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In the Corner with Dan Hughes

Mar 7, 2011

Duffy's Tavern was one of the most popular radio shows of the 1940s.  The title character, Duffy, never appeared on the show. 

Each episode began with Archie (Ed Gardner), the manager of the tavern, answering the phone and talking to owner Duffy.  You only heard Archie's side of the conversation. 

Miss Duffy, the owner's daughter, was a wacky dame played by several different actresses over the run of the show. 

Eddie was a smart-aleck waiter who always talked back to his boss. 

And Finnegan was an easy-talking lush who was later copied by Frank Fontaine when he played Crazy Guggenheim on the Jackie Gleason show.

Duffy's Tavern was tried on TV, but it did not work, mainly because Ed Gardner could not learn his lines.  He worked fine with a script in his hands, but you can't do that on television.

This episode of Duffy's Tavern is called "Archie Wants to Patent Electricity," and it first aired on February 23, 1949.