Edgar John Bergen was an American actor and radio performer, best known for his proficiency in ventriloquism and his characters Charlie McCarthy and Mortimer Snerd. He was the father of actress Candice Bergen. Bergen was born in Chicago, one of five children and the youngest of two sons of Swedish immigrants Nilla Svensdotter and Johan Henriksson Berggren, he lived on a farm near Decatur, Michigan until he was 4 when his family returned to Sweden where he learned the language. He taught himself ventriloquism from a pamphlet called "The Wizard's Manual" when he was 11 after his family returned to Chicago, he attended Lake View High School. After his father died when he was just 16, he went out to work as an apprentice accountant, a furnace stoke, a player piano operator, a projectionist in a silent-movie house; the famous ventriloquist Harry Lester was so impressed by Edgar that he gave the teenager daily lessons for three months in the fundamentals of ventriloquism. In the fall of 1919, Edgar paid Chicago woodcarver Theodore Mack $36 to sculpt a likeness of a rascally red-headed Irish newspaperboy he knew.
The head went on a dummy named Charlie McCarthy. He had created the body himself, using a nine-inch length of broomstick for the backbone, rubber bands and cords to control the lower jaw mechanism of the mouth. For college he attended Northwestern University where he was enrolled in the pre-med program to please his mother, he never completed his degree. He gave his first public performance at Waveland Avenue Congregational Church located on the northeast corner of Waveland and Janssen, he lived across the street from the church. In 1965, he gave the church a generous contribution, a thoughtful letter, a photograph of himself, requested by the minister and was displayed in the church's assembly room, dedicated to Bergen, he went from Berggren to Bergen on the showbills. Between June 1922 and August 1925, he performed every summer on the professional Chautauqua circuit and at the Lyceum theater in Chicago. Bergen had an interest in aviation, his first performances were in vaudeville, at which point he changed his last name to the easier-to-pronounce "Bergen".
He worked in one-reel movie shorts. He and Charlie were seen at a New York party by Elsa Maxwell for Noël Coward, who recommended them for an engagement at the famous Rainbow Room, it was there that two producers saw Charlie perform. They recommended them for a guest appearance on Rudy Vallée's program, their initial appearance was so successful that the following year they were given regular cast rolls as part of The Chase and Sanborn Hour. Under various sponsors, they were on the air from May 9, 1937 to July 1, 1956; the popularity of a ventriloquist on radio, when one could see neither the dummies nor his skill and puzzled many critics and now. Knowing that Bergen provided the voice, listeners perceived Charlie as a genuine person, but only through artwork rather than photos could the character be seen as lifelike. Thus, in 1947, Sam Berman caricatured Bergen and McCarthy for the network's glossy promotional book, NBC Parade of Stars: As Heard Over Your Favorite NBC Station. Bergen's skill as an entertainer his characterization of Charlie, carried the show.
Bergen's success on radio was paralleled in the United Kingdom by Peter Brough and his dummy Archie Andrews. For the radio program, Bergen developed other characters, notably the slow-witted Mortimer Snerd and the man-hungry Effie Klinker; the star remained Charlie, always presented as a precocious child —a debonair, girl-crazy, child-about-town. As a child, a wooden one at that, Charlie could get away with double entendres which were otherwise impossible under broadcast standards of the time. Charlie: "May I have a kiss good-bye?" Dale Evans: "Well, I can't see any harm in that!" Charlie: "Oh. I wish. A harmless kiss doesn't sound thrilling."Charlie and Mae West had this conversation on December 12, 1937. Charlie: "Not so loud, not so loud! All my girlfriends are listening." Mae: "Oh, yeah! You’re all wood and a yard long." Charlie: "Yeah." Mae: "You weren’t so nervous and backward when you came up to see me at my apartment. In fact, you didn’t need any encouragement to kiss me." Charlie: "Did I do that?"
Mae: "Why, you did. I got marks to prove it. An' splinters, too."Charlie's feud with W. C. Fields was a regular feature of the show. W. C. Fields: "Well, if it isn't Charlie McCarthy, the woodpecker's pinup boy!"Charlie: "Well, if it isn't W. C. Fields, the man who keeps Seagram's in business!"W. C. Fields: "I love children. I can remember when, with my own little unsteady legs, I toddled from room to room." Charlie: "When was that? Last night?"W. C. Fields: "Quiet, Wormwood, or I'll whittle you into a venetian blind." Charlie: "Ooh, that makes me shutter!"W. C. Fields: "Tell me, Charles, is it true that your father was a gate-leg table?" Charlie: "If it is, your father was under it."W. C. Fields: "Why, you stunted spruce, I'll throw a Japanese beetle on you." Charlie: "Why, you bar-fly you, I'll stick a wick in your mouth, use you for an alcohol lamp!"Charlie: "Pink elephants take aspirin to get rid of W. C. Fields."W. C. Fields: "Step out of the sun Charles. You may come unglued." Charlie: "Mind if I stand in the shade of your nose?"
Bergen was not the most technically skilled ventriloquist—Charli
Vaudeville is a theatrical genre of variety entertainment born in France at the end of the 18th century. A vaudeville was a comedy without psychological or moral intentions, based on a comical situation: a kind of dramatic composition or light poetry, interspersed with songs or ballets, it became popular in the United States and Canada from the early 1880s until the early 1930s, but the idea of vaudeville's theatre changed radically from its French antecedent. In some ways analogous to music hall from Victorian Britain, a typical American vaudeville performance was made up of a series of separate, unrelated acts grouped together on a common bill. Types of acts have included popular and classical musicians, dancers, trained animals, ventriloquists, strongmen and male impersonators, illustrated songs, one-act plays or scenes from plays, lecturing celebrities and movies. A vaudeville performer is referred to as a "vaudevillian". Vaudeville developed from many sources including the concert saloon, freak shows, dime museums, literary American burlesque.
Called "the heart of American show business", vaudeville was one of the most popular types of entertainment in North America for several decades. The origin of the term is obscure, but is explained as being derived from the French expression voix de ville. A second speculation is that it comes from the 15th-century songs on satire by poet Olivier Basselin, "Vaux de Vire". In his Connections television series, science historian James Burke argues that the term is a corruption of the French "Vau de Vire", an area known for its bawdy drinking songs and where Basselin lived. Some, preferred the earlier term "variety" to what manager Tony Pastor called its "sissy and Frenchified" successor. Thus, vaudeville was marketed as "variety" well into the 20th century. With its first subtle appearances within the early 1860s, vaudeville was not a common form of entertainment; the form evolved from the concert saloon and variety hall into its mature form throughout the 1870s and 1880s. This more gentle form was known as "Polite Vaudeville".
In the years before the American Civil War, entertainment existed on a different scale. Variety theatre existed before 1860 in Europe and elsewhere. In the US, as early as the first decades of the 19th century, theatregoers could enjoy a performance consisting of Shakespeare plays, singing and comedy; as the years progressed, people seeking diversified amusement found an increasing number of ways to be entertained. Vaudeville was characterized by traveling companies touring through towns. A handful of circuses toured the country. In the 1840s, the minstrel show, another type of variety performance, "the first emanation of a pervasive and purely American mass culture", grew to enormous popularity and formed what Nick Tosches called "the heart of 19th-century show business". A significant influence came from Dutch minstrels and comedians. Medicine shows traveled the countryside offering programs of comedy, music and other novelties along with displays of tonics and miracle elixirs, while "Wild West" shows provided romantic vistas of the disappearing frontier, complete with trick riding and drama.
Vaudeville incorporated these various itinerant amusements into a stable, institutionalized form centered in America's growing urban hubs. In the early 1880s, impresario Tony Pastor, a circus ringmaster turned theatre manager, capitalized on middle class sensibilities and spending power when he began to feature "polite" variety programs in several of his New York City theatres; the usual date given for the "birth" of vaudeville is October 24, 1881 at New York's Fourteenth Street Theatre, when Pastor famously staged the first bill of self-proclaimed "clean" vaudeville in New York City. Hoping to draw a potential audience from female and family-based shopping traffic uptown, Pastor barred the sale of liquor in his theatres, eliminated bawdy material from his shows, offered gifts of coal and hams to attendees. Pastor's experiment proved successful, other managers soon followed suit. B. F. Keith took the next step, starting in Boston, where he built an empire of theatres and brought vaudeville to the US and Canada.
E. F. Albee, adoptive grandfather of the Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Edward Albee, managed the chain to its greatest success. Circuits such as those managed by Keith-Albee provided vaudeville's greatest economic innovation and the principal source of its industrial strength, they enabled a chain of allied vaudeville houses that remedied the chaos of the single-theatre booking system by contracting acts for regional and national tours. These could be lengthened from a few weeks to two years. Albee gave national prominence to vaudeville's trumpeting "polite" entertainment, a commitment to entertainment inoffensive to men and children. Acts that violated this ethos were admonished and threatened with expulsion from the week's remaining performances or were canceled altogether. In spite of such threats, performers flouted this censorship to the delight of the audience members whose sensibilities were supposedly
Poland the Republic of Poland, is a country located in Central Europe. It is divided into 16 administrative subdivisions, covering an area of 312,696 square kilometres, has a temperate seasonal climate. With a population of 38.5 million people, Poland is the sixth most populous member state of the European Union. Poland's capital and largest metropolis is Warsaw. Other major cities include Kraków, Łódź, Wrocław, Poznań, Gdańsk, Szczecin. Poland is bordered by the Baltic Sea, Russia's Kaliningrad Oblast and Lithuania to the north and Ukraine to the east and Czech Republic, to the south, Germany to the west; the establishment of the Polish state can be traced back to AD 966, when Mieszko I, ruler of the realm coextensive with the territory of present-day Poland, converted to Christianity. The Kingdom of Poland was founded in 1025, in 1569 it cemented its longstanding political association with the Grand Duchy of Lithuania by signing the Union of Lublin; this union formed the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth, one of the largest and most populous countries of 16th and 17th century Europe, with a uniquely liberal political system which adopted Europe's first written national constitution, the Constitution of 3 May 1791.
More than a century after the Partitions of Poland at the end of the 18th century, Poland regained its independence in 1918 with the Treaty of Versailles. In September 1939, World War II started with the invasion of Poland by Germany, followed by the Soviet Union invading Poland in accordance with the Molotov–Ribbentrop Pact. More than six million Polish citizens, including 90% of the country's Jews, perished in the war. In 1947, the Polish People's Republic was established as a satellite state under Soviet influence. In the aftermath of the Revolutions of 1989, most notably through the emergence of the Solidarity movement, Poland reestablished itself as a presidential democratic republic. Poland is regional power, it has the fifth largest economy by GDP in the European Union and one of the most dynamic economies in the world achieving a high rank on the Human Development Index. Additionally, the Polish Stock Exchange in Warsaw is the largest and most important in Central Europe. Poland is a developed country, which maintains a high-income economy along with high standards of living, life quality, safety and economic freedom.
Having a developed school educational system, the country provides free university education, state-funded social security, a universal health care system for all citizens. Poland has 15 UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Poland is a member state of the European Union, the Schengen Area, the United Nations, NATO, the OECD, the Three Seas Initiative, the Visegrád Group; the origin of the name "Poland" derives from the West Slavic tribe of Polans that inhabited the Warta river basin of the historic Greater Poland region starting in the 6th century. The origin of the name "Polanie" itself derives from the early Slavic word "pole". In some languages, such as Hungarian, Lithuanian and Turkish, the exonym for Poland is Lechites, which derives from the name of a semi-legendary ruler of Polans, Lech I. Early Bronze Age in Poland begun around 2400 BC, while the Iron Age commenced in 750 BC. During this time, the Lusatian culture, spanning both the Bronze and Iron Ages, became prominent; the most famous archaeological find from the prehistory and protohistory of Poland is the Biskupin fortified settlement, dating from the Lusatian culture of the early Iron Age, around 700 BC.
Throughout the Antiquity period, many distinct ancient ethnic groups populated the regions of what is now Poland in an era that dates from about 400 BC to 500 AD. These groups are identified as Celtic, Slavic and Germanic tribes. Recent archeological findings in the Kujawy region, confirmed the presence of the Roman Legions on the territory of Poland; these were most expeditionary missions sent out to protect the amber trade. The exact time and routes of the original migration and settlement of Slavic peoples lacks written records and can only be defined as fragmented; the Slavic tribes who would form Poland migrated to these areas in the second half of the 5th century AD. Up until the creation of Mieszko's state and his subsequent conversion to Christianity in 966 AD, the main religion of Slavic tribes that inhabited the geographical area of present-day Poland was Slavic paganism. With the Baptism of Poland the Polish rulers accepted Christianity and the religious authority of the Roman Church.
However, the transition from paganism was not a smooth and instantaneous process for the rest of the population as evident from the pagan reaction of the 1030s. Poland began to form into a recognizable unitary and territorial entity around the middle of the 10th century under the Piast dynasty. Poland's first documented ruler, Mieszko I, accepted Christianity with the Baptism of Poland in 966, as the new official religion of his subjects; the bulk of the population converted in the course of the next few centuries. In 1000, Boleslaw the Brave, continuing the policy of his father Mieszko, held a Congress of Gniezno and created the metropolis of Gniezno and the dioceses of Kraków, Kołobrzeg, Wrocław. However, the pagan unrest led to the transfer of the capital to Kraków in 1038 by Casimir I the Restorer. In 1109, Prince Bolesław III Wrymouth defeated the King of Germany Henry V at the Battle of Hundsfeld, stopping the Ge
Coronet was a general interest digest magazine published from October 23, 1936, to at least March 1971 and ran for 299 issues. Coronet magazine continued publication under some form and ownership through at least September 1976, an issue with actress Angie Dickinson on the cover; the magazine was owned by Esquire and published by David A. Smart from 1936 to 1961; each issue had a wide variety of features, as well as a condensed book section. Poetry was featured, along with gift star stories; the sister company Coronet Films was promoted in most issues as well. Articles on culture and the arts were mixed with social advice. Coronet Films were produced by David Smart and the Esquire company. Thought of as school films, its titles included "Fun of Being Thoughtful", "Dating: Do's and Don'ts", "Where Does Our Meat Come From?". Arnold Gingrich Fritz Bamberger John Barkham Pageant Reader's Digest Sunshine Coronet magazine records at Syracuse University] WorldCat The Genius of Passion: Esquire and Ken Magazines
You Asked for It
You Asked for It is a human interest television show created and hosted by Art Baker. Titled The Art Baker Show, the program aired on American television between 1950 and 1959. Versions of the series were seen in 1972, 1981, 2000. On the show, viewers were asked to send in postcards describing something that they wanted to see on television, such as the reenactment of William Tell shooting an apple off his son's head; the show was broadcast live, so some of the riskier propositions took on added elements of danger and suspense. A segment where animal trainer and stuntman, Reed Parham wrestled a huge, deadly anaconda, for example, nearly became disastrous until assistants interceded with guns drawn, visibly unnerving host Art Baker. Baker was fond of granting requests to see show-business personalities, he reunited the Our Gang troupe of the 1920s, staged encore performances by singers Gloria Jean, Nick Lucas and Arthur Lee Simpkins. Short film clips were presented, with the selection based upon viewer requests.
As a consequence, many of the clips were presented multiple times. Some of the more popular clips included a tour of the bizarre Winchester Mystery House and the collapse of the first Tacoma Narrows Bridge; the program was named The Art Baker Show, after host. In April 1951, the show’s title was changed to You Asked for It. Airing on the DuMont Television Network from December 29, 1950, to December 7, 1951, it moved to ABC, where it remained until the end of its original run on September 27, 1959; the show was sponsored by Skippy Peanut Studebaker Automobiles. Art Baker hosted the show until early 1958. During the Smith years, memorable segments included a profile Dr. John Ott's elaborate automated time-lapse multiple camera greenhouse filming the growth of plants, a man who wanted to see his bit part in a silent movie after about forty years, how a dangerous fire collapsing building stunt sequence was filmed with stunt people rolling into a hidden pit at the last possible second. After ABC canceled the original show in 1959, various revivals have aired in the decades since: An all-new version of You Asked For It began to air in syndication in 1972, was hosted by Jack Smith.
In 1981, another syndicated version went on the air as The New You Asked For It, with impressionist Rich Little as the host and Jayne Kennedy as co-host. Jack Smith served as a narrator on this version. In the show's second season he took over as host; this incarnation lasted until the summer of 1983. The Family Channel had a version of their own from 1991 to 1992 called You Asked For It, Again with Jimmy Brogan as the host. In spring of 2000, a short-lived version, hosted by comedian Phil Morris, aired on NBC. In the Happy Days episode "Fearless Fonzarelli", Fonzie jumps his motorcycle over fourteen garbage cans; the feat attracts the cameras of the fictional You Wanted To See It, with the real Jack Smith playing himself. You Wanted To See It shows up again in the Weezer video "Buddy Holly" which shows the band playing at Arnold's Drive-In, a popular diner in the Happy Days sitcom. A parody of the show called You're Asking for It was featured in the Bugs Bunny cartoon Wideo Wabbit; this was an episode of Tiny Toon Adventures.
David Weinstein, The Forgotten Network: DuMont and the Birth of American Television ISBN 1-59213-245-6 Alex McNeil, Total Television, Fourth edition ISBN 0-14-024916-8 Tim Brooks and Earle Marsh, The Complete Directory to Prime Time Network TV Shows, Third edition ISBN 0-345-31864-1 List of programs broadcast by the DuMont Television Network List of surviving DuMont Television Network broadcasts You Asked for It on IMDb You Asked For It! Official licensed website featuring over 1600 full program segments DuMont historical website Episode #7 on LikeTV
Ventriloquism, or ventriloquy, is an act of stagecraft in which a person changes his or her voice so that it appears that the voice is coming from elsewhere a puppeteered prop, known as a "dummy". The act of ventriloquism is ventriloquizing, the ability to do so is called in English the ability to "throw" one's voice. Ventriloquism was a religious practice; the name comes from the Latin for to speak from i.e. venter and loqui. The Greeks called this gastromancy; the noises produced by the stomach were thought to be the voices of the unliving, who took up residence in the stomach of the ventriloquist. The ventriloquist would interpret the sounds, as they were thought to be able to speak to the dead, as well as foretell the future. One of the earliest recorded group of prophets to use this technique was the Pythia, the priestess at the temple of Apollo in Delphi, who acted as the conduit for the Delphic Oracle. One of the most successful early gastromancers was a prophet at Athens. In the Middle Ages, it was thought to be similar to witchcraft.
One of the uses was by people pretending to be mediums or those claiming to be able to cast out evil spirits, throwing the voice added to their credibility. It was not unusual for women doing this to be burnt as witches; as Spiritualism led to stage magic and escapology, so ventriloquism became more of a performance art as, starting around the 19th century, it shed its mystical trappings. Other parts of the world have a tradition of ventriloquism for ritual or religious purposes; the shift from ventriloquism as manifestation of spiritual forces toward ventriloquism as entertainment happened in the eighteenth century at the travelling funfairs and market towns. An early depiction of a ventriloquist dates to 1754 in England, where Sir John Parnell is depicted in the painting An Election Entertainment by William Hogarth as speaking via his hand. In 1757, the Austrian Baron de Mengen performed with a small doll. By the late 18th century, ventriloquist performances were an established form of entertainment in England, although most performers threw their voice to make it appear that it emanated from far away, rather than the modern method of using a puppet.
A well known ventriloquist of the period, Joseph Askins, who performed at the Sadler's Wells Theatre in London in the 1790s advertised his act as "curious ad libitum Dialogues between himself and his invisible familiar, Little Tommy". However, other performers were beginning to incorporate dolls or puppets into their performance, notably the Irishman James Burne who "... carries in his pocket, an ill-shaped doll, with a broad face, which he exhibits... as giving utterance to his own childish jargon," and Thomas Garbutt. The entertainment came of age during the era of the music hall in the United Kingdom and vaudeville in the United States. George Sutton began to incorporate a puppet act into his routine at Nottingham in the 1830s, but it is Fred Russell, regarded as the father of modern ventriloquism. In 1886, he was offered a professional engagement at the Palace Theatre in London and took up his stage career permanently, his act, based on the cheeky-boy dummy "Coster Joe" that would sit in his lap and'engage in a dialogue' with him was influential for the entertainment format and was adopted by the next generation of performers..
Fred Russell's successful comedy team format was applied by the next generation of ventriloquists. It was taken forward by the British Arthur Prince with his dummy Sailor Jim, who became one of the highest paid entertainers on the music hall circuit, by the Americans The Great Lester, Frank Byron, Jr. and Edgar Bergen. Bergen popularised the idea of the comedic ventriloquist. Bergen, together with his favourite figure, Charlie McCarthy, hosted a radio program, broadcast from 1937 to 1956, it was the #1 program on the nights it aired. Bergen continued performing until his death in 1978, his popularity inspired many other famous ventriloquists who followed him, including Paul Winchell, Jimmy Nelson, David Strassman, Jeff Dunham, Terry Fator, Ronn Lucas, Wayland Flowers, Shari Lewis, Willie Tyler, Jay Johnson, Nina Conti, Darci Lynne Farmer. Another ventriloquist popular in the United States in the 1950s and 1960s was Señor Wences; the art of ventriloquism was popularised by Y. K. Padhye in North India and M. M. Roy in South India, who are believed to be the pioneers of this field in India.
Y. K. Padhye's son Ramdas Padhye borrowed from him and made the art popular amongst the masses through his performance on television. Ramdas Padhye's son Satyajit Padhye is a ventriloquist. Indusree a female ventriloquist from Bangalore has contributed a lot to the art, she performs with 3 dummies simultaneously. Venky Monkey and Mimicry Srinivos, the disciples of M. M. Roy, popularized this art by giving shows in India and abroad. Mimicrist Srinivos, in particular, did several experiments in ventriloquism, he has popularized this art, calling it "Sound illusion." He goes into the audience without a microphone and entertains with point blank sound illusion in addition to entertaining on stage with dummies. Ventriloquism's popularity waned for a while because of modern media's electronic ability to convey the illusion of voice, the natural special effect, the heart of ventriloquism. In the U. K. in the 2000s there were only 15 full-time professional vent