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Amos and Andy Show Would Never Happen Today

Amos and Andy / Getty Images

Today marks the debut anniversary of one of the all time great radio shows.  ’Amos and Andy’ debuted on the NBC Blue Radio Network on WMAQ in Chicago on this date in 1928. Amos ‘n’ Andy was a sitcom set in a stereotypically dysfunctional black community.

According to Wikipedia,  Amos Jones and Andy Brown, two southern black men, worked on a farm near Atlanta, Georgia and during the episodes of the first week, they made plans to find a better life in Chicago despite warnings from a friend. With four ham-and-cheese sandwiches and $24, they bought train tickets and headed for Chicago, where they lived in a State Street rooming house and experienced some rough times before launching their own business, the Fresh Air Taxi Company.

Amos was naïve but honest, hard-working and a dedicated family man. Andy was more blustering, with overinflated self-confidence. Andy, being a dreamer, tended to let Amos do most of the work.

In reality, Amos and Andy creators Freeman Gosden and Charles Correll were white actors familiar with Minstrel traditions. Most radio listeners had no idea that Amos and Andy were both white.  A television adaptation of the show ran on CBS-TV from 1951 until 1953.

In its day the show was extremely popular and funny but the material would never be acceptable in today’s world.  It was a show that first aired 85 years ago today on radio.


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