Radio stars (Dec 1938)

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Agnes Moorehead says her most embarrassing moment occurred when a dramatic scene and a violent fit of hiccups arrived at once. EMBARRASSING MOMENTS IF YOU have ever felt that indescribable hot feeling in your face, known that a gorgeous shade of crimson was suffusing your physiognomy/and wanted to sink as rapidly as possible through the ground and out of sight, then you have something in common with all of radio's star per- formers. It is a safe bet that not one of them has been spared his embarrassing moment, particularly since broadcasting is fraught with so many pitfalls, a business in which anything can happen and all too frequently does. What makes it even worse is that an air artist has an unseen audience of millions and most often a studio audience of hundreds to witness his discomfort and laugh at his dilem- ma. His face has every reason to become very red, indeed. Bill Stern, NBC's ace football announcer, still has night- Fred Allen's quick wit failed him when something unexpected happened. mares when he remembers a certain program he conducted in Texas. Two colleges were to meet in a neutral town for the play-off game, and Bill had arranged to broadcast the arrival of the teams, college bands and rooters as their trains pulled into the station. The first Special was due at ten a.m., and a few minutes before that time Bill had everything in readiness—mikes were set up and an orches- tra in the main studio was supplying music until the time for the show to start. Suddenly he heard the shriek of an engine whistle in the distance and rushed to the station- master's office. "Is that the Special coming now ?" he called. "Sure, son. She'll be here in a minute," drawled the station-master. Stem raced back to the radio {Continued on page 70) 29