This & ThatEdgar Bergen and Charlie McCarthy

While perusing some of my old magazines recently, I came across an old Readers Digest that was of particular interest to me. I don’t remember where it came from, but I think I bought it at a flea market sometime in the distant past. Anyway, it was a March 1938 edition of the magazine, the year and month of my birth. I was excited to see that magazine again and read some of the stories included in it.

As I looked at the content page, an article caught my eye. It was a story titled “Bergen’s Brazen Blockhead.” Of course among us older folks we remember that famous duo of Edgar Bergen and Charlie McCarthy, but mention them to one of the younger generation and you would probably get a blank stare back at you. I’ve been more than amused at the hilarious exchange between Bergen and his wooden dummy, Charlie. Bergen was not the very best ventriloquist in my view but he made up for it by being a great showman. Ventriloquism is the art of “throwing one’s voice.” In other words making your voice seem to be far away or to project upon another person or object and in the process not move the lips or throat muscles.

While Don Rickles is often thought of as the king of insult comedy, Charlie was not above throwing a few barbs and when he did it laughter followed. The use of dummies goes back thousands of years. Reportedly, Bergen made Charlie’s wooden body but a doll carver made the head from Bergen’s charcoal cartoon of a Chicago newsboy he knew. More...

More Top Stories
This & That
• Edgar Bergen and Charlie McCarthy

Local News
• Rebuilding with Broken Pieces ladies retreat coming up in November
• Fire precautions tips that can save your life
• Places to turn when you are thinking about suicide
• TCAT celebrates 50 years of job training

• Longhorns 'bombard' Claiborne County Bulldogs 42-7
• Longhorns hoping to stampede West Greene Buffaloes on Friday
• JCHS cheerleaders are 'Commodores for a day"
• Longhorns still in the hunt
• Longhorns' Might Mites ram Cloudland Rangers 20-0
• Middle School Longhorns leapfrog Hampton Bulldogs 34-14

My Turn
• Mental illness claims yet another young life