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Radio / Paul Harvey

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"Hello, Americans, this is Paul Harvey!"

Paul Harvey Aurandt (September 4, 1918 – February 28, 2009), known on-air as simply Paul Harvey, was an iconic American radio personality, whose career stretched from immediately after World War II all the way to near his death in 2009.

With his distinctive, fatherly voice and presentation, the Tulsa, Oklahoma native was mostly known for his daily News and Comment broadcast, which began in Chicago in 1944 and aired nationally on ABC Radio from 1951 to 2008. This program featured his distinctive, rather eccentric sign-on ("Hello, Americans, this is Paul Harvey. Stand by for NEWS!") and sign-off ("Paul Harvey... good day!") phrases, a news segment that came in five-minute morning and 15-minute noon editions, and a five-minute The Rest of the Story segment ("You know what the news is. In a minute, you're going to hear the rest of the story!"), which was spun off into its own separate, evening program beginning in 1976.

Harvey's News and Comment segments, especially during The '90s and onward, tended to have a retro '30s feel, like they would fit in right after one of FDR's "fireside chats". He would often read aloud script instructions ("onto page TWO!") and he would even read out most of the advertisements himself, which often led to strong personal endorsements, as he disliked advertising for products he didn't use. His The Rest of the Story segments were usually about little-known factoids of history, usually focusing on an ironic twist of character or outcome, or an otherwise obscure but interesting fact.

Upon Harvey's death, ABC Radio personnel Gil Gross and Doug Limerick carried on with similar formats, as did Mike Huckabee. These were very short-lived.

And now, page two!

  • Celebrity Endorsement: The man really loved his Leatherman, Reveal light bulbs, EdenPure heaters, Select Comfort beds, Bose radios, and of course...Cit-ra-cal! He wouldn't dare advertise a product he didn't enjoy personally.
  • Grandfather Clause: Even as his show became surrounded by political talk like Rush Limbaugh and Neal Boortz or other local hosts, stations continued to carry his three daily shows reliably at 8:30am, noon and in evening drive ("The Rest of the Story"). Stations that dropped him before his death saw longtime listeners flee because of how the show became a regular habit.
  • Guest Host: Several, most notably his son, Paul Harvey Jr. Other radio hosts such as Gil Gross, Doug Limerick, Paul W. Smith, Ron Chapman, Mort Crim, and Scott Shannon all filled in on occasion (the former two being fellow ABC Radio announcers). Politicians Mike Huckabee, Mitt Romney, Fred Thompson, and Tony Snow also got a few turns.
  • Last of His Kind: It held out to be the final syndicated radio program that lasted fifteen minutes; others are longer than that.
  • Long-Runners: News and Comment lasted from 1944 to 2009. That's right, 65 years.
  • Product Placement: Sometimes it would take a minute to realize that Harvey's live-read of an ad had begun. That's how persuasive his voice could be.
  • Reading the Stage Directions Out Loud: One of his trademarks was reading out the page numbers of his copy ("And now... page two!").
  • Signing-Off Catchphrase: "Paul Harvey... good day!" and "And now you know... the rest of the story!"
  • Vocal Evolution: Surprisingly averted; his delivery barely changed even into the 1990s and 2000s, barring some episodes during his bout with pneumonia when he sounded very rough.
  • Working Through the Cold: Zig-zagged with the aforementioned pneumonia: sometimes he would host as usual with his voice sounding really rough; other times, he would let someone fill in for him.
  • You Can't Make an Omelette...: His "sugar candy" commentary from 2005 was interpreted by many as being this.
    Once upon a time, we elbowed our way onto and into this continent by giving smallpox-infected blankets to native Americans. Yes, that was biological warfare! And we used every other weapon we could get our hands on to grab this land from whomever. And we grew prosperous. And, yes, we greased the skids with the sweat of slaves.
    And so it goes with most great nation-states, which—feeling guilty about their savage pasts—eventually civilize themselves out of business and wind up invaded, and ultimately dominated, by the lean, hungry up-and-coming who are not made of sugar candy.
  • You Know Who Said That?: Former Trope Namer (Now You Know The Rest Of The Story), and, of course, The Rest of the Story lived by it.

Paul Harvey... good day!