Fibber McGee and Molly premiered in 1935. The program struggled in the ratings until 1940, when it became a national sensation. Within three years, it was the top-rated program in America.Few radio shows were more beloved than Fibber McGee and Molly, and few play as well a half century later. The program’s lovable characters included Mayor LaTrivia, Doc Gamble, Mrs. Uppington, Wallace Wimple, Alice Darling, Gildersleeve, Beulah, Myrt, and the Old Timer.79 Wistful Vista was one of America’s most famous addresses and Molly’s warning to Fibber not to open the hall closet door (and his subsequent decision to do it) created one of radio’s best remembered running gags that audiences expected each week.Jim Jordan (Fibber) was born on a farm on November 16, 1896, near Peoria, Illinois. Marian Driscoll (Molly), a coal miner’s daughter, was born in Peoria on November 15, 1898.After years of hardship and touring in obscurity on the small-time show biz circuit, they arrived in Chicago in 1924, where they eventually performed on thousands of shows and developed 145 different voices and characters.Broadcast to the nation from WMAQ/Chicago, the show entertained America until March 1956, and continued on NBC’s Monitor until 1959.Jim Jordan died on April 1, 1988. Marian Jordan died on April 7, 1961.Fibber McGee and Molly was inducted into the Radio Hall of Fame in 1989.
Tune in here!
Few radio shows were more beloved than Fibber McGeeand Molly, and few play as well over a half century later.
SPEAKING OF RADIO:Jim Jordan reminisces about his radio career in a 1973 conversation while writer Phil Leslie reminisces about his role on the program in a 1974 conversation with 1993 Radio Hall of Fame inductee Chuck Schaden.