On March 1, 1941, Duffy’s Tavern opened for business on radio. Ed Gardner created the show and starred as Archie, the manager who ran the tavern (and mangled the English language) in the perpetual absence of the titular owner. He was supported by a memorable cast of characters, including Miss Duffy - the man-crazy boss’ daughter; Clifton Finnegan, a loveable lug and barfly; and Eddie, the waiter and Archie’s friend and confidant.

Over the years, dozens of guest stars stopped in at the tavern, including Alan Ladd, Bob Hope, Fred Allen, Gene Tierney, and Veronica Lake. Ed Gardner oversaw the production, but he was supported by an immensely talented young team of writers including Abe Burrows, Larry Gelbart - future writer of M*A*S*H, and Dick Martin - later half of Rowan and Martin’s Laugh-In.

The series spawned a 1945 feature film, but it failed to perform at the box office. A 1954 syndicated TV series likewise failed to engage an audience. But on radio, the hijinks at Duffy’s Tavern were at their best, with listeners coming back to “where the elite meet to eat” for ten years.

Shirley Booth (1898–1992) did her best work on the stage and in film, but she also worked in radio and television. She starred on the popular radio series “Duffy’s Tavern,” playing the owner’s daughter, and on television played the title role in “Hazel,” based on the Saturday Evening Post cartoon series. It’s her birthday today. Here she is in a promotion photograph for her appearance in a Red Cross radio drama (from the Jerry Lee On-Line Photo Archive at the Library of American Broadcasting).

Last night’s show at Duffy’s Tavern was a ton of fun!

Thanks to all our stringz who came out. And a huge thanks to For The Birds for having us. You guys (and gal) put on such a ridiculously amazing performance! So glad we had the chance to share the stage with you again!

The next shows we have are lined up for February 4th (Aspetta Cafe in Kensington Market) and a valentines show at the Garrison on February 12th! Hope to catch ya’ll there! xo