a tale from the street and how "Smelly" Clark stood before his peers and gave a speech. A speech as impromptu and well spoken as it was full of hubris. This all left Rush as "Impressed as a horse".

I lay it before you now...

"Fellas, you all know me, I am 'Smelly' Clark. I have been checking up on myself and I wish to tell you, I am deeply gratified with my discoveries. Fellas, this is November 1939, a whole year has passed since November 1938. 365 days. Fellows, in those 365 days, I have not stood still. I have grown in mind and body. The radience of the streetlight is playing across my features as I utter these words and I think you can plainly tell that I am sincere."

Since Novemer of 1938 I have become smarter, taller, nobler, richer and better-lookin'. If I were to pass away in the next 5 minutes I believe it could be truthfully said that the world was better for my havin' lived."

I am young in years yet, fellas, but my career thus far has given promise of a glorious future. There are those that say I am wonderful. I do not say that I am wonderful, because that would sound like braggin'. When people come up to me on the street and tell me I'm wonderful, I wave my hand carelessly and remark 'Let time tell the story.'."

I would give the last drop of blood in my body for mother, home and friends. I would gladly die for the things dearest to my heart."

Fellas, I am smart, I am strong, I am good-lookin'. I am patriotic, I am brave, I am gentle, I am kind, I am generous. I protect the young, I defend the weak, I obey the laws. I am neat, clean, tender, sympathetic, intelligent, industrious, thrifty, sweet-tempered, courageous and handsome. I am spruce, tidy, trim, dapper, vigorous, hearty, hale, useful, witty, tried and true...."

Man oh man, now THAT'S daily affirmation that would make Stewart Smalley blush.

What a world it would be if all 16 year old's could stand and say this truthfully. But still, it's no wonder it ended like it did.

Give a listen...

In "Speaking of Radio: The Jack Benny Program" part 8 of 12 brings us two pieces of the program it would be hard to envision without.

First up, the heart and soul of the cast, Eddie "Rochester" Anderson is spotlighted with an all-too-brief recollection by writer george Balzer on Eddie's history with the show. Describing Anderson's first appearance as a pullman porter named "Syracuse". Then a later episode in which the real life Anderson was briefly lost at sea during a deep-sea fishing trip off Catalina, and was rescued the day of the live show and how the script was re-written to acknowledge the happening.

Next up Balzer relates the history and variations of "Anaheim, Asuza and Cuc.............amonga!", with clips and highlights of train station goings on with Frank Nelson, Mel Blanc and Sheldon Leonard making Jack's life miserable.

Interestingly enough, Jack Benny was so appreciated by these 3 little-known (Disneyland was still a decade away from putting Anaheim on the map) California towns, a year after the running gag began on his show in 1945, all three named Jack an honorary citizen.

Here's some great shots of Jack visiting them in later years.

Jack Benny (and Johnny Carson) opening the Anaheim train depot in 1963...

Jack Benny at the opening ceremony for the Asuza Civic Center in 1966...

Jack may not have gotten to Cucamonga, but here he is in 1966 or 7 at the at the Regina winery (later Filippi) in Etiwanda...

I used to work in Ontario, California and my office was situated at a spot between Etiwanda and Cucamonga and I could have easily walked to I figure this is close enough.

Sidebar up for all you developers and land barons who insist on now calling your town "Rancho Cucamonga" or even more snobbily, just plain "Rancho". You'll NEVER be as famous OR as cool as when Jack Benny and Mel Blanc used to tout your name! So just give it a rest.

P.S. (Post Sidebar) You were Orange and Grape country...don't you have to raise cows to be a "rancho"?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!

But I digress...enjoy the show!

Talk to you soon.

BONUS: For you Halloweener's...take a trip in the wayback machine to the post I did for Orson Welles' "The War of the Worlds" last year. It's a gooooooood listen, find it here!


Lysdexicuss said...

This one is laugh out loud, Jeffy~! It also proves that TRYING to explain the joke can be funnier/more entertaining than the joke sometimes~!

ps: I just updated your picture link @ Ten Ceant Dreams to make it more apropos ~!

Jeff Overturf said...

I caught my new picture link the other day Lys...FANTASTIC! Thanks.

And, thanks for reading is what it's all about my friend!

Marco said...

And don't forget the municipal stadium in Cucamonga is at the intersection of Rochester and Jack Benny Drive

Jeff Overturf said...

Right you ARE Marco!

Search This Blog