I’m still feeling in an old-time radio mood.
Vic and Sade starred Art Van Harvey as Vic, and Bernardine Flynn as Sade. That was, apparently, enough cast to start with, but they adopted Rush, played by Bill Idelson, soon enough. Most of the scripts depended on the three, or two of the three if one of the actors got a day off, describing events to one another. A problem arose in 1940, when Van Harvey became ill. Every long-running radio show had this problem occasionally. If the actor’s illness was known about long enough in advance they could rewrite around the part. If it was sudden, they could just have someone else fill in. (There’s at least one episode of Burns and Allen with someone else playing the part of Gracie Allen, and that is not a role to step into lightly.)
To cover for Van Harvey’s illness, author Paul Rhymer brought a talked-about character in. This would be Uncle Fletcher, played by Clarence Hartzell. Uncle Fletcher could take the part of someone for Sade and Rush to talk to, or at least talk around, at least as well as Vic did.
It does mean we have curiosities like this episode, though. It’s from the 9th of October, 1941. It’s a two-actor day. So it’s an episode of Vic and Sade with neither Vic nor Sade. It’s built on Rush attempting to do his algebra homework, and Uncle Fletcher attempting to coach him through it. As I’d said, many Vic and Sade episodes are driven by the characters talking not quite past one another. This is a fine example of the form.
| If current trends continue, then in the year …
|| … there will have been as many Splendid Bowls as there are or were:
|| Faces and vertices of the medial rhombic triacontahedron
|| Days in January and February (non-bissextile years)
|| Minimum number of games in the National Hockey League postseason (per rules in effect for 2015)
|| Days in January and February (leap years)
|| Counties in New York State
|| Years between a Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania groundhog’s first being recorded to predict the weather and the predictive groundhog’s receiving the name “Phil” 
|| Secretaries of State of the United States (as of 2015)
|| Inches of height of Michael Jordan
|| Games in a regular National Basketball Association season (as of 2015)
|| Episodes of the original Star Trek
|| International Astronomical Union-recognized constellations
|| Maximum number of games in the National Hockey League postseason (per rules in effect for 2015)
|| Recipients of the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine (as of January 2015)
|| Days in the year
|| Species of Pokemon revealed as of 2015
|| Elements of the sporadic Mathieu group M11
1: Wikipedia’s description is very breezy and chatty, causing me to doubt that the topic has been the subject of credible historical inquiry.
Again over on my mathematics blog is a gathering of some comics that mention mathematics themes and some elaboration on the topics they’ve got into, at least when they inspire something. The allegation that one never uses algebra in real life doesn’t really inspire much to me and kind of makes me wonder if the cartoonist feels inspired. I mean, when I think of a joke that seems particularly clever I feel this wonderful thrill of invention and cleverness as well as giggling at my own joke; does anyone get that when they have the idea to make a character say “I haven’t needed algebra since I left eighth grade”? If not, why do they even do it?
Meanwhile, the comic strip Working Daze has advanced its mock history into the 1970s and once again had one of its former cartoonists get fired and die in apparent professional misery. I’m sure that doesn’t signify anything.