Radio’s Most Essential People Countdown: #16 and #15

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16) Amos ‘n Andy:

This creation of radio pioneers Freeman Gosden and Charles Correll began on radio in 1928 as a daily serial and aired in one form or another over radio until 1960. While the show has been the subject of controversy in recent years due its stereotypical black characters, it was a cultural institution to an entire generation of Americans. During their early years, they eschewed the use of a studio audience, performing in a small studio by themselves. By doing, they avoided the pitfall of so many early radio performers who would find themselves playing to their studio audience rather than the people at home with some visual gag that the audience at home missed out on. By focusing on the listening audience, Amos ‘n Andy were able to become comedy legends.
15) Lawrence Dobkin

Lawrence DobkinLawrence was an amazingly versatile actor. His starring roles included playing Ellery Queen and taking on the role of Archie Goodwin on The New Adventures of Nero Wolfe. However, Dobkin was able to play a stunning of variety of character roles as a true man of a thousand voices. On the Saint, he played sidekick and cab driver Louie, but when star Tom Conway was struggling with alcoholism, he had to take over the role of the debonair Simon Templar while Conway was indisposed. His ability to change voices and take on any characterization made him a true asset to producers of programs such as The Whistler, Lux Radio Theatre, Let George Do It, and Escape.

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