ORLAND — Bob Elliott of the “Bob and Ray” comedy team will turn 90 on Tuesday, March 26. On Monday, March 25, he will appear as a special guest on WERU’s monthly “Comedy Hour” with John Greenman and Arthur Morison.
Elliott, who moved to Cundy’s Harbor in 2009, spent his career working with Ray Goulding, who died in the early 1990s, and living in Boston, New York, and elsewhere while summering in Cundy’s Harbor.
The “Comedy Hour,” airing 9-10 a.m. Monday, March 25, on WERU-FM 89.9 Blue Hill and 99.9 Bangor, will feature the works of “Bob and Ray” as a special birthday tribute for Bob. During the hour, hosts John and Arthur will chat with Bob about his career, his favorite comedians, and a new book about him, coming out soon.
“Bob and Ray’s” 40-year career began at WHDH, Boston. Bob was a disc jockey, and Ray a newscaster. When the Red Sox games were delayed on account of rain, they began to amuse each other to fill the time. Soon they had a daily show of their own, “Matinee with Bob and Ray,” an improvised, madcap exercise in controlled chaos.
During their long career, they created more than a hundred characters, all played by Bob or Ray. Wally Ballou, the hapless journalist; Mary McGoon, whose recipe for frozen ginger ale salad prefigures Martha Stewart; Biff Burns in the sports room; Barry Campbell, a third rate actor with an ego the size of the universe; and Mary Backstayge, Noble Wife, whose pals travel the world in search of goofy adventure.
Critics say “Bob and Ray‘s” satire of soap operas, game shows, radio shrinks, and other self-appointed “experts” and commercials, is as pertinent today as it was in 1946.
In 1951 NBC brought them to New York for a daily 15-minute television program, and numerous radio shows. During the next 30 years they appeared on every major network, and on three New York stations. They finished their radio career on public radio with the “The Bob & Ray Public Radio Show,” 1982-2004, and a farewell appearance at Carnegie Hall in 1984.
For information about Bob and Ray, visit www.bobandray.com.