The Magnificent Montague starred note actor Monty Woolley. He might have been best known for his role as Sheldon Whiteside in the Man Who Came to Dinner (which I showcased as a Christmas special with Jack Benny). In this series, Monty Wooley played Edwin Montague, a former stage actor who was a founding member of the "Proscenium Club of Shakespearean Thespians." As a great actor, he is very proud of his work on the stage. But as an aging actor, he found himself with fewer and fewer paying opportunities, he turned to a most scandalous occupation - one of a radio actor! Edwin plays in a local soap opera as 'Uncle Goodheart', He is very concerned that one of his fellow members of the Proscenium Club will discover his secret. So his household is sworn to secrecy on Edwin's new job! Anne Seymour played Edwin's wife Lily (also a stage actress), and Pert Kelton played Agnes, their housekeeper of 25 years.
William Shakespeare Statue at the Festival Theatre, Stratford, Ontario in 2011
In this episode called "The Diet", Edwin is going to perform scenes from Shakespeare's Macbeth at an event at the Proscenium Club. In seeing how he looked when he first played Macbeth, Lily realized that he needed to go on a diet so he could look good in tights. As Agnes says:
You're supposed to look like Macbeth, not a Mack Truck,
So he is forced to diet or exercise the get the weight off. After being lured into a meal by the thought of spaghetti and meatballs, he ran to the gym. But he and his acting partner are mistaken as professional wrestlers by the manager of the gym (played by Art Carney - who became famous on the Honeymooners). Listen also for ads for RCA Victor and their 17" television set, Chesterfield Cigarettes, and Anicin.
The Diet (March 16, 1951)
Here are some links to programs relating to Magnificent Montague:
- Magnificent Montague radio program episodes via the Internet Archive
- Magnificent Montague on the Digital Deli
- Magnificent Montague on Jerry Haendiges Vintage Radio Logs
- Magnificent Montague from the RadioGOLDINdex
- Greg Bell's Old time radio channel (#82)
- Here are all of my Old Time Radio Blog Entries
An Old Time Radio Diet - All Blog Entries