Listen to a Duffy’s Tavern Radio Show episode by clicking on a link below:
First Episode: March 1, 1941
Last Episode: December 28, 1951
Number of Episodes: Approximately 420
Network: CBS (1941-1942), NBC Blue Network (1942-1944), NBC (1944-1951)
Cast Members: Ed Gardner (Archie – See photo to the right), Shirley Booth (Miss Duffy #1/Duffy’s Daughter), Eddie Green (Eddie the waitor/janitor), Charlie Cantor (Clifton Finnegan), Alan Reed (Clancy the cop)
Producer/Director: Mitchell Benson, Rupert Lucas, Jack Roche, Tony Sanford
Announcers: John Reed King, Marvin Miller, Rod O’Connor, Jimmy Wallington, Perry Ward
Sound Effects: Virgil Reimer
Music: John Kirby, Matty Malneck, Ret Veet Reeves, Peter Van Steeden, Joe Venuti
Theme Song: “When Irish Eyes Are Smiling”
Writers: Ed Gardner, Abe Burrows (and co-creator with Gardner), Larry Gelbart, Larry Marks, Dick Martin
Sponsor: Schick Razors, Sanka Coffee, Bristol-Myers (Ipana toothpaste)
Typical Episode Length: 30 Minutes
The Duffy’s Tavern radio show revolved around the crazy characters that worked at and frequented a neighborhood bar in New York City. The main culprit was Archie who managed the bar. His nutsy schemes would always get himself, and often others, into terrible situations. The series often featured a big film, stage, or radio star of the day as a guest star, adding to the enjoyment!
Trivia: Duffy’s Tavern was “located” at 3rd Avenue and 23rd Street in New York City. Shelly Winters who played the first “Miss Duffy” was Ed Gardner’s real-life first wife! Ed ran the show because of his experience in the business. He had previously directed the Burns and Allen radio show, Ripley’s Believe It Or Not, and The Rudy Vallee Hour. Ed was also a smart businessman. He moved the production of Duffy’s Tavern to Puerto Rico in 1949 for tax purposes. On October 6, 1942, the name of the series was changed to “Duffy” and then to “Duffy’s Variety” when a staffer at Bristol-Myers (the show’s sponsor) felt that the word “Tavern” overly promoted drinking. On March 9, 1944, the company stated that the staffer had greatly exagerated the number of listener complaints and the name was changed back to “Duffy’s Tavern”. While there was a 1945 film titled, “Ed Gardner’s Duffy’s Tavern” and a 1954 TV series, neither did very well.
Shirley Booth won three Tony Awards for her roles in the movies, “Goodbye, My Fancy”, “Come Back, Little Sheba” and “Time Of The Cuckoo” but she’s probably best known for her starring role on the, “Hazel TV Show” which aired for five seasons and 154 episodes from 1961-66!
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