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Edger Bergen
Date Issued: 1991-08-28
Postage Value: 29 cents

Commemorative issue
Comedians
Edger Bergen

While in grade school, Edgar Bergen learned that he could "throw" his voice as a ventriloquist. With some professional training, he began entertaining professionally while in high school. He companion was a $35 wooden dummy, Charlie McCarthy. During summer vacations he would tour with Chautauqua circuits. In 1924 his performances helped to pay for his pre-medical studies at Northwestern University. Bergen began touring as a vaudeville performer in 1926, and continued for 10 years, followed by performances on Rudy Vallee's radio program and Bergen's own hour radio show. The "act" consisted of Bergen's being the perfect gentleman and host and McCarthy's showing total disrespect for the guest. The on-radio confrontation with W.C. Fields led to the movie, You Can't Cheat an Honest Man. The 1938 film A Letter of Introduction led to a special Oscar, carved out of wood.

Topic: Entertainment (417)  

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