Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Lum 'n' Abner

In addition to the other OTR shows I've mentioned lately, Judy and I also heard two episodes of Lum 'n' Abner from 1942.  Talk about timely.  In the first, Lum, who'd bought a printing press and was considering publishing a new dictionary, one that corrected the omission of "ort" and "ain't" from the current ones.  But Lum moved beyond that idea.  He decided to become an author and wrote for an aptitude test from the Oxford Overnight Writers' School.  The ad said he could earn big money by writing stories for Boys' Workbench Weekly and similar publications, though he was going for the really big dough with a novel, instead.  The test arrived, and Lum was required to write a description and a dialog passage.  Pretty funny stuff.  Then he decided not to become an author, after all, because the cost of the school's "lessons" was $117.50.

In the next episode, Lum decides that the real money is in publishing.  He's going to use his press to publish books by others, and he puts a sign out in front of the Jot 'em Down Store, inviting writers to bring in their "manual scripts," which he will turn into books.  His first customer is Mousie, a poet who has a great ode to a hoot owl.  Ever been to a poetry workshop?  You'll howl (or hoot) at this episode.  The more things change, the more they stay the same.

4 comments:

Rusty said...

Ed Walker used to feature Lum & Abner weekly on his "Big Broadcast" OTR show. I think he ran through all the episodes so he's giving them a rest right now, but I hope some day they'll be back. They're a hoot.

Rusty

Bill Crider said...

My grandfather's favorite show, maybe because he ran a little grocery store in the early 20th century.

Cap'n Bob Napier said...

I've been listening to tapes of Yours Truly, Johnny Dollar this past week. Some great moments.

Bill Crider said...

XM runs that show, a real favorite of our household when I was a kid, but it's often a five-parter, which I don't listen to in the car because I either get in too late for the beginning or too soon to hear the ending.