Saturday, November 30, 2013

Why did Vic Love Sade?

Keith Heltsley and I once explored why Sade loved Vic -- that seems rather cut and dried, to be honest.  But the question remains, why would Vic love Sade?

Sade has three main things going for her, the way I see it: she's beautiful, she's a terrific homemaker and she is blessed with intuitive insight that is remarkable when compared to any other on the show.  

Her other abilities and interests pale greatly to others, such as her education, her speech, her interest in what's going on in the world "and other such trash."

No doubt, Vic likes to look at pretty women.  But I won't even address this issue; though Vic is juvenile and silly, he's not shallow, despite his constant ramblings about women who are "heavily veiled and greatly agitated."  He does enjoy a good flirt (from Misses di Rienzi, Delacey and Cordova, just to name three.)  But this seems to be something he's completely entitled to, since his dear wife (post 1933) is bereft of showing affection.

Could it be that Vic was drawn to Sade for her domestic dominance?  Well, it could be.  Vic is probably a slob and saw a way to immediately improve his life by having Sade pick up after him.  More likely, it was she was a whiz in the kitchen area of the house; perhaps she knew a secret or two about limberschwartz cheese and ways to make it even more engrossing.  

However, it occurs to me that Vic loves Sade for she was basically his mother.  The physical affection between the two has long gone, there's no child of their own, the cooing Vic does is always done in jest and in a silly voice...  Vic never needed a lover -- instead, he needed a mother.

Vic is a child.  His playmate was Rush (then later, Russell.)  Sade was the one who set the rules and doled out the punishment.  While Vic was often "the dad", he rarely played the part (if ever) of the husband.  Vic was a child (bang! bang! bang!) trapped in a man's body.  His silly sayings, songs, jokes, poems, actions, friends, hats, lodge all prove he was pretty much 14 years old.

Remember the episode Freedom, Last Day of School?  Rush comes home, happy that school is over and Summer Vacation has begun.  Though Vic has brought home work from the office and wishes not to be disturbed, he can't help himself but to put himself in Rush's place.  And he does this with almost everything that happens.  Vic's real love is Rush, not Sade.  

Yes, Vic loves Sade.  But he loves her like a mother.  A bit misguided, perhaps, but he loves her, just the same.  - Jimbo Mason

Imagine a world were Vic and Sade are young, single, and unattached.  What does Vic have going for him? In public, Vic can be quite the gentleman, but in private he enjoys the childish pleasure of a good prank, and wide brimmed hats. Which did Sade see in Vic that drew her to him? Which of the two traits were endearing to her? Maybe both? If so, he would certainly seem to be a complete package for her, a gentleman provider, yet someone who needed her motherly instinct.

Did Vic notice Sade at all? In a first encounter from Vic's perspective, if Sade was flirtatious, it certainly would have drawn him in, but maybe her lack of flirting was the challenge that caused him to pursue her. I think there must have been something more persistent than that. Something, that despite any initial affection or conflict, he saw an ongoing vulnerability that he could step in, and be her protector. Just the kind of valiance that would appeal to Vic.

Generally, from the beginning they recognized a relationship of give and take. One where both brought something to the other, and had just the right needs met by the other. It may not be the thrilling fireworks associated by romance novels, but the right kind that people need to build a life long marriage on.

To figure out what it is about Vic and Sade that drew them together, or to understand the love relationship they have, it has to go beyond the way we see love today.

They don't have a passionate, or emotion-charged love life. Of course, by the time we hear them in the series, they're in the phase of being an "old married couple" and that kind of thing isn't expected to be in the forefront. Still, old married couples have their moments of showing affection, or having a heated argument.

Vic and Sade have moments of conflict, but nothing overly heated. Occasionally, Vic seems to try and initiate a compassionate moment, as in asking Sade for a kiss, or to sit on his lap, but Sade rarely gives Vic the same kind of strokes. She does do the motherly kind of things, and Vic can often be a child enough to complete the set.

Vic doesn't look outside his marriage for satisfaction from another woman, although he stumbles on the flirtations of the girls in the secretarial pool. The compliments always make him giddy, transparent, and blind to the boost in his spirits. Sade can always tell when other women have been flirting, and gets the claws out to put Vic in his place. Sometimes that needs to be done, but Sade either never offers up those same flirtatious compliments, or doesn't understand that Vic might be more immune to outside affections if she did more of it herself.

With all that said in reviewing what their relationship looks like now, what do they see in each other exactly?

Sade is an attractive woman, and Vic is a nice looking man, which always helps. She isn't well-educated, but seems content and very competent in being a homemaker. Her world revolves around running an efficient home, and to have those comforts, you need a good provider. Vic is smart, has a good job, and can bring in the financial resources to keep Sade's efficient home running to her perfection. Though he grew up on a farm, he has now shed all those menial jobs of being self-sufficient. I'll bet he can cook and take care of himself in the home quite well if put to the task, but is content to enjoy the fruits of Sade's homemaking.

The bottom line is they have traits that compliment one another. Where one is weak, the other is strong. Opposites attract, but opposites set the stage for bristling against each other and conflict.

Vic and Sade are also similar enough in their likes and dislikes to help gloss over those rough areas. They both like the same kinds of food, beef punkles. They like playing cards, ice cream, relaxing in the living room after a satisfying day's work.

They both have their social clubs that they enjoy. They don't understand, and even scoff at the activities of the other club, but they respect the others love for that part of their life.

What they have is a comfortable relationship. I think that Vic and Sade see their own kind of comfort in the other.

Some questions that may never be known, but would be interesting to find out. Was there something that sparked it all off? How did they first come to meet each other, and recognize the other had that comfortable thing in them that they needed? I wonder if Sade was at least a little bit flirtatious in the beginning to lure the attention of Vic? - Keith Heltsley Retro Radio Podcast

Monday, November 18, 2013

He killed Officer Tippett

Rain Brain Woofer

1935/Women's National Radio Commitee/Vic's Sore Knee

According to the book, The Concise Encyclopedia of American Radio, the Women's National Radio Committee (in 1935) named Vic and Sade, "One of the few daytime radio shows worth listening to."

This date is in fact two years removed from the episode Vic Has a Sore Knee, an episode that seems to be anything but worth endorsing by a Women's Committee of any size or shape.

More Uncle Duff (Hartzell)

Single Season Sitcoms

Check Those Endearing Young Charms

Uncle Duff (Hartzell)

The Complete Directory to Prime Time...

Check Those Endearing Young Charms

Clarence Hartzell on TV

Hi There Boys and Girls!

TV and Bill Idelson

The Definitive Andy Griffith Show reference



How to Talk Like a Local

Sunday, November 17, 2013

The Gook Twilight Zone and trivia column (Part One)

  • The embarassingly bad, greedy side of Rush.
  • "Uncreative" Sade was a rather prolific poet, believe it or not (here) and (here.)
  • The only known time that an ambulance was called.
  • Death and the Gooks (here) and (here.)
  • Two alarm clocks?  Pfft.  Here's an episode where Vic broke THREE alarm clocks.
  • There were actually THREE vacant lot playgrounds in the series.
  • Unsolved mysteries: What is "taping a baseball?" and "playing indoor baseball?"  Both Rush and Russell do these things many times.  What happened to Mis' Fisher, the nosy neighbor who was very prominent early in the series?  What the heck happened to Mr. Gumpox's mail-order wife?  Why did the Donahues move and more importantly, why did they move back to the same house?  Why was Dr. Keevy's office used as a meeting place over and over again, especially when Vic met up with Pom Pom Cordova?  Who/what was in the Donahue basement towards the end of the series?  What was the deal with all the barbers in the series?  The cornets in the series?  The idea of pants "in cold storage?"  Why was Miller Park the site of "found"/"lost" books? Since Mr. Donahue showed signs of violence at least twice that we know of (punching both Gumpox and Howard at different times) is this the real reason why Sade always demanded quiet when he was sleeping with his window open?  And on and on...
  • Do you remember the time Rush was HAPPY with a clothes purchase his mother made for him?  Well, now you do.  
  • There are so many ridiculous ideas on the show that make it so much fun.  However, this idea is so ridiculous yet so plausible - that it's pure comedy genius... and makes me laugh every time I think about it.
  • The most-overlooked recurring plot in the series is probably the one where Rush tries to obtain the money in his bank account.
  • If you think Sade was the only gardener to grow Panther's Blood, you'd be wrong.
  • The most-unusual book title mentioned on the show was probably, "Tricks a One-legged Man Can Perform with a Dead Gorilla." 
  • It once took two years for Paul Rhymer to complete a joke involving two episodes.

Maybe I'll do this again one day. Please let me know if you enjoyed this.

Bits and pieces

I'm going to spend the next month or so adding bits and pieces, correcting errors, adding more links and insight, writing new small pieces for The Crazy World of Vic and Sade site... so if you feel the mood hits you, I encourage you to take stabs viewing various episodes and links on the left-hand side for the next month or so.  You will likely find a surprise or two.

I also encourage you to add your comments to various episodes or feel free to send me any written piece about the show, no matter the length.  Your insight is valuable to me and I will credit you and you can become a part of the "family" here.

Thank you.

Friday, November 15, 2013

An interview with my brother about Vic and Sade

I live with my older brother (he's 11 years older than me).  His name is Jerry.

Jerry is an old time radio fan who, until July of this year, had never even heard of Vic and Sade.

I gifted him with an iPod and crammed it full of all kinds of OTR, which he listens to at night, every night.  One of things I put on there was, of course, Vic and Sade.

He's heard only about 60 episodes, in random order.

I recently asked him a few questions about the show and thought I'd share our conversation...

Jimbo - You've heard a great many Vic and Sade shows now over the past four months.  How does it compare with other old-time radio?

Jerry - It's not like any of the other shows I've heard.  It's not like the comedies at all, yet, it's a comedy.  They don't tell jokes or set each other up.  There's no straight man, there's no comedian... although Vic seems to think he's a comedian.  Vic is funny, there's no doubt.  Rush is funny too.  And, oh, Uncle Fletcher is the funniest.  Yet they don't try to be funny.  It's absurdity in a normal world.  No one seems to be paying attention to each other, like they are in their own little worlds.

Jimbo - I've said the same thing!  Gee we are a lot alike.

Jerry - Cool.

Jimbo - Okay, Vic is the comedian huh?

Jerry - Well, he's the clown, anyway.  He is the fall guy too.  Nothing much ever seems to go his way.  His lodge stuff is always messed up, you know?

Jimbo - Oh, I know!

Jerry - And I'm sure you'll ask me about Rush next...  Rush is an awesome kid.  I can see through his eyes.  I enjoy his enthusiasm and his big ideas but in the end, he's a kid and gets treated like a kid.

Jimbo - Is it wrong that a child like Rush gets treated like a kid, even though he uses grandiose words and has huge ideas?

Jerry - No.  He is a kid.  If his ideas were really followed through, there would be tiny disasters everywhere, or at the least, constant fodder for the newspaper gossip columnists.  Rush is kept under control by Vic and Sade, no matter that you think he is too tempered.  They know what they are doing... he doesn't.  Tattoo artist at a party?  Ha!

Jimbo - Okay.  Now let's turn to Sade.

Jerry - Sade's pretty usual... that is, other than her constant exaggerations, she's actually pretty normal.   That's not to say that I dislike her because I don't.  I don't really like her either, though.  She's the stabilizing force though.  Without her, the men go crazy and burn down Illinois - or at least stay out and about all hours of the day and not go to school, work and other daily duties.  Plus, the dishes never get done.  She's the mother, the wife and warden.

Jimbo - Okay, how about Uncle Fletcher?

Jerry - Well, as I have told you before, he's my favorite character.  Probably my favorite character on any radio program as well.  He's crazy, and that craziness is only there so people will pay attention to him.  When they don't pay attention to him, he tries another thing.  If that doesn't work, he tries another.  Sometimes, nothing works and he gets mad or pouty.  He's like you, Jimbo.

Jimbo - Hey...

Jerry - He's like a lot of older people.  They have experiences and want and need to be heard.  I, for one, enjoy the company of these type of people, both male and female.  They are wonderful, exciting, funny people.  You can learn and laugh with them and really, that's what makes a day worth living sometimes.  And there is no one like the uncle.  That guy is kooky.  But so much fun.  I enjoy it when you dig out one of those audio stories from your website where I can recall and listen again just what he is saying.  The stuff he says is so much fun.  I wish I had an uncle like that.  Actually, I did.  Uncle Wayne was like that.  But he died when you were five and you don't remember him much.

Jimbo - I remember him.  He had a monkey, a mail truck and I remember he ran over a big frog and he got out and cut the legs off and we went home and fried them up.

Jerry - Yep.  And Uncle Fletcher was that kind of guy too.  Everyone has an Uncle Fletcher.  And if they don't, they need to go and find someone and adopt them to be their Uncle Fletcher - or Aunt Fletcher!

Jimbo - I agree.  So, you enjoy the series then?

Jerry - I've enjoyed it from Day One.  And I can't wait to hear more. 

Sunday, November 10, 2013

McGees and breaking in new shoes - stolen from Paul Rhymer?

There have been a few occasions when the concept of "breaking in new shoes" has been a part of Vic and Sade lore.

I recently found an episode of Fibber McGee and Molly (54-05-03) which took this same concept and ran with it.

The writer of the FM&M episode was not Don Quinn (who grew up just miles from Vic and Sade author Paul Rhymer) for he had stopped writing the show by 1954.  However, there is no mention who the writer(s) was on the episode, so there is no way to point him/them out to you.

Here's a brief part of the episode:


Monday, November 4, 2013

When Donnie Pitchford met Uncle Fletcher...

I recently asked Donnie Pitchford, President of the National Lum and Abner Society, for his remembrances of Clarence Hartzell (Uncle Fletcher on Vic and Sade, Ben Withers on Lum and Abner).

He graciously recorded a five minute-plus piece for us to enjoy:


Check out Donnie's work as the cartoonist for the WONDERFUL Lum and Abner comic strip!
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