March 26, 2013: Happy 90th Birthday, Bob Elliott!

March 26: Happy 90th Birthday to Bob Elliott today!
Ray Goulding (left) and Bob Elliott (right) of Bob and Ray fame

The comedy duo of Bob Elliott and Ray Goulding spent most of their careers under the radar. The pair had numerous famous characters that became landmarks of old time radio.

Both Elliott and Goulding began their careers as radio announcers in Boston with their own separate programs on WHDH. Their banter became so well known throughout the station that they were called upon to fill in when Boston Red Sox games were rained out. The pair would spend the time improvising comedy routines and joking around with the studio musicians. In 1946, they earned their own weekday show, Matinee with Bob and Ray. They continued performing on the air for over four decades on NBC, CBS, and Mutual networks.

Elliott and Goulding had many recurring characters that appeared frequently to parody the world of radio broadcasting. Some of Elliott’s most famous characters included Wally Ballou, an inept news reporter, and Biff Burns, a snappy sportscaster. Goulding played characters such as Webley Webster, a mumble-mouthed book reviewer, and Steve Bosco, a sportscaster.

The two continued their careers on television, and even made a leap to the stage for two-man productions.

The duo ended almost all of their appearances with their signature sign-off:
“This is Ray Goulding reminding you to write if you get work.” “Bob Elliott reminding you to hang by your thumbs.”