Thursday, February 23, 2006

"Never a help, always a hinderance!"

(click for full-sized image)

John McElwee of Greenbriar Picture Shows sent over this bee-YOU-tiful two-page spread advertising Clark and McCullough's 1932-33 series for RKO-Radio Pictures. Despite the hyperbole of the ad copy, I wonder how much of a box office draw C&McC really were in 1934. Certainly, RKO didn't feel they had the drawing power needed for a feature, otherwise they would have starred in The Cuckoos, RKO's adaptation of their Broadway hit The Ramblers, rather than Wheeler and Woolsey. Unlike Bert and Bob who had wide appeal both in the cities and in the "sticks", Bobby and Paul were purely uptown comics and their RKO shorts, with their emphasis on big city life, trade heavily on that image. Acclaimed by New York critical circles and heralded as the worthy successors to the Four Marx Brothers on Broadway, Clark and McCullough even had a certain amount of snob appeal and would , as the ad suggests, "add glamor" to your bill.. given, of course, that your patrons knew or cared enough about highfalootin', citified Broadway comedians to feel that they were getting the equivalent of a $5.50 NY show.

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