Radio stars (Dec 1938)

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RADIO STARS ported from place to place! There was no time to send home for the deserted dummy, so Bergen went on the air without his im- pertinent friend at his side. Of course, radio listeners at home could detect no difference, unless it were the lack of ap- plause by a highly indignant studio audi- ence. Bergen can't remember a time when he was more ill at ease, or when a pro- gram seemed to be a more complete flop. Ben Bernie and Arline Blackburn have pulled similar boners which left them posi- tively aghast. Ben recalls the time when he had one of those little gadgets which, when pressed against someone's hand, gives the person a shock. At one of his broadcasts he was introduced, rather vague- ly, to a man in the control room. And, since Ben is one who never lets a good opportunity slip by, he put the gadget into use as he shook hands with the stranger. The man. as you might expect, let out a terrific yelp and Bernie laughed uproari- ously—until he learned that the stranger was his new sponsor whom he had not met before. Arline, who stars on Pretty Kitty Kelly, walked right into an awkward situation when she was introduced to a gentleman who seemed to have an active interest in her program. Anxious to be pleasant, but knowing nothing about the man, Arline made light conversation and finally asked if he were employed by the company which sponsored her show. Her blushes came fast and furiously when he replied that he was employed by the company—in the capacity of president! It was but a short time ago that Jack Berch and His Boys did a walloping good job on the last number of their rifteen- minute show. When it was over, Jack breathed a satisfied sigh and in hearty tones congratulated his co-workers. "We sure put that one over, didn't we. Boys?" Which was all very nice, except for the fact that the mike was still on and sur- prised listeners were treated to this un- rehearsed bit of self-approbation. There is a certain sound effects engineer on the Gain) Busters program who quite unintentionally embarrassed both the cast and himself. As you know, sound effects play an important part in the presentation of the exciting crime stories, and since so much shooting is necessary to the action, the sound effects men are forced to reload their pistols with blanks whenever they have a spare moment. On one show an actor spoke the line: "When the clock strikes three that's our signal to get go- ing." The sound effects man promptly sounded the chimes once, then twice, and went back to reloading his gun. Several seconds, which seemed like hours to the cast, elapsed before the man became con- scious of a deep silence. With a start he realized that he had neglected to sound the third chime on which the whole plot and the next line depended. He immediately rectified his error, but he still shudders to think what might have happened had he not come out of his fog as soon as he did. Recently, on a Paul Whiteman pro- gram, Joan Edwards found herself in a ticklish spot. The broadcast was being presented in a large CBS playhouse, and Joan was given the cue for her number. She waltzed up to the piano and started to seat herself on the stool—which promptly did a nip-up and crashed to the floor. As Shirley Howard swings a song. though that weren't bad enough, Joan had to go on with her number, singing and playing her own piano accompaniment at the same time while half-crouching before the keyboard. She stayed in this position until some kind person righted the stool and shoved it under her. There are a number of radio no doubt wish that their voices them completely instead of prod garbled and idiotic phrases as example. Announcer Ray White ars wno id failed ing such ;se. For blushed brightly when he introduced Bide Dudley, veteran of stage and screen, to a nation- wide audience as "the well-known drama critter." After an awkward pause he tried to recover his vocal equilibrium and blurted out, "I mean, the well-known drama cricket." Bide did a little blushing, too! Bess Johnson's master stroke made her feel pretty silly. In doing a commercial announcement, she was supposed to say: "Just spread a little on your shaving brush." Instead, she came out with "saving bus." Similarly, Milton J. Cross is re- sponsible for: "There were little red paper bells, Christmas trees and much whistle- toe." And Bob Trout for: "Ladies and gentlemen . . . ex-President Hoobert Herver!" Kelvin Keech, NBC announcer, has two such tongue-slips to his credit. The first occurred when he was reading the narrative introduction to an air play about sailors and the briny deep. The sponsor nearly collapsed when Keech ended a dramatic build-up by referring to "the tall, high- masted slipper clips"! The second was when he produced the classic "loud clap of thunder preceded by two squeaks of light- ning." Also, when John Xesbitt of Passiny Parade fame was supposed to say: "The attendant places the nozzle of the hose in the tank," he first bungled it with "nobble of the hose." Then he tried "noggle of the hose" and finally blurted out "hozzle of the nose." with which he gave up. Ben Grauer surprised himself and a cer- tain lady air guest by saying in honeyed tones: "Mrs. , we are dcepful greatly . . ." And last but not least, there was the Pep Breakfast Pood announcer who pulled the following: "Ladies, when your husband wakes up in the morning—dill and lust- FROM HOLLYWOOD COMES SOMETHING A/eiU TO LET YOU SHAPE YOUR LIPS AS YOU LIKE THEM! 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