“Forgotten Hollywood”- Bob Elliott 1/2 Legendary Radio Team

Posted on February 4, 2016 by raideoman1 | No Comments

Manny P. here…

   Bob Elliott was half of the enduring television and radio comedy team Bob and Ray. Their career spanned five decades. The duo’s format was typically to satirize the medium in which they were performing, such as conducting interviews, with off-the-wall dialogue presented in a generally deadpan style as though it was a serious broadcast. Along with Steve Allen, they pioneered the man-on-the-street comedy routine on television. Bob was also the father of actor-comedian Chris Elliott.

Bobandray   Bob and Ray’s long partnership began at Boston radio station WHDH in 1946, when Ray Goulding, after delivering the news on Elliott’s music program, began to stick around to swap anecdotes with the host. The pair moved to television in 1951 with the Bob and Ray Show. Unlike Sid Caesar and Milton Berle, they did not attract a mass audience. However, their low-key approach, once described as outrageously innocuous by the New York Times, had a devoted following. The small-screen show, which additionally featured Cloris Leachman and Audrey Meadows, ended in 1953.

Bobrayplaybill (1)   The team won a prestigious Peabody Award in 1956. In New York City, Elliott and Goulding continued to thrive. Bob and Ray hosted a Mark Goodson-Bill Todman game show. They also appeared on the Ed Sullivan and Steve Allen television shows, and won a regular spot on NBC’s Today Show. In 1971, Bob and Ray lent their voices to the children’s television program The Electric Company. The team appeared on Trapper John M.D. and Happy Days; and also were guests on Johnny Carson’s and David Letterman’s late night talk shows throughout the 1970s and 1980s. Bob Elliott also worked solo occasionally during the team’s prolific run, appearing in Cold Turkey and Author Authorand in a few television movies.

   In their last incarnation, the pair were heard on National Public Radio, which ended in 1987. They also appeared on Broadway, and released record albums and books of their iconic comedy sketches. Bob and Ray were inducted into the National Radio Hall of Fame in 1995. Many of their shows are available for listening at the Paley Center for Media.

   Following Goulding’s death in 1990, Elliott remained active as a solo performer, appearing regularly throughout the ’90s on television and occasionally in films. He played Bob Newhart’s father on the series Newhart, and his own son Chris’ father on Get a Life. He also appeared in the films Quick Change and Cabin Boy.

   Bob Elliott was 92.

Until next time>                               “never forget”

This entry was posted on Thursday, February 4th, 2016 at 12:02 am and is filed under Blog by Manny Pacheco. You can follow any comments to this post through the RSS 2.0 feed. Responses are currently closed, but you can trackback from your own site.


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