Thursday, September 20, 2012

THE COMIC WEEKLY MAN

I'VE BEEN COLLECTING OLD RADIO SHOWS SINCE CIRCA 1977 since I was about 12 or 13 and my friend Ed Jacoby introduced me to an episode of "FIBBER MCGEE & MOLLY".  Ever since then I was hooked and I've amassed a not insubstantial vault of every radio show under the sun.  However, through all these years I had never even HEARD of something called "THE COMIC WEEKLY MAN".  But ever since first hearing it a couple weeks ago, I've been totally enamored of the naive charm of it.

THE COMIC WEEKLY MAN was a radio show broadcast from the years 1947 to 1954 in which the aforementioned "nameless" Comic Weekly Man literally read the Hearst newspaper's Sunday funnies from their "Puck:  The Comic Weekly" section of the paper.  The man himself was never credited on the programme but in fact was busy radio actor Lon Clark (1912-1998) who is probably best-known for playing the lead in the popular "NICK CARTER, MASTER DETECTIVE" radio show as well as appearing in everything from "LIGHTS OUT" to "THE MARCH OF TIME". 

As the Comic Weekly Man, Clark began each programme singing the insanely-catchy theme song:  "I'm the Comic Weekly Man, the jolly Comic Weekly Man and I'm here to read the funnies to you happy boys and honeys..." accompanied by the ubiquitous old-time radio organ.  Clark not only read the funnies, he enacted all the male character voices and sang songs and jingles tailored to each of the funnies from FLASH GORDON to BEETLE BAILEY to DONALD DUCK.  He was accompanied by little "Miss Honey" (also uncredited) as the eager, tiny tot to whom the Comic Weekly Man read the funnies; this actress also provided most of the female voices as well.  There's just something so entertaining about these programmes; the idea for the show seems like it would wear pretty thin quite fast but in fact each half-hour programme flies by leaving you just as eager as Miss Honey for more of the same.  In fact, the show becomes addictive!  I'm particularly fond of those episodes on or around Halloween and Christmas time.  Lon Clark was a jobbing radio actor who made the Comic Weekly Man must-listening not only for the kiddies but, one suspects, also for their parents.  Luckily for you and I, there is an entire vast chunk of THE COMIC WEEKLY MAN programmes available for a free listen over at the Internet Archive:  here is the link for them - just click here to wallow in the wonderfulness of this superb old-radio show which revives the kid in us all.  Each show is playable separately on a nice and easy player - no fuss no muss and all fun!!!  Lon Clark would've been 100 years old this year and I can think of no better way to celebrate his talent than to listen to THE COMIC WEEKLY MAN.  You owe it to yourself.  Make yourself a nice cup of coffee, tea or hot cocoa, plop your laptop down on the living room carpet and lie down in front of it as the magic of old radio transports you back to those thrilling days of yesteryear.

3 comments:

James wellyousaythat said...

The superbness of both concept and execution is beyond reproach. Thanks for bringing Comic Book Bloke to our attention. What a guy

Cerpts said...

Glad to share such a terrific discovery! I can't urge everyone enough to click on the link and listen to the Comic Weekly Man work his magic!

Daniel B? said...

That's why Little Miss Honey keeps saying that she just watched "her favorite detective, Nick Carter!" It was Nick moonlighting.

Excellent article. Fantastic blog. Loved the Doctor Who 64.

"I'm not a patient man, Doctor."
"Well, your candor does you credit."