Vic and Sade on the Radio

A Cultural History of Paul Rhymer’s Daytime Series, 1932–1944

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About the Book

Vic and Sade, an often absurd situation comedy written by the prolific Paul Rhymer, aired on America’s radios from 1932 to 1944 (with short-lived revivals afterward). The title characters, known as “radio’s home folks,” were a married couple exploring the comedic side of ordinary life along with their adopted son and an eccentric uncle. This book examines the program’s depiction of many aspects of American culture—leisure activities, community groups, education, films—in light of the critiques put forward by the era’s critics such as William Orton. Vic and Sade offered its own subtle cultural critique that reflected how ordinary people experienced mass culture of the time.

About the Author(s)

John T. Hetherington is a lecturer in communications at SUNY Empire State College. He lives in Albany, New York.

Bibliographic Details

John T. Hetherington
Format: softcover (7 x 10)
Pages: 220
Bibliographic Info: 45 photos, notes, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2014
pISBN: 978-0-7864-6303-9
eISBN: 978-1-4766-1605-6
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Table of Contents


Preface 1

Introduction 3

Part I: The Media Context

Chapter One. Rhymer Is “Outstanding” 9

Chapter Two. The Birth of Vic and Sade 23

Chapter Three. “Something to be interested in”: Daytime Radio 42

Chapter Four. The “ins and outs of modern life”: Mass Culture and Its Critics 62

Part II: Social and Cultural Contexts

Chapter Five. Leisure: “It represents quite a problem” 73

Chapter Six. “Let’s go to the picture show”: Movies 106

Chapter Seven. “Seated on the davenport reading”: The Role of Reading 121

Chapter Eight. “Where’d you copy that from?”: Education 141

Chapter Nine. “Doing exactly the same thing”: The Individual and the Community 160

Conclusion: Saying Goodbye 183

Chapter Notes 191

Selected Bibliography 203

Index 207

Book Reviews & Awards

“recommended…diligent research…a wealth of information about daytime programming of the 1930’s”—Radio Recall.