Welcome back friends to another installment of Retro Radio Memories! This week we share the first episode of the Orson Welles Almanac featuring special guest star Groucho Marx, which originally aired back on January 26, 1944.
The show came about thanks to the legendary Welles stepping in as host on the popular Jack Benny Program, doing so when Benny became ill for four straight presentations starting on March 14, 1943 and lasting until April 4th. The show featured all manner of subjects from drama, magic, world news, and very humorous personal commentary by Welles himself. It only lasted 26 episodes and was mostly recorded while Welles visited U.S. military camps where he was peforming before the troops.
One reason it didn’t last longer than 26 episodes might have something to do with Welles and his battle against his sponsor, Mobil Oil and Gas…which you’ll hear him take a jab at in the first two minutes of the radio program. The Orson Welles Almanac or as it was also known The Orson Welles Comedy Show only played in California and Arizonia, a victim of those battles against Mobil.