Listen to a Blondie Radio Show episode by clicking on a link below:
First Episode: July 3, 1939 (However, Blondie and Dagwood’s first time on the radio was as guest stars on the December 20, 1938 episode of The Bob Hope Show)
Last Episode: July 6, 1950
Number of Episodes: Unknown
Network: CBS (7/3/39 – 6/26/44), NBC Blue Network (7/21/44 – 9/1/44 overlapping with the first 3 weeks on CBS), CBS (8/13/44 – 9/26/48), NBC (10/6/48 – 6/29/49), ABC (10/6/1949) to (7/6/1950)
Cast Members: Arthur Lake (Dagwood Bumstead); Penny Singleton (Blondie 1939-1949); From 1949-1950 Blondie was portrayed by Ann Rutherford, Florence Lake (Arthur’s sister), Patricia Van Cleve (Arthur’s real life wife), and Alice White; Hanley Stafford (Julius Caesar ‘J.C.’ Dithers); Elvia Allman (Mrs. ‘Cora’ Dithers); Frank Nelson (Herb Woodley); Leone Ledoux (Alexander and Cookie as infants); the older Alexander was portrayed by Tommy Cook, Bobby Ellis, Jeffrey Silver, and Larry Simms (who also did the movies); the older Cookie was played by Marlene Aames, Norma Jean Nilsson, and Joan Rae; Mr. Fuddle was played by both Arthur Q. Bryan and Harry Lang; Dix Davis (Alvin Fuddle); Mary Jane Croft (Harriet), Dimples Wilson was portrayed by both Lurene Tuttle and Veola Vonn.
Series Creator: Murat Bernard “Chic” Young
Producer: Ashmead Scott
Directors: Don Bernard, Eddie Pola, Glenhall Taylor
Announcers: Bill Goodwin, Howard Petrie, Harlow Wilcox
Sound Effects: Parker Cornel, Ray Erlenborn
Music: Billy Artz, Harry Lubin
Writers: Johnny Greene, William Moore, Ashmead Scott
Sponsor: Camel Cigarettes (7/3/39-6/26/44), then Super Suds till series end
Typical Episode Length: 30 Minutes
Blondie and Dagwood first appeared as a comic strip written by Chic Young. In 1938, the characters made their way onto the big screen in the first Blondie movie. The film was such a hit that the radio show naturally followed, along with 27 additional movies!
The comic strip began about Blondie Boopadoop, a young, single lady who mostly partied in dance halls. Then she met Dagwood Bumstead who was from a very wealthy family. Their increasingly serious relationship was well accepted by the readers and the possibility of their marrying really increased the popularity of the strip. On February 17, 1933, Miss Boopadoop became Mrs. Bumstead. Then the strip concentrated on Dagwood’s relationship with his “evil” boss, Mr. Dithers at the J.C. Dithers construction Company. Dagwood is always goofing up and Mr. Dithers threatens to fire him constantly. Dagwood has little choice but to put up with it as his family “cut him off” when he married Blondie. They felt she wasn’t worthy of their social standing.
On February 17, 1933, after much fanfare and build-up, Miss Boopadoop married her boyfriend Dagwood Bumstead, the son of a wealthy industrialist. Unfortunately for the Bumsteads, Dagwood was disowned by his upper-crust family for marrying beneath his class. Ever since, he has been slaving away at the office of the J. C. Dithers Construction Company under the direction of tyrannical boss Julius Caesar Dithers, who frequently threatens to fire Dagwood from his workplace when (as frequently happens) Dagwood either botches or does not finish his work, sleeps on the job, comes into work late, or pesters Dithers for a raise or promotion.
The Blondie radio show was originally intended as a summer replacement series for the Eddie Cantor Show. That series did not return in the fall and the sponsor, Camel Cigarettes, decided to keep Blondie on the air!
The Blondie radio show eventually inspired the Blondie TV Show in 1957. Arthur Lake returned in his role as Dagwood and a new actress, Pamela Briton, played the role of Blondie. Unfortunately, the series only remained on the air for 8 months and 26 episodes! Another Blondie TV series in 1968 starred Will Hutchins and Patricia Harty and survived only 4 months on the air.
If you’re not old enough to remember Penny Singleton as Blondie, you have probably at least heard her voice. She provided the voice of Jane Jetson on the cartoon series, “The Jetsons”. Oh … by the way, Penny was naturally a redhead!
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