EVEN A GOOD LIFE CAN BE PUZZLING

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Charlie Cantor, Eddie Green, Ed Gardner, Florence Halop, Alan Reed. Duffy’s Tavern Cast. 1942-1943

Hi.  The picture at the top (I hope, WordPress may place it differently) of this post, is the cast of the  Duffy’s Tavern radio program, in the early years.  For those of you who may be too young to remember, Duffy’s Tavern ran on the radio from 1941 until 1950, once a week.   Ed Gardner was the creator of the program and had been active in radio as a producer, writer and actor for many years. Ed portrayed “Archie”, the star of the program.  My father, Eddie Green,  who by this time was a well-known comedian, and movie producer,  played “Eddie, the Waiter”.  The others in the photo I will touch on in a separate post.  Duffy’s Tavern always opened with the ringing of the phone, after which “Archie”  would answer, “Hello, Duffy’s Tavern, where the elite meet to eat, Archie speakin’, Duffy ain’t here.”  After which the half-hour program would proceed with funny banter between Archie and Eddie, the waiter, and their assorted bar patrons and their weekly celebrity guests.

It is said that Duffy’s Tavern has inspired references in popular culture formats, such as in the TV show, The Simpsons, where you see Moe’s Tavern and Moe answers the telephone with “Moe’s Tavern, where the elite meet to drink.”

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And, Cheers, which was co-created by James Burrows, the son of Duffy’s Tavern co-creator Abe Burrows.

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John Ratzenberger, Nicholas Colasanto, Rhea Pearlman, George Wendt, Ted Danson, Shelley Long

In 1948, Ed Gardner took his program, Duffy’s Tavern, to the stage.  The New York Strand, to be exact,Strand_Theatre_(Manhattan)_-_croppedwhere the program received a mention in Walter Winchell’s Broadway column in the Albany New York Times,  “Orchids to Ed (Archie) Gardner’s Duffy’s Tavern at the Strand.”  My father, Eddie was showcased during the stage production,  according to Martin Grams, Jr., in his book, Duffy’s Tavern, A History of Ed Gardner’s Radio Program, where he wrote, “Green was even given an opportunity to take the spotlight for a deftly contrived pantomime routine about poker playing.”

Sixty-Six years later, I found a picture of Eddie on stage at the Strand doing his pantomime.  I cannot post it because I have to purchase it first because it belongs to a local museum.  Evidently, someone asked Eddie to autograph a picture of himself and so he wrote:  “May you never be as puzzled as I am here”.  Seems like a strange thing to write, however, it gives me an insight into my father as a person and not just as an entertainer.  And I don’t feel too bad when I become “puzzled”, about the process of writing a book and choosing the best pictures and marketing and networking.

My father was a man who chose the direction he wanted to go in life and stuck with it, despite the puzzling aspects,  Inspiring, don’t you think?

Thanks, for stopping by.

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