Radio’s Most Essential People Countdown #8: Fibber McGee and Molly

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8) Fibber McGee and Molly

Fibber McGee and MollyJim and Marion Jordan starred in the roles of Fibber McGee and Molly. Their show was an outstanding comedy hit that introduced Americans to the town of Wistful Vista with its memorable cast of characters. The most memorable was, of course, the lovable blowhard Fibber who was famous for such antics as his never quite clean closet. Their program was one of those most referenced by other comedy programs.

Fibber McGee and Molly was one of the first programs in history to spawn spin-offs with both The Great Gildersleeve and Beulah having their genesis as secondary characters on Fibber McGee and Molly.

The Jordans managed to survive the transition from the depression to World War II to the hopeful post-war era. Along the way, they made some memorable guest appearances including doing an appearance on the Family Theatre as Fibber McGee and Molly and also appearing in totally different characters in a well-done episode of Suspense. While other programs such as Burns and Allen, Life of Riley, and Our Miss Brooks made the move to television, the Jordans kept performing as Fibber McGee and Molly to an ever-shrinking audience in the mid-to-late 1950s as the show became a fifteen minute daily serial and then a series of shorts on NBC’s Monitor program. A television version was tried without them, but the play failed. America would not except substitutes.

With hundreds of episodes in circulation from their SC Johnson Wax sponsored runs, the duo remain one of radio’s most memorable couples to this day.

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