Saturday, November 2, 2013

November 2, 1931: Debut of Myrt and Merge

November 2, 1931: On this date, CBS aired the radio show Myrt and Marge for the first time. The program revolved around the competition of two chorus girls for the same parts and the same men. Myrtle Vail, who created the series and wrote the script as well (with help from Cliff Thomas), also played the part of Myrt. Vail's daughter, Donna Damerel, was the original Marge. Unfortunately, Donna died giving birth and three other performers took her place during its run. The program went on for 11 years.

Vail based the story idea off of her experiences during her stay in Chicago where she worked as a vaudeville actor play along with her husband, George Damerel . Almost all the stories she wrote were based on their experiences.  She presented the idea to the chewing gum manufacturer Wrigley, which was then not yet a sponsor for his show.  Manufacturer Wrigley liked Vail's idea an Wrigley finally agreed to sponsor the show. Myrt & Merge debuted as a prime time program in the evening. The show turned out to be more popular with women, so the show was moved to the afternoon program slot.

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