Thursday, October 24, 2013

Does 'A Christmas Story' give homage to Vic?

I watched 'A Christmas Story' again this morning.

This time I watched a lot more closely.

Darren McGavin's character seems to pay homage to Vic Gook when he first enters.

His first talk is about the White Sox and baseball (Vic was a White Sox fan and loved baseball.) 

Reading from the paper (one of Vic's favorite pastimes), he tells an Uncle Fletcher-type anecdote about a man swallowing a yo-yo.

Then, McGavin's character talks about "Victor" who is the Lone Ranger's nephew's horse.  This is an ode to Bill Cullen (I believe) who is famed in Vic and Sade circles for asking trivia questions about horses (belonging to Mr. Gumpox) in Vic and Sade.

Of course, I could be wrong on all of this... watch the film for yourself (or at least watch the first few minutes of McGavin) and see what you think.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Found: My first impressions of Vic and Sade

I've found a post I wrote at the OTRr Buffet that documents the day after I first heard Vic and Sade: 
For the past 14 weeks I have been reading about a serial called Vic and Sade. There have been many articles I haven't posted about them because I was under the impression "nobody cared" about them.

Last night I got my first taste of them, having listened to four episodes back-to-back.  What a surprise I received!  I'll write an in-depth review in a couple of days and tell you my opinions but let me just say that I found the show to be funny and quite fresh.   They aren't quite Fibber McGee and Molly but  -- well as I said, I'll give you a more in-depth review very soon.
March 19, 2011

The day I challenged folks to listen to Vic and Sade

After I had heard about 100 Vic and Sade episodes, I challenged others to listen (2011.)  There's passion in my voice at the link below, do you feel it?

_____ is a good boy!

How many of you were around when this blog existed?

This blog existed for a while until it became incorporated into the Character Website.  Basically, everything that went on there just fell under the name Uncle Fletcher.  That is, except, I had every "Fine" and "____is a good boy!" on audio there.  That was pretty boring and I got rid of those.

How I got the idea for the Character Website

In 2011, I "wrote" this for my OTRr Buffet blog.  Check it out.

IMPORTANT: Rumors, Pleas and Thank Yous

Welcome to Autumn, 2013!

You may not know it, but I try and read every Vic and Sade related item I can find on the web, even if they are comments made in a forum.  I do extensive searches for Vic and Sade and find a small bit of activity revolves around the show weekly, even if it's in small bits.

I recently spent some money and bought every pay-per-view news article about the show that I thought was worth reading.  I shared what little info with you that I was able to grab from those articles.  Other articles gave up no new info.  I hope to one day share those articles with you.

I also have access to many fans of the show who I have found over the months.  Many of them have news about the show that they have picked up or know people who know people who know people...  I don't want to go into specifics about who exactly I know (because they may not want their names brought up) but needless to say, some people are right on top of the Vic and Sade world.

I've recently heard it on good authority that a book is being written about Vic and Sade.  I have a feeling it will be a legitimate book, not a book of scripts and not a book about the show that somehow leaves out Clarence Hartzell and David Whitehouse (like Bill Idelson's book.)  This book won't be an audio book (like the one I put out) but a real, legitimate book.  I have no timetable on the book or really, not much more information, but let's keep our fingers crossed.

I do plan on writing articles about each of the years the Gooks were on radio and examining how things changed during those years.

And since the amount of info on the family is about dried up (considering how much we have helped in squeezing about all the information from the internet into all of the websites we run) I ask you all, please, if you have any ideas, thoughts, impressions, drawings, scripts you have written, scripts we don't have or any other ounce of information about the show that we can share with everyone, please do not hesitate to email me and share this.  I will share it with the readers, who are all as anxious as I am to see any new thing about Vic and Sade.

The show is in danger of losing it's final steam, I'm afraid, as there's just so little left to be found.  But I do know that some of you out there have scripts that have yet to be published on the internet.  I am willing and able to purchase these scripts from you if you are willing to sell them.  Please contact me and we will talk about a price.  [PS. I have a deteriorating heart condition people, I am not going to live very long.  I went to the cardiologist today and he had very bad news for me.  This may be your last chance to help Vic and Sade and Paul Rhymer.  This may be your LAST chance to help get these things on the internet where they belong so everyone can enjoy them.]

All of your personal stories about the show are important.  People DO LOVE to read these and we have the perfect place to employ these here on the Vic and Sade Research Notebook.  Please think about writing something for the blog or sharing anything you may have, large or small, significant or insignificant.  I do not make any money or profit from this.  It's all done to further the show and the history of it.

I appreciate all written contributions, drawings, paintings and well... whatever!

Thank you.

Jimbo Mason

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Yet another look at the "sore knee" script

The Vic and Sade episode, Vic Has a Sore Knee, was actually one of the first 25 or so Vic and Sade episodes to ever be on the radio.  It was first done in 1932 and (somewhat miraculously) re-done the next year.

The script is one the strangest you will find in the whole of old-time radio.  This is far beyond the famous "Adam and Eve" skit that somehow banned Mae West from radio for a good 10 years or more.  It is way beyond "The War of the Worlds" or any of that ilk.  I do not consider myself an expert of old-time radio as there are just far too many episodes to hear out there but of the 10,000 or shows I have heard, nothing comes close to this particular Vic and Sade episode.

Was it funny?  I'm not really sure if it was funny or not.  It does not read "funny."  As a matter of fact, it reads several different ways.

In the play's beginning, it must have been quite somber.  A two year child has died.  Not even in the soapiest of soap operas did  authors dare take a two year old baby and "kill" it, even or especially in 1932.  Yet, this is what happens in this episode.

Then we have Rush joking with his mother about how good she looks as she is about to go to the baby's funeral.  I'm not suggesting in any way, shape or form there is anything wrong with this but a look at the script when this happens shows clearly that Rush is prodding his mother almost to a blushing point with compliments about her beauty as she is about to step out the door for the baby's funeral.  If nothing else, it's quite odd.

The oddities continue as Rush prods his father with questions about the afterlife.  Vic is quite uncomfortable with these questions.

Then there is the whole racial matter.  I'm not sure how to approach it or even how I see it.  It all boils down to 1932 being a far different time than 2013.  Rush wants to help his less-fortunate neighbors, but even the most open-hearted person can see that he simply does it the wrong way in the script.  He doesn't ask ahead of time, he's got people sleeping in the bed behind the backs of his mother and father and most importantly, his mother is going to be shocked when she comes home to find them there (Sade is not the easiest person to trick or appease.  Sade will be a bear when she finds out and Vic KNOWS this.)

So while this script doesn't really seem to be funny, it probably was very, very funny - so funny in fact that writer Paul Rhymer chose to have the cast do it again less than a year after the first run on the air.

There's no doubt that this script wouldn't fly today and might even cause a controversy.  But it shows you just how far ahead of his time that Rhymer was and always has been.

Vic Has a Sore Knee - now on audio - sort of!

The all-time most curious (if not best) episode, Vic Has a Sore Knee (originally done in 1932 and then again in 1933), is without audio.  We will probably never hear the cast of Vic and Sade ever do this show.

But we have this... PQ Ribber, a huge friend of the blog and an even bigger Vic and Sade friend, recently read the script on his podcast and broke his back to allow me to use that part of the podcast so that I may attach it to the Crazy World of Vic and Sade website, at the post for Vic Has a Sore Knee.

Watermarked Hartzell dealing antiques!

Clarence Hartzell sold antiques after radio.  This may be taken from those days.

Was Paul Rhymer NOT the only Vic and Sade writer?

According to the book, The A to Z of American Soap Operas, Vic and Sade was written by Paul Rhymer AND OTHERS.

Vic and Sade: the show with three geniuses?

Paul Rhymer: certified genius

Bill Idelson: probable genius, although, an overlooked one

Clarence Hartzell: genius?  Maybe so.

Trick played on Clarence Hartzell

It's in black and white:

The previous Amos and Andy mystery is solved

Rob McConegh (from OTRR) found the following entry from J. David Goldin's index:

18234. Same Time, Same Station. June 4, 1972. Program #24. KRLA, Pasadena. Sustaining. A rebroadcast of "The Amos 'n' Andy Show" of January 6, 1948 (see also cat. #163), a "Vic and Sade" program from October, 1941 (see also cat. #5754), and a wartime "Ma Perkins" program (see also cat. #77). Freeman Gosden, Charles Correll, The Jubalaires, Jeff Alexander and His Orchestra, John Lake (announcer), Virginia Payne, Dick Wells (announcer), John Price (producer, narrator), Art Van Harvey, Bernardine Flynn, Clarence Hartzell, Paul Rhymer (writer). 1 hour. Audio condition: Excellent. Complete.

As you can see, it's 3 different programs. The Jubalaires were a music group!

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

The great Amos and Andy/Vic and Sade mystery!

I was doing some research today for my Vic and Sade websites and came across a pay-per-view article that I bought (and therefore cannot post.)  The article clearly states that Paul Rhymer, the writer for Vic and Sade, was asked to write an episode of the Amos and Andy show, which he did.  The article then goes on to state "but it sounded too much like [a] Vic and Sade [episode.]"  And it implies it never did air (but it does NOT say this.)

A little further research shows the following from the J. David Goldin Index (] That first Google entry there is a 404 error and does not exist but it appears that it did one time exist in the Goldin index.  It also implies that there was a Amos and Andy show written by Rhymer and included at least Vic, Sade and Uncle Fletcher from Vic and Sade - [or so it seems to imply this.]

Further research does not show this episode in any log I have found (it may or may not be called "The Jubularies" or something similar.

So what gives?  Are we missing a Vic and Sade/Amos and Andy oddity?

More about David Whitehouse

David Whitehouse was picked for the part of Russell Miller only after Paul Rhymer heard "practically every young actor" available in Chicago apply for the part.  Rhymer didn't like any of them.  So, the search broadened.  Whitehouse, from Evanston, Indiana, was the clear choice after Rhymer heard him try out.  This, according to an article from 1942 from the Chicago Tribune which I acquired today.

At times, Vic and Sade did 4 shows a day

In 1937 (at least) Vic and Sade did four shows a day.  These shows were all live.

In the Central Time Zone, they did a show at 10:30 am, 2:30 pm, 6:45 pm and then again at 9:30 pm.  These were all live because this was before transcription.  That's a long day!

(I have an article that proves this to be true but right now, I cannot share it with you.)

Details of pay-per-view #2

Another PPV story (details only):
  • The article is from the Chicago Tribune and was written by Larry Wolters (1946.)
  • Walter M. Veefy (he's worth looking up as you will surely know who he is) is credited (probably by Uncle Fletcher) with inventing the soft treadle on the piano and also for discovering the soft-bellied house snake.
  • Uncle Fletcher once devised a way to siphon (free) peanuts out of a peanut machine.  He siphoned so many one year that the Illinois Central Packing Company failed to declare a dividend.  [This makes the fact that he co-owned a peanut machine all the more curious, doesn't it?]
  • In this article, Paul Rhymer claims he has borrowed from Booth Tarkington, Mark Twain, Ring Lardner, Charles Dickens and Robert Benchley!

Lots of new details in pay-per-view story

I recently paid for and received a pay-per-view story from the LA Times, circa 1978.  Part of the agreement is that I do not post the article - and so I won't.  But what I can do is give you every detail mentioned.
  • The article was written by Don Weldon.
  • In 1934, butchers all over the US were "bewildered" by requests for beef punkles
  • In 1934, NBC was also getting a lot of requests for "beef punkle pie" and "beef punkle ice cream" prompted by the Vic and Sade program
  • In what was probably an Uncle Fletcher story, a man named Garvey Mullery Jr. (who married a woman 56 years old) made a pair of handcuffs out strawberry pop bottle lids and then used them to handcuff his father.
  • An unnamed woman had her teeth grow upside down in her mouth.
  • If Paul Rhymer wasn't finished writing a script in 3 hours, he would tear it up and start over with a fresh idea.
  • Rhymer once was asked to write for Amos and Andy - and he did.  Only it sounded too much like a Vic and Sade script.
  • The actual portrait of R.J. Konk (pictured in this vingnette) actually hung in Rhymer's house.  Rhymer's wife was artly tolerant, even though she was the Curator of Prints at the Chicago National Historical Society.
  • In Rhymer's home, there was such a thing as a "goop bottle."  The goop bottle contained small amounts of 320 different liquors.

Friday, October 4, 2013

50 inches and the Gooks

Well hideehi everyone! I've been on a "vacation" and today, maybe for the first time, I've seen just what a monster I have created. I viewed the main site on a 50" TV screen. I've been more or less taking time off to enjoy life for a change.

I can't and won't go into many details but I've recently come into some money and I am enjoying spending some of it. I've been unable to work for quite some time, so having these funds is nothing but a good thing.

In my joy, I've neglected the Gooks something awful and I miss them. I heard a Rush story today (taken from my character website) and I can't tell you how happy the story made me feel. It was the one about Smelly Clark getting hit in the head with the hammer...(telephone man, telephone wires, telephone pole, etc.) It seems as though I have heard the story 100 times yet I sure missed good, ole Rush telling the story aloud. I've really missed the Gooks and Uncle Fletcher as well.

I have not missed Spottie Brainfeeble.

I do plan on getting back to work on "this thing." I realized today, perhaps for the first time, what a behemoth the main site and the character website have become. Each is huge. View it on a 50" screen for yourself!

Anyway, I've been way too lazy. And it seems like I keep finding ways to get lazier. But I have things I need to finish and I hope to do so...someday soon. Wish me luck, send me mail and encouragement. It will help!
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