Old Radio Programs

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Sam 'N' Henry

Sam 'n' Henry was a radio series by Freeman Gosden and Charles Correll that aired on Chicago radio station WGN in 192628. The ten-minute program is often considered the first situation comedy. Gosden and Correll reworked the premise on a more ambitious scale to create their long-run radio show Amos 'n' Andy. In late 1925, radio performers Gosden and Correll had been approached about doing a show based on Sidney Smith's popular comic strip The Gumps. Gosden and Corell instead proposed their own radio serial using characters they created themselves. Like The Gumps, each show would be amusing in itself but would also feature recurring characters in an ongoing storyline. Since they had received a favorable response to African-American characters they had previously done on radio, Gosden and Correll proposed that the principal characters be African Americans, Sam Smith and Henry Johnson, newly arrived in Chicago from rural Birmingham, Alabama. After overcoming initial problems of not starving, finding a living space and making enough money to pay the rent for it, Sam and Henry set up their own moving company, with overbearing Henry as company president and meek, gullible Sam as the one who does all the work. Having been initiated into a colored fraternity called the Jewels of the Crown, they strike up a friendship with the Most Precious Diamond, the high officer of the lodge, who frequently tries to get his hands on the boys' money. [wikipedia]


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