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Old-time radio, 26 March: Sharp enough for Morgan?

Morgan didn't always have purely adversarial relationships with his sponsors . . .

Henry Morgan’s sponsorship by Eversharp in 1946-47, for the Schick injector razor and blades, isn’t exactly bound to end well.

It was one thing for Morgan to lance “Old man Adler” during his earlier-’40s, fifteen-minute exercises, since customers of the northeastern shoemaker/retailer couldn’t seem to resist patronising one after another Adler store asking to meet Old Man Adler himself. Eversharp enjoyed no such bounce from Morgan’s weekly commercial zaps.

Accepting that the preponderance of it might impress even faithful old fans as a collection featuring no few small tales, in Here’s Morgan: The Original Bad Boy of Broadcasting Morgan will remember his first weekend meeting with the unnamed Eversharp chieftain before the company agreed to give the freshly-married Morgan’s edgy new half-hour a try:

A potential sponsor for the radio show invited my wife and me to his home in Connecticut for the weekend. A bit later on he bought the show. I ran home to the hotel to break the wonderful news to my bride—that I was at the top of my profession.

“He bought it!” I almost yelled.

She looked up from her magazine.


“He’s a fascist,” she said.

Fascist, no. Boozer, yes. The owner of the Schick Razor Company was an unhappy man. Although newly married to a pleasant, younger woman (he was in his late fifties), he’d call me at home two or three times a week to sit and drink with him in the King Cole Room of the St. Regis Hotel. He was brilliant, but something was tearing him apart and he told me he started each day with a tumbler of scotch. At the St. Regis, the waiter would automatically keep filling his glass with liquor which he spaced out with gulps from a bottle of Pepto-Bismol which he kept at his elbow.

The poor guy died in a year or so. One night I was invited to join announcer Ben Grauer and his wife Melanie Kahane for dinner. They’d asked me not to bring anyone as they had arranged a blind date for me. Yep, the widow.

Take that as you will.


The Henry Morgan Show: The Invention of Work
(ABC, 1947)

A brief but zinging exaggeration thereupon. After, of course, (Henry) Morgan, Arnold (Stang), and company wonder whether or not to assume “real” characters for themselves. And, a club for parents has a contentious meeting, of course. Also: Blues and folk legend Josh White sings “Atom and Evil.”

Additional cast: Betty Garde, Charles Irving, Madaline Lee. Music: Bernie Green Orchestra. Writers: Henry Morgan, Carroll Moore, Jr., Aaron Ruben, Joe Stein.

(Note: The sound file is mis-identified as “Dedicated to American Landlords.”)

Further Channel Surfing . . .


Fibber McGee & Molly: Fibber Hires a Surveyor (NBC, 1940)—Jim & Marian Jordan, Bill Thompson, Harold Peary, Harlow Wilcox. McGee needs one when his plan to plant a new hedge and garage side runs into Gildersleeve’s property line, and the two rivals have laughs over the surveyor’s scopes. Easy enough to see.

The Halls of Ivy: Stolen Money (NBC; Voice of America rebroadcast, 1952)—Ronald and Benita Colman, unidentified additonal cast. The chairman of the student judiciary council wants to resign when her roommate is accused of monetary theft. Stay with it.

Crime Drama

Boston Blackie: Pierre the Designer (Syndicated, 1946)—Dick Kollmar, Frank Orth, Jan Miner, unidentified additional cast. A fashion designer wants Blackie’s help proving his innocence of the theft of his IOU and cash from a creditor’s safe—and it doesn’t look good when Mary turns up with six of the designer’s newest dresses. Typical series entry, but a good one.

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