Nowadays when the Red Sox go into a rain delay, the radio broadcast goes from the park to the studio where John Ryder fields phone calls. It was that way when John Rich was the studio host (until he left the business earlier this year to go into software.) This goes back at least to the days when Ted Sarandis was at WEEI. IIRC, Ted would plead for the Red Sox to build a new stadium or put a retractable roof over Fenway. But it wasn’t always that way.
Right after World War II, WHDH was broadcasting Red Sox and Braves games. The station had a disc jockey named Bob Elliot and a newsreader named Ray Goulding. The pair would be teamed on the air during rain delays and they would ad lib deadpan satires of that era’s radio. Soap operas, game shows, commercials, and announcers were all fodder for the two. It was like SCTV, only for radio. Eventually, WHDH gave them their own show, “Matinee with Bob and Ray.” They’d go on to the NBC radio network and TV; working together for 40 some odd years.
...On Sunday nights HCN would run The Comedy Hour from 9 to 10. They would play stand up routines from the likes of George Carlin, Bill Cosby, and Woody Allen. They’d play studio-based comedy from the likes of Cheech and Chong or The Firesign Theater. They’d also play some Bob and Ray bits. Despite being old enough to be World War II vets, the two radio guys did have some appeal with the rock and rollers a generation younger than them. I was a kid and I didn’t get their humor. It was sort of an acquired taste. In fact, when Bob and Ray were on TV, the live studio audiences, unfamiliar with their humor, would boo the duo. There are a few bits online here and elsewhere. Bob Elliot’s son, by the way, may be better known among RLRSers. Chris Elliot was a frequent guest on Letterman and starred in the TV show “Get A Life” and movies like Cabin Boy and There’s Something About Mary.
Until this year, I had no idea Bob and Ray got their start as rain delay filler. Now you know, too.
Posted: August 10, 2013 at 09:43 AM | 3 comment(s)
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