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43-02-15 Dottie's Letter From Chuck

Dottie Brainfeeble is staying with Sade for a couple of weeks. She's an old school chum of hers from Dixon.

Dottie is a strange woman; she spends more time laughing at stuff that's not funny and talking loud than she does talking normal. It's obvious that she upsets Uncle Fletcher and he all but pries it out of Sade that she too isn't thrilled about Dottie.

Dottie spends the episode in another room reading a letter from her husband, Chuck. The kicker is, at the end of the letter, Dottie says Chuck may be transferred to the city the Gooks live in.
This is the first episode where the Gooks begin being invaded with real people rather than just the stories about them.

You'll find that Dottie is by far the worst of the lot. She's so annoying that Uncle Fletcher seems afraid to talk. She's so annoying that her laugh (from another room) is so loud that it interrupts conversations.

There is a bright side. Firstly, there are only a few more episodes where Dottie shows up, all in the next few episodes - then she disappears.

Secondly, not all of the other "new" characters are quite so ridiculous and annoying. As a matter of fact, they are used as little as possible (for the most part) and are just there to help supplant the loss of Vic (who will return soon) and Rush (during this period of the show, Bill Idelson is in the Navy but will return to the series later.)

Get through this episode and it's all downhill. I don't think the avid Vic and Sade fan will tell you that he/she likes these episodes with the real characters but it's better than no episodes at all.


Ruth Perrott
+ Ruth Perrott plays Dottie. You may know her as Katy, the housekeeper in the old-time radio show, My Favorite Husband. You'd probably recognize her from many small character roles she played on television as well in the 1950's.

+ Uncle Fletcher calls Dottie, "Spottie."

+ Dottie calls Sade, "Kettle."

+ Uncle Fletcher tells the story of Oliver Hidesock who married one of the Gulling-Tawning sisters. Moved from Belvidere in 1909 to Cypress Chunk, Minnesota and went back into his regular business of barbering. At one time, he was considered the best barber in the county. He could cut a head of hair in 5 minutes and shave a man in 4 minutes.

+ Uncle Fletcher tells the story of Collarbone Gackwench from DeKalb. His real name was, "Up Gackwench." Married at 57 years old and insisted on having her father's consent. Her father was 82 and wasn't very bright. He didn't even remember having a daughter.

+ Someone calls and asks for "Fat Jackson." This seems to have happened several times in the prior missing episodes as well.

+ Uncle Fletcher secretly refers to Dottie as being 'fat.' He also says he knows she gets on Vic's nerves.

+ Dottie grew up in Dixon, with Sade.

The first Dottie Brainfeeble sounds we hear... {{{HEAR}}}

Download the complete commercial-free, sound-improved episode!


  1. I don't mind the Dottie episodes too much. She is amazingly close to a certain sister inlaw I have with a eerily similar horse laugh. I can agree though that the shows without the added characters are more imaginative, simply because the listener has to create the others outside the Gook family from their own imaginations, based on the dialog. Still, it was about this same time in radio history thqat shows like Amos and Andy left their 15 minute format, with only the two main voice actors doing the parts, and went to a longer show with a cast of voice actors to do the parts. Maybe it was a trend set by the studio execs?

  2. Thanks for the comment.

    Perhaps I am in the minority on this one.

    One thing for sure, this is about the time the show/Rhymer gets a little sloppy. What once could be written in stone about characters is no more. You will see this especially when Russell comes on board in the very near future.

  3. i'm with you, jimbo. i think the show lost a lot of its magic when the cast expanded beyond the 4 principles. and, i agree that dottie is the most annoying character of all. not a good way to start out with the new format!

    even when the show returned to only having the 4 principles in the cast, i still can't say it's anywhere near as perfect as it was. i find russell to be a near-clone of rush's character, but the actor playing him has none of the charm and peculiar style of delivery of bill idelson. russell brings down many episodes which would otherwise be wonderful with rush, imo. i also find that the style of humor became a bit more broad-- e.g., the sarcastic quips were much more frequent and not as subtle.

    just my 2 cents. i haven't listened to all of the shows from this point forward, but in the year or so since i began to "get" this show, i've listened to the 1937-41 shows at least a couple of times each!

    great blog, jimbo!

  4. Thanks again for the comments WGaryW!

    One thing for sure, the shows runs deep and I am still finding out little tidbits everyday that I didn't know about the show.

    Listening and re-listening to the early shows, there not a dud among them; some of them are surpringly good.

    Notice also how many good shows there that only have 2 characters in them (Milton's Fruit Jars, Sade and the Appelrot shoving her aroun, Thunderstorm and there are many others... all good even with 2 people.)

  5. I've listened to all of the recordings that still exist---that I know of---and the Brainfeeble episodes are the only ones I just can't take. In fact, in the one where Sade breaks down at the end tells them to shut up, I almost break down myself. This little story arc was just plain weird, and very different from the rest of the series, even the other ones with multiple characters. I suspect Rhymer knew a real-life Dottie and HATED her....and this was his way of exacting his revenge.