Edgar Bergen
Comedian, ventriloquist
Edgar Bergen
Edgar John Bergen was an American actor and radio performer, best known as a ventriloquist.
Biography
Edgar Bergen's personal information overview.
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Photo Albums
Popular photos of Edgar Bergen
News
News abour Edgar Bergen from around the web
Birth of the nerd - Boston Globe
Google News - over 5 years
Several of Dvorak's readers figured nerd had something to do with Mortimer Snerd, the dummy used by ventriloquist Edgar Bergen beginning in the late 1930s. More creatively, others theorized that it was first spelled knurd, which is drunk spelled
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Google News article
BOOKS OF THE TIMES; Leaving Regrets To Others, Cheney Speaks
NYTimes - over 5 years
IN MY TIME A Personal and Political Memoir By Dick Cheney with Liz Cheney Illustrated. 565 pages. Threshold Editions. $35. In an interview on NBC's ''Dateline,'' former Vice President Dick Cheneysays that his new book, ''In My Time,'' will have ''heads exploding all over Washington.'' Whatever readers think of Mr. Cheney's politics, their heads are
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NYTimes article
Leaving Regrets to Others, Cheney Speaks - New York Times
Google News - over 5 years
The man whom Karl Rove nicknamed “Management” (as in “better check with Management”) and whom the CIA referred to as Edgar (as in Edgar Bergen, puppet master of Charlie McCarthy) began to take a back seat to more moderate voices in the administration,
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Google News article
Comedian Jeff Dunham Coming To The XL Center - Hartford Courant
Google News - over 5 years
Mortimer was one of Edgar Bergen's main characters, and the little plastic dummies with strings in the back of their necks were the figures of choice for kids at that time [late '60s and early '70s]. Every character I've had in my act, none of them has
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Google News article
'Win Win' winner - Denton Record Chronicle
Google News - over 5 years
Ball heads the billing but has reduced screen time in 1941's Laughing, a time capsule with performances by vaudeville and radio personalities Fibber McGee and Molly, the Great Gildersleeve, and Edgar Bergen and Charlie McCarthy
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Google News article
Meet Amy Henderson, Historian at the National Portrait Gallery - Smithsonian (blog)
Google News - over 5 years
... NBC and CBS, broadcast programming available at the touch of everyone's dial: You could walk down a street in the 1930s or 1940s and listen without interruption to the shows of Jack Benny, Burns and Allen, or Edgar Bergen and Charlie McCarthy
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Google News article
La promo d'un film de SF fait trembler l'Italie - LeVifFocus.be
Google News - over 5 years
Mais une grande majorité d'auditeurs, absorbés par le spectacle du très populaire Edgar Bergen, n'entendent pas l'avertissement du début d'émission. Ponctués de faux témoignages et de flash infos plus vrais que nature, le faux reportage de Wells passe
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Google News article
Thank You, S&P - Minyanville.com
Google News - over 5 years
He is nothing more than Charlie McCarthy to Edgar Bergen. In my world, he is not even to be paid attention to. I know -- sounds disrespectful. Sorry, just telling it like it is. As I've been saying, once the markets wake up to the debt problem ... look
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Google News article
SHIP SHAPE: Battleship to host Little Theatre's World War II era USO show - Fall River Herald News
Google News - over 5 years
It also includes a skit based on ventriloquist Charlie McCarthy and his dummy Edgar Bergen, excerpts from “Guys and Dolls” and the barbershop quartet, Generations. “We've had our challenges — we came into this with nothing but a concept, the whole
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Google News article
Notes on WC Fields (for Jim Gardner) - Brooklyn Rail
Google News - over 5 years
The inanimate nemesis known as Charlie McCarthy is another case altogether; initially trading insults on the Chase & Sanborn Hour radio broadcasts in 1937, the repartee between Fields and Edgar Bergen's wisecracking dummy had been a huge popular
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Google News article
Jeff Dunham Comedy with character(s) - Youngstown Vindicator
Google News - over 5 years
A longtime veteran of the comedy club scene, the Dallas native, who as a self-taught ventriloquist youngster met the legendary Edgar Bergen of Charlie McCarthy fame and as a young comedian a little over a decade later made a memorable
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Google News article
Mike Yawn: War of the Worlds — historical hysteria - Huntsville Item
Google News - over 5 years
Actual radio listeners, however, were less impressed, preferring the popular ventriloquist-dummy combination on the Edgar Bergen/Charlie McCarthy Show, which played opposite the Mercury Theater on the Air, and drew approximately 10 times as many
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Google News article
Greenspring's Designing Woman - Springfield Connection
Google News - over 5 years
For several years, Finley created puppets for Jeff Dunham, a ventriloquist and stand-up comedian who has been credited with reviving the art of ventriloquism, which peaked in the 1950s with Edgar Bergen and his sidekick Charlie McCarthy
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Google News article
Catching Up… - Indie Wire (blog)
Google News - over 5 years
His tribute to— Charlie McCarthy and Edgar Bergen, as visualized by Sam Berman in a spectacular folio that was distributed by NBC in 1947. —the unsung Sam Berman features a host of great material HERE. I'm sorry I didn't have a chance to commemorate
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Google News article
Antiques & Collectibles: Silver napkin rings a fine, valuable example of ... - Press of Atlantic City
Google News - over 5 years
"Edgar Bergen's Charlie McCarthy an Effanbee Pro-duct" is marked on its back. Please tell us about this doll. - GE, Rio Grande Answer: Your composition character doll, an officially licensed copy of ventriloquist Edgar Bergen's dummy companion,
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Google News article
Entertainment briefs: Ventriloquist Jeff Dunham brings comedy show - Daily Mail - Charleston
Google News - over 5 years
Credited with reviving ventriloquism and doing more to promote the art form than anyone since Edgar Bergen, Dunham began performing for audiences as a teenager, in various venues such as school, church, and during his job at Six Flags
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Google News article
Lee Persico: Lifelong promoter of Willits and Frontier Days - Willits News
Google News - over 5 years
Charlie McCarthy was the memorable "dummy" with a top hat and monocle who was ventriloquist Edgar Bergen's sidekick. That Willits News story also reported that 11000 people watched Baby Lee perform at the World's Fair on San Francisco's Treasure Island
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Google News article
Museum of Broadcast Communications hosts open house - Windy City Times
Google News - over 5 years
Several of the museum's most prized artifacts were on display, including one of the original Charlie McCarthy puppets ( a radio icon created by the late Chicagoan Edgar Bergen ) , the postcard-stuffed drum from WGN's Bozo's Circus, the camera used for
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Google News article
Timeline
Learn about memorable moments in the evolution of Edgar Bergen
    LATE_ADULTHOOD
  • 1978
    Age 75
    It was in mid-September 1978 that he announced that he was retiring after 48 years in show business and sending his monocled, top-hatted partner to the Smithsonian Institution.
    More Details Hide Details He opened at Caesar's Palace Hotel Las Vegas on September 27, for a two-week "Farewell to show business" engagement.
  • FIFTIES
  • 1960
    Age 57
    He guest-starred as Charlie in the 1960 episode "Moment of Fear" of CBS's The DuPont Show with June Allyson.
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  • 1959
    Age 56
    On May 21, 1959, he guest-starred with Charlie McCarthy on NBC's The Ford Show, Starring Tennessee Ernie Ford.
    More Details Hide Details Bergen continued to appear regularly on television during the 1960s.
    In 1959, he appeared in the second episode entitled "Dossier" of the NBC espionage series Five Fingers starring David Hedison.
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  • 1958
    Age 55
    In 1958 Bergen appeared with his 12-year-old daughter Candice on an episode of You Bet Your Life starring Groucho Marx.
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  • 1957
    Age 54
    He appeared in the Christmas 1957 episode of NBC's The Gisele MacKenzie Show.
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  • 1956
    Age 53
    Bergen also hosted the television game show Do You Trust Your Wife? in 1956–57, later succeeded, in a daytime edition, by Johnny Carson.
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  • 1954
    Age 51
    On 26 December 1954, Bergen appeared on What's My Line as a mystery guest.
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  • FORTIES
  • 1950
    Age 47
    Although his regular series never made the transition to television, Bergen made numerous appearances on the medium during his career. In a filmed Thanksgiving special, billed as his TV debut, sponsored by Coca-Cola on CBS in 1950, the new character Podine Puffington was introduced.
    More Details Hide Details This saucy Southern belle was as tall as a real woman, in contrast to Bergen's other sit-on-the-knee sized characters.
  • 1949
    Age 46
    In October 1949, Bergen went to CBS, with a new weekly program, The Charlie McCarthy Show, sponsored by Coca-Cola.
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  • 1948
    Age 45
    His final NBC broadcast was on December 26, 1948.
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    In December 1948, Edgar announced he was temporarily "retiring" from radio, admitting that Stop the Music was too popular to compete with.
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  • 1946
    Age 43
    On May 9, 1946 Frances gave birth to future actress Candice Bergen, whose first performances were on Bergen's radio show.
    More Details Hide Details Their second child was film and television editor Kris Bergen (born October 12, 1961). Frances also acted, appearing in several movies, co-starring in the 1958 television series Yancy Derringer, and guest-starring in numerous other shows.
  • 1945
    Age 42
    The two were married in Mexico after years of long-distance courtship, on June 28, 1945.
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  • THIRTIES
  • 1938
    Age 35
    Bergen and McCarthy are sometimes credited with "saving the world" because, on the night of October 30, 1938, when Orson Welles performed his War of the Worlds radio play hoax that panicked many listeners, most of the American public had instead tuned to Bergen and McCarthy on another station and never heard Welles' play.
    More Details Hide Details Conversely, it has also been theorized that Bergen inadvertently contributed to the hysteria. When the musical portion of Bergen's show, The Chase and Sanborn Hour, aired approximately 12 minutes into the show, many listeners adjusted their dial and found the War of the Worlds presentation already underway with a realistic-sounding reporter detailing terrible events. Ray Noble was the musical director and composer, and teenage singer Anita Gordon provided the songs on his show. Gordon was said to have been discovered by Charlie, who had a crush on her. In the fall of 1948, Edgar and Charlie faced serious competition from ABC's "jackpot" quiz show, Stop the Music, which suddenly drew more listeners (Fred Allen faced a similar problem because he directly appeared before them).
  • 1937
    Age 34
    At the height of their popularity in 1937, Bergen was presented an Honorary Oscar (in the form of a wooden Oscar statuette) for his creation of Charlie McCarthy.
    More Details Hide Details Bergen, along with Charlie McCarthy and Mortimer Snerd were also featured in the 1938 film Letter of Introduction. As an actor alone, Bergen portrayed the timid suitor of the sister Trina in I Remember Mama (1948), and appeared in Captain China (1949), The Hanged Man (1964) and Don't Make Waves (1967). Other film roles for the team include Look Who's Laughing (1941) and Here We Go Again (1942), both with Fibber McGee and Molly. Charlie McCarthy wore a US Army uniform in Stage Door Canteen (1943) with Mortimer Snerd. Bergen and McCarthy were also featured in Disney's Fun and Fancy Free (1947). He later cameoed in all-star films such as The Phynx (1970), Won Ton Ton, the Dog Who Saved Hollywood (1976), and The Muppet Movie (1979). He had earlier appeared in a second season episode of The Muppet Show, a highly acclaimed puppet television show produced by Jim Henson who considered Bergen a major inspiration, a year after his daughter Candice. Bergen died shortly after making the film, his final public appearance, which was subsequently dedicated to him. In 2009 Bergen was featured in the comedy documentary I'm No Dummy, directed by Bryan W. Simon.
  • TEENAGE
  • 1922
    Age 19
    Between June 1922 and August 1925, he performed every summer on the professional Chautauqua circuit and at the Lyceum theater in Chicago.
    More Details Hide Details Bergen had an interest in aviation, becoming a private pilot. His first performances were in vaudeville, at which point he legally changed his last name to the easier-to-pronounce "Bergen". He worked in one-reel movie shorts, but his real success was on the radio. He and Charlie were seen at a New York party by Elsa Maxwell for Noël Coward, who recommended them for an engagement at the famous Rainbow Room. It was there that two producers saw Bergen and Charlie perform. They then recommended them for a guest appearance on Rudy Vallée's program. Their initial appearance (December 17, 1936) was so successful that the following year they were given regular cast rolls as part of The Chase and Sanborn Hour. Under various sponsors (and two different networks), they were on the air from May 9, 1937 to July 1, 1956. The popularity of a ventriloquist on radio, when one could see neither the dummies nor his skill, surprised and puzzled many critics, then and now. Even knowing that Bergen provided the voice, listeners perceived Charlie as a genuine person, but only through artwork rather than photos could the character be seen as truly lifelike. Thus, in 1947, Sam Berman caricatured Bergen and McCarthy for the network's glossy promotional book, NBC Parade of Stars: As Heard Over Your Favorite NBC Station.
  • 1919
    Age 16
    In the fall of 1919, Edgar paid Chicago woodcarver Theodore Mack $36 to sculpt a likeness of a rascally red-headed Irish newspaperboy he knew.
    More Details Hide Details The head went on a dummy named Charlie McCarthy, which became Bergen's lifelong sidekick. He had created the body himself, using a nine-inch length of broomstick for the backbone, and rubber bands and cords to control the lower jaw mechanism of the mouth. For college he attended Northwestern University where he was enrolled in the pre-med program to please his mother. He switched to Speech & Drama but never completed his degree. He gave his first public performance at Waveland Avenue Congregational Church located on the northeast corner of Waveland and Janssen. He lived across the street from the church. In 1965, he gave the church a generous contribution, a thoughtful letter, and a photograph of himself which had been requested by the minister and was displayed in the church's assembly room which was dedicated to Bergen. He cut out an "R" and a "G" from his family name and went from Berggren to Bergen on the showbills.
  • CHILDHOOD
  • 1903
    Age 0
    Born on February 16, 1903.
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Original Authors of this text are noted here.
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