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Next on the Program is Vic and Sade from “the small house halfway up in the next block” January 31, 2007

Posted by William Spear in >> Next on the Program, >> Radio Drama.

Vic and Sade was described as “probably, the best, certainly one of the smallest soap operas on the U.S. air” by Time Magazine in its Monday 27 December 1943 issue.

Created and written by Paul Rhymer in 1932, the show ran fifteen minutes a day five days a week until 1944. It had brief runs in 1945 and 1946 and jumped to television in 1949 and 1957.

The show’s characters were Victor Gook, bookkeeper for a kitchenware company, and Sade Gook, homebound wife. They had an adopted son named Rush and later, an Uncle Fletcher was added. From that cast, the show had seven million listeners at its height.

What did they hear? Shows about the vegatable garden, freedom on the last day of school, hot soup, and Sade’s parade of interruptions. There were also episodes about Uncle Fletcher arranging phone calls, hunting for lost teeth, and buying a Christmas present for Vic’s boss. The commonest of common themes from the most average couple imaginable.

But Rhymer was far from average or common. In addition to his four main characters, he populated the show with people who were routinely discussed but never actually appeared. Folks such as “Mr. Buller, Vic’s business associate, who pulls his own teeth; R. J. Konk, founder of Vic’s lodge, the Sacred Stars of the Milky Way; Ruthie Stem-bottom, a family friend; Godfrey Dimlok, who invented a bicycle that could say “mama”; the Brick Mush (Vic & Sade’s favorite breakfast food) salesman, who cries almost all of the time; Bluetooth Johnson; Cora Bucksaddle; Ole Chinbunny; Rishigan Fishigan of Sishigan, Michigan; Smelly Clark, and others.”

How could Vic and Sade sit around talking about Ole Chinbunny and Rishigan Fishigan of Sishigan, Michigan draw seven million listeners? Said Rhymer of Bernardine Flynn and Art Van Harvey, the actors who played Sade and Vic, respectively: “They could read aloud from the telephone directory and sound entertaining.”

Lit Between the Ears is pleased to inaugurate its “Next on the Program” feature with Vic and Sade from “the small house halfway up in the next block.” We hope to entertain as well as they did. And still do.

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1. Page Escallier - March 10, 2007

Your blog is on the very high level and includes a lot of very interesting information and was very useful for me.

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