Posts Tagged ‘NBC’


Radio to Television

May 28, 2010


The show ran for many years on the radio waves before a swift and easy transition to television.  It was for the couple a way to go back in time to their vaudeville days but with the personality and style of what they had worked so long to develop on the radio.

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Gracie for President 1940

April 2, 2009

4presGracie Allen, the female half of the runaway comedy team of Burns and Allen, announced one March evening over the radio her intention to compete for the presidency at the head of a new third party, the “Surprise Party.” Why the Surprise Party? As Gracie later explained, her mother was a Democrat, her father a Republican, and Gracie had been born a Surprise.

Gracie’s presidential bid had originally been conceived as a simple radio gimmick with the expectation of a short half-life. George Burns later recalled its moment of birth: “Gracie and I were at home in Beverly Hills with our children [when she] suddenly remarked, ‘I’m tired of knitting this sweater. I think I’ll run for president this year.'”

The idea wasn’t particularly new. Other radio personalities, notably Eddie Cantor and Will Rogers, had made slapstick runs in the direction of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. Gracie’s unique campaign, however, acquired a unique momentum.

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Missing Brother

March 31, 2009

Gracie’s Missing Brother Gag


The following is an excerpt from “Gracie: A Love Story” by George Burns…

The gimmick that really made us major radio stars was the search for Gracie’s mythical brother in 1933. We’d been using Gracie’s mythical brother as a character in our act for years. It was Gracie’s brother who invented a way to manufacture pennies for only three cents. It was Gracie’s brother who marketed an umbrella with holes in it so you’d be able to see when the rain stopped. It was Gracie’s brother who first printed a newspaper on cellophane so that he could read it in a restaurant and still keep an eye on his hat and coat. And it was Gracie’s brother who broke his leg falling off an ironing board while pressing his pants. Actually, as we discovered, Gracie’s brother had been missing for years, but no one had noticed it because he’d left a dummy in his place.

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