Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Old Time Radio: The Mel Blanc Show (1946)

After co-starring with the likes of Jack Benny, Judy Canova, and others, the "Man of 1,000 Voices", Mel Blanc, was granted his own radio show in 1946, through the sponsorship of Colgate-Palmolive.

Listeners finally got to hear Mel speak in his natural voice, in addition to playing a character whose mannerisms were derived from Porky Pig, Zookie, an assistant in Mel's repair shop. Mel's trying to make ends meet so he can finally marry his girlfriend (Mary Jane Croft), but there's always something getting in the way.

Unfortunately, the series lasted just 1 season because there were already a few sitcom/variety shows on the air with similar formats, and The Jack Benny Program was one of those shows. Give a listen to the series opener, and you might understand why it was cancelled after 10 months on the air.

Mary Jane Croft is better known for her long association with Lucille Ball (i.e. I Love Lucy). Fellow voice-over vets Bea Benaderet and Alan Reed were recurring guests.

So what sank the good ship Blanc? The writing. The plot of the opener sounds a little too contrived.

Rating: C.

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