|History of radio comedy|
|The radio comedy is not just one faction of radio, but in fact is a series of intricate parts and players like George Burns, Bob Hope, and others who worked variety shows or even situation comedies.
Amos and Andy:
Freeman F. Gosden and Charles J. Correll portrayed the characters of Amos and Andy for near thirty years. It was considered genius and racist and both were probably right. It was revolutionary for being the first radio show with continuing characters and a storyline. Before one can credibly attempt to interpret the program's social history, one must first clearly understand its performance history. To form an assessment of "Amos 'n' Andy" based on the 426 episodes aired in a half-hour situation comedy format between 1943 and 1955 or on the 78 episodes of the television series filmed between 1951 and 1953 is to reach a judgment based on only a fraction of the program's total run -- ignoring the 4,091 episodes of the series which aired in the nightly fifteen-minute serial format between March 1928 and February 1943. These serial episodes differ sharply from the later versions of the program in both format and in overall tone -- and it was this original version of the program, now almost totally forgotten, which most clearly spells out the vision of its creators. And it was this original series, which captured the attention of a nation only beginning to come to grips with the media revolution wrought by radio broadcasting in the 1920s.
Bob Hope conquered the radio medium at nearly the same time as he found success in motion pictures. Hope was featured regularly in several radio series throughout the 1930s. His success in the film The Big Broadcast of 1938 brought him to The Pepsodent Show radio series, which aired for over ten years as a top-rated program. The Pepsodent Show enjoyed enormous success for many reasons. Hope, by 1938 a veteran entertainer, had established a very popular persona: brash, yet not too serious about himself, and a comic wiseacre who endeared himself to his audience by taking them into his confidence. The format of the Pepsodent Show was straightforward: a monolog by Hope, exchanges and skits with his regular cast and guest stars, and a concluding skit. The manic comic character of his Pepsodent sidekick, Jerry Colona, was also a popular attraction on the show, but it was Bob Hope's opening monolog, which rooted each week's installment
Burns and Allen:
One of the greatest teams in entertainment was George Burns and Gracie Allen. In vaudeville, Burns never quite made it. It was when he teamed up with a dancer named Gracie Allen that he found a true comedy element. Their vaudeville act showed promise and soon found a radio show on NBC. Their show, originally a variety act, turned into somewhat of a sitcom, took a turn when they announced their marriage and used it in the show. It became the cornerstone of the series. Burns as the straight man and Allen as the "dumb blonde"; always had an interesting storyline that kept it going into a TV and movie career.
|"Amos and Andy"|
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|Amos and Andy|
|Burns and Allen|