Vic & Sade:
The Christmas Suggestion Box; or, A Gift for the Boss (CBS, 1942)
The Thimble Club Ladies Meeting (CBS, 1943)
There’s no such thing as too much Vic & Sade. You heard that here, and you can hear it below . . .
1942: Vic (Art Van Harvey) enlists Sade (Bernadine Flynn) to help tabulate the results, after Vic—who tried yet again but couldn’t duck the annual task of choosing the boss’s Christmas present—set up a suggestion box to determine the most popular choice among his colleagues. If you hadn’t noticed by now, this show has a genius for never waiting until the last minute to address Christmas and make it relevant no matter what time of year. Rush: Bill Idelson.
1943: Vic (Art Van Harvey), Russell (David Whitehouse), and Uncle Fletcher (Clarence Hartzell) strain to amuse themselves even as they’re well put out by Sade (Bernadine Flynn) hosting a Thimble Club meeting, though nobody’s in a big hurry to take Russell up on his early suggestion of just sitting in unnoticed. Nobody else can amuse themselves this dryly.
Writer/director: Paul Rhymer.
FURTHER CHANNEL SURFING . . .
The Magic Key: Navy Day (NBC Blue, 1935)—Beatrice Lillie, Jan Garber and His Orchestra (“Accent on Youth,” with vocalist Lee Bennett; “24 Hours a Day”), and Jessica Dragonette—“the newly-elected queen of radio,” the announcer says without offering a shred of evidence otherwise—highlight a Navy Day commemoration that also features “Dance of the Comedians” from The Bartered Bride; and, Col. Henry L. Roosevelt, Secretary of the Navy offering Navy Day greetings to listeners and his branch of the service alike, announcing the annual ships display in New York waters, calling for a special city-by-city Navy district salute, and introducing the assistant chief of naval operations, Adm. Joseph K. Tossing, who commanded the first division of American destroyers to reach the war zone in World War I. Announcer: Ben Grauer. Host: Milton Cross. Music: Frank Wright, conducting the NBC Symphony.
The Lucky Strike Program Starring Jack Benny: On Trial for Killing the Sports Men (NBC, 1946)—That’s the key skit, a week after Benny’s classic parody of The Whistler, but it’s often lost in the middle of one of old-time radio’s classic bloopers, from nervous Mary (Livingstone), whose chronic stage and mike fright may yet remain unknown for many more years to fans, even though that is almost the very thing that works so much in her favour. Cast: Phil Harris, Dennis Day, Eddie Anderson. Waiter: Frank Nelson. Announcer: Don Wilson. Music: Dennis Day, the Sports Men. Writers: Sam Perrin, Milt Josefsberg, George Balzer, John Tackaberry.
Quiet, Please: Don’t Tell Me About Halloween (Mutual, 1947)—Immortality isn’t everything people crack it up to be when a man (Ernest Chappell, who narrates) married to a witch (Charita Bauer) for over two centuries, sharing her immortality, chafing at her jealousy while he can only see her once a year, tires at last of the peculiar marriage when he falls in love with a mortal woman (Peggy Stanley). Ranger: Jim Boles. Music: Gene Perazzo. Writer/director: Wyllis Cooper.
Rocky Fortune: The Pint-Sized Payroll Bandit (NBC, 1953)—Just what Rocky (Frank Sinatra) doesn’t need, when he’s sent to a job at an all-night hamburger stand: a nine-year-old kid ordering a burger . . . and carrying a shoebox full of stolen money under his arm. Here’s where Sinatra saves what was thought an undistinguished filler into the kind of thing that might have been called inadvertent camp a decade later. Additional cast: Richard Fields, Lily Janis, Eddie Fields, Frank Richards, Barney Phillips. Director: Cliff Howell. Music: Richard Aurandt. Writers: George Lefferts, Robert Senadella.