After working as Allen's summer replacement, Abbott and Costello joined Edgar Bergen and Charlie McCarthy on The Chase and Sanborn Hour in 1941, while two of their films (Buck Privates and Hold That Ghost) were adapted for Lux Radio Theater. They launched their own weekly show October 8, 1942, sponsored by Camel cigarettes.
The Abbott and Costello Show mixed comedy with musical interludes (by vocalists such as Connie Haines, Ashley Eustis, the Delta Rhythm Boys, Skinnay Ennis, and the Les Baxter Singers). Regulars and semi-regulars on the show included Artie Auerbach ("Mr. Kitzel"), Elvia Allman, Iris Adrian, Mel Blanc, Wally Brown, Sharon Douglas, Verna Felton, Sidney Fields, Frank Nelson, Martha Wentworth, and Benay Venuta. Ken Niles was the show's longtime announcer, doubling as an exasperated foil to Abbott and Costello's mishaps (and often fuming in character as Costello routinely insulted his on-air wife). Niles was succeeded by Michael Roy, with announcing chores also handled over the years by Frank Bingman and Jim Doyle. The show went through several orchestras during its radio life, including those of Ennis, Charles Hoff, Matty Matlock, Matty Malneck, Jack Meakin, Will Osborne, Fred Rich, Leith Stevens, and Peter van Steeden. The show's writers included Howard Harris, Hal Fimberg, Parke Levy, Don Prindle, Eddie Cherkose (later known as Eddie Maxwell), Leonard B. Stern, Martin Ragaway, Paul Conlan, and Eddie Forman, as well as producer Martin Gosch. Sound effects were handled primarily by Floyd Caton. Guest stars were plentiful, including Frank Sinatra, The Andrews Sisters, and Lucille Ball.
In 1947 Abbott and Costello moved the show to ABC (the former NBC Blue Network). During their time on ABC, the duo also hosted a 30-minute children's radio program (The Abbott and Costello Children's Show), which aired Saturday mornings, featuring child vocalist Anna Mae Slaughter and child announcer Johnny McGovern.
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Famous quotes containing the word radio:
“England has the most sordid literary scene Ive ever seen. They all meet in the same pub. This guys writing a foreword for this person. They all have to give radio programs, they have to do all this just in order to scrape by. Theyre all scratching each others backs.”
—William Burroughs (b. 1914)
“Local television shows do not, in general, supply make-up artists. The exception to this is Los Angeles, an unusually generous city in this regard, since they also provide this service for radio appearances.”
—Fran Lebowitz (b. 1950)
“There was a girl who was running the traffic desk, and there was a woman who was on the overnight for radio as a producer, and my desk assistant was a woman. So when the world came to an end, we took over.”
—Marya McLaughlin, U.S. television newswoman. As quoted in Women in Television News, ch. 3, by Judith S. Gelfman (1976)