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Radio Programs beginning with "J"

"Wanna buy a duck?"


These packages were the REAL stars of the Jack Armstrong program!

Jack Armstrong, the All-American Boy

Star: Jim Ameche (Don's brother)
Sponsor: Wheaties
Network: CBS, NBC (Red), Mutual, ABC
Aired: 1933-1950
Type of Show: Juvenile Soap Opera
NB: Aimed at older children and teens.  Most of the 15 minute program was a Wheaties commercial!

Jack Benny      Souvenir

The Jack Benny Program

Stars: Jack Benny, Mary Livingstone (Mrs. Jack Benny), others
Sponsors: Canada Dry Ginger Ale, Chevrolet, General Tires, Jell-O, Grape Nuts Flakes, Lucky Strike Cigarettes
Networks: CBS, NBC (Blue), NBC (Red)
Aired: 1932-1955
Type of Show: Comedy/Variety
NB: Reading his autobiography, I think the reason why Jack was so successful was that he was fair to everyone and, except at home, rarely stated his opinion on anything.  Very different from his character on the program.  A true proof of his character was when actress Carole Lombard was killed in a plane crash near Las Vegas in early 1942.  She had been his costar in the (then) yet to be released film, To Be or Not To Be, and developed a close relationship with her husband, Clark Gable.  When word came out that she had been killed (along with everyone else), Jack accompanied Clark to Nevada and didn't show up for his program that night.  You know, the show doesn't have to go on....  Or it might go on without you!

The Jack Webb Show

Star: Jack Webb
Sponsor: sustaining (none)
Network: ABC (West Coast only)
Aired: 1946 (April-June)
Type of Show: Comedy/Variety
NB: This short-lived comedy series is a pleasant treat!  Jack Webb, who'd later gain notoriety as Joe Friday on Dragnet, was really funny!  Broadcast from KGO in San Francisco, it was on the air for less than six months when the plug was pulled and Jack Webb went back to Los Angeles to live with his mother and collect unemployment.

The "Ol' Schnoz" (so called because of his big nose!)

Jimmy Durante

Stars: Jimmy Durante, Garry Moore, Alan Young
Sponsors: Chase & Sanborn Coffee, Camel Cigarettes, Rexall Drug Stores
Network: NBC (Red), CBS
Aired: 1933-1950
Trademark Facial Feature: His "Schnozola" (big nose)
Type of Show: Variety (Musical/Comedy)
NB: Not much to look at, but what an entertainer!  Great musician and great all-around human being!

  Joe E. Brown, best known for his huge smile!

The Joe E. Brown Show

Stars: Joe E. Brown, Paula Winslowe, Don Wilson, Hal March, Bob Sweeney
Sponsor: Post Toasties ("The Wake-Up Food")
Network: CBS
Trademark Facial Feature: Big Mouth
Aired: 1938-1939
Type of Show: Comedy/Variety (similar to Jack Benny)
NB: I first heard this program on a set of tapes of an entire broadcast day from radio station WJSV in Washington, DC (now WTOP).  [The background on this is that the Library of Congress recorded a typical broadcast day, September 21, 1939.  I don't know if other stations did the same on other days.  I purchased the collection from Metacom/Adventures in Cassettes (that company merged with Radio Spirits in 1998) in 1996.  The 18 hour collection may still be available somewhere; the original master recordings are housed in the Library of Congress.]  I was really impressed with the Joe E. Brown program.  I never knew he did a radio show.  Anyway, after hearing it, I assumed this must have been extremely popular.  Maybe it was but it only lasted one year.  Joe E. Brown's last motion picture was Some Like It Hot (starring Marilyn Monroe).  I also remember he did some commercials for Milky Way candy bars on TV in the late 1960s.

     Joe Penner     Official Songbook

The Joe Penner Show

Star: Joe Penner
Sponsor: Fleischmann's Yeast, Baker's food preparation products, Cocomalt, Huskies, Ward's Tip Top Bread
Network: NBC (Blue), CBS
Aired: 1933-1940
Type of Show: Variety (vaudeville)
NB: Josef Pinter arrived in New York City as a child from Budapest, Hungary.  He changed his name to Joe Penner and was a successful comedian.  He was introduced to radio by Rudy Vallee.  Radio made him a household word.  His was one of the first regular radio series to be regularly broadcast from Los Angeles.  He died at the age of 35 in 1941 from stomach problems, while he was on tour performing in a musical play during the one year he was off the air (1940-41).  He was slated to return to the air that fall.

          Judy Canova

The Judy Canova Show  ("Rancho Canova")

Star: Judy Canova
Sponsor: Colgate Toothpaste
Network: CBS, NBC
Aired: 1943-1953
Type of Show: Comedy/Variety (musical)
NB: Erroneously referred to as the Oklahoma version of Fanny Brice (she was born in Florida), Judy Canova kept radio audiences laughing for almost ten years.

Updated November 23, 2001
(I tried to make this page look like a Wheaties box.  Pretty good, huh?)