Posted ByGerry O. on August 03, 2002 at 22:08:49:
In Reply to: Re: The On-Air "Jack & Mary" Relationship posted bykurt on August 03, 2002 at 21:06:36:
: The relationship between Jack and Mary on-air was deliberately left vague, but it wasn't all that unique in its time.
: Goodman and Jane Ace, Fred Allen and Portland Hoffa, and George Burns and Gracie Allen all had similar on-air relationships. Burns and Allen weren't a "married" couple on the air for quite a number of years.
: What makes Mary different is that she wasn't ever the "daffy" one. Also, the entire listening/viewing public at the time knew Jack and Mary were married in real life, but they accepted Jack's romantic escapades, anyway. That's the power of good writing and the illusions of broadcasting.
Ah, but the Jack-Mary on-air relationship WAS unique....
Goodman and Jane Ace appeared as an on-air married couple pretty much from Day #1.
As for Fred Allen and Portland Hoffa, theirs was a virtually romance-less on-air relationship. Portland was more of a "Girl Friday" to Fred, and they never seemed to have any type of romantic or physical attraction to each other. (In fact, Fred never seemed to have any type of romantic or physical attraction toward ANYBODY!).
A similar type of "romance-less" relationship could be said of the early Burns & Allen (before they appeared as an on-air married couple). While the young "single" Gracie DID seem to have a healthy interest in men, it was usually directed toward the show's handsome announcer, singer or guest star...but not George. Likewise, George would get mixed up with various girls, but he usually didn't think of Gracie as "date" material. He usually thought of her as a nutty nuisance and treated her accordingly.
Jack and Mary seem to be the only "married in real life but not on the show" couple where any sort of a romance (either past or present) is every hinted at....sort of a "sexual tension" if you will. This aspect of their relationship seemed to be lacking in other radio couples of the day.