Remember these guys? “BOB & RAY”, 1949
The comedy team of “Bob & Ray” was catching on like wildfire in 1949, the year that I was a Junior in Wellesley High School in Massachusetts. Their wacky radio show, “Matinee with Bob & Ray” aired on WHDH, Boston, and I couldn’t wait for the daily 15 minute segments to begin.
Their format was typically to satirize radio and TV (which was just emerging) with off-the-wall dialogue, usually presented in a deadpan style. For instance, their review of the radio show, “Mary Noble, Backstage Wife” would include an interview with Mary Backstayge, the noble wife. Corny? Yes, but very effective when done in their style.
Another spoof was their game show entitled, “The 64 Cent Question” and my favorite segment, the cowboy singer who did rope tricks on the radio. Bob was usually the interviewer and Ray would take on different accents and voice tones. He had a wonderfully flat tone that he used for all his female characters, especially Mary McGoon, a home economics advisor who shared her bizarre recipes with the audience.
By 1949 they had been airing the show for three years and, although their popularity was growing, they hired the Ad Agency that my Dad worked for to promote it even further. Dad made plans to attend a live broadcast and he took me with him. It was my first time to watch the inner workings of a radio show and it was fascinating to see the technical end of the business...especially the sound effects.
I guess the closest thing that we have to that show today would be the car guys on National Public Radio’s “Car Talk”. Although they are supposed to be giving advice on automobile upkeep, Tom and Ray Magliozzi veer off to a variety of subjects, all presented in a “tongue-in-cheek” style with lots of laughs.
They are more commonly referred to as Click and Clack, the Tappet Brothers and isn’t it interesting that they originate from Boston, too. Must be something quirky in the water !