Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Oops: 44-01-04 Vic's Bottom Dresser Drawer Violated

The episode entitled: 44-01-04 Vic's Bottom Dresser Drawer Violated was "greyed out" on the right side of the main site, which means only a title is available... but that info was wrong as it's been in the database all this time and it somehow slipped through the cracks.

You can find it HERE.

Painted Portrait of Big Dipper gets a script

Mis' Crowe once again provides a script and new commentary for an episode, this time:

40-01-02 Painted Portrait of Big Dipper

Thanks to her!

Appelrot shoves Sade around!

40-xx-xx Mis' Appelrot Rearranges the Furniture now has new commentary and a transcription of the audio, each done by Mis' Lydia Crowe!

Mmmm... Ice cream and salted peanuts and noses pressed against the windows!

40-xx-xx Ice Cream and Salted Peanuts at Midnight has been updated (with a new commentary and a transcribed script) at the Crazy World website, plus a new look awaits you!

Thanks to Mis' Lydia Crowe, as always.

Saturday, April 26, 2014

What's wrong with this list?

Really?  There are 22 more famous Illinois Wesleyan University Alumni than Paul Rhymer?  Really?

Table of contents for Vic and Sade on the Radio (book)

Table of Contents

Preface 1
Introduction 3

Part I: The Media Context
Chapter One. Rhymer Is "Outstanding" 9
Chapter Two. The Birth of Vic and Sade 23
Chapter Three. "Something to be interested in": Daytime Radio 42
Chapter Four. The "ins and outs of modern life": Mass Culture and Its Critics 62

Part II: Social and Cultural Contexts
Chapter Five. Leisure: "It represents quite a problem" 73
Chapter Six. "Let’s go to the picture show": Movies 106
Chapter Seven. "Seated on the davenport reading": The Role of Reading 121
Chapter Eight. "Where’d you copy that from?": Education 141
Chapter Nine. "Doing exactly the same thing": The Individual and the Community 160
Conclusion: Saying Goodbye 183
Chapter Notes 191
Selected Bibliography 203
Index 207

Three new scripts and commentaries by Mis' Lydia Crowe

The following posts have been added to today, as I have finally gotten around to adding some more of Mis' Crowe's welcome additions, which include her commentary and transcriptions of the audio.

As always, great stuff from Mis' Crowe, and I thank her for her hard work and love for the show!  Not to mention the fact that I appreciate that she allows me to use her work!  Thanks, Mis' Crowe!

39-12 01 Vic's Christmas Card List 
39-12-xx Rush Is Getting On In Years
39-12-xx Sade Volunteers Rush for Pageant 

And still, another new script synopsis!

36-06-15 Gov Versus Rush: Bowling Grudge

Another new script synopsis found

34-09-01 Kickapoo Creek or American Legion Parade?

New script synopsis found

33-11-23 The Kreider's House Burns Down

Thursday, April 24, 2014

More info about the new Vic and Sade book!

According to the web site, the new book, Vic and Sade on the Radio: A Cultural History of Paul Rhymer’s Daytime Series, 1932–1944:
About the Book
Vic and Sade, an often absurd situation comedy written by the prolific Paul Rhymer, aired on America’s radios from 1932 to 1944 (with short-lived revivals afterward). The title characters, known as “radio’s home folks,” were a married couple exploring the comedic side of ordinary life along with their adopted son and an eccentric uncle. This book examines the program’s depiction of many aspects of American culture—leisure activities, community groups, education, films — in light of the critiques put forward by the era’s critics such as William Orton. Vic and Sade offered its own subtle cultural critique that reflected how ordinary people experienced mass culture of the time.

More details concerning the newly found audio

There is no doubt, nor has it ever been a question, that the new audio I found yesterday is 100% legit.  It's from NBC and therefore must be from either 1940 or 1941, since Uncle Fletcher is also in the clip.

The clip (it's just that - there is no more) comes from a 1956 radio show called, Biography in Sound, and the episode called "Recollections at 30", of which is freely available.  It was an NBC retrospective program.  It has many clips from many other shows as well.  And all this time that clip has been sitting right there staring at us, but no one had ever bothered to "unearth" it.

My only question has been, is it from a previously known program?  I do not recognize it.  And the more I listen and think - the more I am certain that this is "brand new stuff."

My educated guess is that it does not belong to anything that was in the J. David Goldin library, because none of his discs fit the criteria (must be NBC, must contain Uncle Fletcher, must be a Goldin disc).  Therefore, we can assume one of two things: that there is a disc out there that hasn't be put into circulation OR that the portion we heard was from a tape recording, or both.  Yes, there are things out there I am sure we've not heard.

My guess:

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

FOUND: New Sade and Uncle Fletcher audio portion

I did a bit of digging today and I found what I believe is a previously unearthed audio piece from an episode of Vic and Sade.

One caveat: I could be wrong, this may not be new.  But I certainly do not remember this.

If anyone has an opinion of this, whether this is new or not, PLEASE leave a comment or feel free to write me.


Sunday, April 20, 2014

An interview with Mis' Crowe's Grandma May

By Mis' Lydia Crowe:

A few weeks ago, spurred on by Jimbo at The Crazy World of Vic and Sade, I found time to sit down with my grandmother, May Crowe, for a little chat about Vic and Sade, her memories of it, and what it means to her now. She is, after all, the reason anybody in our family knows about Vic and Sade. And it was nice to ask her some questions about her life, too. She’s from Rush Gook’s generation and she can tell from experience about what life was like during that time, where I can only make conjectures. Plus I found out lots of interestin’ trash I never knew about her. Listen, people — interview your elders. It’s important!Anywayhere’s our conversation about “Vic and Sade” and other things. (Transcribed from audio, so pardon the run-on sentences. I generously removed all our “ums” and “uhs,” of which there were many.)

LC: Thanks for giving me this interview, Grandma. Please tell me about your first memories of “Vic and Sade.” What do you remember from when you were a kid?

MC: Well, I was still in grade school in Charleston [Iowa], and after eighth grade I remember listening with my mother. It would have been in the summertime because it was on in the daytime. So during summer, I remember that I had chores around the house, on cleaning day, and we’d be doing our cleaning, she with the vacuum and me with the dust mop, and then we would stop, and sit down for our fifteen minutes with Vic and Sade.

LC: That sounds nice.

MC: The radio stood in the bay window there in the house, and that’s where we would listen.

LC: What were your impressions of the show at that age?

MC: Well, I just took ‘em for granted then. Just a funny, enjoyable fifteen minutes. I mean, they were just like people we knew. We felt they were friends of the family.LC: Do you think that’s kind of how your mother saw it, too?

MC: Oh, right. And she didn’t sit down and listen to the soap operas. A lot of ladies would follow soap operas day by day, but she didn’t. There weren’t any soap operas that she followed.

LC: But she followed “Vic and Sade.”

MC: Yeah.

LC: It’s funny that “Vic and Sade” is labeled as a soap opera sometimes. It’s really not.

MC: Oh, no.

LC: So did you continue listening to “Vic and Sade” after leaving home?

MC: No, I don’t remember. After high school, summer vacations while I was in high school, and I was sixteen when I graduated and went right to work, and so I didn’t hear it ever again until I found that ad for the reel to reel tapes.

LC: Tell me about that. How did you rediscover the show later on?

MC: Yeah, ‘cause I subscribed to the New Yorker magazine, and there was one of those very small one-by-two-inch ads in the back of the magazine, on the side, and it was for old-time radio, and so I sent for the — it wasn’t exactly a catalog; it was like four mimeographed pages that they sent, and then in those pages I found some listings for “Vic and Sade,” reel-to-reel tapes that you could order. And they were twelve dollars apiece, but if you ordered four or more, they were ten. And that was when the children were little, and I didn’t start getting the New Yorker until Joan was born in October of 1952, so it was sometime then after that. And your dad was just about one year old when we had bought the reel-to-reel player. And I had the reels then. But I had ordered all that they had for “Vic and Sade,” which I think was four.

LC: Do you remember which episodes? I remember hearing the tapes, but I don’t remember which episodes were on them. I know there was one where Vic was upset because he thought he was going to be transferred to a kitchenware plant in Peoria, and that’s all that I remember.

MC: I’d have to find them…I know I kept them, but I don’t know just at the moment where they’re located.

LC: If you ever find them, let me know.

MC: The bacon restaurant.

LC: The bacon restaurant.

MC: That one was on there.

LC: That one is a classic. I remember that being one of the first ones that I listened to.

MC: And I think one of ‘em was the interview, the radio interview of Sade, and that was after the actor that played Vic had died. She was interviewed for a radio program, and that was on one of the tapes.

LC: This is a really hard question, but tell me — what character do you enjoy the most, and why?

MC: Well, ya know, I just could not say a favorite. It would be like trying to say which one of your children was your favorite.

LC: Yeah, I agree.

MC: No, no, they’re all the same, and the grandchildren, and the great grandchildren — they’re all the same. [laugh] But I do — I love them all. Of course, Uncle Fletcher, when you hear his voice anywhere on any other program, immediately you think “Oh, there’s Uncle Fletcher.”

LC: Yeah, he was on a lot of programs, wasn’t he?

MC: Especially “Lum and Abner,” which is another favorite of mine.

LC: What are your feelings about Sade, and how the show portrays women in general?

MC: Oh, I think she perfectly mirrors the women that I remember of my mother’s generation and my generation, which I feel was kind of a pullaway generation. During my generation, we were brought up and expected to be like our parents. But because of the war, we weren’t. I mean, everything was beginning to change.

LC: You mentioned you graduated high school at sixteen and went right to work — where did you work?

MC: I worked at the Mississippi River Power Company, in the top floor of the dam building in Keokuk.

LC: What did you do there?

MC: I was a clerk in the accounting department. Did lots and lots of typing of figures. In fact that was mainly what I did. I wasn’t particularly good at typing figures when I started, but I certainly got lots of practice.

LC: And then you went to the University of Iowa for a couple years, right?

MC: Right. I worked there one year, then in the fall of the next year — my dad thought, at sixteen, he thought it was too young, and didn’t want me to go away to college. But by the next year I was seventeen, and he agreed to let me go, although he tried to talk me out of it on the way as he drove me there in the car.

LC: On the way there, really? And you said that — if I remember correctly, one of the conditions of you going to college was that you had to pay for everything yourself, or did your dad help you?

MC: No, I had planned everything — I had been working, and I had saved enough for the first year.

LC: That was back when a person could actually raise enough money for tuition in a year!

MC: Right. And I knew exactly what it was gonna cost and everything, and I did all of the paperwork necessary, and all of the contacts and everything, and had it all arranged, and I had paid rent, because he thought that’s how children should be raised, so I paid a monthly rent to my parents during the year that I worked, my mother had kept all that money separate, and she used that money and bought my wardrobe for college then. So then my dad said if I was that set on going to college, he would pay for it. So I had all that money in savings.

LC: That’s great.

MC: Which bought our first car after we were married.

LC: I like how you said that your generation was a “pullaway generation,” because I feel like Paul Rhymer showed that in “Vic and Sade,” because he has women doing all sorts of different things — even though they might laugh at things like the Sunday school teacher tearing up the street, or the woman’s husband taking her name instead of the other way around, he shows that that was going on, that women were kind of doing all sorts of things.

MC: Right, and I found that really interesting in your comments, because that hadn’t occurred to me, that all of these — and of course, after you brought it to my attention, I said, “Yes, of course he was bringing that out.”

LC: You know, I never thought about it either until I thought about that question, but when I thought about it I thought, “Sade may be the homemaker extraordinaire, but there really are a lot of different kinds of women represented in the show.” …What are a few of your favorite moments or memories from the show?

MC: Oh, I love “Cleaning the Attic.” I love the letters from Aunt Bess. And, of course, the shopping, when she and Ruthie go shopping.

LC: She can’t keep her money straight.

MC: Right. And, of course, Vic’s account of his travels of the United States. [laughs] Oh, and every one of them has something special.

LC: There are just no bad episodes…What do you think of the later episodes with all the extra characters?

MC: Well, rather than not have them at all, because that’s how you have to have “Vic and Sade” in the later times, I like them, but not anywhere near as much as I like the others.

LC: I agree; it’s better to have those than no Vic and Sade at all, but… What are your impressions overall of Paul Rhymer and his writing? Who would you compare him to?

MC: Oh…Mark Twain. Or…Sinclair Lewis. Or any of the great novelists. I call him that. I think he is one. He just wrote an extended novel.

LC: An extended novel. I like that…Has “Vic and Sade” influenced your daily life at all?

MC: Well, certainly helps me get to sleep at night.

LC: Me too! We listen to four episodes every night to go to sleep.

MC: I have it by the bed so that if I wake at night, I’ll reach over and start a tape going, and I will probably not hear the first episode, but the murmur of the voices puts me right back to sleep.

LC: It’s really comforting.

MC: And I use the little audiotapes that you helped me make when you would come over…

LC: Oh yeah!

MC: And we would play rummy and we would copy the tapes that you’d bring over, ‘cause at that time I had a machine that would copy an audiotape over to another one. I no longer have one of those, but anyway, your dad made me the MP3 set, and those are really great, the sound quality, so that’s what I play if I’m having it during the day. But they go on too long. And the quality of the sound on the tapes is different, I think. Puts me to sleep rather than lie awake for an hour.

LC: Why do you think the show is still so fresh after 70 years?

MC: Because it’s just timeless life. This is what Americans are like. Or United States people are like.

LC: Small-town.

MC: Right.

LC: Not just small-town…but it’s interesting, I sent some “Vic and Sade” episodes to a friend in Britain once, and he said, “I don’t get it. I think it’s just so American. I think it’s just too American and I don’t get it.”

MC: Right, I think — one thing is that their schooling is so different, you know, and they have a lot more class distinction, and that’s why we’re over here and they’re back over there. That’s how come the Griswolds left!

LC: Yeah.

MC: [laughs] I don’t know if that’s why they left, but…

LC: Yeah, I guess you really don’t see a lot of class in “Vic and Sade.” But you do have differences in education, like Sade and Mis’ Appelrot kinda butt heads because she had more opportunities than Sade.

MC: And how they want Rush to do well in school so that he’ll have a good future. And later on, Russell. And I like how the backstory is never emphasized for the boys. Even Rush is supposed to be adopted.

LC: Yeah, they’re both adopted…I read, because people have gone back and done some research in the scripts, that they never explained where Rush went, but Russell is supposed to be the orphaned nephew of Mr. Buller, Vic’s boss.

MC: I didn’t know that.

LC: It’s just some detail that somebody unearthed in some script or other.

MC: And am I wrong here that Rush is supposed to have come because Sade’s sister…not Sade’s sister, but one of the family could not afford to keep him?

LC: Yes, it was a school friend of Sade’s and it was because she couldn’t afford to keep Rush, and Sade really wanted a little boy or a little girl, and so they adopted him.

MC: And how he was homesick at first…So we don’t have access to so many of the tapes, do we? They were destroyed?

LC: Yeah, they were destroyed. Procter & Gamble didn’t want to store them.

MC: But all of the scripts are available where the archives are?

LC: Yeah, most of the scripts…at the University of Wisconsin, I think. I’ve heard also that there might be maybe fifty more audio episodes that haven’t been released but we don’t know where they are. And that’s exciting.

MC: Yes, it is.

LC: I hope someday we find some more. Any final words about “Vic and Sade”? Any other memories?

MC: Oh — one thing I remember, and I think they’re on some of the MP3 tapes, is that each episode would end with a song popular at the time which fit in with the theme of the episode. And then would segue into the theme song. So on the ones, a lot of the audiotapes that I have, there’s a gap of time where you don’t hear anything, and it’s because they took that out because it was copyrighted, I suppose.

LC: That does survive on a few of the MP3s.

MC: Last night I went to listen and it was…what was the episode? I think it was where Rush was saying how he was better-looking than this other guy, and then it ends with “Oh You Beautiful Doll.” And then it segued into the theme song.

LC: There’s another one, the one where they’re on the phone with Robert and Slobert and they’re asking how much Rush and Sade weigh and what color their eyes are, and it ended with “Five Foot Two, Eyes Of Blue.”

MC: [laughs]

LC: I don’t always recognize the songs and I wish that I did.

MC: I used to know them all. When I was playing the old popular music of the time, I knew them all, but I’d have to refresh my memory. But I know them all. In the people’s popular memory…because my aunts, like Nadine and Lois, were always playing the popular music of the 20s and the 30s. And, of course, I have all of Lois’ and Nadine’s music. Probably just reading down the titles I’d be able to figure it out.

LC: Well, thank you for interviewing with me.

MC: Oh, thank you.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Smelly Clark Solicts Gifts - new Lydia Crowe commentary/script

I am so very fortunate to have teamed up with Mis' Lydia Crowe, whose relentless works on behalf of Paul Rhymer, Vic and Sade and in some ways, The Crazy World of Vic and Sade has benefitted us all.

She gives new commentary to Smelly Solicits Gifts and also provides a transcription of the audio.  Simply amazing!

Mis' Crowe and the House Destroyer

Mis' Lydia Crowe takes a new look at Rush, House Destroyer - plus, provides a transcription of the audio!

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Looking For Tom Lehrer, Comedy’s Mysterious Genius (A Vic and Sade fan!)

Check out the article - with a hat tip to Garry Motter, who told me about it. 

The reference to Vic and Sade is after the third picture.

Mis' Crowe makes a speech

Mis' Lydia Crowe once again provides us with a transcription of the audio and gives us a commentary, this time for Smelly Makes a Speech.

Monday, April 7, 2014

Vic and Sade on the Radio: A Cultural History of Paul Rhymer's Daytime Series, 1932-1944

Vic and Sade researcher and librarian Sarah Cole points out what proposes to be a fascinating upcoming book, available now for pre-order at

The John T. Hetherington-authored book is due out July 15 of this year.

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Garry Motter looks at RJ Konk's Improved Portrait

Garry Motter gives us a commentary and a transctiption of the audio for RJ Konk's Improved Portrait!  Thanks, Garry!

I am behind!  I have many new transcriptions and commentaries (all from Mis' Lydia Crowe) that need to be added to the main site.  I hope to get to them shortly.
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