Vic And Sade

an Introduction


From: MAX SCHMID (mschmid@escape.com)
Subject: Vic and Sade

In response to a recent query from Dick Lupoff on the subject, here is my introduction to the Vic and Sade portion of my catalog. Several years ago on WBAI, when we had time for a daily serial, this show was a favorite of mine, and we used the show as sort of an intelligence test - some folks just don't get it! To me it is one of the finest shows ever produced. I'd put it in the top 5 programs to come out of the Golden Age.

"The little house half-way up in the next block - Paul Rhymer's Vic and Sade"

Vic and Sade, product of Paul Rhymer's heart and wit, was called "an oasis of smiles amidst a sea of tears". Unlike the soap operas surrounding it, each episode of this daily series was a complete vignette with a beginning, middle, and end. There were only four characters who appeared regularly on the show - Victor R. Gook: the patriarch, office worker for the Consolidated Kitchenware Company, Skybrother in the Sacred Stars of the Milky Way Lodge, parade enthusiast. He was played by Art Van Harvey. Bernadine Flynn was Sade: wife, homemaker, mother of adopted son Rush and later Russell. Rush was played by Bill Idelson. He grew up on the show, and in the surviving examples he is a high school student who is inventive, imaginative, and industrious. When Idelson went off to WWII, he was replaced by David Whitehouse as Russell. He is younger than Rush, and a little more brash, but both of the youngsters are often ignored by their elders on the show. The last of the regulars was Fletcher Rush, Sade's Uncle, played by Clarence Hartzell. He was brought into the show as a possible replacement for Van Harvey when he got ill, and stayed on until the end of the series. Uncle Fletcher was the ultimate scatterbrained, nonsquitor-spewing, but loveable old geezer, and after Vic & Sade left the airwaves, Hartzell would continue in this character on One Man's Family and Lum and Abner.

Through this family and the discussions of their daily activities, a host of friends and neighbors became just as well known as the main characters, although they never appeared. (For the few exceptions to this, see tape #6, where two new speaking parts were added briefly).

Paul Rhymer's writing was both poetic and musical. It presented to listeners a surreal version of small-town America, with all its eccentricities and odd characters. The seasoned ensemble of actors brought this world to perfect life.

Many of the episodes in circulation contain only the story portion. There are two likely explanations for this. The actors broadcast from Chicago, but the commercials for Proctor and Gamble were done in New York. It is possible that only the Chicago portions were transcribed. The other explanation I've heard is that there were times when the show was broadcast on both NBC and Mutual, and the Mutual versions contain only the opening announcer and the story, but no commercials. Take your pick.


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