Joe Penner Show

(4 stars; 1 reviews)

Joe Penner was an early radio comedian who found his success in the mid-1930s. He developed his routines and catch phrases ("Wanna buy a duck?" and "You naaaasss -ty man!") in burlesque and vaudeville. Appearances on the Rudy Vallee program led to his own series. His radio career began to ebb as other comedians began to have their own successful broadcasts. Penner's career came to a tragic end in 1941 when he died of a heart attack at age 36. * * * These recordings are part of the Joe Hehn Memorial Collection. Mr. Hehn (1931-2020) was a pioneering collector of radio recordings when the hobby emerged in the 1960s. Digitizing his collection of reel tapes and discs is the effort of a wide range of North American volunteers, and with the assistance of some international collectors. The groups supporting this effort with their funds, time, technology and skills are the Old Time Radio Researchers and a small group of transcription disc preservationists who refer to themselves as the "The Knights of the Turning Table."

This recording is part of the Old Time Radio collection.


wanna buy a duck ?

(4 stars)

The above summary captures Joe's career well. The radio writers who knew him said he wished he could do a sophisticated comedy like Jack Benny but he wasn't able to break out of the kiddie quality of his character. He was sort of like an earlier Pee Wee Herman. In an aside, the Warner Brothers animators created a character based on Joe Penner called Egghead who evolved into Elmer Fudd. Caricatures of Joe Penner as himself also appeared a couple times in the 1930s era Warner Brothers cartoons.