Thursday, February 01, 2007

Old-time radio Thursday: Vic and Sade

In his monumental Encyclopedia of Old-time Radio, John Dunning notes that the great science fiction writer Ray Bradbury was
only one in a long line of notables who were and are fans of Vic and Sade. Edgar A. Guest, James Thurber, and Hendrik Willem Van Loon were outspoken in their praise. Ogden Nash compared the author, Paul Rhymer, with Mark Twain, a sentiment echoed by John O'Hara in a Collier's column. President Roosevelt was said to have listened when he could . . . ."
O'Hara and Nash compared Rhymer to Mark Twain? Well, here's the fact, Jack: at his best, Rhymer kicked Twain's ass.

Vic and Sade, oddly, is one of three classic radio shows set in small-town central Illinois (in this case, Bloomington, though it's never named)--the other two being Fibber McGee and Molly and its spinoff, The Great Gildersleeve. Rhymer grew up in Bloomington.

Vic and Sade ran 15 minutes, five days a week for over a decade. For most of the run there were only four characters (though a cast of dozens): Vic, Sade, their adopted son Rush, and Sade's Uncle Fletcher, the greatest dotty old man in the history of literature. Here are two shows (each ten minutes or less because the commercials were removed).

Bernice Died


Uncle Fletcher's Watch Fob Collection.

(credit: V & S shows from the lovely, but here aren over 300 of them in downloadable form. Warning: a number of these are in lousy sound; there are plenty, though, that are just fine. Click around a little.)

Update: Using the phrase "Old-time radio Thursday" is not meant to imply that there will ever be another Old-time radio Thursday.

Update II: Time on Vic and Sade in 1943; and the wiki on the show, from considerably later.

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