The Fire Chief

1930s vaudeville comedy show with Ed Wynn
from archive.org

Isaiah Edwin Leopold (November 9, 1886 – June 19, 1966), better known as Ed Wynn, was an American actor and comedian, noted for his Perfect Fool comedy character, his pioneering radio show of the 1930s, and his later career as a dramatic actor.

Wynn began his career in vaudeville in 1903 and was a star of the Ziegfeld Follies starting in 1914. During The Follies of 1915, W. C. Fields allegedly caught Wynn mugging for the audience under the table during Fields' Pool Room routine and knocked Wynn unconscious with his cue. Wynn wrote, directed, and produced many Broadway shows in the subsequent decades, and was known for his silly costumes and props as well as for the giggly, wavering voice he developed for the 1921 musical revue, The Perfect Fool.

In the early 1930s Wynn hosted the popular radio show The Fire Chief,[7] heard in North America on Tuesday nights, sponsored by Texaco gasoline. Like many former vaudeville performers who turned to radio in the same decade, the stage-trained Wynn insisted on playing for a live studio audience, doing each program as an actual stage show, using visual bits to augment his written material, and in his case, wearing a colorful costume with a red fireman's helmet. He usually bounced his gags off announcer/straight man Graham McNamee; Wynn's customary opening, "Tonight, Graham, the show's gonna be different," became one of the most familiar tag-lines of its time; a sample joke: "Graham, my uncle just bought a new second-handed car... he calls it Baby! I don't know, it won't go anyplace without a rattle!"

  1. The Prince Goes to School (6.5Mb)
  2. Trial By Jury (6.1Mb)
  3. When You Were 8, I Was 9, We Were 17 (5.9Mb)
  4. Tolstoys Redemption (6.9Mb)
  5. Dorothy Burnhan of Haddon Hall (6.7Mb)
  6. Poorhouse Behind the Hill (6.6Mb)
  7. Home Sweet Home (7Mb)
  8. When Hiking, Ignorance is Blisters (5.7Mb)
  9. Home Sweet Home (7Mb)
  10. As You Sow, So Shall Ye Reap (8.4Mb)
  11. Ed Writes A Book (8.2Mb)
  12. Ed Becomes A Warden (4.9Mb)
  13. A Wife in Every Port (6.9Mb)
  14. Texaco Fire Chief (6.9Mb)
  15. Massa's in the Cold, Cold Ground (6.5Mb)

MP3 files hosted by archive.org.