Freeman Gosdenand Charles Correll made their radio debut on January 12, 1926, as the comedic blackface characters Sam ’n’ Henry. On March 19, 1928, they introduced Amos ’n’ Andy, which went on to becomeone of the most popular and longest-running programs in radio history. Duringthe height of its popularity, almost the entire country listened to the fifteen-minute,Monday-through-Friday adventures of Amos and Andy. Department stores open inthe evening piped in the broadcasts so shoppers wouldn’t miss an episode; movietheaters scheduled their features to end just prior to the start of Amos ’n’ Andy so they too could pipe itin.
The characterswere members of the Mystic Knights of the Sea Lodge, of which George Stevenswas “the Kingfish.” Amos and Andy ran the Fresh-Air Taxi Company, with the morestable, married Amos doing most of the work while Andy chased girls. One of thebest-remembered sequences was the time Andy almost married Madame Queen. In1943, after 4,091 quarter-hour episodes, it switched to a half-hour weeklycomedy. While the five-a-week show often had a quiet, easygoing feeling, thenew version was a brassy Hollywood-style production, complete with studioaudience, full cast of supporting actors, and full orchestra. Many of thehalf-hour programs were written by Joe Connelly and Bob Mosher, later thewriting team for Leave It to Beaverand The Munsters. In the new version,Amos became a minor character to the more dominant Andy and Kingfish duo. Thenew Amos ’n’ Andy Show endured forthe next twelve years as one of the most popular weekly programs on radio.
Episodes include “Uncle,” “Piano Lesson,” “Libel,” “Trunk,”“Matrimonial,” “Thanksgiving,” “Friendship,” “Counterfeiters,” “Baby Carriage,”“Laundry Business,” “New Year’s Eve,” and “Soldier.”