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43-06-08 Front Porch Swing (audio debut of Russell Miller)

Sade wants Vic to put up the porch swing. Vic, however, seems to be reluctant to do it. Eventually Sade takes on the job herself.

SCRIPT (transcribed by Garry Motter)
This episode is special because it represents the audio debut of Russell Miller into the Gook family.

Russell with Sade and Vic
We find out by doing some research that Russell is the orphaned nephew of Vic's boss, Mr. Buller, at Consolidated Kitchenware.[1]   And according to Barbara Schwarz's notes, he's also (coincidentally enough) a nephew of the Gooks!

The part of Russell was played by David Whitehouse and there's not much information available about him to be found anywhere although there is this article here, which I dug up several months ago.  We do know the real reason he's been added to the family; he's an extra body, a son-figure. 

Russell is certainly no clone of Rush but he does a pretty good job. 


+ Mr. Bainbridge from Dixon, McClellan and Pete McStingel are mentioned but nothing else was said about them. I'm going to assume that McClellan is the train conductor that Uncle Fletcher gave a cupcake to in this episode.

+ Uncle Fletcher tells the story of Ernie Spotters from Belvidere. He could play the violin, guitar and mouth organ. The gang tried to play a trick on him by giving him an anvil to play but he just sat there. He wore a pair of shoes for six weeks then tried to take them back to the store. He loved apples but hated fish. He was right-handed and left-handed both. He never trusted smoking tobacco; was afraid it would explode.

+ Uncle Fletcher tells of Minnesota Hoosh who would smoke but he wouldn't chew tobacco.

+ Uncle Fletcher says that Harry Wool knew a man that knew Fred Stembottom.

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

[1] On the air: the encyclopedia of old-time radio, page 701, By John Dunning


  1. i'm not a fan of russell, the character or the actor playing him. as a character, he *is* a (watered-down) clone of rush. as an actor, he's nowhere near as talented as bill idelson, who brought so much life to rush. i find the precocious vocabulary that was so naturalistic with rush sounds very awkward coming out of russell's mouth.

    russell sounds much of the time like he's reading lines from a script. on any other program, i'd probably not pay particular notice, but the original 4 actors were each, in their individual ways, so absolutely perfect in their roles, russell's so-so performance really unbalances the program for me. unfortunately, by the time bill idelson returned from WWII service, the show was no longer restricted to the 4 principle characters. so even though it's great to hear him back on the program, those shows still aren't anywhere near as good on the whole as the 1937-41 shows, imo.

  2. Yes, I agree. The show up to the first Dottie Brainfeeble are the best by far. But what can we do about it? :)