DUFFY'S TAVERN

Compiled and written by Martin Grams, Jr.
 
Walk into any office today, and you may be greeted by the man behind a shiny desk. “Leave us proceed with business.”  A mental picture of Ed Gardner immediately flashes across the mind of your true radio listener when this corny bit of speech is used.  Which is all well and good as far as the “master of malaprop” is concerned.  In fact, Gardner has turned the malapropism into a national institution.  But Gardner didn’t become such an influence on the nation’s conversational habits by growing up in a transom, as he might put it.  What then, lies behind a man who could turn an English Grammarian’s nightmare into a highly profitable way of life?
 
Eddie Gardner was born Edward Poggenberg on June 29, 1901, in Astoria, Long Island.  At the age of fourteen, Gardner secured his first after-school job as a pianist at O’Bryan’s café, a colorful neighborhood bistro that served partly as a model for Duffy’s.  Had Ed suspected the significance of this position, things might have been different.  As it was, his stay there was short-lived.  His mother happened to walk by one day, caught a fleeting glimpse through the swinging door of her son at the piano, and that was that.  Ed once remarked that this was one of the few jobs he ever left without being fired.
 
Gardner had dropped out of school at the age of sixteen, after his second year at Bryant High School, to begin what was to be a wild decade of odd jobs.  “If Public School #4 was good enough for Archie, then why should I complain?” Gardner recalled in 1943.   “The only degrees I’m interested in are Fahrenheit and Centigrade.”  The six-foot-two Irish-German-American used to boss a rough, tough street gang named the One Ol’ Cats out in Astoria, Long Island.  At the time, further exposure to knowledge was not deemed necessary.  “The family,” he said, “thought I was pretty well educated and by that time and judging by the standards of the neighborhood, I was.”
 
After the piano playing business, Gardner began selling pianos in what became an experienced salesman of all sorts.  He sold ink, pens, and even miniature golf courses!  Other jobs followed in rapid succession.  As a fight manager, he lasted through two minutes of the third round of his protégé’s maiden bout.  Then he was a typewriter salesman and a paint salesman – at which he acquired a lisp.  This, he explained once, was because receptionists and secretaries, who ordinarily threw salesmen out, would listen to him lisp, fascinated.  Before they came out of their trance, Ed would be selling the boss a bill of goods.  Always a quick thinker, he also told of the time when he was arrested for speeding one day, going through a Pennsylvania town.  Before he left, he sold the city fathers an order for repainting the jail!
 
He used this talent to become a stenographer, and in 1929, met Shirley Booth.  She too had dropped out of Public School, at the age of fourteen, for New York’s theater district and a distinguished career behind the footlights.  Late that year – November 23, 1929 – Booth and Gardner were married.
 
Gardner first found himself involved in the theater business as a promoter in the publicity department of Crosby Gaige.  This led to a position in the New York office of Jennie Jacobs where he promoted stock companies, signed actors, rented theaters, handled hotels and theatrical transportation, painted scenery, typed scripts, directed shows, acted as stand-in and understudy and was casting director.  This work would later come in handy when he would begin Duffy’s Tavern, and apply the numerous trades the same time.  “Collitch,” a skit about college life, was Ed’s first producing job.  Then came another “classic” entitled “Coast-Wise Annie” which lasted eight weeks at the Belmont.  Gardner’s supreme effort as producer was “After Such Pleasures” by Dorothy Parker, a Sunday-night show which he produced at the Barbizon Plaza with an advertising agency, in New York.  “I was the guy who gave radio actors the brush-off,” Gardner
commented.  The show won rave notices and a big agency offered Ed a job.  Seeking more money, he turned it down and wound up as a WPA theatrical producer and director.  He had become interested in summer stock as a producer. 
 
Ed theatrical knowledge helped establish him a good reputation in radio broadcasting, which by now was earning him $30 a week as a director, having graduated from the WPA in the depths of the depression of the thirties.  By 1940, Gardner had written and produced for many of the high-rated and popular radio programs such as Ripley’s Believe-it-or-Not, The Bing Crosby Show, The Al Jolson Show, The Rudy Vallee Show, The George Burns and Allen Show, and Good News of 1939.  He was in Hollywood by now, working on The Texaco Star Theatre when he began putting Duffy’s Tavern together as a viable package. 
 
Duffy’s Tavern was – in one aspect - born back in 1939 when Gardner, who talks like Archie but is a good deal smarter, was producing shows for an advertising agency.  He had planned a show designed to contrast the cultural side of New York with the seamy side, and had set Deems Taylor as the protagonist for culture.  When he listened to the playback of Taylor’s audition record, for which Gardner himself had cued Taylor’s lines, he suddenly realized that his own voice was just the one he had been looking for to play the other side of the coin.  “That,” he says gloomily, “is what comes of bein’ born in Astoria.” 
 
The character Archie was born more or less by accident. Gardner was director of the program and in one segment, needed the voice of a “typical New York mug” and couldn’t find an actor to fill the bill.  “There was a radio program called This is New York,” Ed recalled.  “We wanted a guy to talk New Yorkese, but all we could get was voices that sounded like Dodger fans in the left-field bleachers.  There is as much difference between New Yorkese and Kings County English as there is between Oxford and Choctaw.”
 
Ever since Major Bowes staged his amateur hour on the Sunday night air from 8 to 9 p.m., EST., after which Charlie McCarthy enlivened the same waves, that sixty minutes had been one of the most highly competitive periods on the air.  Veteran performers have shield away from it.  They confessed the competition was too keen; Bowes was too much for them, so is McCarthy.  Then Orson Welles came along and boldly selected that hour to win an audience.  The thousands were listening to him was indicated by the “Martian scare” in October, but the radio surveyists estimated that a comparatively small percentage of the nation’s radio audience was in tune with Welles; the majority, they reported, were listening to the impish Charlie, and that was said to have averted “a major disaster” when the “hordes from Mars rocketed to Earth.”
 
Orson Welles had forsaken the Sunday witching hour shortly after the panic broadcast, and went over to Friday nights.  This left the showmen of that hook-up with the old riddle again of finding a performance to compete with Charlie McCarthy.  They have decided to offer, a variety show called, This Is New York.  The program plan was described as follows:
 
            “Only that which has well-rooted origin in some of the many varied elements that give New York its fascinating personality will find a place on this diversified program of comedy, drama, music and lively human interest.  Beginning with an example in point, the first master-of-ceremonies is to be James Montgomery Flagg, noted illustrator.  He will introduce, among the guests, Alexander Woollcott, author and critic, and Louis Armstrong, whose trumpet probably speaks best for him.  Leith Stevens’s orchestra and a chorus led by Lyn Murray abetted by soloists will present the vast pattern of entertainment typical of New York.”
 
THIS IS NEW YORK
 
Since no one has yet to compile a log of This Is New York, the Ed Gardner produced/directed radio program, I thought this would be a great time to go through some files and compile one.  Directed by Ed Gardner, then one of the producer-directors in the radio department at J. Walter Thompson.  Gardner, had long been pondering a series that would give listeners a grasp of the real New York.  “The sidewalks of New York and the people, famous and obscure, who tread them” was the cryptic description in Radio Guide.  Thanks to William S. Paley and his ideas and beliefs that anyone who possessed a creative idea, try it on the air, CBS granted Gardner the facility and the supporting talent.  The hope was that a sponsor would hear the show, like it, and take it on.  This is New York roamed freely among celebrities and cab drivers alike.  The premiere featured Thomas “Fats” Waller, noted small-group jazz artist.  The show of January 29 took a look at the city’s Yiddish theater, with an appearance by actress Molly Picon.  Episode five featured Shirley Booth, wife of Ed Gardner.  An interesting show that never found a sponsor but served as the launch pad of one of the major comedy hits of the following decade.  Lyn Murray and his Chorus supplied the vocals, Leith Stevens and his orchestra the background accompaniment.  Broadcast over CBS, Sunday from 8 to 9 p.m., EST.  Special thanks to Jessica Hucks who compiled the fifteen-episode broadcast log listed below.
 
1.      (12/11/38)  Ed Gardner, Alexander Woollcott, Louis Armstrong, and Fats Waller.  According to Jay Hickerson’s Ultimate Guide, this broadcast is the only episode of the series, known to exist.  Available from many collectors.
2.      (12/18/38)  Former Mayor Walker, Deems Taylor, and Sophie Tucker.
3.      (12/25/38)  Christmas concert with the Bowry Mission Carols, Raymond Scott Quintet, harlem Abyssinian Baptist Church Spirituals, and the Liederkrans Singers.  Wollcott and Russell Crouse are the writers.
4.      (1/1/39)  Cornelia Otis Skinner, Grover Whalen (President of World’s Fair), Deems Taylor, Elsa Maxwell, comedians Howard and Shelton, Eddie Duchin, and Barry Wood.
5.      (1/8/38)  George Jessel, Ted Peckham, Hiram Sherman, Shirley Booth and Otto Saylow.
6.      (1/15/39)  Ethel Waters, Fredie Washington, Jose Ferrar, producer George Abbott, Lucius Beebe, mimic Sheila Barrett, and piano player Rosa Cinda.
7.      (1/22/39)  Morton Downey, Jack Pearl, attorney Samuel Leibowitz, photographer Margaret Bourke-White, Deems Taylor, and Sigmund Spaeth.
8.      (1/29/39)  Molly Picon, dance instructor Author Murray, Frank Fay, Bill Harrington, Gertrude Niessen, Marjorie Hills.
9.      (2/5/39)  Theresa Helburn of the Theatre Guild Board of Managers, Lucy Monroe, Jane Peerce, Bill Robinson, Irene Bordonii, and the Philharmonic Symphony Ensemble.
10.   (2/12/39)  Raymond Massey, Jane Froman, the Andrews Sisters, Erna Rubinstein, violinist Erna Rubinstein, Billy Rose, and Clyde Hagar.
11.   (2/19/39)  Raymond Paige, John Barrymore and his wife Elaine, Hildegard, and Deems Taylor.
12.   (2/26/39)  Julia Sanderson, Frank Crumit, Ella Fitzgerald, Chick Webb, Fred Dannay, and M.B. Lee.
13.   (3/5/39)  Lionel Barrymore, Walter Huston, Hope Williams, harpist Casper Reardon, Connie Boswell. Note: Deems Taylor is master of ceremonies on this broadcast.
14.   (3/12/39)  Kate Smith, playwright Marc Connelly, Jane Pickens, and James Melton.
15.   (3/19/39)  Walter Huston, Ethel Merman, Nancy Hamilton, the Dunbar Bell Singers, and the Hall Johnson Choir.
 
 
 
Almost a year and a half after This Is New York went off the air, CBS began making plans for a short-run summer series called Forecast.  (The name of the program is rumored to have originated with William S. Paley himself.)  Paley, then head of CBS programming, was highly in favor of experimental radio programs.  The Columbia Workshop was once such example.  Quality programming was what Paley really went for, and he always believed that if CBS presented quality entertainment, radio listeners would return to hear more.  Paley sent a memo through the radio studios, directed toward all of the producers and directors, announcing a proposed hour-long time-slot to take the place of The Lux Radio Theatre.  Two half-hour presentations would be aired each week, and anyone interested in presenting ideas for new radio programs would be more than welcome to take advantage of the time slot. 
 
The result was illuminating.  Creative geniuses from all over, Norman Corwin to Alfred Hitchcock, got into the act.  Presentations such as Jubilee, Suspense, Hopalong Cassidy, Leave it to Jeeves, Mischa the Magnificent, and The Country Lawyer were a few that received much attention, and later had their own prime-time regular run.  On July 29, 1940, after the half-hour presentation of “Angel” with Loretta Young and Elliott Lewis concluded, Ed Gardner introduced Duffy’s Tavern to the radio audience for the first time.  Larry Adler and Mel Allen took supporting roles, while Gertrude Niesen and F. Chase Taylor (a.k.a. Colonel Stoopnagle) became the first Hollywood guests to walk through the tavern doors.
 
Letters poured in to CBS and the board of directors took the program into consideration.  Contracts were issued, offers were counter-offered, and the end result?  On March 1, 1941, Duffy’s Tavern became part of the regular CBS lineup of comedies.  Just three days before, Meet Boston Blackie premiered at the Rialto, the first of what would be fourteen Boston Blackie pictures for Columbia, based on the popular radio mystery series.  Gardner didn’t know it at the time, but Duffy’s Tavern would become so successful, that four years later, a film adaptation of their program would also make it to the big screen.
 
THE FIRST TWO SEASONS
 
“It ain’t that Duffy’s cheap,” Arch said of his boss’s exploit, “it’s just that he knows the value of money.  He don’t think money is used for feedin’ pigeons.  Duffy will buy a drink occasionally, usually on St. Patrick’s Day or, when he’s under terrific emotional stress.”  Archie, whose voice is a cross between that of an aroused cop and a buzz saw, was like his creator, tall and lanky, with a nervous manner.  “Archie is just Gardner,” was Ed’s own explanation, “an easy-going guy with tolerance and a terrific respect for knowledge.  He’s not a dummy, but he looks up to informed people and has a regard for culture that is almost reverence.  But Archie sees right through phonies.”
 
To begin with a touch of understatement, Duffy’s Tavern was a wonderful place.  It was so fine that when the phone rang every Thursday evening at 8:30, Archie the bartender answered with Duffy’s Tavern – “where the elite meet to eat,” you knew a moment of paradoxical regret: You would like to find a place like Duffy’s Tavern, at the same time that you were aware that, alas, it was too good to be true.  There were plenty of acceptable bar-and-grill resorts in this city, but none that measured up to Duffy’s, for the fairly simple reason that it represented the best features of each. 
 
Duffy, the proprietor, was non-existent – or rather, you know him only as the other party to those telephone conversations with Archie, the presiding genius.  Miss Duffy, the proprietor’s daughter, liked almost every man who walked into the tavern, and she had a friend, Vera, who also liked men.  Officer Clancy, (played by the irreplaceable Alan Reed) was a sage whose legal knowledge is approached only by that of former Chief Justice Hughes.  Clifton Finnegan (played by Charlie Cantor, and old vaudevillian and radio bit player who had once done criminal parts on The Shadow and Dick Tracy) was about the intellect of Lennie in Of Mice and Men, but comical.  Eddie Green, who would later find greater fame as Stonewall the Lawyer on Amos n’ Andy, played Eddie the waiter, gripper-extraordinary at Duffy’s, an apprehensive citizen of Harlem, and was in real-life a well-known Negro comedian.  He was also in the food business (ironically), and owned a chain of Harlem restaurants for a couple decades.  John Reed King was the first announcer for the series, who welcomed the studio audience and performed the commercials.  King was also emcee of CBS’ This Is the Life and announcer of Gay Nineties Revue.
 
Orchestras like John Kirby’s did not play in taverns like Duffy’s; and sooner or later it would occur to the listeners as odd that although Archie was a bartender, no one ever seemed to take a drink.  But no one noticed it at the time, which said something about one of the most original and consistently entertaining of current programs.  With the aid of John Kirby’s famed Negro band, the music somehow fit the Brooklyn Tavern.  Kirby was alumnus of Fletcher Henderson, Chick Webb bands, and even started his own in 1937 at New York’s Onyx Club.  He was once married to actress Maxine Sullivan.
 
The greatest of these is, of course, was Archie.  He held the show together not only as a bartender, but he was always on hand, and because he was a fellow capable of handling practically any given situation.  He had some pretty close escapes, because he was not the brightest guy in the world, but he was the brightest guy in Duffy’s Tavern, and even when he failed he saw to it that no one else was aware of it.  All right, he was taken in by Mme. Cacciatore, the opera singer with the Greenpernt accent and her manager, the Duke, but who was it who installed the pinball game in a corner of the Tavern where the floor slanted and thus made it impossible for anyone to win?  It was Archie.
 
The aforementioned visit of Mme. Cacciatore and the Duke was considered a fine one, broadcast in September of 1941.  Critics and reviewers praised the series the month after in a specific broadcast of October 1941, which found Archie inviting the ladies of the Lord Byron Literary Society to convene at the Tavern, where they were to hear Quincy Polk, a literary critic, who didn’t appear.  Whereupon they were treated to a thirty-second review by Finnegan of “Inside Latin America,” with a copy of the World Almanac resting on the bar.  Other admirers, however, would tell you that the Tavern had its liveliest day when Gloria Swanson, in person, dropped by for a visit, shortly after Archie had given he boys to understand that Miss Swanson regarded him with no little approval.
 
How the panic-stricken Archie was rescued from his own bravado was a stirring epic, to be sure.  But it is no slight upon Miss Swanson and such other guests such as Tallulah Bankhead, Joe E. Brown, Frank Fay, Deems Taylor and Bill Robinson to say that the Tavern was at its best when only the regulars were there and expressing themselves freely.  As they used to say of the old-time saloon, it is the poor man’s club.  “How can we add some class to the joint?” Archie asked one night, the thirty-five cent dinner having failed to draw any clients away from the Rainbow Room.  “Get these people outa here,” says Eddie the waiter, referring to the usual clientele.
 
From the program’s inception to 1948, the comedy program was performed twice in the same evening, first for the East Coast, the second for the West Coast.  At the early show, the studio was jammed with spectators, filling all the empty seats.  The later performance did not feature an audience, and the seats remained empty so that the West Coast broadcast, the midnight repeat show, could be closed down in a faster and efficient motem.  But although it was part of the radio life of New York, people talked about it as if it were around the corner, which in a sense, it was.
Gardner explained in a 1943 magazine interview that a New Yorker, for instance would say:  “Laertes poisinned the point uf his foil.”  In Brooklyn he says it would be: “Layoytees purzind the pernt of his ferl.” 
Twenty-eight minutes before airtime, he was still auditioning actors for the part.  In frustration, he took the mike himself, to demonstrate how the lines should be read.  Out of his mouth popped Archie.  One of the “guys” in the control room in hysterics was his J. Walter Thompson colleagues, George Faulkner, who by most accounts, was the first to see a character in that voice and may have been the one who even named him Archie.
“But,” Gardner resumes, “as I was sayin’, one guy after the other gets up in front of the microphone and talks Brooklyn.  Finally, I went out in front of the mike myself, because I have one guy who shows promise.  He is only half-breed Brooklyn, on the distaff side.  While I was demonstrating how it should sound, the gang in the control room is having hysterics.”
            “Why bother with an actor?” George Faulkner and others suggested, “Read it yourself.”
            “So who am I to argue with the fates?  I went ahead and did it.”
 
Ed may not argue with the fates but he had stirred up some of the hottest arguments this side of Marconi.  However, despite the arguments engendered by his butchering of the mother tongue, the “biggies” of show business seemed to delight in appearing on Duffy’s Tavern.  Maybe they enjoyed being the butt of his “naïve” japery (and the checks too, of course).  Erudite Clifton Fadiman was introduced as “A sort of grown-up quiz kid.”  Vera Zorina as “the terpsicorpse from the ballet.” Foppish Adolphe Menjou as the “guy who presses his trousers up to his chin.”
 
When you heard a guest star on Duffy’s Tavern, the audience was sure that he had proved his ability to “take it.”  It was practically the only requirement, but on that point he was adamant.  But his best insults were reserved for his phantom boss, Duffy.  As Archie once told Miss Duffy, “I ain’t never said a thing to his face that I wouldn’t say behind his back.  Besides, in regard to him firin’ me, I have me own philofosy.  If he fires me, I ain’t got a job.  If I ain’t got a job, I don’t eat.  When I don’t eat, I get skinny and emancipated-lookin’.  And when that happens, I’d be so changed that Duffy could pass me on the street without even recognizin’ me.  So what?  So you think I’m goin’ to worry about a guy that won’t even speak to me when he passes me on the street?”
 
The regular prime-time broadcast run of the series began in March of 1941.  The Magazine Repeating Razor Company (Schick Injector Razors) signed as sponsor for a fifty-two week, one-year contract, which stipulated that Duffy’s Tavern would have a three-month trial run, after which, a summer vacation would be taken and if Chick wished to drop sponsorship at that time, they could do so.  If they decided to stay (which they did), the series would resume in September with major publicity, and the contract would allow Schick to remain as sponsor until March of 1942, when the one-year contract ended.
 
One of the things that happened to the unsuspecting tuner-in on the Saturday and Thursday night was to suddenly find themselves transported smack-dab into a Brooklyn tavern, ushered to a table by a loquacious, low-life bartender guy named Archie, and entertained by celebrities who occupied neighboring tables.  Duffy’s Tavern was quite the most fascinating make-believe backdrop for radio humor, which had yet been devised.  The humorist was head-writer Ed Gardner, whose Brooklyn accent was glamorously funny to average Americans, and hometown stuff to Brooklynites themselves. 
 
 
 
 
Very little is known regarding the first two seasons, especially the second season.  Scripts are hard to come by, and with the exception of two episodes broadcast during the last month of the third season, there is virtually no known existing episodes in circulation.  So sadly, I have a lot of gaps throughout the second season, unlike the rest of the broadcast log.  It seems likely at this early stage of the series, that there was a guest star for every episode during the second season.  Perhaps someone might be able to fill those gaps in? 
 
Season One   Broadcast on Saturday evenings from 8:30 to 9:00 p.m., EST.
 
1.  (3/1/41)  Col. Stoopnagle                              9.  (4/26/41)  Tallulah Bankhead
2.  (3/8/41)  Deems Taylor                                      10.  (5/3/41)  Hildegarde and Maxie Rosenbloom
3.  (3/15/41)  Orson Welles                          11.  (5/10/41)  Elsa Maxwell
4.  (3/22/41)  Bill Robinson                          12.  (5/17/41)  Milton Berle
5.  (3/29/41)  Hildegarde and Arthur Treacher            13.  (5/24/41)  Paul Lukas      
6.  (4/5/41)  Morton Johnson and Vox Pop Boys            14.  (5/31/41)  James J. Walker
7.  (4/12/41)  ---------------------                                15.  (6/7/41)  Ilka Chase
8.  (4/19/41)  ---------------------                                16.  (6/14/41)  ---------------------
 
Season Two   Broadcast on Thursday evenings from 8:30 to 8:55 p.m., EST.
 
17.  (9/18/41)  Joe E. Brown                          30.  (12/18/41)  --------------------
18.  (9/25/41)  Joe E. Brown returns             31.  (12/25/41)  --------------------
19.  (10/2/41)  Frank Fay                                            32.  (1/1/42)  --------------------
20.  (10/9/41)  Gloria Swanson                                  33.  (1/8/42)  --------------------
21.  (10/16/41)  ------------------                           34.  (1/15/42)  --------------------
22.  (10/23/41)  ------------------                           35.  (1/22/42)  --------------------
23.  (10/30/41)  ------------------                           36.  (1/29/42)  --------------------
24.  (11/6/41)  ------------------                                   37.  (2/5/42)  --------------------
25.  (11/13/41)  -------------------                          38.  (2/12/42)  --------------------
26.  (11/20/41)  -------------------                          39.  (2/19/42)  --------------------
27.  (11/27/41)  -------------------                          40.  (2/26/42)  --------------------
28.  (12/4/41)  ------------------                                   41.  (3/5/42)  --------------------
29.  (12/11/41)  -------------------                          42.  (3/12/42)  --------------------
 
With the one-year contract ended, Schick decided not to continue sponsoring Duffy’s Tavern, so another sponsor, Sanka Coffee, took over, filling the void for the remaining sixteen broadcasts.  The program moved to a new time slot as well, now heard Tuesday evenings from 9 to 9:30 p.m., EST.
 
43.  (3/17/42)  -----------------                                    51.  (5/12/42)  ------------------
44.  (3/24/42)  -----------------                                    52.  (5/19/42)  -----------------
45.  (3/31/42)  -----------------                                    53.  (5/26/42)  -----------------
46.  (4/7/42)  -----------------                          54.  (6/2/42)  -----------------
47.  (4/14/42)  -----------------                                    55.  (6/9/42)  -----------------
48.  (4/21/42)  -----------------                                    56.  (6/16/42)  -----------------
49.  (4/28/42)  -----------------                                    57.  (6/23/42)  -----------------
50.  (5/5/42)  -----------------                          58.  (6/30/42)  -----------------
 
Beginning July 7, 1942, Duffy’s Tavern came to a close over the Columbia Broadcasting System. 
The Tommy Riggs and Betty Lou musical variety program took over the old Duffy’s Tavern time-slot.  Johnny Cash was a regular for the summer run. 
 
 
SEASONS THREE AND FOUR 
 
Ed Gardner was not so much a person as a human symbol variously associated with Brooklyn, Hell’s Kitchen or First Avenue.  This husky man with the rugged features and aggressive manner provoked the feeling that pretty soon someone would belabor the floor with a cue stick and shout: “Rack ‘em up.”  Or else that a pop bottle will hurtle into space, accompanied by “T’row yuh spikes at ‘im, will yuh, yuh bum!”  But there was no mistaking the flat, slightly nasal voice with the sarcastic edge, even when it bounced off the modern French decors of the Hotel St. Regis suite where Gardner had stayed in recent years.
 
As conceived by Gardner himself, who drinks only milk, Duffy’s Tavern was an old-fashioned, mirrored, and sawdusty place that attracted “mostly ordinary people but a few of the hoi polloi.”  Duffy himself was never around, but while he was the little man who wasn’t there, he had a definite character nevertheless.  “Duffy,” Gardner explained, “is a thick-hearted old gent who might have started as a bartender and built up the place that I’m now running for him.  When I was a kid out in Astoria there was an old-fashioned place like it.  My Uncle Henry, who was a carpenter, used to hang out there most of the time and I used to work there occasionally.  They’d have pig roasts on Saturday nights and I used to play the piano, a fellow named Fredy Vopat the drums, and a guy called Theodore Smith the violin.  We were the band and we were rotten.  It was a nice place, though, and everybody had a good time.”
 
Duffy’s Tavern is sort of like that,” Gardner continued, “only John Kirby’s music is good and he gets more money than we did.  Duffy himself is the old, conservative-type.  He’s the kind of guy who still thinks John L. Sullivan was the greatest heavyweight champion of the world.  No fads for him; he’s sort of allergic to progress.  In fact, Duffy is waiting for radio to blow over.”
 
Duffy’s daughter, although more modern-minded than her imaginary father, was not particularly bright.  Quick to defend Duffy’s beliefs against Archie, she had a complete disregard of logic that usually defeated his loftiest arguments.  As Archie explained it, “She’s the sort of girl that comes in from left-field in her approach to anything.”  Miss Duffy was a very proper lady, however, and her presence on the program, apart from providing a willing to foil for Archie’s wit, indicated that Duffy’s was a thoroughly respectable establishment.  In fact, prices had been increased to 20 cents a drink “to keep out the riff-raff,” as Archie explained it, and the clientele thus far has been of a high type.
 
By the end of the first season, the radio audience seemed to have appreciated the movie stars’ patronage as much as Archie.  Letters kept coming in asking the location of Duffy’s Tavern.  Duffy himself likes the kind of crowd being attracted those days, and it was for Deems Taylor that he ordered that “drink,” adding incidentally that the free-lunch counter should be shut down until he regained control of himself.
 
While Ed Gardner was attending New York’s Public School #4, his future wife Shirley Booth, was becoming the voice of Brooklyn in that borough’s Public School #152.  They met at a party and were married November 23, 1929.  Everything was fine until Ed’s wife, actress Shirley Booth, became a big star in the hit Broadway play, Three Men On a Horse.  The result was that Ed was removed from the WPA and had to accept the agency job (at less than half the salary originally offered) in a specially created position.  He even wrote and produced for many shows such as The Joe Penner Show.  Gardner finally ended up on the West Coast as a writer and director of the M-G-M Good News program (only during the year of 1939).  He returned to NY for This is New York, only to be sent back to California in August 1939, to take over the variety half of the hour-long Texaco Star Theater.  (The dramatic half was done in New York).
The popularity of the comedy program was evident as people from all wakes of life, across the country, began talking like a “New Yorker.”  Convicts at San Quentin voted Duffy’s Tavern as their favorite radio program.  A premium, Duffy’s First Reader, was published in 1943, written by Gardner himself, and Abe Burrows wrote the forward.  Duffy’s Tavern was awarded the Award of Merit in 1942 to Ed Gardner by one radio magazine.
 
The New York Times reviewed:
 
                        “The delightful half hour at Duffy’s each week is rapidly becoming one
of radio’s best comedy programs.  One bad feature, however, is the applause after
each character finishes his chore.  Let Hope, Benny, Allen and the rest continue
with this routine; perhaps it compensates their players, but phase, Archie, in situation
comedy let the unseen audience remember that the scene is at Duffy’s on Thoid
Avenue and not Studio 6B.  For the guest star it’s all right.  It “flatters them with
flattery,” as Miss Duffy might say, and also pays for their transportation from and
back to Hollywood.  But when our real friends, Eddie the waiter, Finnigan, Clancy
the cop and the rest start taking bows – look out!”
 
Variety reviewed: “The comic grief, consternation and naïve inspirations of the bartender-manager and the cross-play of characters, add up to first-rate diversion, in which the writers and directors do well by the several performers and vice versa.”
 
Beginning with season three, Duffy’s Tavern gained a new sponsor.  Sanka was only interested in sponsoring the remaining second season, and had no thoughts about continuing into another season.  Bristol Myers eventually signed as sponsor, to promote their product, Ipana.  The program remained on Tuesday evenings, but pushed back a half-hour to it’s original time slot, 8:30 p.m.  One change was made, however.
 
Beginning October 6, 1942, the program was titled Duffy’s instead of Duffy’s Tavern.  An employee working for Bristol Myers felt the “saloon” connection was unsavory, and with a little persuasion, convinced the head publicity department at Bristol Myers to demand the word “tavern” be dropped from the title.  A press release explained in more detail that “some listeners - the majority being Catholics - had started public protests in an attempt of having the word “tavern” dropped from the title.  The protestors’ excuse was that the word “tavern” was partly advertising the hobby of drinking, and should not be used over the radio.”  Fans, however, went on calling the show Duffy’s Tavern as before.  Gardner even suggested the title Duffy’s Variety, which was used for only a few episodes, but that idea was soon dropped. 
 
Finally, in early March, the truth became known.  There was very little to support the statements of the employee working at Bristol Myers.  Apparently there were no protests whatsoever.  A handful of letters, maybe, but no protests and petitions.  On March 5, 1944, another press release, this time issued: “The sponsor of Duffy’s apparently has come to the conclusion that the citizenry was not greatly outraged by the alcoholic connotation in the word “tavern.”  In any event, the Ed Gardner show is reverting to it’s original titled Duffy’s Tavern.”  Beginning with the March 9, 1944 broadcast, Duffy’s Tavern returned with full title, and here it was to stay.  And to celebrate, Colonel Stoopnagle, who was guest on both the audition and March 1941 premiere, paid a return visit to Duffy’s Tavern.
 
Duffy’s Tavern also switched networks, leaving CBS for the Blue network.  This didn’t make too much of a difference, but the name of the program was noticeable, perhaps too noticeable.
 
Season Three  (10/6/42 to 6/29/43)  Tuesday 8:30 p.m., EST       
 
Besides the title of Duffy’s being shortened, the first four episodes of this new season did not feature any guest stars at all.  The reason for this is not yet known, but that too, might have been the decision of the sponsor.  Beginning with episode sixty-three, Hollywood stars began entering through the doors of the tavern, and a regular singer and a big band was added.  The full-fledged orchestra – Peter Van Steeden’s – remains a good orchestra, to be sure, but certainly much too fancy for Duffy’s place.
 
59.  (10/6/42)  No guest for this broadcast
61.  (10/20/42)  No guest for this broadcast
60.  (10/13/42)  No guest for this broadcast
62.  (10/27/42)  No guest for this broadcast
63.  (11/3/42)  Madeline Carroll           
64.  (11/10/42)  Clifton Fadiman
65.  (11/17/42)  Jane Cowl                  
66.  (11/24/42)  Giovanni Martinelli
67.  (12/1/42)  Elsa Maxwell and Ethel Merman
68.  (12/8/42)  Mary Martin
69.  (12/15/42)  Ted Collins and Kate Smith
70.  (12/22/42)  Robert L. Ripley
71.  (12/29/42)  Eddie “Rochester” Anderson
72.  (1/5/43)  Milton Berle
73.  (1/12/43)  Deems Taylor
74.  (1/19/43)  Phil Baker
75.  (1/26/43)  Billie Burke
76.  (2/2/43)  The Lone Ranger (Brace Beemer)
77.  (2/9/43)  George Jessel
78.  (2/16/43)  Jane Cowl
79.  (2/23/43)  Deems Taylor
80.  (3/2/43)  Tito Guizar
81.  (3/9/43)  Col. Stoopnagle
82.  (3/16/43)  Morton Downey
83.  (3/23/43)  Frank Buck and Susan Hayward
84.  (3/30/43)  Ilona Massey and Oscar Levant
85.  (4/6/43)  Leo Durocher
86.  (4/13/43)  Ralph Bellamy
87.  (4/20/43)  Leo Durocher and Mel Ott
88.  (4/27/43)  Ilka Chase
89.  (5/4/43)  Akim Tamiroff
90.  (5/11/43)  Akim Tamiroff
91.  (5/18/43)  Herbert Marshall
92.  (5/25/43)  Vera Zorina
93.  (6/1/43)  Tallulah Bankhead
94.  (6/8/43)  Carole Landis
95.  (6/15/43)  Clifton Fadiman
96.  (6/22/43)  Monty Woolley
97.  (6/29/43)  Ray Milland
 
During the summer season, Eddie Green, who played Eddie the waiter on Duffy’s Tavern, was heard as a supporting performer for The Colonel Stoopnagle Program over CBS.
 
Season Four  (10/5/43 to 6/27/44)  Tuesday 8:30 pm, EST         
 
Episode #111:  The first minute of the Ginny Simms Show was heard over the network instead of Duffy’s Tavern, due to a recording mistake made by a sound engineer!
Episode #119:  Beware of the recordings floating among collector’s catalogs that list the wrong date of February 29, 1941!
 
 98.   (10/5/43)  Veronica Lake
 99.   (10/12/43)  Orson Welles
100.  (10/19/43)  Peter Lorre
101.  (10/26/43)  Ida Lupino
102.  (11/2/43)  Charles Coburn
103.  (11/9/43)  Lucille Ball
104.  (11/16/43)  Reginald Gardner
105.  (11/23/43)  Marlene Dietrich
106.  (11/30/43)  Bert Lahr
107.  (12/7/43)  Bing Crosby
108.  (12/14/43)  Dinah Shore and Joan Davis
109.  (12/21/43)  Herbert Marshall
110.  (12/28/43)  Hedda Hopper
111. (1/4/44)  Fred Allen
112. (1/11/44)  James Cagney and Benay Venuta
113.  (1/18/44)  Lauritz Melchoir
114.  (1/25/44)  Deems Taylor & Paul Whiteman
115.  (2/1/44)  Billie Burke
116.  (2/8/44)  Major Edward Bowes
117.  (2/15/44)  Laird Cregar
118.  (2/22/44)  Phil Baker
119. (2/29/44)  Gracie Fields
120.  (3/7/44)  Col. Stoopnagle
121.  (3/14/44)  Gertrude Lawrence
122.  (3/21/44)  Fred Allen
123. (3/28)  Reginald Gardiner & Leo Durocher
124.  (4/4/44)  Cary Grant
125.  (4/11/44)  Carole Landis
126.  (4/18/44)  Charles Laughton
127. (4/25/44)  Crosby and Hope
(Bob Crosby and Mr. Dolores Hope)
128.  (5/2/44)  Dennis Day
129. (5/9/44)  Adolphe Menjou
 
130.  (5/16/44)  Prince Michael Romanoff
              and Ann Rutherford
131.  (5/23/44)  Paul Lukas
132.  (5/30/44)  Ozzie and Harriet
133.  (6/6/44)  Basil Rathbone
134.  (6/13/44)  Joan Bennett
135.  (6/20/44)  Brian Donlevy
136.  (6/27/44)  Ransom Sherman
 
 
SEASONS FIVE AND SIX 
 
Shirley Booth had already achieved a toehold for herself in the theatre, having appeared on Broadway as early as 1925.  Her star fame rose faster than Gardner’s.  And perhaps this might have become a problem with the two.  Booth loved the New York stage and Gardner, the California radio stations.  Booth was, in Gardner’s opinion, the Miss Duffy of the tavern.  No one could replace her.  Booth was born on August 30, 1907 in New York City and her dramatic performance in “Come Back, Little Sheba” on stage and screen won both a Tony and an Oscar.
 
“The part was written around Shirley, originally.  I’ve auditioned about a hundred girls in New York and here.  If, by the grace of good luck, the right one comes along, fine.  But we don’t want to sell the part short.  We’ll probably have to develop a new girl character and write Miss Duffy out of the script,” Gardner told reporters in the summer of 1942. But he did hire another Miss Duffy.
 
The role was so completely hers that when she left the show in 1943 (the year after she and Gardner were divorced), the part never was satisfactorily (on Gardner’s level) filled on a permanent basis.  Gardner had become expert in the finer points of New York dialect, and was convinced that only a true refugee from Flatbush could master it.  A nationwide search was conducted for a new Miss Duffy.  Gardner offered auditions to girls named Duffy as a promotional gimmick; he took the contests to the local level, with appeals in large cities across the country.  He even resorted to mass auditions by telephone and transcription. 
 
The show was only a few weeks away from the fall premiere when Gardner signed Florence Halop, sister of Dead End Kid Billy Halop and a radio veteran at twenty.  Halop had auditioned by record.  Simone Hegeman, Ed’s new wife, listened and thought she was hearing Shirley Booth.  That settled it, but surprise!  Halop had grown up not in Brooklyn but on Long Island, attending the private Professional Children’s School in Manhattan.  She had been in radio since an appearance at age 5, on the Milton Cross Children’s Hour.  Her debut came on the show of October 5, 1943.
 
FOR THE RECORD . . . .
Miss Duffy #2,  Florence Halop from October 5, 1943 to March 28, 1944, successor to
Shirley Booth.
Miss Duffy #3,  Helen Lynd from April 4, 1944 to May 2, 1944
Miss Duffy #4,  Doris Singleton as the one-time performance of May 9, 1944
Miss Duffy #5,  Sara Berner as the one-time performance of May 23, 1944
Miss Duffy #6,  Connie Manning from May 30, 1944 to June 27, 1944
Miss Duffy #7,  Florence Robinson from September 15, 1944 to November 17, 1944
Miss Duffy #8,  Sandra Gould from November 24, 1944 to June 25, 1947
Miss Duffy #9,  Helen Eley from October 1, 1947 to November 1947
Miss Duffy #10,  Margie Liszt from November 1947 to ???
Miss Duffy #11,  Florence Halop returned to the role of Miss Duffy for a short time after Liszt.
 
            It is here that the Miss Duffy’s get a little vague.
Miss Duffy #12,  Gloria Erlanger began sometime in late 1947 ??? till February 2, 1949. *
Miss Duffy #13,  Hazel Shermet began February 9, 1949 to ????.
Miss Duffy #14, Pauline Drake was after Shermet, and the final Miss Duffy.
Miss Duffy #15, if you count the TV series, was played by Pattee Chapman, which Gardner recalled in 1954 as being the fifteenth Miss Duffy! (#16 Ann Thomas starred in the 1945 movie.)
 
“At first, the sight of an audience terrified me, and when I get out on a stage without a mike in front of me, I get positively sick.”
-        Ed Gardner, 1943
 
Ed was endowed with his boundless energy and quick thinking.  He credited those two assets with putting him in a Hollywood mansion, the accompanying swimming pool to match, and an income from radio alone that was estimated at $200,000.  Gardner and Simone, had two children, Edward, Jr., and Stephen.
 
On March 25, 1948, Stephen Anthony Gardner was born and Eddie Gardner, Jr., age four, gained a new baby brother.  His father, Ed – better known as Archie – Gardner, couldn’t be happier.  “Two boys?” he boasts, “not a bit more trouble than one.  It’s a cinch!”  At which Simone, Ed’s delightful French wife, echoing mothers of brand new, Number Two babies the world over, groaned.
 
“And I was at the office,” added Ed, “jumping up and down on my writers.  Duffy’s never closes, new babies or not.” The Ed Gardner house began life as a Swiss chalet, but it became pure Gardner – meaning pure comfort – as soon as the family took possession.  One of the specialties of the house was the magnificent view of Bel-Air, California that lied before it.
 
To a lot of people it’s probably a surprise that Ed Gardner never lived in a sort of residential version of Duffy’s Tavern – that broken-down beer barrel CBS and NBC had so successfully wired for sound.  Such people felt that a guy would have to live in the stale-beery atmosphere of Duffy’s to be able to get it across on the air so well.  Gardner had a 55ft. yacht and a swimming pool in the back yard.
 
OOPS!
 
The English language is one of the richest of tongues.  With it, it is possible to say many things in many ways with all shades of meaning.  Since their stock in trade was verbiage, this fact should have been familiar to Phil Baker and Ed Gardner, but in November of 1944, both men were in trouble.
 
Those same performers should also have known that the expression “loused up” was not synonymous with “poorly delivered,” when applied to a joke.  Its use may be overlooked in private conversation, perhaps, but on the radio, it was apparently regarded in extremely bad taste, judging by a number of communications and letters the studios received during the week.  Enough to warrant public concern.
 
Generally speaking, though, things are all right again.  The singer had disappeared and the solo spot she vacated had reverted to Miss Duffy, who reached for the high ones in an adenoidal shriek that Shirley Booth must have been at some pains to cultivate.  Eddie Green, wandered in and out of the kitchen serving laughs with a droll, deadpan delivery.  Words of more than one syllable were still beyond the ken of Finnegan, the dimwit.
*   Gloria Erlanger returned on February 23, 1949 for a one-time replacement for Shermet.
And Archie, the great creation of Ed Gardner, continued to preside over the whole thing with the poise of the magnificently dumb and with that accent which thus far has defied students of local dialects from darkest Queens, to the far reaches of upper Manhattan.  The old admirers, who had followed him from his Columbia Forecast debut in 1940 through a stormy career that had included three sponsorships, could still tune in and laugh every week, without failure.
 
Indeed, though it verges on the extreme to say so, they would even discover that Archie and Duffy’s Tavern in general were currently in better form than they had ever been.  The conservative habitue of the Tavern was not ready to say so without reservation, because there had been some great nights there where “the elite meet to eat.”  But it could have been, thanks to a policy Duffy’s had lately adopted in regard to its guest stars.  On most other programs a guest was what the word implied – a person, as Webster defined it, “to whom the hospitality of a home, club, etc. is extended.”  At Duffy’s a guest was a person who received a good deal of pushing around – but with hilarity and no pain, as distinguished from the shoddy air of certain audience participation shows, in which the visitor was rendered merely ridiculous.  At Duffy’s the invited dropper-in was prominent and talented folk who could take care of themselves when the insults were flying, and the more rarefied the atmosphere from which they came to spend an evening at the Tavern, the better the time they had.
 
For instance, that was a notable call paid by Clifton Fadiman of Information Please – introduced by Archie as “not one of the guys with the brains; he just asks the questions” – followed a week or so later by, of all people, Jane Cowl.  Both of them could take it.  They could also dish it out.  But the Duffy fans would likely remember with particular pleasure the visit of Giovanni Martinelli, whose singing services Archie sought to obtain for the Tavern under a salary arrangement whereby Mr. Martinelli would have kept half of all the money thrown at him.  “The guy has a throat like a horse,” Archie had reported admiringly on the phone to his employer.  “When he lets out, you can hear him on Staten’s Island.”  But all this bulletin started out to say is that the Tavern is O.K. again.  And yes, maybe it really is better than it ever was.
 
Matty Malneck was the second bandleader, born December 9, 1903 in Newark, New Jersey.  He took over the conducting job from Peter Van Steeden, who bowed out after the fourth season.  Beginning with the premiere of the fifth season, Malneck and his Orchestra took the helm.  Malneck was also an accomplished violinist who supplied musical accompaniment for Charlotte Greenwood and Bob Crosby’s radio programs. 
When Duffy’s Tavern returned in September of 1944, the program was now heard on Friday evenings instead of Tuesday, now over NBC, replacing The Adventures of the Thin Man, which would later in the season, move into the same time slot and evening, but on another network to compete against ratings.
 
Season Five  (9/15/44 to 6/8/45)  Friday 8:30 p.m., EST to 9 p.m.
 
137.  (9/15/44)  Rudy Vallee
138.  (9/22/44)  Gene Tierney
139.  (9/29/44)  Rise Stevens
140.  (10/6/44)  Nigel Bruce 
141.  (10/13/44)  Bill Tilden and Babe Didriksen
142.  (10/20/44)  Dorothy Lamour
143.  (10/27/44)  Esther Williams
144.  (11/3/44)  Maria Montez
145.  (11/10/44)  Robert Benchley
146.  (11/17/44)  Ida Lupino
147.  (11/24/44)  Harold Peary
148.  (12/1/44)  Larry Adler
149.  (12/8/44)  Charles Laughton
150.  (12/15/44)  Sydney Greenstreet
151.  (12/22/44)  Monty Woolley
152.  (12/29/44)  Gracie Fields
153.  (1/5/45)  Jinx Falkenburg
154.  (1/12/45)  Boris Karloff
155.  (1/19/45)  Linda Darnell
156.  (1/26/45)  Lauritz Melchior
157.  (2/2/45)  Sonny Tufts
158.  (2/9/45)  Betty Hutton
159.  (2/16/45)  Xavier Cugat
160.  (2/23/45)  George Sanders
161.  (3/2/45)  Joan Blondell
162.  (3/9/45)  Ginny Simms
163.  (3/16/45)  Pat O’Brien
164.  (3/23/45)  Dame May Whitty
165.  (3/30/45)  Alan Mobray
 
My sources stopped listing the weekly guests from this point, so my apologies for the blanks.
166.  (4/6/45)  Finnegan, the Millionaire, who inherits a Diamond Mine.
167.  (4/13/45)  --------------------
168. (4/20/45)  Bob Graham
169.  (4/27/45)  John Garfield performs a spoof skit “Fish and Fantasy” written by guess who.
170.  (5/4/45)  ------------------
171.  (5/11/45)  Art Linkletter
172.  (5/18/45)  -----------------
173.  (5/25/45)  -----------------
174.  (6/1/45)  ----------------
175.  (6/8/45)  J.C. Flippen
 
The Duffy’s Tavern time-slot was replaced by Correction Please, hosted by J.C. Flippen, who had made a guest appearance to promote his program, on th final episode of the season.
Summer replacement: Correction Please  with J.C. Flippen
 
Season Six  (9/21/45 to 6/14/46)  Friday 8:30 p.m., EST       
 
An error occurred back in the seventies, as Sandra Gould was accidentally listed as the guest star instead of supporting actor, so she became listed more than once.
 
176.  (9/21/45)  No guest on this episode
177.  (9/28/45)  Deems Taylor 
178.  (10/5/45)  Sandra Gould
179.  (10/12/45)  Monty Woolley
180.  (10/19/45)  Sandra Gould
181.  (10/26/45)  Sandra Gould
182.  (11/2/45)  Sandra Gould
183.  (11/9/45)  Maxie Rosenbloom
184.  (11/16/45)  Sandra Gould
185.  (11/23/45)  Sandra Gould
186.  (11/30/45)  Sandra Gould
187.  (12/7/45)  Sandra Gould
188.  (12/14/45)  Ed Monroe
189. (12/21/45)  "Is There a Santa Claus?" (Elsa Maxwell)
190. (12/28/45) Archie balances the books
191.  (1/4/46)  Alan Ladd
192.  (1/11/46)  Larry Storch
193. (1/18/46)  Dave Hossinger and Rickie Jordan
194.  (1/25/46)  Archie’s investments
195.  (2/1/46)  Peggy Lee
196. (2/8/46)  -----------------
 
CBS Press release, February of 1946:
 
                        “Ed Gardner of ‘Archie’ fame will not be on hand when Duffy’s Tavern
            opens for business on February 15.  Right after this Friday’s broadcast over NBC at
            8:30, Mr. Gardner will go to the hospital for a tonsillectomy and is expected to miss
            at least one show.  Alan Young will be substitute boniface in the interim.
                        “The aforementioned Mr. Young, incidentally, will move from Tuesday to
            Friday, at 9 p.m. over ABC beginning this week.  Meanwhile, Mr. Gardner’s sponsor,
            looking toward the future, has already signed a summer replacement entitled McGarry
            and His Mouse, a comedy show written by Matt Taylor, which will run through the summer             months in place of either Duffy’s Tavern of The Eddie Cantor Show.”
 
197.  (2/15/46)  Alan Young guests. 
198.  (2/22/46)  Alan Young and Reginald Gardiner
199.  (3/1/46)  Alan Young takes care of Archie’s plant
200.  (3/8/46)  Ed Gardner returns.
201.  (3/15/46)  No guest listed.
202.  (3/22/46)  Diana Lynn
203.  (3/29/46)  -------------------
204.  (4/5/46)  James Dunn
205.  (4/12/46)  Marie McDonald
206.  (4/19/46)  -------------------
207.  (4/26/46)  Esther Williams
208. (5/3/46)  Duffy decides to take up reading.  This was a different and moving visit to the tavern.  An
unusual program about starvation in Europe and India.
209.  (5/10/46)  The Talking Dog
210.  (5/17/46)  -------------------
211.  (5/24/46)  Roy Rogers
212.  (5/31/46)  Charlie Cantor
213.  (6/7/46)  Charlie Cantor
214.  (6/14/46)  Williard Waterman
 
Although the press release of a few months ago described McGarry and His Mouse as a possible summer replacement, it never came to be.  Easy Money starring Williard Watterman was the summer replacement.
 
Ed Gardner would later be guest on Alan Young’s radio show on November 15, 1946.
 
The famed apron, seen here in the photo on the right, is a specialty.  Guests who signed the apron,
Lucille Ball, Jinx Falkenburg, (the sponsor) as a joke Gardner did, Paul Winchell, Ginny Simms, Ray
Milland, Oscar Levant, were just a few.  Each guest star on the program, during the rehearsals, would
sign the apron Gardner always wore for publicity photos and occasional rehearsals.  Then Gardner would take the Apron home and have his mother, or wife, embroider the famous names into the apron by hand.
 
“Take a dynamo, two high tension wires, a scoopfull of TNT, mix thoroughly, odd bushy eyebrows, a voice that sounds like the blend of a buzz saw and an irate cab driver – and there’s Ed Gardner,” reported a 1939 CBS press release, describing the writer, director and producer of This is New York.  “He confounds most success formulas,” it continued.  “He keeps terrible hours, never goes to the office unless he can’t help it, parks his feet anywhere below the ceiling level and has boundless  energy.  He talks fast and acts faster.”
 
And by 1945, Gardner was still moving.  Duffy’s ratings were growing steadily and the program started winning awards.  Editor Michael G. Ames of PIC Magazine presented a published award for Ed Gardner because “this 40-year-old guy is one of radio’s outstanding comedians and should be the recipiary of a epithet – the PIC Double E for Either Excellence.”
 
In the summer of 1945, Duffy’s Tavern received a unique honor.  It was named to the Honor Roll of Race Relations by the Schomberg Collection of Negro Literature (which was affiliated with the New York Public Library) for featuring Negro actors “without the use of jokes that are offensive to any racial group.”  Thus did Duffy’s Tavern join Lester B. Granger, executive secretary of the National Urban League and Lt. General John C.H. Lee, General Eisenhower’s deputy commander and supply chief, as recipients of this distinguished award.
 
SEASONS SEVEN AND EIGHT
 
On May 4, 1946, “Hush My Mouse,” a Warner Brothers Looney Tune animated short premiered in the theaters.  Directed by Chuck Jones and voice characterizations by Mel Blanc, Sniffles the Mouse made his last Warner Brother cartoon, in a spoof of the radio show Duffy’s Tavern.  At Tuffy’s Tavern, tough guy Edward G. Robincat comes in for today’s special, Mouse knuckles.  Tavern keeper Art sends his moronic flunky Filligan to catch the over-talkative little Sniffles Mouse.  After a few chase gags, Sniffles turns the tables by putting his little hat on a bulldog’s bone.  Filligan brings the bone to the Tavern, where the bulldog retrieves his bone by beating up Robincat and Art.  Filligan tells Tuffy over the phone, “No, he doesn’t need mouse knuckles, but he can sure use some brass knuckles!”
 
In a sense it is a mistake to call Gardner a radio actor, because there was very little difference between him and the character named “Archie” he had been portraying with uniform success for nearly six years.  His actions were still uninhibited even after he doffed the orange suspenders, battered hat and autographed apron on his radio show.  He would interrupt a conversation to josh a waiter or to harry a lackey about theater tickets, and without waiting for an answer, would proclaim that he used his yacht because “It’s too expensive not to.”  He did not use the pool table in his California home because “it’s too far to walk.”  To Gardner, visitors become part of an audience, a sort of proving ground for incipient radio material.  If an interviewer fell behind, Gardner barked: “You’re fired.  Turn in your fraternity pin.”  The whole world was Gardner’s straight man.
 
Radio audiences had become accustomed to Archie’s mixture of deference and contempt for celebrities.  The same combination of bravado and humility cropped up this day, shortly after he decided to stop littering the carpet with cigarette ashes and reached for an ashtray.  “One amazing thing about being a radio personality,” Ed Gardner recalled, “is that you get these ‘4 East’ addresses.  Why, the other night, I was at one of these swank parties and after a while I wasn’t talkin’ to anyone with an American accent.”
 
Gardner’s awe and defiance of wealth and position were as natural as his New York diction, because he was born of a poor family in Queens forty-two years ago and had worked for a living since he was fourteen.  Among other things, he had worked at piano thumping in a bar, train crew dispatcher, and stenographer, selling pianos, typewriters and pains, even building miniature golf courses.  During the depression Gardner got his first taste of theater producing shows for the WPA.
 
Seven years in Hollywood had not tempered Gardner’s capacity for speaking his mind.  Thus he probably incurred the wrath of many radio performers by advertising that if he wanted a watch of a large discount on a fur coat, he just worked into his program a mention of the manufacturer of those items.  Nor did he endear himself with radio writers when he disparaged their abilities.  He conceded that writers make “some” contributions to his show, and if pressed, admitted he dreaded appearing anywhere without a script – prepared by writers.  There brew a bit too strong.  But then Gardner, unlike Scotch, was not an acquired taste any more than Brooklyn.
 
Each week the writers gathered on Friday to begin a work session that lasted until Sunday afternoon, when Gardner arrived to read their “roughs.”  Once a writer, looking for some guilt on Gardner’s part, told him of their rough working conditions.  “Ed,” he said, “do you realize that no food has passed my lips for 24 hours?”  Writer Larry Rhine jumped in.  “You mean you haven’t even vomited?”  The voice of Miss Duffy was not the only factor Ed Gardner was tough on.  Gardner went through five times more writers than Miss Duffys.  He often fired them for budgetary purposes, but if they were needed later on, he would call them up and rehire them again.
 
Writer Bob Schiller recalled for SPERDVAC in 1991, “He did that purposely, to keep us on our toes.  He always felt that if we were making a lot of money – which he didn’t want to pay – we would get lazy and not write as well.  He would team people together.  He’d say, ‘OK, you write with him, and you write with him, and you – there’s nobody for you to write with so you’re fired.’  We were mortally afraid of losing our jobs.  Most of us were beginners and we were afraid to go home.  We’d stay up all night working.  I can remember many times taking my sleeping bag to the office.  We worked around the clock.  Had there been a canary in the room it would have died.”
 
The writers for the comedy series were never given contracts like the majority of the radio programs.  Gardner’s attitude toward his writers’ welfare was apparent when, at the end of each season, he left town without telling them if they were going to be employed again in September.  The writers were also required to sit in the audience during the broadcast and laugh loudly at the jokes.  “Gardner used to have a post mortem after each show,” Bob Schiller explained.  “Once he said to me, ‘Schiller, I looked down and I saw that you weren’t laughing.’  And I said, ‘Well, Ed, that may have been the joke I didn’t write’.”
 
“We were so underpaid in those days,” Schiller recalled, “that we’d take the jokes we wrote for Duffy’s Tavern and send them to Reader’s Digest and put them in the mouths of our guests and we’d get five dollars.  One of the jokes I wrote when Henry Morgan was on the show was ‘In Hollywood, if you look hard enough, underneath the false tinsel is the real tinsel.’  It’s subsequently been credited to Groucho, Fred Allen, and everybody else.  But it was in Henry Morgan’s mouth as a guest on that show.”
 
“When I got out of the Army,” Schiller concluded, “I was told that Ed Gardner would give anybody a week’s trial if they could show him some comedy material.  So I showed him some of the newspaper columns I had written.  I stayed up three nights in a row trying to write what they call a spot.  It was not easy.  When I brought it in, I was still in my uniform.  The head writers read it and they liked it.  They called up Gardner, who at the time was living in a palatial mansion in Bel Air, and said, ‘I think we’ve found a writer’.  We’d go out to Ed’s house every Sunday.  ‘How are you at pitching?’ one writer inquired.  I said, ‘I used to play first base.’  They relayed this information to Ed and he said, ‘Hire the son of a bitch.’  They thought I was making a joke.  I didn’t know ‘pitching’ means pitching jokes.’  He doubles my salary to $100 the next week, and four weeks later he fired me.  I was fired four times from Duffy’s Tavern.  I was on the show for four years.”
 
Season Seven  (10/2/46 to 6/25/47)  Wednesday 9 p.m., EST       
 
215.  (10/2/46)  Carmen Miranda
216.  (10/9/46)  Victor Mature
217.  (10/16/46)  Martha Raye
218.  (10/23/46)  Hoagy Carmichael
219.  (10/30/46)  Ozzie and Harriet Nelson
220.  (11/6/46)  Louella Parsons
221. (11/13/46) Lotte Lehmann, opera singer
222.  (11/20/46)  George Raft
223.  (11/27/46)  Eddie Green
224.  (12/4/46)  Leo Durocher
225.  (12/11/46)  Matty Malneck Orchestra
226.  (12/18/46)  Joan Bennett
227.  (12/25/46)  Christmas episode, no guest
228.  (1/1/47)  Benay Venuta
229. (1/8/47)  Fred Allen 
230.  (1/15/47)  Toots Shor
230. (1/22/47)  Minerva Pious 
and John J. Anthony
232.  (1/29/47)  Edward G. Robinson
233.  (2/5/47)  Hildegarde
234.  (2/12/47)  Gene Autry
235.  (2/19/47)  The Malneck Orchestra
236.  (2/26/47)  Andy Russell
237.  (3/5/47)  The Malneck Orchestra
238.  (3/12/47)  Reginald Gardiner
239.  (3/19/47)  The Malneck Orchestra
240.  (3/26/47)  The Malneck Orchestra
241.  (4/2/47)  No guest known
242. (4/9/47) Irving Berlin
and Imogene Carpenter
243.  (4/16/47)  No guest known
244.  (4/23/47)  No guest known
245.  (4/30/47)  No guest known
246.  (5/7/47)  No guest known
247.  (5/14/47)  No guest known
248.  (5/21/47)  Boris Karloff
249.  (5/28/47)  Bert Gordon as the Mad Russian
250.  (6/4/47) Harry VonZell as Sidney M. Strotz 
251.  (6/11/47)  No guest known
252.  (6/18/47)  Rudy Vallee
253.  (6/25/47)  Burton Holmes
 
As a summer replacement for Duffy’s Tavern, Bristol Myers continued sponsoring the same time slot for The Tex and Jinx Program, starring Tex McCrary and Jinx Falkenberg.  As a footnote, episode #249 featured Bert Gordon as the Mad Russian, and Duffy himself walks into his own tavern!  This episode circulates among collectors so be sure to find it!  As for the premiere of the eighth season, publicity announce that Crosby, Sinatra and Hope would be guest.  The joke was on the listeners, as it turned out to be Larry Crosby, Ray Sinatra and Jim Hope!  (see below)  Episode #268 featured Garry Moore as guest.  The same script would later be performed for an April 1951 broadcast with Phil Baker reading all the lines that Garry did in 1948!
 
Season Eight  (10/1/47 to 6/23/48)  Wednesday 9 p.m., EST       
 
254.  (10/1/47)  Crosby, Sinatra & Hope
255.  (10/8/47)  Sophie Tucker
256.  (10/15/47)  The Harry James Band
257.  (10/22/47)  soprano Helen Traubel
258.  (10/29/47)  Fred Astaire
259.  (11/5/47)  Rudy Vallee & George Jessel
260.  (11/12/47)  Dinah Shore
261.  (11/19/47)  Henry Morgan
262.  (11/26/47)  Jean Sablon
263.  (12/3/47)  Jean Sablon
264.  (12/10/47)  Esther Williams
265. (12/17/47)  No guest known
266. (12/24/47)  Annual Xmas skit
267. (12/31/47) Jackie Van and Abe Burrows
268. (1/7/48)  Garry Moore 
269.  (1/14/48)  Olga San Juan
270.  (1/21/48) Archie in insurance business
271.  (1/28/48)  Clifton Webb
272.  (2/4/48)  Gertrude Lawrence
273.  (2/11/48)  Marlene Dietrich
274.  (2/18/48)  Tom Breneman
275.  (2/25/48)  No guest known
276.  (3/3/48)  Van Johnson
277.  (3/10/48)  Lauren BacCall
278.  (3/17/48)  Humphrey Bogart
279.  (3/24/48)  Dorothy Lamour
280.  (3/31/48)  Malu Gatica
281.  (4/7/48)  Arthur Treacher
282.  (4/14/48)  No guest known
283.  (4/21/48)  No guest known
284.  (4/28/48)  Ray Milland
285.  (5/5/48)  Gregory Peck
286.  (5/12/48)  Frank Sinatra
287.  (5/19/48)  Duffy won’t give Archie a raise
288.  (5/26/48)  Rex Harrison
289.  (6/2/48)  ---------------
290.  (6/9/48)  Jane Powell
291.  (6/16/48)  ----------------
292.  (6/23/48)  ----------------
 
Note episodes 277 and 278, in which Lauren BacCall guest starred in the first, and Humphrey Borgart appeared the week after, but not together!
 
OTHER RADIO CREDITS INCLUDED
 
John Reed King was the first announcer, who pitched the sponsor’s product and read the opening and closing credits.  Jimmy Wallington, Marvin Miller, Rod O’Connor and Perry Ward were also announcers during the program’s twelve-year broadcast.  (Charles Cantor was announcer for one episode in 1945.)  John Kirby was the first to conduct an orchestra for Duffy’s Tavern, followed by Peter Van Steeden, Joe Venuti, Matty Malneck, and finally Ret Veet Reeves.  During the mid-1940’s, vocalists included: Johnny Johnston, Benay Venuta, Helen Ward, Bob Graham.  Directors were Rupert Lucas, Jack Roche, Tony Sanford, and Mitchell Benson.  During the NBC run, Virgil Reimer supplied the sound effects.  The phone Gardner used on the program when speaking to Duffy was a real phone, disconnected from the wall.  He felt the realism of Archie holding a phone would convince the listeners that what they were listening to was authentic.  Archie also stood behind a small counter, built and designed like one you would find in a real tavern.
 
Gardner and company acquired the name of Duffy’s from Duffy’s Radio Tavern on west 40th street in NY City.  The late Bernard C. Duffy, proprietor, once told Ed that the first Duffy’s was established back in 1795.  The inn, run by two women was in Pennsylvania, on the stage coach route from Williamsport to Pittsburgh.  Gardner jokingly said he couldn’t understand why the book in which the first Duffy’s is described, makes no reference to a 1795 Archie. 
 
There was no Duffy’s Tavern broadcast on October 27, 1948 because Governor Thomas E. Dewey broadcast a speech, speaking live from Cleveland.  The December 22, 1948 broadcast has no official title, but many collectors have given the recording the title “Miracle in Manhattan.”  A touching drama everyone should hear.
 
Season Nine  (10/6/48 to 6/29/49)  Wednesday 9 p.m., EST       
 
293.  (10/6/48)  Clifton Webb 
294.  (10/13/48)  No guest known
295. (10/20/48)  Frank Sinatra
296.  (11/3/48)  Hildegarde
297. (11/10/48)  No guest known
298. (11/17/48)  Jane Wyman
299. (11/24/48)  Dick Powell
300.  (12/1/48)  No guest known
301.  (12/8/48)  Carmen Miranda
302.  (12/15/48)  Dolores Marshall
303.  (12/22/48)  Jeff Chandler in X-mas skit
304.  (12/29/48)  Dorothy Shay
305.  (1/5/49)  Desi Arnaz
306.  (1/12/49)  Isobel Randolph & Veola Vonn
307.  (1/19/49)  Matty Malneck Orchestra
308.  (1/26/49)  Shirley Temple
309.  (2/2/49)  Clifton Webb returns
 
By early 1949, guests became less frequent.  Ed Gardner realized that the Hollywood walk-ins were supporting the show, and that the program would be better off (budget control) minding the ratings, if they only “occasionally” had a drop by now and then.  So I put short plot descriptions on those without guests.
 
310.  (2/9/49)  Archie has but three days to live.
311.  (2/16/49)  Archie’s old schoolmate, Willie Gundig, pays the Tavern a visit.
312.  (2/23/49)  Archie wants to patent electricity, sold by Slippery McGuire
313.  (3/2/49)  Mickey Rooney
314.  (3/9/49)  Marlene Dietrich with Archie plan to write a script for TV.  (which he really was!)
315.  (3/16/49)  The bar room fight as Archie plans to fight Spike McGurk to prove he’s no coward.
316.  (3/23/49)  Archie’s bank account starts with $10.00
317.  (3/30/49)  Jimmy Durante and Ann Southern
318.  (4/6/49)  Archie and Finnegan double date Gypsy Rose Lee
319.  (4/13/49)  No more IOU’s at the Tavern, on account of J. Everey Poindexter, Disguised Millionaire
320.  (4/20/49)  Cass Daley as a possible groom for Miss Duffy?
321. (4/27/49)  Archie tries to get married to a rich high society dame.  (Charles Coburn was originally
scheduled to star in this episode, he made it for the week after.)
322.  (5/4/49)  Charles Coburn
323.  (5/11/49)  Chester Morris,  Detective Archie is on the trail of “Whistling Sam.”
324.  (5/18/49)  The most popular bartender contest.  Bert Gordon as “The Mad Russian” guests.
325.  (5/25/49)  Ed Wynn
326. (6/1/49)  Archie wants to marry Agatha Pitz, a rich woman.  When Ed Gardner and Eddie Green both
    read their lines wrong during the show, Ed mutters “Oh, if only we were on that tape!”
327.  (6/8/49)  No guest known
328.  (6/15/49)  Bob Crosby
329.  (6/22/49)  No guest known
330. (6/29/49)  Henry Morgan to pitch the summer replacement for Duffy’s Tavern, which was the Camel Cigarettes-sponsored Henry Morgan Program.
 
THE PUERTO RICO EPISODES
 
In the middle of the tenth season, Miss Duffy actresses again, but this time it wasn’t because Ed Gardner was picky over the voice, even though news articles mentioned her “having failed to measure up to the standards set by Shirley Booth.”  It was because the tavern was leaving Hollywood for the southern country of Puerto Rico.  Hazel Shermet was hired to play what was considered the least coveted role in radio.
 
“When I did the audition, I not only read the script, but also I sang,” Hazel Shermet recalled.  An approach that apparently helped win the job as Miss Duffy.  “We’re going to send you tickets on Monday for the first rehearsal,” she was told.  “What do you mean?  I have to have a ticket to go to NBC?  I go there every day,” she said.  “No, a ticket to Puerto Rico,” was the reply.  “I had never even heard of Puerto Rico,” Shermet recalled.  “I was a kid out of college and I had never heard of it.”  She did not know that Gardner had moved there to take advantage of the income tax laws.  Puerto Rico had declared a 12-year tax holiday in order to attract industry to the island.
 
“Gardner, who was always after a buck,” writer Larry Rhine explained, “found out that there was a tax free deal in Puerto Rico for anyone who would establish an industry there.  It was called the Puerto Rican Development Act.  He brought a team of four of us down there.  The second year I wrote the show alone.”
 
Gardner moved from the old NBC studios on Sunset and Vine to Puerto Rico and taped the shows from there.  He was widely criticized for the move on the grounds that he was ducking the income tax and the show’s popularity, sadly, would soon fall off to the point where it would be dropped.  In order for Hollywood stars to appear on Duffy’s Tavern, they would have to fly south for rehearsals and that did not go over very well.  Although a few stars did (mostly to take advantage of the opportunity and have a vacation and get paid, all in one trip), the majority of the episodes were supported by the usual Duffy’s cast.  “So we took the two kids and moved to Spain,” Gardner said.  “I was gonna retire.  But then the dukes kept getting’ all the good tables in the restaurants and like I said there was nobody to talk shop with.”
 
“I took a girlfriend of mine with me,” Hazel Shermet recalled.  She said, ‘Look, just pack enough clothes for two weeks.  I hear he fires everyone.  I did my first show there with Paulette Goddard.  After the show he [Gardner] carried me around the stage on his shoulders.  I was down there for three seasons.  Then I later came back to do some scenes from Duffy’s on Monitor.” 
 
Hazel’s continued appearances as “radio’s dizziest dame” meant that she had won the approval of Ed Gardner, a notoriously tough critic.  Hazel had appeared with many other top comedians, including Jack “Baron Munchausen” Pearl, Maxie Rosenbloom, Goodman Ace and Arthur Godfrey, and was already a veteran television performer.  An attractive young woman who wrote for a hobby, she was unmarried and was always willing to let it be known that she was an excellent cook, specializing in “mad dishes” of her own inventions.
 
“I started in radio when I was seven years old in Philadelphia on WIP doing fairy stories.”  After college, Shermet obtained a job writing commercials for an advertising agency.  “I would write them and record them and do all of the parts because I was really writing them more or less for myself.  But they would hire somebody else because I was a writer.”  She considered herself an actress and convinced a director at NBC to arrange an audition for her.  “I took the audition and the next day I did the Henny Youngman Show, which was a real thrill.  The next week I sang in the Milton Berle Show.  He held my hand.  If you’ve ever worked with Milton, you know you can’t lose him.  I was trying to sing opera and he was holding my hand.”
 
Boxer Maxie Rosenbloom was one of the many guests on Duffy’s Tavern, and was more than glad to take a trip to Puerto Rico for an appearance on the show.  “I study people,” the fighter told writer Larry Rhine.  “Gardner is afraid he’s going to have to take me out to dinner and pay.  Joe (another writer) is a bit of an alcoholic.  He can’t wait to get out to the bar.  And you and Miss Duffy are auditioning – so why don’t you get married?”  Later, Hazel Shermet did marry the head writer, Larry Rhine! 
 
Hazel had a short-lived career as a writer for the show.  Gardner, after hearing her ad lib jokes during rehearsals, asked her to join the writing staff.  She was expecting to add to jokes during a “pitching” session.  Instead, she found the writers in unified silence as they tried to think of situations for the program.  Future husband Larry Rhine sent her to another room with a typewriter and paper, with orders to write a Miss Duffy spot.  “I sat for two hours,” she recalled.  “I just wrote Duffy’s Tavern at the top of the page.  For two or two and one-half hours I sat there.  Then I came out and said, ‘It’s been a wonderful career.  I’m going swimming’.”
 
“Gardner had been hiring writers from bars and God knows where else,” Larry Rhine commented, adding that down south, the writers once wrote a script during a hurricane.  “Everybody else was running for the high lands and boarding up windows.  We were sitting there, as the wind was bending over trees, writing jokes.”
 
Sandra Gould, who played Miss Duffy before Hazel Shermet, didn’t have as strong feelings for Gardner by the time she up and left.  One of the only Miss Duffys to quit and not get fired.  “In interviews, Ed Gardner often told reporters that he wrote most of the story outlines and jokes,” Gould remarked to SPERDVAC in 1991.  “Then he got a couple of the guys to put it into shape for radio form.  I, knowing the list if illustrious ‘guys’ who put Duffy’s Tavern into shape, always resented his blatant disregard for the work those ‘guys’ did.  After I left the show I took an ad in Daily Variety and The Hollywood Reporter and on the whole back page I listed 378 writers plus one writer who unfortunately was incarcerated to San Quentin and sent in his gags under the number 3987!  Ed Gardner was no slouch.  After all, a joke was a joke!  Hence the ad!  Naturally, it was the talk of Hollywood.  The Writers Guild (of which she later became a member) gave me an honorary plaque which said, ‘To Sandra Gould, a.k.a. Miss Duffy, for meritorious conduct above and beyond the call of duty for defending all the unsung writers of the Writers Guild in Hollywood’.”
 
Other changes were made too.  Matty Malneck and his Orchestra eventually left during the middle of the tenth season, but their music was recorded and by this time, Duffy’s Tavern was not being broadcast live.  Everything was by transcription, so the music was dubbed when needed.  The fictional Duffy himself had a very fat wife about whose health Archie was usually inquiring.  A new character was planned for Duffy’s Tavern, while program was originating in Puerto Rico, in hopes that the void of actors and music would be filled.  The character was named Fats, played by Fats Pichon, who was to answer the telephone, help Archie flatter himself and also played “mood music” on the piano (with the accompaniment of George Kudirka.  The idea was discarded after a few episodes.   Arthur Treacher and Bert Gordon (“The Mad Russian”) became regulars.
 
Writer Bob Schiller once remarked about Duffy never walking into his own tavern.  “Gardner always figured that (we should) leave that to the imagination.  He thought it would spoil everything if suddenly Duffy would show up.  One of the wonderful things about radio, was that you couldn’t see it.  In one of the shows, for example, Archie says, ‘What’s our new waiter doing?’ ‘He’s moping the floor’ is the reply.  ‘What’s wrong with that?’ he says, ‘he’s moping it with a customer!’  Try to do that on television.”
 
Charlie Cantor recalled, “In our home, he [Ed Gardner] would tell a dialect joke and he’d use three different dialect voices.  He was wonderful.  He was a little worried that Finnegan was a moronic character and he thought that maybe people might think he was in real life.  He went for psychology and taught that on the side in some college.”
 
Small notes.  Shelley Winters guested on a Valentine’s episode on February 16, 1950.  This broadcast has often been mis-credited for a February 9, 1950 airdate.  Beware!
Episode #350 was the first Duffy’s Tavern broadcast over NBC that was a Puerto Rico transcription origination.  From episode #350 on, many of the broadcasts did not feature any Hollywood stars, but I still put  No guest known” in the date entry.  That doesn’t mean the episode listing is incomplete, it just means that it should read “No guest this broadcast” like the first four episodes of season 3.  No guests at all.  Only because I’m not sure whether there was or was not a guest star, I’m leaving it open with No guest known.
 
Jay Hickerson estimates that about 60 episodes circulate without any dates at all.  Many, if not the majority of the broadcasts circulating, are the Puerto Rico episodes, probably due because those episodes were originally transcribed instead of being broadcast like the earlier episodes.  (Which account why many of the episodes that are dated in collector’s catalogs, are given 1950-51 airdates, and those broadcast dates start about the time the transcribed Puerto Rico episodes began broadcast.)  One problem that came to my attention was that many collectors had the same episodes, but with multiple dates.  I have suspicions that most of those sixty undated were already accounted for by other dealers (and sadly, what appears to be three episodes turns out to be the same one, with three different broadcast dates).  I don’t think there are really as many episodes in circulation as others may think. 
 
I put descriptions to the broadcasts below that did not have a guest listed, so that readers of this log may be able to correspond their recordings with the real dates listed below.  Uncertain episodes with Hollywood stars, (Rudy Vallee for example who made more than one appearance on Duffy’s) can narrow the date down easily by listening to the closing credits, to find out who played Miss Duffy, who sponsored, what network, and so on.  Narrowing the possibilities such as these should eliminate any probable errors of giving a 1950 broadcast date to an episode that was really broadcast in 1944.
 
Season Ten  (9/29/49 to 9/21/50)  Thursday 9:30 p.m., EST    
Opening regulars were Ed Gardner, Gloria Erlanger, Charles Cantor, Eddie Green and F. Chase Taylor
 
331. (9/29/49)  No guest known
332.  (10/6/49)  No guest known
333.  (10/13/49)  No guest known
334.  (10/20/49)  No guest known
335.  (10/27/49)  No guest known
336.  (11/3/49)  Hildegarde
337.  (11/10/49)  No guest known
338.  (11/17/49)  Margo
339.  (11/24/49)  Gloria Erlanger
340.  (12/1/49)  Basil Rathbone
341.  (12/8/49)  Helen Traubel
342.  (12/15/49)  Gloria Erlanger
343.  (12/22/49)  Gloria Erlanger
344.  (12/29/49)   Gloria Erlanger
345.  (1/5/50)  No guest known
346.  (1/12/50)  Don Ameche
347.  (1/19/50)  Gloria Swanson
348.  (1/26/50)  Gloria Erlange
349.  (2/2/50)  John Hall & Frances Langford
350.  (2/9/50)  Paulette Goddard
351.  (2/16/50)  Shelly Winters
352.  (2/23/50)  Gloria Erlanger
353.  (3/2/50)  Hazel Shermet
354.  (3/9/50)  No guest known
355.  (3/16/50)  No guest known
356.  (3/23/50)  No guest known
357.  (3/30/50)  Tony Martin
358.  (4/6/50)  Gypsy Rose Lee
359.  (4/13/50)  Martha Sleeper
360.  (4/20/50)  No guest known
361.  (4/27/50)  No guest known
362.  (5/4/50)  Joan Davis
363.  (5/11/50)  No guest known
364.  (5/18/50)  Hedda Hopper
365.  (5/25/50)  Rudy Vallee
366.  (6/1/50)  No guest known
367.  (6/8/50)  Ray Milland
368.  (6/15/50)  No guest known
369.  (6/22/50)  No guest known
370.  (6/29/50)  No guest known
371.  (7/6/50)  No guest known
372.  (7/13/50)  No guest known
373.  (7/20/50)  No guest known
374.  (7/27/50)  No guest known
375.  (8/3/50)  No guest known
376.  (8/10/50)  No guest known
377.  (8/17/50)  No guest known
378.  (8/24/50)  No guest known
379.  (8/31/50)  No guest known
380.  (9/7/50)  Army surplus helicopter
381.  (9/14/50)  No guest known
382. (9/21/50)  Barry Nelson,  “Archie Runs
his own Radio Station”
 

Because the program was transcribed and not broadcast live, Gardner signed a contract with NBC to produce fifty-two transcribed episodes for a one-year broadcast run.  Beginning September 28, NBC replaced the time slot for We, The People, sponsored by Gulf Gasoline.

 
Episode #364 featured Hedda Hopper, often mis-credited with an earlier broadcast date then listed above.
Episode #296 was actually the same transcription of February 16, 1950, a repeat broadcast.
Episode #404 was actually the same transcription of May 25, 1950, a repeat broadcast.
 
Season Eleven  (11/10/50 to 5/4/51)  Friday 9:30 p.m., EST       
 
383.  (11/10/50)  Sir Cedric Hardwicke
384.  (11/17/50)  Archie’s nephew Morton visits.
385.  (11/24/50)  Archie helps his nephew Morton with homework, leading to a visit by Morton’s teacher.
386.  (12/1/50) The Latin Night with Bobby Capo
387.  (12/8/50)  -------------------
388.  (12/15/50)  ------------------
389.  (12/22/50)  -------------------
390.  (12/29/50)  Archie plans to cut the Tavern’s prices by 10%
391.  (1/5/51)  Archie dates guest Joan Bennett
392.  (1/12/51)  A lady visits from the draft board
393.  (1/19/51)  The literary society meeting
394.  (1/26/51)  The exclusive actor’s club with Vincent Price
395.  (2/2/51)  Archie runs for political office
396.  (2/9/51) The mystery valentine, with guest Shelley Winters
397.  (2/16/51)  Archie the hypnotist
398.  (2/23/51)  Maxine Rosenbloom makes one of his many guest appearances.
399.  (3/2/51)  Peter Stuyvesant’s 1670 diary with Arthur Treacher.
400.  (3/9/51)  Archie writes an opera
401.  (3/16/51)  The Fashion Lecture with Arthur Treacher
402.  (3/23/51)  Bringing culture to the tavern with Arthur Treacher
403.  (3/30/51)  Archie throws a block party with Bert Gordon, and guest Artie Shaw
404.  (4/6/51)   The singing detective, with guest Rudy Vallee
405.  (4/13/51)  The new floor show, with guest Maxie Rosenbloom
406.  (4/20/51)  Archie, the lion tamer with Bert Gordon
407. (4/27/51)  The book don’t balance, with guest Phil Baker
 
Duffy’s Tavern was not broadcast on May 4, 1951.  A few collectors offer an episode about Latin Night with guest Bobby Capo, dated May 4, but in reality, NBC began broadcasting The Man Called X  for a two-month summer replacement in that same Friday evening time-slot. 
 
Season Twelve  (10/5/51 to 1/18/52)  Friday 9 p.m., EST    
 
408. (10/5/51)  When Duffy decides to sell the tavern, Archie gets Boris Karloff to scare off any buyers.
409. (10/12/51)  Party for columnists and the nation’s famous film critics.  *
410. (10/19/51)  Archie’s nephew Morton visits.    (a repeat of episode #384)
411. (10/26/51)  Archie helps with Morton’s schoolwork.   (a repeat of episode #385)
412.  (11/2/51)  Archie invites Diego Dinero, wealthy South American, to tavern for Spanish floorshow
413.  (11/9/51)  The cultural singing contest
414.  (11/16/51)  Deems Taylor is guest.
415.  (11/23/51)  Archie open a tearoom in order to marry wealthy widow Abigail.
416.  (11/30/51)  A weighing machine predicts good luck for Archie, so he buys a racehorse!
417.  (12/7/51)  Archie the father.  Someone left a baby on the tavern doorstep.
418.  (12/14/51)  Archie’s schoolteacher visits
419.  (12/21/51)  Archie wants to split the atom
420.  (12/28/51)  Archie enters a slogan contest and is sure that he’s won the trip to Hawaii!
 
*  There are copies of these two broadcasts, 10/5 and 10/12, that are circulating with the dates switched. 
These are the correct dates, Karloff was definitely on the season premiere.
 
Regardless of what encyclopedias have been saying the past years, the final episode of Duffy’s Tavern was on December 28, 1951.  There were no 1952 broadcasts, not even syndications as time fillers.  NBC Presents: Short Story began broadcast on January 4, 1952 in the same time slot. 
 
Later, in the late fifties, Duffy’s Tavern began showing up as excerpts on NBC’s Monitor.  About 53 five-minute shows are circulating among collectors.
 
DUFFY’S TAVERN GOES ON TV, BUT STILL NO DUFFY TO BE SEEN 
 
In fall of 1954, Duffy’s Tavern, the long remembered radio show, was then beginning to show its face on television, and was probable cause for considerable rejoicing among the former listeners.  One of the most literate illiterate shows on the air, it had a flavor all its own and was perhaps the forerunner of the informal school of radio programming.  Ed Gardner, the “Archie” of the famed restaurant, was not particularly overjoyed with the turn of events.  Both as a result of how it previously effected the radio series, and how the television productions failed to meet his expectations.
 
As early as summer of 1949, Ed Gardner had begun talking to producers and network executives about bringing Duffy’s Tavern to television.  A press release dated May 24, 1949 read:  “Ed Gardner arrives in New York today from the coast to carry on discussions with network officials and sponsors, who may be interested in his Duffy’s Tavern program.  Looking for a deal that could involve both radio and television commitments, Gardner recently obtained a release from Bristol-Meyers from his Wednesday night show on NBC.  Among other interested persons, it is known that CBS officials are anxious to discuss future plans with Gardner.”  A month later, in June of 1949, Duffy’s Tavern went off radio for the summer and sadly, Gardner had failed to convince network executives that a television version would be just as successful as his radio counterpart.  (Another reason Gardner wanted a release from his sponsor, Bristol-Meyers, was so he could move the show to Puerto Rico.)  So during the summer of 1949, Gardner went in search of a new sponsor for the radio program.  And he did, ironically Blatz Beer, for a one-year contract of fifty-two transcribed broadcasts.  A much longer run than a late fall to late spring season.
 
Another press release in early September of 1949 read: “Although program changes are a normal occurrence with each new season, next fall is going to witness a record number of shifts and cancellations.  The latest show to be parting company with its sponsor is Duffy’s Tavern.  Its star, Ed Gardner, having secured a release from his contract, reportedly has his eye on a television venture, among other activities.”
 
With the radio program off the radio waves permanently 1952, Ed Gardner took a little rest and relaxation, which was long overdue.  Moving back to his Beverly Hills home with his family, Gardner began negotiations with Hal Roach studios, who possessed an interest in marketing a television syndication.  Contracts and proposals went back and forth between Ed and Hal Roach’s executives and board members.  Regardless of the age showing, Ed insisted that he star in each episode.  The board of directors had no problem with that request, but the post-production was a different matter.  Gardner had very little choice in casting or scripts, only to give a final “go ahead” when all was said and done.  The initial contracts stated that only 26 episodes would be filmed, and later syndicated for stations across the country.  The CBS network would be host.  This way, if local stations had to pre-empt any programs due to elections or other local events, Duffy’s Tavern could be broadcast later at a different day and time.  If the program was successful, reruns would give them an additional 26 weeks (thus an entire year) to begin production on shooting additional episodes.  The manpower and work that went into a television production was much more than Gardner put into one of his radio productions, and he found that out the hard way. 
 
If it just weren’t for the physical activity, Gardner actually would have found the TV film version of Duffy’s Tavern a good deal easier than the radio show.  “In radio,” Gardner recalled, “I was the producer and director, and half the time the writer, and also Archie.  I was goin’ all the time.  It was an awful mental strain.  But here it’s different.  Hal Roach, Jr. does the producing and Harve Foster directs and they bring the scripts in and they’re in pretty good shape.  All I have to do is memorize the lines and I’m not so sharp at it.  But it’s them hot lights and all that standin’ around that gets me.” 
 
Developments for the program changed from pre-production to actual filming.  Shortly after filming the first couple episodes in color, it was decided that the cost factor was too high and the series went black and white.  (The episodes that were filmed in color were developed and syndicated in black and white.) 
 
Gardner was interviewed about the other difficulties of the television series.  “We’re shootin’ in color so they gotta light the place up like it was the third degree and five in the afternoon I tell ya I’m shot.  We figured to make only twenty-six films, but just this morning they tell me we’re set for thirteen more and I should bust my head against a wall or something.”  Roach, Jr. decided shortly after that interview they were not going to shoot any additional episodes, even if thirteen was an additional quarter of a year.
 
The show’s supporting cast included the veteran Jimmy Conlin as Charley the waiter, television’s approach to a more “politically correct” waiter compared to radio’s Eddie.  This choice was made by executives after the events of Amos ‘n’ Andy on television and the protests that resulted.  Alan Reed played the role of Finnegan.  (Reed was Clancy the cop on the radio series of Duffy’s Tavern.)  Miss Duffy, the role originated by Gardner’s former wife, Shirley Booth, was now being played by Pattee Chapman, whom Gardner found behind the counter of a Beverly Hills ice cream shop, and one of the only television roles he successfully convinced executives was the right person for the job.  A French Chef was added to the cast, who lived in the kitchen.  The Tavern itself looked much cleaner than the “fly-infested dive” people imagined on radio. 
 
The broadcast log below represents all twenty-six syndicated episodes of television’s Duffy’s Tavern.  Many publications and magazine articles have been listing the series April to September 1954.  Perhaps in other areas of the country, New York for example, the series did premiere in April, but I couldn’t find anything to substantiate that.  The dates I have are from the East Coast and broadcast May to October of 1954.  CBS network, Tuesday evenings from 8:30 to 9 p.m., EST.  Two of these episodes had script titles, the rest apparently did not.  I don’t know why this was, there might have been titles for all 26 scripts and I could only find two, perhaps they started giving titles and gave up early.  (Perhaps the early color filmed episodes were titled?)  You’ll also note that some of the television broadcasts were actually adaptations of earlier radio episodes.  Valley Forge was the sponsor.
 
1.     (5/4/54)  Premiere episode of the series.
2.     (5/11/54)  “Archie’s Boys Club”  Archie starts a boys club in the tavern to make a hit with a pretty grown-up sister.
3.     (5/18/54)  “Date for Miss Duffy”  Archie pawns Miss Duffy of as an heiress to an oil millionaire.
4.     (5/25/54)  Duffy helps Clancy the cop apprehend Saloomi the safe cracker.
5.     (6/1/54)  Archie tries to sell the tavern and ends up dunked in Central Park Lake.
6.     (6/8/54)   Archie poses as a long-long heir and comes close to being poisoned.
7.     (6/15/54)  In order to attract more wealthy patrons, Archie hires a French chef, keeps him in the kitchen sight-unseen, and then tells the wealthy patron that he cooked the meal himself.
8.     (6/22/54)  Archie buys a half-interest in a racehorse but fails to read the fine print of the contract.
This is an adaptation of radio episode #406.
9.     (6/29/54)  Archie decides he wants to become a lawyer, but not having enough money to pay for school, he persuades Finnegan to have an accident in the tavern.  He intends to collect from the insurance company, enough money to study law, not realizing he’s breaking the law!
10.  (7/6/54)  Claude brings a time bomb into the tavern, which is set to explode when his girl Gladys marries someone else.
11.  (7/13/54)  Thanks to Duffy’s generosity, the entire Tavern is treated to a major feast.  Now the only thing that can prevent their benefit is a viral quarantine.  Oops.  Did we speak too soon?
12.  (7/20/54)  Finnegan poses as a gypsy fortuneteller to entertain a ladies’ literary society.
13.  (7/27/54)  Archie buys a dog and resells it for what appears to be a profit.
14.  (8/3/54)  His girl turns down Archie so he accepts the proposal of a rich dowager who opens a charge account for him.
15.  (8/10/54)  Duffy goes on a quiz program to win money so he can give presents to his girl.
16.  (8/17/54)  Archie tries to dupe a prince into paying for an expensive dinner with Peaches La Tour.
17.  (8/24/54)  Archie finds an apparently abandoned baby and his dream of fatherhood is recognized.  This is an adaptation of radio episode #417.
18.  (8/31/54)  Archie plans to marry a rich woman.
19.  (9/7/54)  Archie demands a vacation while under a hypnotist’s spell.  This is an adaptation of radio episode #397.
20.  (9/14/54)  Finnegan inherits a diamond mine.  This is an adaptation of radio episode #166.
21.  (9/21/54)  Archie gets a date for Miss Duffy through an escort bureau.
22.  (9/28/54)  City supervisors inspect the tavern.
23.  (10/5/54)  A wealthy and prominent man gives Archie’s girl a rush.
24.  (10/12/54)  Archie buys an original Stradivarius for $15 – or so he thinks.
25.  (10/19/54)  Archie receives a letter from his uncle, a gold miner and thinks he’s coming into a fortune.
26.  (10/26/54)  Archie wangles a part in a play to prove to a girl that he is an actor.  Final episode of the series, replaced by television’s The Halls of Ivy. 
 
 
DUFFY’S TAVERN – THE MOVIE
 
With other radio programs making the successful transition to the big screen, it was no surprise that Duffy’s Tavern would do the same.  Talk at M-G-M studios about filming and releasing the picture is positive, proposals and contracts can be found among their vast library of files, but it took the studio executives at Paramount to attract Gardner’s attention.  Hollywood stars were under contract to the studios at that time, and if the big boss said they were to appear in this picture, they had to.  But what attracted Gardner was the stipulation that Paramount offered more than thirty of their contract stars to appear as an all-star ensemble.
Bing Crosby, Dorothy Lamour, Betty Hutton, Robert Benchley, Veronica Lake, Alan Ladd, and many others would be filmed for the picture and this, in Gardner’s opinion, promised big box office receipts.  The more stars the marrier.  So the contracts were signed and the filming commenced.
 
A glorious potpourri of almost every star on the Paramount lot was centered about Gardner as the irrepressible Archie.  This marked Gardner’s only acting credit in a movie.  Archie learns that his tee-totaling customer Moore is going broke and has to lay off a bunch of ex-servicemen.  Gardner goes into action, persuading a truckload of stars to pitch in, perform their bits, and help raise enough money for Moore’s record company to go back into business.  It’s a flimsy excuse for a film but the entertainment is nonstop, with some truly memorable numbers performed by Betty Hutton, who whirlwinds through “Doin’ It the Hard Way” (written by Johnny Burke, Jimmy Van Heusen), and Cass Daley performing an equally frenetic “You Can’t Blame a Gal for Trying” (written by Ben Raleigh and Bernie Wayne).  Crosby and Hutton also do an unusual rendition of “Swinging on a Star.” 
 
Eddie Green, Charles Cantor and Ann Thomas (one movie guide commented she was the then current Miss Duffy, but I have not found anything to support this) reprised their radio roles in the movie.  Sprinkled throughout are various burlesque bits, gag sequences, and even an oddball radio murder skit performed by Alan Ladd, Veronica Lake and Howard Da Silva, stars of the recent The Blue Dahlia.  As the lights go out Da Silva seems to be punching Lake silly, with Ladd daring him to continue.  When the lights go on, Ladd gives Lake an arch look and says: “Lady, you’d better get out of here before you get your teeth kicked in!”
 
Duffy’s Tavern made it’s debut, appropriately enough, at the Times Square Paramount in New York on the same bill with such “live” entertainment as The Andrews Sisters, movie actor Tim Herbert, Charles Leighton (“New King of Harmonica”), Foy Willing’s “Riders of the Purple Sage” and Vic Schoen and his recording orchestra.  The opening credits of the movie featured that familiar song, “When Irish Eyes are Smiling,” the same opening theme for the radio series.
 
Produced by Danny Dare.  Directed by Hal Walker.  Released through Paramount Studios.
Written by Melvin Frank and Norman Panama, based on the characters created by Ed Gardner.
Sketches were written by Melvin Frank, Frank Panama, Matt Brooks, Eddie Davis, George
White, Barney Dean, and Abe S. Burrows.
 
Director of Photography by Lionel Lindon.
Process Photography by Farciot Edouart.
Music Direction was supplied by Robert Emmett Dolan.
Music Associate was Arthur Franklin.
Vocal Arrangements supplied by Joseph J. Lilly.
Editorial Supervision by Arthur Schmidt.
Set Decorator was Stephen Seymour.
 
Dorothy Lamour and Betty Hutton’s gowns were designed by Edith Head.
Paulette Goddard’s gowns were designed by Mary Kay Dodson.
Special Photographic Effects by Gordon Jennings.
Dances were staged and choreographed by Billy Daniel.
Sound Recording by John Cope and Wallace (Nogs?)
Art Direction by Hans Dreier and William Flannery
Makeup by Wally Westmont.
 
 
                                                            CAST
Bing Crosby, Betty Hutton, Paulette Goddard, Alan Ladd, Dorothy Lamour, Eddie Bracken, Brian Donlevy, Sonny Tufts, Veronica Lake, Arturo De Cordova, Philip Crosby, Gary Crosby, Diana Lynn, Cass Daley, William Bendix, Maurice Rocco, James Brown, Joan Caulfield, Dennis Crosby, Lindsay Crosby, Gail Russell, Helen Walker and Jean Heather.
                                    All of the above played themselves.
 

Barry Fitgerald as Bing Crosby’s Father
Victor Moore as Michael O’Malley
Marjorie Reynolds as Peggy O’Malley
Barry Sullivan as Danny Murphy
Ed Gardner as Archie
Charles Canton as Finnegan
Eddie Green as Eddie the Waiter
Ann Thomas as Miss Duffy
Howard da Silva as the heavy
Billy De Wolfe as the doctor
Walter Abel as the director
Charles Quigley as Ronald
Olga San Juan as Gloria
Robert Watson as Masseur
Frank Fayle as the customer
Matt McHugh as man following Miss Duffy
Emmett Vogan as the makeup man
Harry Tyler as the man in bookie joint
Buck Harrington as customer #1
Phil Dunham as customer #2
Frank Faylen as customer #3.
Audrey Young as telephone operator #1
Grace Albertson as telephone operator #2
Roberta Jonay as telephone operator #3
George M. Carleton as Mr. Richardson
Addison Richards as Mr. Smith, C.P.A.
Charles Cane as the cop with Mr. Smith
Charles B. Williams as Mr. Smith’s
            Assistant
Lester Dorr as painter #1
Charles Sullivan as painter #2
Kernan Cripps as Regan’s Assistant
Davidson Clark as the guard
Jack Perrin as cop #1
James Flavin as cop #2
Beverly Thompson as school kid #1
Noel Neill as school kid #2
Audrey Korn as school kid #3
Crane Whitley as the plain clothesman
Betty Farrington as woman with the baby
Ray Turner as the hotel porter
Charles Mayon as the stork
Barney Dean as himself
Theodore Rand as the stage hand
George McKay as Regan
Jerry Maren as the midget
Julie Gibson as nurse #1
Catherine Craig as nurse #2
Bill Edwards as soda fountain clerk
Frances Morris as woman who screams
Valmere Barman as girl at the soda fountain

Tony Hughes as the manager of the Green Star Shipping
Cyril Ring, Billy Jones, Frank Wayne, George Turner, Stephen Wayne, Len Hendry, John Indrisano, Fred Steele, and Al Murphy were the waiters.
Albert Ruiz as the station master (and the soda clerk!  Dual roles!)
 
In May of 1948, Gardner brought Duffy’s Tavern to the stage.  Outside of a few introductory minutes, the stage show followed the radio format pretty closely.  Screen star Jane Russell was the featured guest star along with the Matty Malneck Orchestra and Henry Jerome Orchestra.  Regulars Eddie Green, Charles Cantor and Florence Halop were each given an opportunity to trade insults with Gardner.  Green was even given an opportunity to take the spotlight for a deftly contrived pantomime routine about poker playing.
 
Russell was attired in a strapless evening gown and given two vocal solos and she and Gardner closed the show with a duet.  Then a deadpanned announcer walks out to the center of the mike and, script in hand, intones: “Are your hands rough?  Well try Sal Hepatica.”  Gardner remarked, “We’d better go; the show must be over.”  The stage show didn’t last long, merely an experimental program, which happened to be performed three blocks away from Radio City Music Hall. 
 
 
GARDNER’S OTHER RADIO APPEARANCES
 
The Adventures of Ellery Queen  (6/25/39)  Gardner appeared along side Deems Taylor.  This was also the
            second episode of the series.  The title of the drama was “The Last Man Club.”
The Columbia Workshop  (8/31/39)  “Apartment to Let” Gardner guested with Marie Wilson.
Good News of 1940  (11/9/39)  with Edward Arnold, Walter Huston, Nan Sutherland, and Roland Young.
The Columbia Workshop  (7/21/40)  “The Canvas Kisser”  with Peter Donald and Walter Kinsella.
The Columbia Workshop  (9/8/40)  “The Major Goes Over the Hill”  The script to this broadcast is also
            known as “Big Boy Blue.”  Vicki Vola and Helen Dumont also guests.
The Columbia Workshop  (12/21/41)  “Miracle in Manhattan”  Broadcast only months after Duffy’s Tavern
            began broadcasting.
Texaco Star Theater  (2/11/42)  stars Fred Allen.
The Adventures of Ellery Queen  (4/30/42 and 5/2/42, East and West coast dates)  By now, Duffy’s Tavern
was familiar to all and Ed Gardner guested along his real-life wife Shirley Booth in these broadcasts.  The drama performed was entitled “The Living Corpse.”
Stagedoor Canteen  (3/4/43)  with Shirley Booth and Yehudi Menuhin.
Paul Whiteman Presents  (8/29/43)  with Jimmy Dorsey and Dinah Shore.
What’s New?  (9/4/43)  with Cass Daley, Jose Iturbi, and Dinah Shore.  This was the premiere episode of
            the series.  Gardner would appear on the program two more times.
Texaco Star Theater  (1/9/44)  stars Fred Allen.
Philco Radio Hall of Fame  (1/30/44)  with Colonel Stoopnagle, Frances Langford, Johnny Mercer, and a
16-year-old seaman named William Riley, a lad who falsified his age to enlist at 15, is a veteran of three major invasions.
What’s New?  (2/19/44)  with Perry Como, Laird Cregar, and Gladys Swarthout.
What’s New?  (2/26/44)  with Sigrid Gurie, Frances Lederer, and the King Sisters.  This was the final
broadcast of the series.
Texaco Star Theater  (3/26/44)  stars Fred Allen.
Suspense  (4/20/44)  Gardner played a forger who got his just deserts in “The Palmer Method.”
Texaco Star Theater  (6/18/44)  stars Fred Allen.
This is My Best  (3/6/45)  “Mdselle Irene, the Great”
Command Performance  (8/14/45)  “Victory Extra”  with an all-star cast.
The Alan Young Show  (11/15/46) 
Texaco Star Theater  (5/11/47)  stars Tony Martin.
 
Ed Gardner headed a show to substitute for Lux Radio Theater for one summer. 
 
GARDNER’S OTHER TV APPEARANCES
 
Gardner only made two television appearances, both were on Alfred Hitchcock Presents.  For anyone who has never seen either of these two episodes, I recommend you catch them on television.  Gardner gives a performance that not only pulls through, but also is pure Gardner, showing that he can definitely play another role, other than Archie.
 
AHP EPISODE #213    “THE HORSEPLAYER”    Broadcast on March 14, 1961
            Rehearsed and filmed on January 4 – 6, 1961.
            Starring:  Claude Rains as Father Amion, Ed Gardner as Mr. Sheridan,Percy Helton as Morten, the Church Sexton, Kenneth MacKenna as Bishop Cannon, Mike Ragan as Mr. Cheever, plumber,William Newell as the bank teller,   David Carlile as the bank teller, Ada Murphy as the elderly woman,
John Yount as the altar boy,Jackie Carroll as the altar boy
            Written for Presents by Henry Slesar, from his own original short story.  
            Directed by Alfred Hitchcock.
            Story:  Father Amion goes to see the “saintly” man who made two large charitable donations that enabled his poor church to buy a new roof.  But it turns out that Sheridan is not pure saint, but a gambler, and his practice of praying for the right horse has been working well, much to the priest’s horror.  Amion tells him that he is misusing the power of prayer, but Sheridan continues and seems to keep winning.  This intrigues father Amion a little and eventually Mr. Sheridan gets the priest involved in the betting game by giving Amion an inside tip on a horse.  Father Amion gambles his entire savings account on Sheridan’s hot tip, but feel very guilty about the whole thing, so he prays to God that the winning horse will lose.  As a result, Sheridan loses his entire wager, but the priest fares better, as Sheridan had bet Amion’s money to place, paying the church $2,100!
 
Henry Slesar:  “The Hitchcock show was also a showcase of nostalgic performances.  I watched with inordinate pleasure when I saw my story characters brought to life by people like Claude Rains, Judy Canova, Claire Trevor, Shirley Booth, and Eduardo Ciannelli – the last a permanent part of my childhood psyche, if only for his portrayal of the mad Thuggee in Gunga Din.  I also recall a special gulp of joy upon seeing Ed Gardner speaking my words, although only Trivial Pursuit players may remember him as Archie of radio’s Duffy’s Tavern.”
 
AHP EPISODE #254    “THE LAST REMAINS”    Broadcast on march 27, 1962
            Starring:  Ed Gardner as Marvin Foley,John Fiedler as Amos Duff, Len Weinrib as Stanley, Walter Kinsella as Lt. Morgan, Molly Ryder as the girl,Gail Bonney as the librarian Written for Presents by Henry Slesar, from a short story of his as originally published in Alfred Hitchcock Mystery Magazine.
            Directed by Leonard J. Horn.
            Story:  After Marvin Foley’s partner is killed in an auto accident, he goes to see a funeral director to make the necessary arrangements.  Since he is already on shaky financial grounds, Marvin chooses instead of a standard funeral.  However, Mr. Foley, the director, discovers that the partner has been murdered, having been shot to death.  He tells Foley that is he will buy his most expensive funeral he won’t go to the authorities, and Foley agrees until the body has been cremated, then he backs out now that he knows the evidence has been destroyed.  But unknown to Foley, Duff kept the special bullet that he found in the dead man’s body, enough to get him indited.
 
 
Ed Gardner died August 17, 1963 in a Los Angeles hospital, leaving behind a wife of twenty-one years, former New York radio and stage actress Simone Hegeman and two sons, Edward, Jr. and Stephen.  He was 58.
 
RHYME INSPIRED BY THE OPENING
            OF A PLACE OF REFINEMENT
 
I ain’t no poet, like the Bard of Avvon
But welcome, folks to “Duffy’s Tavern.”
 
Ladies ‘n’ gents . . . an’ kiddies too,
We run our joint for the likes of you.
 
An’ anyone who gets too noisy,
Will wake up in some town in Joisey.
 
Each Thursday night we take the air.
An’ we’ll be heard most everywhere.
 
The network?  Only take one guess,
It’s coast-to-coast on CBS.
 
As time goes on, we’ll bring you guests,
To entertain with tunes an’ jests.
 
And Old Man Duffy’ll squawk an’ moan
About the show, by telephone.
 
We aim to please an’ treat you well,
We have a high-class clientele.
 
If fun an’ music you are havin’
Just tune in on “Duffy’s Tavern.”.
 
-        (signed) Archie
 
 
           
The above was a publicity feature published by CBS, part of a news release issued in September of 1941.
 
ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS:  This log would not be as detailed and comprehensive (for what it’s worth) without the help of many friends, Dave Siegel, Jerry Shnay, Jessica Hucks, the folks at SPERDVAC (can’t recall who, sorry, but I can acknowledge them), Terry Salomonson, Ted Davenport, Gary Yoggy, and if I forgot anyone, I apologize, it wasn’t intentional.
© 1997  Martin Grams, Jr.
 
 
 
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Copyright © 2002 by Martin Grams, Jr.  All rights reserved.  Printed in the United States Of America.  No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form, or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, or otherwise, without the prior written permission of the author.