Wednesday 22 May 2019

What Would You Call Sour Cream?

Network radio wanted new talent, and they got it in Bob and Ray.

The two first appeared on NBC on July 2, 1951 from 5:45 to 6 p.m. Pretty soon, they were all over the schedule and then put on television as well. To me, radio was their forte; it’s more fun picturing what they’re doing on the air than seeing a picture of it.

The NBC show was a nice little affair. It included brief musical interludes (as did their half-hour local show in Boston before they were pulled to New York) and they added to their cast of characters (in Boston, it was mainly Mary McGoon and Tex Blaisdell).

Here’s a short piece from Kay Gardella’s radio/TV column in the New York Daily News of September 4, 1951. They were still only on radio at this point.

Team On The Beam. ... Radio's newest disc jockey team, Bob Elliott and Ray Goulding (NBC), are usually embroiled in some campaign or other. One is Mary Goon's [sic] (played by Ray) effort to change the name of "sour cream."
Mary says the appellation alone keeps people from eating the nutritious food, so listeners are asked to submit substitute names.
Bob and Ray have developed 20 character interpretations (all voiced by them) for their satirical routines. Another one is Dr. Hugo Sitlo, eminent psychiatrist. Sitlo comes home from a hard day's work and meets his son, Oedipus, at the door. . . . Oedipus: "Hello, daddy." Hugo: "What did you say?" Oedipus: "I just said hello, daddy." Hugo: "Hmmmm, now what did he mean by that?" . . . And on and on it goes.
This zany pair, like so many famous partners in the entertainment world, were separately making a living in radio until they discovered each other in 1946. In five years. Bob and Ray have cataputed to an enviable post on the nation's largest network--NBC. They are currently heard Mondays i through Fridays from 5:45 to 6 P. M., on Saturday evenings from 9:30 to 10:30 and, as of last Monday, the boys replaced Skitch Henderson on WNBC from 6 A. M. to 8:30 A. M., six days a week.
One would think such a schedule would be too much for two young fellows (Bob is 28 and Ray 29). But speaking to them last week after their morning show, we learned this isn't so. "It's just like going home again," explained Ray. "We did a 2 1/2-hour show in Boston every morning." "A morning show," Bob chimed in, "is less strenuous. It's loose and one doesn't have to worry about time. "Also," he continued, the routines are shorter.
Although the boys seem quite confident that they can keep up this fast pace, we are keeping our fingers crossed. We hope their many radio stints will not affect the high quality of their material.


  1. As one radio guy to another, Thanks Yowp for highlighting this great morning team. I had a close friend who grew up in New York. Actually wound up practicing law in Canada. He swore by Bob and Ray.I hear and read so little of them these days. 1951. Kind of established the morning duo type shows to follow.

  2. I get the impression WNBC put them on mornings to try to compete against Rayburn and Finch at WNEW and Sweeney and March at WJZ.
    It must be nice to have a 2 1/2 hour air shift. Mind you, this was the era of six-day weeks.

    1. When did Rayburn leave for WNBC?

    2. His first morning show at WNBC was Nov. 17, 1952.

  3. Before long, the duo would be tapped to be part of NBC Radio's weekend anthology Monitor, performing comedic filler (and also on standby should there be issues with the network lines for a remote).