Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Duffy's Tavern


Duffy's First Reader was published in 1943, it was a promotional product from the popular American radio sitcom Duffy's Tavern. It was printed up by sponsor Bristol Meyer. The radio show ran on CBS from 1941 to 1942, NBC Blue from 1942 to 1944, then moved to the combined NBC in 1944 and stayed there until it's cancellation in 1951. That's a long run for any sitcom. It wasnt' that different from Cheers in a way, running gags, guests, regulars.. hijinks etc. More comic was the owner, "Duffy" never made an appearance. More here.

Most of the pamphlet is a faux primary school booklet, but as if it were written by the program's dimwitted bartender. It comes complete with bad math, poor spelling and incorrect history... but so do many modern history texts.

But on page 37 it changes gears from a farce to a very short biography of Ed Gardner the voice behind the bartending Archie   character in Dufy's tavern. According to it, Ed was born in Astoria in 1901, and actually worked in advertising before every going near radio. He even worked in theater and directed some radio plays for the WPA before ever voicing Archie. 

A Duffy's Tavern film was made by Paramount in 1945. It was pretty bad by all reports. There was also an aborted attempt to convert it into a TV series in 1954. Gardner died at the age of 60 in 1963, unless you believe his agent, and in that case he was 58.

You can get all 45 Mb