By Tim Hollis
There has been a time while rural comedians drew such a lot in their humor from stories of farmers' daughters, hogs, hens, and hill nation excessive jinks. Lum and Abner and mum and dad Kettle would possibly not have toured fortunately less than the "Redneck" marquee, yet they have been its precursors. In Ain't Knee-Slapper: Rural Comedy within the 20th Century, writer Tim Hollis strains the evolution of this vintage American kind of humor within the mass media, starting with the golden age of radio, whilst such comedians as Bob Burns, Judy Canova, and Lum and Abner stored listeners giggling. The booklet then strikes into the films of the Thirties, Forties, and Nineteen Fifties, while the validated radio stars loved moment careers at the silver monitor and have been joined through live-action renditions of the sketch characters Li'l Abner and Snuffy Smith, in addition to the much-loved mom and dad Kettle sequence of movies. Hollis explores such rural sitcoms because the genuine McCoys within the overdue Nineteen Fifties and from the Nineteen Sixties, The Andy Griffith express, The Beverly Hillbillies, eco-friendly Acres, Hee Haw, etc. alongside the way in which, readers are taken on facet journeys into the area of lively cartoons and tv advertisements that succeeded via a relatively rural experience of enjoyable. whereas rural comedy fell out of fashion and networks sacked indicates within the early Seventies, the emergence of such hits because the Dukes of Hazzard introduced the style whooping again to the mainstream. Hollis concludes with a short examine the present country of rural humor, which manifests itself in a extra suburban, redneck model of standup comedy. Tim Hollis is the writer of various books, together with whats up, girls and boys! America's neighborhood kid's television courses and (with Greg Ehrbar) Mouse Tracks: the tale of Walt Disney documents.
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Extra info for Ain't That a Knee-Slapper: Rural Comedy in the Twentieth Century
Its four residents were the loudmouthed Senator Claghorn; the taciturn rustic, Titus Moody; the Jewish housewife, Mrs. Nussbaum; and the quarrelsome Irishman, Ajax Cassidy. - 56 - Radio Rules the Roost Clem: Well, didn’t yuh read th’ sign on the door? Announcer: Yes, I read it. Clem: Well, would yuh read it ta me? Other skits revolved around Clem’s relationship with his equally rustic girlfriend, Daisy June (played by Harriet Nelson, later of Ozzie and Harriet fame). Clem and Daisy June engaged in demented dialogue: Clem: Hey, Daisy June, kin I come inta your house?
The company also sponsored the National Barn Dance. show, in May 1941 they finally hitched up with Miles Laboratories, the makers of Alka-Seltzer, Miles Nervine, and One-a-Day vitamins. The Miles company was a real pro when it came to making sure its sponsored radio programs didn’t fizz, but its first series of Lum and Abner episodes was heard on the West Coast only. Finally, in September 1941, the show returned to the national NBC network and regained its status as a nightly habit for millions of radio listeners.
Bergen: That’s nice. Mortimer: Yuh, with real pigs they play it. Comedian Red Skelton had been toiling in obscurity for several years and had even starred in at least one undistinguished radio series when he suddenly hit on a winning formula and shot to the top of the ratings with his program sponsored by Raleigh cigarettes in October 1941. Skelton’s success seems to have resulted from a seemingly endless parade of kooky characters featured in his skits, chiefly country bumpkin Clem Kadiddlehopper.
Ain't That a Knee-Slapper: Rural Comedy in the Twentieth Century by Tim Hollis