History Radio / BobAndRay

4th Apr '16 4:15:21 AM C2
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* CatchPhrase: Inept reporter Wally Ballou's sign-on, "-ly Ballou here!" and the duo's [[SigningOffCatchPhrase closing signature]], "This is Ray Goulding reminding you to write if you get work/And Bob Elliott reminding you to hang by your thumbs." Also possibly their habit of referring to their fictional staff as 'our Bob & Ray Organization', which by the end of their forty-year career in media parody ran to an empire AOL TimeWarner might envy.

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* CatchPhrase: Inept reporter Wally Ballou's sign-on, "-ly Ballou here!" and the duo's [[SigningOffCatchPhrase closing signature]], "This is Ray Goulding reminding you to write if you get work/And Bob Elliott reminding you to hang by your thumbs." Also possibly their habit of referring to their fictional staff as 'our Bob & Ray Organization', which by the end of their forty-year career in media parody ran to an empire AOL TimeWarner Creator/RupertMurdoch might envy.
19th Mar '16 11:20:49 AM Mdumas43073
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* TakeThatCritics: Showing an uncharacteristically pointy side, B&R reacted to ''NewYorkMagazine'' critic John Simon's negative review of their stage show by incorporating him into their skits as 'The Worst Person in the World' - a character who never spoke, just made rude noises while other characters (that is, Bob and/or Ray) commented loudly on his uncouth manners. (Broadcaster Keith Olbermann later picked up the concept, ''sans'' specific attack, and used it in his ''Series/{{Countdown|WithKeithOlbermann}}''.)

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* TakeThatCritics: Showing an uncharacteristically pointy side, B&R reacted to ''NewYorkMagazine'' ''New York'' magazine critic John Simon's negative review of their stage show by incorporating him into their skits as 'The "The Worst Person in the World' - World" -- a character who never spoke, just made rude noises while other characters (that is, Bob and/or Ray) commented loudly on his uncouth manners. (Broadcaster Keith Olbermann later picked up the concept, ''sans'' specific attack, and used it in his ''Series/{{Countdown|WithKeithOlbermann}}''.)
19th Mar '16 11:19:44 AM Mdumas43073
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* SeverelySpecializedStore: In the recurring skit "[[Radio/BackstageWife Mary Backstayge, Noble Wife]]," the characters started a restaurant called "House of Toast," with a rather limited menu.

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* SeverelySpecializedStore: In the recurring skit "[[Radio/BackstageWife Mary ''Mary Backstayge, Noble Wife]]," Wife'', the characters started a restaurant called the "House of Toast," Toast", with a rather limited menu.
19th Mar '16 11:18:38 AM Mdumas43073
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* CatchPhrase: Inept reporter Wally Ballou's sign-on, "-ly Ballou here!" and the duo's closing signature. "This is Ray Goulding reminding you to write if you get work/And Bob Elliott reminding you to hang by your thumbs." Also possibly their habit of referring to their fictional staff as 'our Bob & Ray Organization', which by the end of their forty-year career in media parody ran to an empire AOL TimeWarner might envy.
* ClockKing: ''[[Radio/MrKeenTracerOfLostPersons Mr. Trace, Keener than Most Persons]]'' admonished his [[Music/RudyVallee valet, Rudy]] "when I call for you, I want you now, not seven or eight seconds from now."

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* CatchPhrase: Inept reporter Wally Ballou's sign-on, "-ly Ballou here!" and the duo's [[SigningOffCatchPhrase closing signature. signature]], "This is Ray Goulding reminding you to write if you get work/And Bob Elliott reminding you to hang by your thumbs." Also possibly their habit of referring to their fictional staff as 'our Bob & Ray Organization', which by the end of their forty-year career in media parody ran to an empire AOL TimeWarner might envy.
* ClockKing: ''[[Radio/MrKeenTracerOfLostPersons Mr. Trace, Keener than Most Persons]]'' Persons admonished his [[Music/RudyVallee valet, Rudy]] "when Rudy: "When I call for you, I want you now, not seven or eight seconds from now."
19th Mar '16 11:17:06 AM Mdumas43073
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** Played straight when B&R wrote and performed the Piels Bros. beer commercials of the late 50's, featuring animated OddCouple siblings Bert and Harry Piel. Widely conceded to be far superior to the product itself; at the campaign's peak, upcoming spots were actually ''listed in [=TVGuide=]''.

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** Played straight when B&R wrote and performed the Piels Bros. beer commercials of the late 50's, featuring animated OddCouple siblings Bert and Harry Piel. Widely conceded to be far superior to the product itself; at the campaign's peak, upcoming spots were actually ''listed listed in [=TVGuide=]''.''Magazine/TVGuide''.
25th Feb '16 2:18:19 AM eroock
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'''Bob Elliott''' (19232016) and '''Ray Goulding''' (19221990) first met in 1946, at radio station WHDH-AM in [[HollywoodNewEngland Boston]]. Bob -- the slight one with the big blue eyes -- was the morning DJ; Ray -- the burly one with the splendid baritone -- was the newly-hired announcer. After reading the news on Bob's program, Ray would stick around and the two would riff off their particular corner of the Establishment - shows, sponsors, guests and interviewers alike.

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'''Bob Elliott''' Bob Elliott (19232016) and '''Ray Goulding''' Ray Goulding (19221990) first met in 1946, at radio station WHDH-AM in [[HollywoodNewEngland Boston]]. Bob -- the slight one with the big blue eyes -- was the morning DJ; Ray -- the burly one with the splendid baritone -- was the newly-hired announcer. After reading the news on Bob's program, Ray would stick around and the two would riff off their particular corner of the Establishment - shows, sponsors, guests and interviewers alike.
24th Feb '16 3:27:05 PM tropesinreadiness
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* CriticalResearchFailure: One sketch has Bob interviewing the author of a ''History of the United States''. It turns out that the 1,100-page tome contains numerous glaring errors, including Abraham Lincoln driving to his inauguration in an automobile, the Civil War breaking out in 1911, and the nation's original capital being located in Bailey's Mistake, Maine. The author readily admits it's "a shabby piece of work", but quickly adds that it's leather-bound.

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* CriticalResearchFailure: One sketch has an InUniverse example, with Bob interviewing the author of a ''History of the United States''. It turns out that the 1,100-page tome contains numerous glaring errors, including Abraham Lincoln driving to his inauguration in an automobile, the Civil War breaking out in 1911, and the nation's original capital being located in Bailey's Mistake, Maine. The author readily admits it's "a shabby piece of work", but quickly adds that it's leather-bound.
9th Feb '16 1:28:05 PM tropesinreadiness
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* FunnyAneurysmMoment: In one early episode, Ray explains that he was off yesterday due to 'a sharp pain in my lower back', joking to the effect that since he's in radio, he didn't know if it was a cold (ie., a kidney infection) back there or a knife. In hindsight... he's evidently joking about a very early symptom of the kidney failure that would kill him years later.
* FunnyCharacterBoringActor: B&R were renowned for their ability to improvise subversive, cutting-edge comedy skits -- so much so that interviewers wrote entire articles around how underwhelmed they were to meet the same shy, very conventional men in real life. "By the time we realised we were introverts," Bob is supposed to have once claimed, "it was too late to do anything about it."



* SeinfeldIsUnfunny: Bob and Ray are subject to this to an extent: now that the DeadpanSnarker is ubiquitous and subversion an essential part of the American comedy landscape, it's hard to realise just how cutting-edge hip B&R were considered for popularising and refining those elements back in TheFifties. Partly because of their unassuming style and partly because, as one commentator put it, they influenced a lot of people who've become a lot more famous building on their innovations, not incidentally including Seinfeld himself.



* TalkingToHimself: Often happened with the duo, as a consequence of them playing both hosts and (often multiple) guests on their various shows, assisted by their uncanny timing and familiarity with each other. The effect is most spectacular when baritone Ray and his [[LarynxDissonance falsetto character Mary McGoon]] hold rapid-fire discussions -- often with Ray's other character Webley Webster chiming in -- with Bob and two or more of ''his'' characters.



* WeirdAlEffect: Many of the radio parodies, notably by spoofing the then-hit SoapOpera "Mary Noble, Backstage Wife" as "Mary Backstayge, Noble Wife". The former was [[RadioDrama a deadly-earnest story]] of an 'ordinary woman' married to a matinee idol; the latter... culminated, around 1970, in Mary and her family leaving showbiz altogether to open a toast-themed restaurant. The series having earlier openly mocked [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Joseph_McCarthy Senator Joseph [=McCarthy=]]] at the height of the Army hearings. It is still one of B&R's best-known skits.
9th Feb '16 1:23:13 PM tropesinreadiness
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* PricelessMingVase: One skit has newsman Wally Ballou conducting an interview at a glass-fruit factory, and repeatedly dropping and breaking the expensive product. When he assures the outraged owner that "Of course, my employers Bob & Ray will cover this..." we abruptly 'cut back' to Ray: "Ah, thank you, that was Wally Ballou. And no, we won't."


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* ShowWithinAShow: The numerous parody serials. Bob and Ray went so far as to invent fictional writers, producers, announcers and cast members, all of whom would frequently argue amongst themselves in the course of an episode.


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* TalkingToHimself: Often happened with the duo, as a consequence of them playing both hosts and (often multiple) guests on their various shows, assisted by their uncanny timing and familiarity with each other. The effect is most spectacular when baritone Ray and his [[LarynxDissonance falsetto character Mary McGoon]] hold rapid-fire discussions -- often with Ray's other character Webley Webster chiming in -- with Bob and two or more of ''his'' characters.


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* TheUnintelligible: Occasional agricultural reports featured the consummately unintelligible Dean Archer Armstead, of the "Lackawanna Field Station."
9th Feb '16 1:20:11 PM tropesinreadiness
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* AdvertisingCampaign:

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* AdvertisingCampaign:AdvertisingCampaigns:


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* CatchPhrase: Inept reporter Wally Ballou's sign-on, "-ly Ballou here!" and the duo's closing signature. "This is Ray Goulding reminding you to write if you get work/And Bob Elliott reminding you to hang by your thumbs." Also possibly their habit of referring to their fictional staff as 'our Bob & Ray Organization', which by the end of their forty-year career in media parody ran to an empire AOL TimeWarner might envy.


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* DelusionsOfEloquence: The character of Dr. Elmer Stapley, "The Word Wizard", was all about this trope.


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* FunnyAneurysmMoment: In one early episode, Ray explains that he was off yesterday due to 'a sharp pain in my lower back', joking to the effect that since he's in radio, he didn't know if it was a cold (ie., a kidney infection) back there or a knife. In hindsight... he's evidently joking about a very early symptom of the kidney failure that would kill him years later.
* FunnyCharacterBoringActor: B&R were renowned for their ability to improvise subversive, cutting-edge comedy skits -- so much so that interviewers wrote entire articles around how underwhelmed they were to meet the same shy, very conventional men in real life. "By the time we realised we were introverts," Bob is supposed to have once claimed, "it was too late to do anything about it."


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* HisNameReallyIsBarkeep: The sketch where Bob interviews Mr. G.L. Hummerbeck who is [[https://www.box.net/shared/jfgl0ecfmp running as a write-in candidate for President of the United States.]]
-->'''Hummerbeck:''' "It's not "Mister" G.L. Hummerbeck, it's "The Right Honorable" G.L. Hummerbeck."
-->'''Bob:''' "Oh, you're assuming the full title of presidency already."
-->'''Hummerbeck:''' "No, no, that's my first name. "Right Honorable."...I'm part Winabago Indian, and when a child is born they give it a name after the first thing it sees right after it is born. And in my case it was the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, the Right Honorable Charles Evans Hughes."
-->'''Bob:''' "That's a very interesting story."
-->'''Hummelbeck:''' [[LampshadeHanging "I think it'd be a more interesting story if I knew what the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court was doing on the reservation in our tent on the day I was born, but nobody seems to remember that."]]
* HollywoodNewEngland: In a modern twist on the intellectual side, both Bob and Ray were born and raised in Massachusetts -- in middle-class Boston and blue-collar Lowell respectively -- and sounded like it. (In one early Boston-based show they do a funny bit on how to impress a local waitress by pretending you're from out of town. Their main suggestion is to "hit your 'R's verry harrd." "Yerss, I will have some erggs and orrange juice, please!")


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* {{Improv}}: Central to the legend -- if not always the actual performance -- of B&R. Their act began literally as two guys batting it around on-air, and never stopped sounding like it, regardless of an increasing reliance on scripts as their performance workload got heavier.
* IsThisThingStillOn: Inverted with the newsman character Wally Ballou, who would invariably start talking ''before'' the mike was on. (" ly Ballou speaking...")
* KentBrockmanNews: The 'weird, random stories instead of anything important' version was a B&R staple, usually personified by inept roving reporter Wally Ballou (Bob). Sent to meet interesting people at the airport, Wally manages to find the guy who was headed to Paris to lobby for tunafish as the traditional meal for Bastille Day. Even when Ballou found himself pursuing an actual legitimate story, it quickly lapsed into absurdity - as when he discovered that a paperclip company was able to keep costs down because they only paid their workers 14 cents a week. ("How in the world could they live on that?" "Well, we don't pry into the personal lives of our employees, Wally...")
** Additional amusing touch: Wally's broadcasts always started in mid-spiel. "-lly Ballou here..."
** This sketch was parodied at least once on ''TheAlFrankenShow'' on Air America Radio. Wally Ballou is interviewing a British Airways passenger whose flight has been delayed, and Ballou remains oblivious that the person he's talking to, Muhammad al-Khazmani, is implied to be a terrorist hijacker.
* LargeHam: Ray Goulding used his classic theatrical baritone to great effect in skits calling for this character type. Partly justified by the [[RadioDrama medium he was parodying]], but mostly just because he was having a whole lot of fun.
* LarynxDissonance: Ray Goulding, ironically enough the big, burly half of the duo, used the same matronly falsetto for numerous female characters. It was a lot more convincing when he was younger; in their earliest shows, he also had a breathy, right-over-the-top voice for their soap opera heroines: "Ooh, David, kiss me, my darling!"
* LaughTrack: Not only averted, but satirized as early as 1959 by hauling out a 'laugh machine' (because "we don't feel we're getting the correct response from you [listeners],") then making it roar with joy over a deliberately awful sitcom pilot.
* LittleKnownFacts: Characters such as "Mr. Science" often came up with these.


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* {{Malaproper}}: "Word Wizard" Elmer Stapley was given to this trope.
* ManOfAThousandVoices: The duo fit this trope perfectly between them, double-handedly maintaining the illusion of a large supporting 'cast' (male ''and'' female) plus endless one-shot guest-stars.
* MotorMouth: Averted, big time, in the "Slow Talkers of America" skit.
* NameAndName: Bob and Ray, naturally.
* OddCouple: Subverted. Bob and Ray were almost exact opposites as per this trope (slight, precise and soft-spoken vs. burly, extroverted and baritone), but could intuit each other's thoughts to the point where they could turn a chance word or phrase into a full-blown comedy skit without skipping a beat. Their character types did tend to reflect their personalities...except that big burly Ray ended up playing all the females.
* OpeningNarration: "From approximately coast to coast, Bob Elliott and Ray Goulding present the CBS Radio Network."
* OperatorsAreStandingBy: Parodied as far back as the 1940's when B&R turned a sponsor's real commercials into a series of spectacularly unsuccessful efforts to 'make a simple phone call' to contact the 'trained operators' who were, according to the copy, standing by to sign customers up for a free trial TV set. "No, no, they mean we'll be out at what time's convenient to ''us'', pal. Yeah, they don't say that, do they?"
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