was recorded at an OTR convention in New Haven, Connecticut, where we
were fortunate enough to run into three generations of comedians who
spent much of their careers in radio.
Peter Donald was the star of the comedy panel program Can You Top This?, with "Senator" Ed Ford, Joe Laurie, Jr., and Harry Hershfield. Listeners submitted jokes to the show, and the best ones were read to the panel by Donald. The panelists then tried to "top" the joke, with one of their own on the same subject. A "laugh meter" hooked to a microphone gauged audience response to the jokes, determining the winners.
Will Jordan (born July 27, 1927) is an American character actor who is best known for his uncanny resemblance to long-time TV host Ed Sullivan, coupled with his ability to present a dead-on impression of the man's unique nasal voice and self-conscious, quirky mannerisms. Jordan's early appearances mimicking Ed came on The Ed Sullivan Show itself, which was originally called Toast of the Town. In his act, Jordan came up with the catch-phrase, "Welcome to our Toast of the Town 'Shoooo'", which became a stereotypical joke for nearly every Sullivan imitator after that, usually as the more generic "Really Big 'Shoooo'".
In virtually all of his film appearances since the 1970s, Jordan has portrayed Sullivan in films that feature characters appearing on Sullivan's famous variety series. Sullivan himself died in 1974, leaving Jordan to "carry the torch", as it were. Jordan most recently impersonated Sullivan in the 2003 film, Down with Love.
A prominent stage veteran, Jack Pearl was a dialect comic who rode a brief wave of success in 1933-34 as Baron Munchausen. Getting his first radio exposure on a 1932 broadcast of the "Ziegfeld Follies of the Air," Pearl and his stooge Cliff Hall quickly found a niche on the Lucky Strike Hour, where for a brief time they were one of the most popular attractions on the air. Although Pearl tended to depend too heavily on catch-phrases in his act, his routines are not without a certain appeal. Pearl was a facile punster, and Hall an especially able straight man.