It’s an article that worth a quick once-over though Hollis got a few of the facts wrong. He states “rural comedy in the electronic media goes back to the radio days of the 1920s with characters like Lum and Abner to the early theater films like ‘Li'l Abner.’” Li’l Abner was theatrically released in 1940, and as for the boys down in Pine Ridge, their earliest radio appearance was in 1931.
The bulk of Ford’s article is devoted to an interview with Tom “Eb” Lester, who seems to have done all right for himself in life by playing a wide-eyed bumpkin in one of television’s funniest sitcoms, so I say more power to him. I hate to admit it, but this sounds like a book I’d certainly want to peruse—the price tag is a bit steep, but Amazon has it marked down to $19.00. (Amazon also mentions that the author’s scope is a little broader than Ford mentions in his article; the book also discusses the radio shows of Bob Burns and Judy Canova as well as The Real McCoys.)
I do have a birthday coming up…perhaps I’ll attach this to my wishlist…
(NOTE: In the comments section below, "Uncle" Donnie Pitchford clears up the situation surrounding the errors I mention in the post--I mistakenly attributed them to Tim Hollis without fully checking the facts.)