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Thursday, August 11, 2011

Jack Carson Show, The


The Jack Carson Show first appeared on CBS radio for Campbell Soups, on June 2, 1943. The show ran for about four years until 1947 when Carson became the M.C. on The Sealtest Village Store.

The Jack Carson Show centred around Jack’s hectic home life at 22 North Hollywood Lane and his encounters with a variety of strange relatives, friends and neighbours. As in their vaudeville days Dave Willock was the sidekick playing the part of Carson’s nephew Tugwell. Eddie Marr was Jack's press agent, Arthur Treacher his butler.


John Elmer Carson was born in Carman, Manitoba on 27 October 1910 to Elmer and Elsa Carson. Shortly afterwards the family moved to Milwaukee, which he always thought of as his home town. He attended high school at Hartford School, Milwaukee and St. John's Military Academy, Delafield - but it was while attending Carleton College, Northfield that he got a taste for acting Jack Carson, because of his size - 6ft 2" and 220lbs had his first stage appearance as Hercules in a college production. During a performance he tripped and took half the set with him. A college friend, Dave Willock, thought it was so funny he persuaded Carson to team with him in a vaudeville act - Willock and Carson, and a new career began. In 1936 they decided to try their luck in Hollywood - and landed at RKO where they were able to work in bit parts. Jack Carson quickly qot on the RKO treadmill through a gruelling series of films, sometimes changing costumes four times a day. Willock and Carson meanwhile got their big radio break on the Bing Crosby Kraft Music Hall program in 1938, and it was that appearance that lead to a string of other radio appearances and hosting opportunities which would culminate in his own radio show in 1943. (Jack Carson Fansite)

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References: Old Time Radio Researchers Group, Wikipedia, Frank Passage & Others OTR Logs, Archive.org, Encyclopedia of Old-Time Radio by John Dunning, Australian Old Time Radio Group

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