The "Fake" Mary

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Posted ByGerry O. on August 27, 2001 at 23:41:49:

In Reply to: Re: was 1955 last show or 1957 ? posted byLarry on August 27, 2001 at 08:18:05:

: Speaking of the last show, I recently listened to the final radio broadcast, from May 22, 1955. Something very peculiar about that show--the part of Mary Livingston seems to be played by another actor (perhaps a young teenaged boy). The vocal timbre and delivery are not at all that of Mary, and "she" only has a few brief lines during the program.

: Mary appears on very few programs during the months preceding that show. Perhaps they felt obligated to have her (or somebody impersonating her) make a token appearance on the last show. Take a listen and see what you think.

You're right, Larry....That ISN'T Mary that you're hearing on that final show. Actually what you're probably listening to is the "raw", pre-broadcast recording of the show. That final broadcast has two versions currently in circulation....The pre-broadcast version (which doesn't feature Mary) and the final "doctored" version which WAS broadcast (which DOES feature Mary). Here's the scoop...For the last several seasons of the radio show Mary tried and tried to get out of doing the show. She was always very nervous performing in front of a studio audience and wanted out. However, she was a popular character on the show, and Jack would always coax her to stay. By the last season or so she had really had it and refused to appear. The show's producers came up with an idea....They would record the show (on audio tape) with another actress reading Mary's lines in front of the studio audience. Then Mary would record the same lines from her home (also on audio tape). Mary's home-recorded lines were then edited into the original recording in place of the "stand-in"'s lines. That way Mary wouldn't have to appear before the studio audience, but she could still appear on the broadcast program. That's why Mary's lines may sound a little lackluster or "dubbed" on those last shows. For the record, the woman (and it WAS a woman) reading Mary's lines on that last broadcast (as well as most of the other "dubbed" broadcasts) was Jack's real-life secretary, script girl and "Gal Friday" Jeanette Eyman. During the pre-show "warm-up", it was explained to the studio audience that Mary was "home with a cold"...a little "white lie", but a small price to pay in order to keep Mary "on the show".

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