Showing posts with label Jim Jordan. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Jim Jordan. Show all posts

Saturday, November 16, 2013

November 16: Happy Birthday, Jim Jordan



Jim Jordan, one of the great--and pioneering--comedy minds of all time, was born on this day in  1896.

In his early days in radio, being able to perform as many voices as possible was important, and a way for a comic actor to maximize his earnings.  One of the first voices Jordan nailed down was an old man's, and from that he developed the character Luke Grey.  Radio aficionados and historians know that Luke Grey was the star of the 15-minute WMAQ program called "Smackout."  Grey was a corner store owner and teller of tall tales who would excuse his not having what the customer was looking for by saying he was "smack out."

Fibber McGee grew out of Luke Grey a few years later.  Phrases like "Tain't funny, McGee," and "You're a hard man, McGee" began to resound throughout the land, and the popular show ran from 1935-'59.  In addition to Jordan's title character and his wife Molly, the show gave us endearing characters such as Throckmorton P. Gildersleeve, Mayor LaTrivia, Beulah, Dr. George Gamble, Foggy Williams, and of course, Wallace Wimple.

Popular features of the show include Fibber's loaded and dangerous closet, his penchant for remembering a supposedly-glorious past, a longtime grudge against Otis Cadwallader, and all of the unfunny ("tain't funny, McGee") moments.

Happy birthday, Fib--uh, that is, Jim Jordan!

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

April 16: Happy Birthday, Marian Jordan

April 16: Happy Birthday, Marian Jordan

As a title for a program, Smackout has a distinctly current sound. It could be a particularly obnoxious reality show about to premier on MTV. Yet it was an early radio show from 1931 starring Marian and Jim Jordan, who we'd later know as Fibber McGee and Molly. And get this: the title came from a catch phrase "we're smack out of that" used by a character named Uncle Luke at his country store. The show ran four years, first on Chi-town's WMAQ and then on NBC. One fan was Ms. Henrietta Johnson Lewis, which trivia savants might know as a member of the family that owned the Johnson Wax Company, which would go on to sponsor Fibber. ("Look, Molly, there's no dull season for wax polish sales!")

Since we're celebrating the day of Marian's birth:. She was born in Peoria, IL in 1898 and sang in a Catholic choir. Doing so is, of course, a good way to meet men, with one example being Jim Jordan. Legend has it that the cute couple would reach out to grasp each other's hands at the end of broadcasts.