Did I Ever Tell Ya the One About...
"The Chargogagogmanchogagogchabunamungamog Caper"?

"My father, John Michael Hayes, was the writer on a number of radio dramas in the 1940's, before moving on to film work in the 1950's. Among those shows was The Adventures of Sam Spade, and he delighted in relating this story about one particular episode.

In Massachusetts, there is a town called Webster, located on the shores of Webster Lake. The Indian name of the lake is one of the longest place names in the world. My father said (and I have *not* verified) that the name means "You fish on your side of the lake, I'll fish on mine, and nobody fishes in the middle."

He decided to use that name in the title of an episode: "The Chargogagogmanchogagogchabunamungamog Caper" (September 25, 1949).

But they went further...

The announcer on that show was a man named Dick Joy. (If my memory serves, he was later a regular on You Are There.) He was *legendary* for being completely unflappable and able to pronounce anything. So Dad and the crew decided to play a joke on him. When they rehearsed the show, they contrived to keep the title page of the episode out of Dick Joy's hands until the show was already underway. They took the first commercial break, and then, *just* before he was to do the "And now we return to The Gold Key Caper..." sort of introduction, they handed him the title page with this god-awful name on it. All present grinned in silent anticipation of what was to come.

Well, he took the paper, cleared his throat and said, "And now we return to The Chargogagogmanchogagogchabunamungamog Caper brought to you by Wildroot Hair Oil."

Letter Perfect. NO stumbling. Not even a BLINK!

Who snitched? HOW did he get hold of the script in advance? Why had their carefully crafted joke fallen to pieces?

What no one in the gang knew was - Dick Joy grew up in Webster, Massachusetts."

Thanks to Garrett Michael Hayes for sharing this anecdote with us.


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