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Original The Wonder Show header art

The Wonder Show Radio Program

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Jack Haley circa 1939
Jack Haley circa 1939

Spot ad for The Wonder Show from October 21 1938
Spot ad for The Wonder Show from October 21 1938

Jack Haley promo from December 2 1938
Jack Haley promo from December 2 1938

Lucille Ball promo from March 3  1939
Lucille Ball promo from March 3 1939

Ted Fio-Rito and his Orchestra provided the music background for The Wonder Show
Ted Fio-Rito and his Orchestra provided the music background for The Wonder Show

Wonder Bread Bakers ad from 1946
Wonder Bread Bakers ad from 1946

Hostess Cup Cakes ad from 1943
Hostess Cup Cakes ad from 1943

Twinkies and Sno-Balls ad from 1946
Twinkies and Sno-Balls ad from 1946


Radio variety programs or revues were a popular staple of 1920s through 1940s Radio. Their real heyday was throughout the 1930s. All manner of revues and variety programs of varying lengths and formats could be found on every major network and over literally hundreds of regional and local Radio stations during the '30s. It's not hard to imagine why the brighter and more uplifting variety revues were so popular throughout the decade. It was a pretty grim time of economic recovery for a majority of North American listeners.

Most of the more ambitious variety programs required a sponsor. Keeping the material fresh and maintaining an attractive roster of guest stars came at a price. And of course when one thinks of the more memorable variety programs of the era, programs like Burns and Allen, Fibber McGee and Molly, Amos 'n' Andy, Fred Allen's shows, Al Jolson's shows, Bob Burns' shows, Eddie Cantor's shows, and Bing Crosby's shows, one is vividly reminded of their timeless appeal. But there were also a number of lesser known, but stubbornly popular variety gems that attracted extremely loyal audiences throughout the era.

These relatively lesser lights of the variety genre weren't necessarily inferior to the more popular competing variety programs, they simply didn't have as wide appeal. Quite the contrary. The stars of the shorter-lived variety programs were quite often very successful Film stars or recording artists whose other careers eventually eclipsed their Radio successes. Artists like Frank Sinatra, Dick Powell, Jack Haley, Jim Ameche, Judy Canova, Cliff Arquette, Jack Pearl, Dorothy Lamour, Jackie Coogan, and Ed Sullivan among many others, ultimately found far greater fame over other media.

In Jack Haley's case, had he done nothing beyond appearing as the 'Tin Man' in The Wizard Of Oz (1939) his fame would have been immortalized in American Entertainment history. But, indeed, in Jack Haley's case, his budding Radio career was indeed all but eclipsed by his fame in the role of the Tin Man. And Jack Haley's consistent appeal in Vaudeville, then early Film, firmly established his popularity from the 1920s through the mid-1930s. Indeed, with a major Film credit to his name every year from 1930 through 1939, Jack Haley wasn't lacking for work. Of course, apart from his Entertainment career, Jack Haley was a brilliant and highly successful business entrepreneur in his own right, having built a business fortune in the restaurant, hospitality and real estate fields. A bit of luck never hurt either--as in the case of Buddy Ebsen bowing out of the Tin Woodsman or 'Tin Man' role due to an allergy to the silver makeup (comprised of aluminum dust) required for the role. Even more fortuitous--for Haley--Ebsen had initially been selected for the 'Scarecrow' role, but had switched roles with Ray Bolger when Bolger insisted on the Scarecrow role for himself.

Another Entrepreneur -- Continental Baking Company

Wonder Bread 1938

The Ward Family of New York understood the entrepreneurial spirit as well. It was in 1849 that Robert Boyd Ward established the Ward Baking Company. By 1921 Ward's grandson, William, took the company's reins, renaming the company Continental Baking Company in 1925 and introducing 'fortified' bread--a means of supplementing additional nutrients and vitamins into the ingredients to elevate the nutritional value of commonly available baked goods. Continental Baking almost immediately acquired the Wagner Baking Company and another key acquisition, the Taggart Baking Company, marketers of 'Wonder' bread. Those two acquisitions made Continental Baking Company the largest commercial baking concern in North America.

In 1930 Continental Baking introduced the--by now ubiquitous--'Twinkies' confection to North America. Twinkies were immortialized to contemporary audiences via the first of the four 'Die Hard' films (1997's Die Hard) starring Bruce Willis, and famously referring to Twinkies as a 'food group' unto itself. Soon after, followed the company's 'Hostess' brand cup cakes and during the 1940s, 'Hostess Sno-Balls.' Hostess Sno-Balls enjoyed their own contemporary Film fame in the 1990 'getaway' film Backtrack, starring Jodie Foster and Dennis Hopper (also directed by Dennis Hopper--as Alan Smithee).

Continental Baking began sponsoring Radio programs as early as 1927 and continued actively sponsoring Radio programs through the mid-1950s, with predominately variety, adventure, quiz and family and homemaker-targeted programming:

  • 1927 The Happy Wonder Bakers
  • 1934 Little Jack Little
  • 1935 News of Youth
  • 1936 Renfrew of The Mounted
  • 1937 Bachelor's Children
  • 1937 Pretty Kitty Kelly
  • 1938 The Wonder Show
  • 1939 Sky Blazers
  • 1940 Your Marriage Club
  • 1941 Maudie's Diary
  • 1946 Grand Slam Quiz
  • 1953 Make Up Your Mind

Continental sponsors The Wonder Show with Jack Haley

Jack Haley's Log Cabin Jamboree had aired from 1937 to 1938 as a variety/revue format program. The departure of General Food's 'Log Cabin' brand sponsorship left Haley's program without a sponsor during the Spring and Summer of 1938. But it was also undoubtedly Haley's selection for the role of the 'Tin Man' in The Wizard of Oz, under production throughout 1938, that contributed to the Jamboree's premature departure.

Premiering on October 14, with the Fall Season of CBS' offerings for 1938, The Wonder Show, starring Jack Haley aired in the familiar mold of the more popular variety programs of the era. Haley was aided by his wise-cracking, redheaded hostess, Lucille Ball, sultry torch songstress, Virginia Verrill, voice-master and impressionist Artie Auerbach, popular band leader Ted Fio-Rito, and soon-to-be Radio/Television legend-in-the-making, Gale Gordon as announcer and commercial spokesperson.

Borrowing from earlier sponsored programs, Continental Baking, employing a variation of their "Hurrah for the Wonder Bakers" theme song, reinterpreted as "Yo Ho! Yo Ho! Yo Ho! Yo Ho! We Are the Wonder Bakers," the theme aired live for each broadcast, performed by the "The Happy Wonder Bakers."

Jack Haley, generouslly offering himself up as the butt of the overwhelming number of gags and jibes throughout the canon, suffered indignities in equal measure from the entire cast--including even Ted Fio-Rito's wife on at least one occasion. And of course the guest stars throughout the series contributed to the jibes as well.

The series' formula generally comprised some comedic patter during the intro, followed by a song by Virginia Verrill or an orchestral piece by Ted Fio-Rito. More 'schtick' would follow until the mid-program commercial break, followed by a comedy sketch and a duet from Verrill and Haley. Most broadcasts would conclude with a musical piece by Ted Fio-Rito, leading out to the closing commercial pitch and closing credits. It generally fell to young comedienne, Lucille Ball, to provide the transitions throughout the program, aided by Gale Gordon's commercial spots and/or expositions.

The formula worked as well as it did owing primarily to Jack Haley's, by then, almost universal affection bestowed on him by North American audiences. Much in the mold of Dennis Day's role throughout the Jack Benny programs and Day's own various series', Jack Haley seemed to almost revel in the derision he received from his fellow cast members. The humor and irony was of course accentuated by Haley's seeming imperviousness to the continual jibes. Indeed, the overwhelming number of sketch pieces throughout the canon featured one or another of the redoubtable characters from Jack Haley's own 'Family Album,' which, even more remarkably, stretched back as far as the height of the Roman Empire with 'Julius Caesar Haley'--admittedly something of a stretch for even a life-long Roman Catholic such as Haley.

Apart from further expanding Jack Haley's own beloved stage persona and popularity, the canon prominently featured Gale Gordon's versatility, gave Lucille Ball's career another nudge, and also included Oliver Hardy's first-ever appearance over Radio. Gale Gordon, by that time in his career usually cast in character or action/adventure roles over Radio, clearly demonstrated his brilliantly droll--and equally snippy, quippy--comedic talents. Lucille Ball shined like a bright penny throughout the series. Even bandleader Ted Fio-Rito showed his comedic talents, cast in the unlikely role of a bandleader who could read music better than English.

With its sublime mix of vaudeville, classic sketch comedy, and character continuity, Jack Haley's The Wonder Show might well have run for any number of further seasons were it not for the exponentially increasing fame of at least three of the canon's cast members. So it was that after only twenty-six installments, The Wonder Show departed the air on a demonstrably high note--and with a good time had by all. What more could one ask?

Series Derivatives:

The Jack Haley Show; The Jack Haley Wonder Show; Jack Haley Revue; Jack Haley Variety Show
Genre: Anthology of Golden Age Radio Variety
Network(s): CBS
Audition Date(s) and Title(s): Unknown
Premiere Date(s) and Title(s): 38-10-14 01 Pepe Secola Haley
Run Dates(s)/ Time(s): 38-10-14 to 39-04-07; CBS; Twenty-six, 30-minute programs; Fridays, 6:30 p.m.
Sponsors: Wonder Bakers [Wonder Bread and Hostess Cupcakes]
Principal Actors: Jack Haley, Lucille Ball, Virginia Verrill, Artie Auerbach, William Gargan, Dizzy Dean, Joan Bennett, Reginald Gardiner, Oliver Hardy
Recurring Character(s): Super Sleuth 'Wonder' Haley [Jack Haley]
Protagonist(s): None
Author(s): None
Music Direction: Ted Fio-Rito and His Orchestra; The Happy Wonder Bakers
Musical Theme(s): "The Wonder Bakers" theme
Announcer(s): Gale Gordon [Announcer/Commercial Spokesperson]
Lucille Ball [Hostess]
Estimated Scripts or
Episodes in Circulation: 18
Total Episodes in Collection: 12

Syndicated 'The Radio Reporter' article by William L. Stuart from August 23 1936 promoting Jack Smart's Mutual program, the Wonder Show
Syndicated 'The Radio Reporter' article by William L. Stuart from August 23 1936 Oakland Tribune promoting Jack Smart's Mutual program, the Wonder Show.

Welles' Mercury Wonder Show also appeared in 1945's Follow the Boys
Welles' Mercury Wonder Show also appeared in 1945's Follow the Boys

Larry Groebe, of The Generic Radio Workshop.

Notes on Provenances:

The most helpful provenances were newspaper listings.

Digital Deli Too RadioLogIc


As with much of the expansive--yet at the same time highly 'authoritative'--wishful thinking that permeates the hobby, Jack Haley's The Wonder Show is persistently--and stubbornly--conflated with a short-lived, hour-long Mutual Broadcasting System program from the last quarter of 1936 entitled the 'Wonder Show,' and starring Jack Smart, of the Fred Allen Show, and later of Dashiell Hammett's character, The Fat Man, fame. Mutual's Wonder Show was reportedly intended as a send-up to the early tent and repertory shows that used to traverse America at the turn of the 20th Century. There is no association whatsoever between the Mutual program and the CBS program:

  • Mutual's Wonder Show aired both sustained and sponsored.
  • Mutual's 1936 Wonder Show was an hour-long drama anthology.
  • Mutual's program was even more short-lived than 1938's The Wonder Show over CBS, primarily owing to the premature departure of the series' star.
  • Mutual's Wonder Show was in no way associated with Jack Haley
  • Wonder Bread was also actively sponsoring Renfrew of The Mounted during the period that Mutual's Wonder Show aired

Wonder Bread Renfrew 1936

The then 21 year-old, basso-profundo-voiced Orson Welles appeared in at least two dramatic productions of Mutual's Wonder Show during at September and October of 1936:

36-09-13 Springfield Sunday Union
"East Lynne" old-time drama, will be offered by the "Wonder Show" tonight at 9 oer WOR. Orson Welles will head the cast.

36-10-04 Chicago Daily Tribune
9--The Wonder Show, with Orson Welles as the Great McCoy, from Chicago Civic Opera house [MBS].

As hinted at in the article at left, Jack Smart had indeed departed for Hollywood--to appear in "Top of The Town."

Orson Welles then, as a still current Mutual asset, stepped in for Jack Smart in The Wonder Show:

36-08-30 Washington DC Evening Star
Shifts in radio roles now have "March of Time," Orson Wells in the "Wonder Show" broadcasting shoes of Falstaffman Jack Smart, who is heading West for a period under the Klieg lights.

Joseph Cotten article of October 31st 1943 highlights Cotten's participation with Orson Welles and Rita Hayworth in Orson Welles' Wonder Show for servicemen.
Joseph Cotten article of October 31st 1943 highlights Cotten's participation with Orson Welles and Rita Hayworth in Orson Welles' Wonder Show for servicemen.

The associations and conflations continue by widely citing yet another 'The Wonder Show' starring Orson Welles:

  • The only 1944 "Wonder Show" ever "associated" with Orson Welles over Radio were AFRS-denatured renditions of the Mobil Oil and Gas-sponsored Your Radio Almanac series starring Orson Welles from 1944. Welles had stepped in to replace Jack Smart i the Wonder Bread-sponsored 1936 Wonder Show, but the series died soon after.
  • At least two of the Your Radio Almanac episodes included a recurring sketch format referred to as "The Mercury Wonder Show." It was that recurring sketch title that suggested the resultant retitled 'Wonder Show' under the auspices of the AFRS--and Welles' later road show, the Mercury Wonder Show.
  • All of the AFRS-denatured Your Radio Almanac programs distributed to United Nations and American Armed Forces personnel were distributed with re-recorded intros announcing them as "Orson Welles' Wonder Show, The Second Greatest Show On Earth"
  • By their very charter, the AFRS-denatured renditions of Your Radio Almanac, disclosed no sponsor whatsoever, let alone Wonder Bread, since, in fact, the series from which they were derived was sponsored by Mobil Oil and Gas.
  • Orson Welles had also formed The Mercury Wonder Show for Servicemen, a road show of sorts to entertain G.I.s and their families and generally promote the War effort and measures to better care for and recognize our fighting men and women for their efforts. He performed magic acts, skits and sketches and stand-up routines for those audiences.
  • The 1945 Film, Follow The Boys also featured a vignette of Welle's Mercury Wonder Show among the thirty other featured performers and vignettes in support of the homefront War efforts.

As a matter of historical fact, none of the above mentioned 'Wonder Show' programs bore any relationship whatsoever between them--except for the serendipitous connection to Orson Welles' fill-in appearances in the commercial, Mutual program of 1936 and the AFRS-denatured series of Your Radio Almanac recordings from 1944, remastered by the AFRS as "Orson Welles' Wonder Show." Hence a commercial, sponsored Orson Welles Wonder Show over Radio exists only in the expansive imaginations of commercial OTR hawkers and groups.

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[Date, title, and episode column annotations in
red refer to either details we have yet to fully provenance or other unverifiable information as of this writing. Red highlights in the text of the 'Notes' columns refer to information upon which we relied in citing dates, date or time changes, or titles.]

The Wonder Show Program Log (1936)

Date Episode Title Avail. Notes
36-08-02 New York Times
9:00-WOR--Hillbilly Music
Under the Gaslight [Premiere]

36-08-09 Springfield Sunday Union
Augustine Daly's famous old-time thriller,
"Under the Gaslight," the first melodrama in which a hero or heroine was lashed to the railroad tracks with a locomotive roaring 'round the bend, will be revived as the main feature of the "Wonder Show" broadcast premiere tonite at 9 over WOR.

36-08-09 New York Times - 9:00-WOR--Drama--Under the Gas Light

The Ticket-of-Leave Man 36-08-16 New York Times
Ticket of Leave Man

36-08-16 Springfield Sunday Union
The Ticket-of-Leave Man," better known as "Hawkshaw, the Detective" will be the next 'mellerdrammer' to be heard on the "Wonder Show," tonight at 9.
Uncle Tom's Cabin 36-08-23 New York Time
9:00-WOR--Drama--Uncle Tom's Cabin
Streets of New York 36-08-30 New York Times
9:00-WOR--Drama--Streets of New York
Relief of Lucknow 36-09-06 New York Times
9:00-WOR--Drama--Relief of Lucknow
East Lynne 36-09-13 New York Times
9:00-WOR--Drama--East Lynne

36-09-13 Springfield Sunday Union
9:00 -- "
East Lynne" -- WOR
This old-time melodrama will be featured on the "Wonder Show"
East Lynne" old-time drama, will be offered by the "Wonder Show" tonite at 9 over WOR. Orson Welles will head the cast.

His Terrible Secret 36-09-20 New York Times
9:00-WOR--Drama--His Terrible Secret

36-09-20 Springfield Sunday Union
His Terrible Secret," or "Melmoth, the Man-Monkey," is the gruesome title of the melodrama, will be offered by WOR's "Wonder Show" tonight at 9.

Only a Shop Girl 36-09-27 New York Times
9:00-WOR--Drama--Only a Shop Girl

36-09-27 Springfield Sunday Union
Only A Shop Girl," is the title of the heart-rending thriller to be heard on the "Wonder Show" over WOR tonight at 9.

Demon Barber of Fleet Street 36-10-04 New York Times
9:00-WOR--Play--Demon Barber of Fleet Street
Billy the Kid 36-10-11 New York Times
9:00-WOR--Play--Billy the Kid

36-10-11 Springfield Sunday Union
The life of "
Billy the Kid," immortal hero of the wild Wild Weest, will be dramatized on the "Wonder Show," when Orson Welles portrays the straight-shooting cowboy tonight over WOR at 9.

Asleep at the Switch 36-10-18 New York Times
Asleep at the Switch

Parted on Her Bridal Tour 36-10-25 New York Times
9:00-WOR--Play--Parted on Her Bridal Tour

36-10-25 Springfield Sunday Union
Parted On Her Bridal Tour," by Charles Blaney, prolific author of such melodramas as "Melmoth, the Man Monkey" and "Asleep at the Switch," will be dramatized by the members of the Great McCoy's "Wonder Show," over WOR tonight at 9.

Around the World in Eighty Days 36-11-01 New York Time
9:00-WOR--Play--Around the World in Eighty Days

36-11-01 Springfield Sunday Union
Around the Wold In 80 Days," the geographical classic by Jules Verne, will be the melodrama enacted during the "Wonder Show," over WOR tonight at 9.

Bertha the Sewing Machine Girl 36-11-08 New York Times
9:00-WOR--Bertha, the Sewing Machine Girl, Play

36-11-08 Springfield Sunday Union
Bertha The Beautiful Sewing Machine Girl," old-time melodrama will be heard in radio form over WOR during the "Wonder Show," tonight at 9.

Nick of the Woods 36-11-15 New York Times
9:00-WOR--Nick of the Woods--Play

36-11-15 Springfield Sunday Union
Nick of The Woods," a famous old melodrama which depicts the old Kentucky frontier in the latter part of the 18th century, will be heard on the "Wonder Show," tonight at 9.

36-11-22 New York Times

36-11-22 Chicago Daily Tribune - 9:00--W-G-N--Melodies from the Skies.

36-11-29 New York Times
9:00-WOR--Sleepy Hollow Gang

The Wonder Show Program Log (1938)

Date Episode Title Avail. Notes
Pepe Secola Haley
[Premiere; introduces a series of thirteen weekly Haley Family Album sketches]

38-10-14 Wisconsin State Journal
6:30 p.m.--Jack Haley (WBBM):
returns to the air with Lucille Ball, Virginia Verrill, Ted Fio-Rito's orchestra, and "ad lib" roundtable.

38-10-14 Lima News

Jack Haley Will Discard
Scripts For New Program 

     Something new in radio--no scripts allowed.  That's no joke--it's a unique feature which Jack Haley plans for his new comedy program--the Wonder Show--when it is inaugurated over WABC Friday at 7:30 p.m.
     Joining with Haley in this departure in radio presentation will be an all-star supporting cast that includes the Wonder Show hostess, Lucille Ball, the rhythm songstress, Virginia Verrill and Ted Fio-Rito's orchestra.
     With television just around the corner, Haley has decided to prepare for the days when scripts can no longer be in evidence.  One entire comedy routine in each program will be memorized by the cast.  Scripts will be thrown aside.  Haley figures this change will give added spontaneity to the broadcasts.
     During the first Wonder Show, Jack will open his family album to present "a story of one of the famous Haleys who have made history."  A "fugitive from world series and European news broadcasts" himself, Jack will portray the role of an ancestor who was a fugitive in Algiers.  Lucille Ball will be his heroine in the "daring adventure story."
     Virginia Verrill will team up with Haley to sing the duet "Don't Cross Your Fingers, Cross Your Heart" and will swing to "Lullaby in Rhythm" and "Pocketful of Dreams."
Pony Bill Haley
38-10-20 Logansport Pharos-Tribune
Jack Haley, Lucille Ball, Virginia Verrill and Ted Fiorito are to engage in a forum entitled "
Should a woman give up her career to become a homebody?" during the "Wonder Show" over the Columbia network on Friday, October 21. (WABC-CBS, 6:30 to 7 p. m. CST).

38-10-21 Wisconsin State Journal
6:30 p.m.--Jack Haley (WBBM):
and his gang discuss careers vs. homes for women.
Little Lord Fauntleroy Haley
Little Lord Fauntleroy Haley
38-10-28 Wisconsin State Journal
6:30 p.m.--Jack Haley (WBBM): as "
Little Lord Fauntleroy Haley."
Gaucho Haley
[Pre-empted in some regions]

38-11-04 Centralia Daily Chronicle
Columbia Broadcasting (KVI)--9:30, Wonder Show

38-11-04 Lima News

Best Bets

7:30—Jack Haley, Ted Fiorito. WABC.
Look for a mixture of Spanish accents on the Jack Haley show Friday, as Jack flips hack the pages of his family album to the one bearing the iron-—slightly rusted—visage of his ancestor,
Gaucho "el Torro" Haley of the Pampas.
With pulchritudinous Lucille Ball and swing-singing Virginia Verrill for two-barrelled heart-interest, Artie Auerbach for laughs, and Ted Fio Rito to observe an occasional moment of silence, Ancestor-Lover Haley has his cast complete.
Still under the spell of the Pampas moon, Virginia will solo "Ten Pins in the Sky," and later, in duet with Jack, "When a Prince of a Feller Meets a Cinderella." This program will be heard over WABC "at 7:30 p. m.

38-11-04 Wisconsin State Journal
President Roosevelt will address the nation--and particularly his home state, New York--at 6:30 tonight through WIBA, WBBM, WGN, WCFL and other stations. While he will speak primarily on New York's approaching election, his remarks are expected to have national significance.

38-11-04 Chicago Daily Tribune
President Roosevelt, discussing "Voting" will be heard from Hyde Park, N.Y., over W-G-N-Mutual at 6:30 o'clock tonight. Other outlets are WBBM, WCFL, WLS. Earlier in the day, at 2 o'clock, President Roosevelt is to speak in connection with the dedication of the Will Rogers memorial. WBBM and WLS will carry this ceremony.

Julius Caesar Haley
38-11-11 Wisconsin State Journal
6:30 p.m.--Jack Haley (WBBM): as
Marcus Aurelius Haley.
Elephant Boy Haley
38-11-18 Wisconsin State Journal
6:30 p.m.--Jack Haley (WBBM):
goes to the jungles.

38-11-18 Lima News
"Elephant Boy Haley" Plans Novel Program Friday Night
     Jack Haley will plunge thru the jungle to reach another branch of his family tree in a dramatic sketch entitled "Elephant Boy Haley," on his show Friday over WABC at 7:30 p.m.  Lovely Lucille Ball will be on the scene again to take Jack down two pegs every time he rises one.
     There is to be a startling revelation on this week's program.  Jack has decided to prove that Maestro Ted Fio-Rito is not as dumb as people believe.  Haley will take Ted to school where Fio-Rito, as you have probably guessed, will confuse the professor.
     Virginia Verrill will sing "Sixty Seconds" in solo and "What Have You Got That Gets Me" in duet with Haley.  Ted Fio-Rito and his orchestra will play "Lady Be Good."
Sergeant O'Haley of the Northwest Mounted Police
38-11-25 Lima News
Spirits of Sherlock Holmes, Dick Tracy and Secret Service Agent No. 14693-Z will come back to haunt Jack Haley when he takes the air on his Friday night radio show to do a comedy sketch based on detective thrillers.
The rumor that the inspiration for the drama on "flatfoots" came from Haley's own flat-pedestals is being persistently denied. Virginai Verill will assist in the melodious moments of the show, and Ted Fio Rito and his band will supply the rhythms. The show's heard at 7:30 p.m. over WABC.

38-11-25 Wisconsin State Journal
6:30 p.m.--Jack Haley (WBBM):
turns detective.
The Hatfields and The McHaleys
Sage of the Ozarks
38-12-02 Wisconsin State Journal
6:30 p.m.--Jack Haley (WBBM): "
Sage of the Ozarks."

38-12-02 Lima News

Haley And Lawes Shows Top Friday Evening Radio Fare

Jack Will Do Saga
Of Mountain Life

Jack Haley will appear in a saga of mountain life, "Sage of the Ozarks" on his show Friday over WABC at 7:80 p. m with fellow hicks, Lucille Ball, 'Virginia Verrill, Ted Fio-Rito and Artie Auerbach.
Because he failed to go over a scene from a new picture, as he was scheduled to do last week, Haley has promised to make amends by going over two picture scenes this Friday.
Jack claims his personality is so unique that it hard to get a screen script to suit him—even in fun.
Songstress Virginia Verill will sing "Say It With A Kiss" and will be joined by Haley in the duct, "Wait Until My Heart Finds Out." Ted Fio-Rito and his orchestra will play "This Can't Be Love."

Super Detective 'Wonder' Haley - The Secrets of the French Police or Where Did They Get Those Post Cards?
38-12-09 Wisconsin State Journal
6:30 p.m.--Jack Haley (WBBM):
Secret Agent Haley on duty.

38-12-09 Lima News

Jack Haley To Appear In
Christmas Comedy Sketch

Jack Haley will don a dark mustache and solve a coast-to-coast plot when he takes the role of "Secret Agent Haley" in a comedy sketch on the show Friday evening over WABC at 7:30 p. m.
The rest of the boys and girls are going to try to sell all their old broken-down belongings to Haley, in order to make enough money with which to buy Christmas presents.
Their argument is that Jack can use these articles for HIS Christmas presents to OTHER people. Whether they can sell him the idea or not remains to be seen—or heard, as the case may be.
Virginia Verrill, songstress, will admonish listeners with "Don't Wait Until the Night Before Christmas," and will be joined by Haley in a duet, "It's Doctor's Orders." Another musical highlight will be an arrangement of "Ferdinand the Bull" by Ted Fio-Rito and his orchestra.

Colonel Jack Haley and Sea Cookie
38-12-16 Wisconsin State Journal
6:30 p.m.--Jack Haley (WBBM):
goes South.

38-12-16 Lima News

Cast To Visit Jack Haley's
Home For Friday Broadcast

Because Jack Haley has so severe a cold that his physician will not permit him to go out, the comedian's home will be the fictional setting for his show Friday at 7:30 p. m. on WABC. Jack's playmates. Lucille Ball Virginia Verrill, Ted Fio-Rito and Artie Auerbach are scheduled to drop in bringing with them a variety of spectacular remedies.
If Jack is still alive after the advice and medicine brought by his friends, he will present the stirring sketch, "
The Knife that Cut the Mason Dixon Line—or Uncle Tom's Stabbin'."
Cold or no, he'll join Virginia Verrill in a duet, "I Told Santa Claus to Bring Me You." In solo, Virginia will sing "It's Wonderful Weather for Love." Ted Fio-Rito, the man who just can't read his script right, will lead his orchestra in "Patty, Patty Cake."

Super Sleuth 'Wonder' Haley - Murder in the Sweater Department or Much Ado About Knitting
[Christmas Program]

38-12-23 Wisconsin State Journal
6:30 p.m.--Jack Haley (WBBM):
playing Santa Claus.

38-12-23 Lima News

Christmas Spirit Will
Feature Haley's Program

Jack Haley and his thundering herd of reindeer will take over WABC for his role of Santa Claus, Friday at 7:30 p. m.. Jack will put a bit of the Old Nick into St. Nick as he mingles Christmas cheer with comedy and throws his audience into the holiday mood. The comedy script will be centered around the idea: "What do you want for Christmas, and who'd give it to you, anyway?" Songstress Virginia Verrill will introduce an old number in a new Avay, or vice versa, when she sings the original harmonies of "Reverie" as Debussy wrote them. Ned Freeman, arranger for Ted Fio Rito, the radio show's orchestra leader, has arranged the song which will fit the modern lyrics to the old fugue.
Jack will be assisted in the comedy skit by Lucille Ball and Arty Auerbach, and will sing a duet with Virginia Verrill, "I Told Santa Claus to Ring Me."

Francois Villon Haley, The Pugnacious Poet of Paris
Francois Haley
38-12-30 Wisconsin State Journal
6:30 p.m.--Jack Haley (WBBM): and William Gargan.

38-12-30 Lima News

Bill Gargan To Appear On
Jack Haley Program Friday

With William Gargan, well-known screen actor, as his special guest for the evening, Jack Haley will swashbuckle his way thru the role of "Francois Villon" Haley in a comedy sketch onthe show over WABC Friday at 7:30 p. m. Lucille Ball, Virginia Verrill, Artie Auerbach and Ted Fio-Rito will assist Haley in presenting his parody of the Pugnacious Poet of Paris.
With New Year's Eve only 24 hours away, Jack will find himself in a predicament-he still has no place to go.
Lucille Ball and Virginia Verrill, with one or the other of whom he wishes to have a date, are frankly hoping for an invitation from someone else, and the chances are that William Gargan will prove the solution to their problem.
Virginia Verrill will sing "Thanks for Everything," and Haley will join her in a duet, "I Go For That". Ted Fio Rito and his orchestra will play "Hell's Bells."

Captain Haley of the Marines
39-01-06 Wisconsin State Journal
6:30--Jack Haley--WBBM WCCO

39-01-13 Lima News

Haley Plans Portrayal Of
Wonder Boy Of The Marines

Jack Haley, a two-fisted Leatherneck if there never was one, will portray the red-blooded role of Wonder Boy of the Marines" in a comedy sketch on the show over WABC Friday at 7:30 p. m. All hands will be on deck for the fracas, including Lucille Ball, Virginia Verrill, Artie Auerbach and Ted Fio-Rito and his orchestra.
After a grand week-end holiday, the boys and girls will get together to talk over the fun they had—that is, all except a certain Mr. Haley who spent the week-end waiting for somebody to ask him out. Artie Auerbach will drop in, to offer the suggestion that if Haley had a home to he "at home" in, he wouldn't be so lonely on holidays. (P. S.—Auerbach is dabbling in real estate.)
Virginia Verrill will lend a note of musical optimism with ''Never Felt Better, Never Had Less," and Haley will chime in on a duet, "Your Eyes Are Bigger Than Your Heart." The orchestra will feature "Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son," in the Fio-Rito manner.

The Haunted House
Friday the 13th
[Friday the 13th program]

39-01-13 Wisconsin State Journal
6:30 p.m.--Jack Haley (WBBM):
in a haunted house.

39-01-13 Lima News

With a clanking of chains and a creaking of doors, Jack Haley will go on the air over WABC Friday at 7:30 p. m. In honor of the day of hexes and bad luck, Jack Haley and his cast will creep eerily thru a skit entitled, "The Haunted House." The beleaguered ghost will probably he Arty Auerbach, the dialectition If he's not, ''Vel— could be!" Lucille Ball will assist
Haley in the spook sketch and Virginia Verrill will sing two songs assisted by Ted Fio Rito and his orchestra, and the chorus.

Jack Haley the Clown
The Murder of the Bearded Lady
39-01-20 Wisconsin State Journal
6:30 p.m.--Jack Haley (WBBM):
brings the circus to town.

39-01-20 Lima News

Haley To Present Circus
For Benefit Of Daughter

Jack Haley's little daughter has been begging her daddy to take her to a circus, so the comedian will make a circus of his show Friday night at 7:30 p.m. on WABC. And guess what? Haley is going to be a clown!
In another sequence, staged on the lot of Haley's film studio, rubber-tongued Artie Auerbach of 'could be' fame, and lovely Lucille Ball of the movies will trade jibes with their chief.
The musical program will feature Virginia Verriil singing "Hurry Home" and Ted Fio Rito, who can read music but not English, and his orchestra in "I Go For That" and other dance melodies of the day.

Jesse James Haley
Jesse James and His Gang
39-01-27 Wisconsin State Journal
6:30 p.m.--Jack Haley (WBBM):
turns outlaw.

39-01-27 Lima News

Wonder Show Cast To Play
Outlaws On Haley Program

Jack Haley, who has seen plenty of 'inlaws" but never an outlaw, will play the frightened side of "Jesse James Haley" in a story of the wild days of the early west on his show, Friday at 7:30 p.m. on WABC.
Not only that but he'd had other dealings with the law when he's hauled into court by Mrs Ted Fio Rito, who is suing him for trying to make her husband a "dope" on the weekly program.
Artie Auerbach will muster up his best dialect as attorney for the plaintiff. Winesses will include Virginia Verrill and others.

The Czar of Russia
39-02-03 Wisconsin State Journal
6:30 p.m.--Jack Haley (WBBM):
hires some help.

39-02-03 Lima News

Jack Haley Due For Haywire
Evening On Friday Program

Jack 'Wonder Boy' Haley will want to retire to a nice, quiet ____ factory by the time he's finished with the mirthful mayhem on the show Friday over WABC at 7:30 p.m. A gamut of ghastly experiences is being concocted for Haley by his conspiring cohorts--including Lucille Ball, Virginia Verrill, Artie Auerbach, and Ted Fio Rito and his orchestra.
Things will start popping when Jack, his new house com-rumored that Artie Auerbach, disguised in a deep dialect will rumored that Artie Auerbach, disguised in a deep dialect will pop up as a proprietor of the agency. What will happen is entirely problematical, but chances are, Jack won't hire any help--unless it's Auerbach himself.
Continuing the mad nightmare, Jack will leave to his new home, only to find that a _____ screwball family not his own has moved in bag and baggage. Complications too numerous to mention will ensue . . .

Gone With the American Revolution
39-02-10 Wisconsin State Journal
6:30 p.m.--Jack Haley (WBBM): in "
Gone With the American Revolution."

39-02-10 Lima News
Wonder Boy Jack Haley has invited a host of celebrities to be his guests at a special "house warming" broadcast of the show Friday, at 7:30 p. m. over WABC.
Just in case none of them appears, which is quite likely, Lind Hayes, impersonator extraordinary, will be standing by to imitate the voices of Lionel Barrymore, Gary Cooper, Fred Allen and others.
As another feature, Haley has coerced Lucille Ball, Virginia Verrill, Ted Fio-Rito and "Could Be" Artie Auerbach to aid and abet him in presenting a, dramatic episode of Revolutionary War days.
Virginia Verrill will sing the new "Here It is Tomorrow Again" and Tod Fio-Rito will lead his orchestra in "Annabelle" and "Mr. and Mrs. America."
Title Unknown
39-02-17 Wisconsin State Journal
6:30 p.m.--Jack Haley (WBBM):
Lucille Ball, again.

39-02-17 Lima News

New Radio Character To
Make Debut With jack Haley

Lucille Ball will introduce a new character to the radio when she portrays the part of Jack Haley's tough, sassy little niece--a sort of "Dead End Girl"--on the show Friday at 7:30 p.m. over WABC.
The setting for the broadcast will be a railroad station, where Haley joins his entire troupe, including Virginia Verrill and Ted Fio Rito's orchestra, in welcoming the newecomer and her tutor, "could be" Artie Auerbach.
A dramatic bombshell will be depicted as Haley ________ in
The Story of King Arthur and his Gallant Knight, Will W_____." Virginia Verrill who has since fully recovered from a ______ automobile accident, will sing "Have a Heart" and Ted Fio Rito will direct his orchestra in "After You're Gone" and "Some Rainy Day."

The Amazing Dr Jitterbug or A Scar Is Born
39-02-24 Wisconsin State Journal
6:30 p.m.--Jack Haley (WBBM): as "
The Amazing Dr. Jitterbug."

39-02-24 Lima News

Jack Haley Will Feature
"Amazing Dr. Jitterbug'

Your man Friday—otherwise known as Jack Haley—will have ihe leading role in "The Amazing Dr. Jitterbug" or "A Scar is Born" in ihe broadcast Friday, at 7:30 p. m. over WABC.
The northwoods will provide the scenery for all the drama, because earlier in the program Wonder Boy Haley and his coterie, Lucille Ball, Virginia Verrill and Ted Fio-Rito, will wend their way to a hunting lodge in that section. Jack wants to escape the persecutions of his little niece, "The Dead End Girl". And it could be that Artie Auerbach will bob up on a bob sled to act as guide for the party.
Virginia Verrill will sing ''Monday Morning on Saturday
Night" and Ted Fio-Rito will lead his band in its famous specialty number. '"Nola", and '"We've Come a Long Ways".

Wonder Haley of the Foreign Legion
39-03-03 Wisconsin State Journal
6:30 p.m.--Jack Haley (WBBM):
Dizzy Dean throws the gags tonight.

39-03-03 Wisconsin State Journal
Jack Haley's Girl Friday is none other than the Hollywood Starlet, Lucille Ball. Miss Ball takes the same sophisticated role on the air as she does in pictures. The Haley program is heard Fridays over station WBBM at 6:30 p.m.

39-03-03 Lima News

Dizzy Dean To Make Guest
Appearance On Haley Spot

Dizzy Dean, who pitched his heart out last year to help the Chicago Cubs win the National League pennant will throw a fast ball packed with gags at Jack Haley when he makes a guest appearance on the show Friday over WABC at 7 p.m. Haley's committee to welcome the famous hurler will include regulars Lucille Ball, Virginia Verrill, Artie Auerbach and Ted Fio-Rito and his orchestra.
Dean has just started his yearly spring training grind with Gabby Hartnett's Chicago Cubs at Catalina Island, and will make a special trip from the isthmus for the Wonder Show broadcast. He'll toss Haley a few baseball predictions about the coming season, and then will let go with some fast comedy lines that are scheduled to send Haley to the showers.
Later in the program, Dean will stand by while
Haley and cohorts Ball, Verrill, Fio-Rito and Auerbach enact a screwball epic of the Foreign Legion.

Title Unknown
39-03-10 Wisconsin State Journal
6:30 p.m.--Jack Haley (WBBM): with Joan Bennett, Lucille Ball, Virginia Verrill, Ted Fio-Rito.

39-03-10 Lima News

Joan Bennett Will Be Guest
On Jack Haley Wonder Show

Joan Bennett, lovely screen star, will drop in at the Wonder Show Friday evening to exchange a few quips with Jack Haley at 7:30 p.m.
All of Jack's pals will be on hand to join in the fun--Lucille Ball, another fair-haired beauty of the screen, Virginia Verrill, Ted Fio Rito and Artie Auerbach. Virginia will dedicate a musical number to Jack, "You're A Sweet Little Headache." Fio-Rito's orchestra will give forth "Fully Fanny of Hills" and other numbers.

Guest Hugh Herbert -- Rehearsal
[ Part 2 only; Possible rehearsal]

Lucille Ball
Guest Hugh Herbert
39-03-17 Wisconsin State Journal
6:30 p.m.--Jack Haley (WBBM): and Hugh Herbert.

39-03-17 Lima News

Hugh Herbert To Pay Visit
To Jack Haley's Wonder Show

Hugh Herbert will bring his inimitable sense of humor to Jack Haley's Show Friday at 7:30 p. m. over WABC. Jack has invited this fellow comedian with the lachrimose larynx to come to his aid in the battle of repartee with Haly-hecklers Artie Auerbach and Lucille Ball.
Musical intermissions between rounds will be handled by Virginia Verrill who directs one of her numbers at Herbert--"Ain't Ya Got No Romance?" Ted Fio RIto will lead his famous orchestra in popular dance music.

Paul Revere Haley
39-03-24 Wisconsin State Journal
6:30 p.m.--Jack Haley (WBBM): and Reginald Gardiner.

39-03-24 Lima News

Reginald Gardiner Will Be
Haley Guest On Wonder Show

Don't be alarmed if you seem to get deah old England, dashed fog and all, via the airwaves Friday. It will be only Reginald Gardiner dusting off his inimitable accent for his guest spot on the Jack Haley Show at 7:30 p.m. over WABC.
Artie "Could Be" Auerbach and Lucille Ball, charter members of the Haley Hecklers Club, are charged by Haley as being the instigators of the "Gardiner-for-guest" movement in order to raise the general cultural tone of the program. But Wonder Boy Haley points out that it was his ancestor
Paul Revere Haley who helped repel the British in 1776, and predicts that he will have no trouble with either Gardiner or culture.
Two fans of Virginia Verrill, the show's husky-voiced sonstress, recently composed a song and sent it to Virginia for her opinion. Ginny recognized all the earmarks of a popular hit, so she presents for the first time on the air, "Eventually," by James Lampost and Harry Glick, both paralytic invalids! Ted Fio Rito will leand his famous orchestra in "The Penny Serenade" and "A Gypsy's Love Is Like A Melody."

Title Unknown
39-03-31 Wisconsin State Journal
6:30 p.m.--Jack Haley (WBBM): and Oliver Hardy.

39-03-31 Lima News

Oliver Hardy To Be Heard On Haley's Wonder Show

The biggest star in Hollywood will be the guest on the Haley show Friday, at 7:30 p.m. over WABC according to boss Jack Haley. This luminary is none other than Oliver Hardy, whose majestic girth gives him undeniable claim to the title of the Screen's biggest.
The vast Mr. Hardy will be making the first radio appearance of his career, and it is only over superhuman efforts that Wonder Boy Haley will be able to broadcast. But once esconced in the studio, little Oliver will be on his own against the jibes of Lucille Ball and Artie "Could Be" Auerbach.

Local Boy Makes Good
39-04-07 Wisconsin State Journal
6:30 p.m.--Jack Haley (WBBM): "
Local Boy Makes Good," with Lucille Ball.

39-04-07 Lima News

Jack Haley Will Do "Local
Boy Makes Good" Air Drama
Great Supporting Cast To Aid Comedian On Friday

Successfully returning to the old home town, Jack Haley and his show will whet the airwaves with an original musical comedy entitled, "Local Boy Makes Good" on Friday at 7:30 p.m. over WABC.
Artie (Could Be) Auerbach and Lucille Ball, the Happy-Haley-Hecklers will be on tap for the hah-hour. A musical treat is promised by vegetarian Virginia Verrill, who will warble "Hurray for Spinach" as Ted Fio Rito and his famous orchestra provide the musical air-fare.

39-04-14 Chicago Daily Tribune
6:30 P.M. WBBM--Buddy Clark Revue

The Wonder Show Radio Program Biographies

John Joseph Haley Jr.
Stage, Radio, Television and Film Actor

Birthplace: Boston, Massachusetts, U.S.A.

1937 Log Cabin Jamboree
1938 The Wonder Show
1942 Texaco Star Theater
1943 Sealtest Village Store
1944 The March Of Dimes
1944 Radio Hall Of Fame
1944 G.I. Journal
1945 Comedy Theater
1945 Mail Call
1945 Command Performance
1946 Request Performance
1947 Family Theater
1947 The Fred Allen Show
1948 Symphonies Under the Stars
1951 The Big Show
1956 Biographies In Sound
Jack Haley circa 1939
Jack Haley circa 1939
From the June 7, 1979 edition of the Galveston Daily News:

Tinman in 'Wizard of Oz'
Actor Jack Haley, 79, dies

     LOS ANGELES (UPI) —Actor Jack Haley, best known for his portrayal of the tinman in search of a heart in "The Wizard of Oz," died at UCLA Medical Center Wednesday, four days after he was admitted for an apparent heart attack.  He was 79.
     Haley's wife, Florence, was at the actor's side when he died at 1:04 p.m. PDT, the hospital said.
     Death was attributed to heart failure.
     Haley was admitted to the hospital Saturday after being stricken at home and his condition steadily deteriorated.
     Haley's portrayal of the tin man in "The Wizard of Oz," won millions of hearts over three generations as the classic film went from moviehouse repeats to annual airings on television.
     Haley was semi-retired in recent years, making only occasional television appearances, mostly on talk shows.  He appeared with "Oz" co-star Ray Bolger in a comedy duet at the 1978 Academy Awards.
     Haley started his career in vaudeville and endured through more than 50 years of stage, film and television roles.
     His son, Jack Haley Jr., is a film producer who was once married to Liza Minnelli, daughter of Judy Garland who as the ingenuous Dorothy coaxed Haley's tin woodsman down the Yellow Brick Road.
     Haley was born in Boston Aug. 10, 1899.  His family wanted him to be an electrician, but he had other ideas.  He worked in the Boston shipyards until he saved enough money to run away from home.
     He worked as a song plugger for a Philadelphia music publishing business until he was discovered by the leader of a vaudeville act looking for a light comic.  He took the job and opened with the troupe in Hoboken.N.J.
     Six months later, he was playing in the old Keith Circuit with the Lightner Girls and Alexander and eventually had a partner, Charlie Crafts.
     He later married one of the girls, Florence McFadden.
     Haley sharpened his skills as singer and comic and worked his way to the Broadway stage, appearing first in a show called "Around the Town."  The show folded on the second night and he went into a review called "Gay Paree" at the Winter Garden.
     There followed a series of acts in New York and on the road before he joined the Chicago company of "Follow Through."  When it went to Broadway, Haley introduced the song, "Button Up Your Overcoat."
     He later introduced "You're an Old Smoothie" in another show and was called back for 13 encores.
     Haley had done some shorts for Vitaphone in the 1920s, but his first major film was "Sitting Pretty," with Ginger Rogers and Jack Oakie in 1932.
     He made "Poor Little Rich Girl" in 1936 and among his other films were "Wake Up and Live," "Here Comes the Groom," "Alexander's Ragtime Band" and "Thanks for Everything."
     He went back to Broadway to star in Rodgers and Hart's "Higher and Higher," interspersing his stage work with Hollywood films.
     He left films during the early 1940s and returned only once, in 1969, to play Joe Namath's father in "Norwood," which marked his son Jack's debut as a film director.
     "There's a time to take the center of the stage and a time to walk into the wings," he told UPI in a 1974 interview.  "A smart performer knows when to get off."
     However, he did appear in "That's Entertainment," an MGM film reviewing the studio's musicals.
     Haley was a longtime resident of Beverly Hills.  After he retired from show business, he continued other business enterprises, mainly real estate and land developing.
     "Most stars don't get off graciously for economic reasons," he said.
     Haley was a devout Roman Catholic and a member of the Knights of Malta.  He was also involved in various charities.
     "Sometimes I worry about my good fortune," he once said.  "I don't believe I deserve it.  But I'm healthy.  I've had only one wife and I have a happy family."
     In addition to his son, Haley had a daughter, Gloria, and two grandchildren.

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