Radio stars (July 1933)

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RADIO STARS COME TO BURNS By MAY C E R F "Now listen, Gracie, that isn't possible—" COME with me to Burns' and Allen's for midnight supper. It's a meal that sets New York talking. East side, west side, all around the town, there's no party like it. Radio's brightest luminaries—Crosby, Cantor, Benny, Downey, Jack Pearl and a dozen others—flock there to eat and make merry. And that's something to write home about. Radio stars don't have much time to play. When they do play, they have fun. hirst, we go to Essex House on New York's West 59th Strict. A swank shebang forty stories high. Oppo- site, in Central Park, a thousand twinkling lights turn the night into a fairyland. Into the lobby, now. It's high, wide, and handsome. Tall palm trees suggest tropical warmth. Green brocade divans with dull gold frames line the walls. An orchestra is playing Kevin's "A Day in Venice." Makes you think of gondolas and moonlight and romance. Xow to the rear of the lobby. Here it is—the elevator marked "Express." Sculptured bronze doors slide open. "Thirty-six, please." Up! Up! Up! It's like ascending to an eagle's nest. The elevator stops. Out we troop. Past bright green doors. Each door a splash of vivid color in the wide expanse of pale cream walls. Then to the last green door. Our goal. The home of George Burns and Gracie Allen. Clang goes the bronze knocker. We're thrilled and how. We're about to crash the best party in the business. A colored maid, in an apple green uniform with a frilly white apron and a perky white cap, opens the door. Gay voices. Chatter. Laughter. The mixed sounds reach us. We cross the foyer into the living room. What a place! Spacious yet cozy. Drapes of cheery red bro- cade, eggplant colored rug, pale cream walls, soft cush- ioned chairs and side tables everywhere, a grand piano and a radio, of course. Charm and comfort combined. Just like Gracie, isn't it? And look at the lamps. How that girl must love them. Maybe she's a descendant of Aladdin. Did you ever see more of them in one room? Rose quartz and green jade and white porcelain. Shades of parchment, of Oriental design. Standing lamps, reading lamps, table lamps. And flowers. The room looks like a florist shop. Clus- ters of them in crystal vases. Roses in one place, long stemmed gladiolas in another, yellow jonquils in another. No, it's nobody's birthday. Gracie adores flowers. Gracious, we're sure in luck. In no other room in New York will you find such a galaxy of radio celebrities. There's no depression around this bunch. If their salaries were added together, they would practically pay the na- tional debt. There's a group in every corner, each doing something different. How sweetly smiling Gracie is. Such ease. Such poise. Such cordiality. No wonder she's radio's greatest home hostess. She makes every one feel welcome and then lets them amuse themselves. See that red chiffon dinner gown. It's just the right color to accent her vivid brunette coloring. LET'S start on a tour of inspection. To the left, lads and lassies, you find the "Home Eolks." That's what the inseparable six called themselves. Who are they? Well, George and Gracie, naturally; Jack Benny and Mary Livingstone, teammates in real life as well as on the air; Jack Pearl and Mrs. Pearl, funny man of air and stage and the queen of his heart and hearth. The pair of Jacks and George are lolling in easy chairs at peace with the world. Jack Benny's hair is graving at the temples. Most distingue. Sh ! What's that they're talking about? Radio jokes? Not a chance. Listen. Well, 'pon my soul, it's baseball. "The Babe is good for another five seasons as a player and twenty years after that as a manager," it's Jack Benny talking. He's a Babe Ruth fan. "Yeah," agrees Jack Pearl, "the bambino's like time and