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Some of these references are positive, some are negative, some are amusing; most are merely fictional and therefore marginalize Freemasonry and detract from the good work it does. The following list of references is not definitive, nor are all entries confirmed. Pleae forward additional references, with details, to our editor.
Masonic references on radio
The appearances of Freemasonry in fiction range from the unremarked use of symbols such as the square and compasses, to the actual inclusion of masonic ritual. The following list of references is not definitive, nor are all entries confirmed. Please forward additional references, with details, to our editor.
Amos 'n' Andy.
The "Mystic Knights of the Sea" as depicted in the pre-1943 serial version of "Amos 'n' Andy" were clearly intended as a masonic parody. Charles J. Correll and Freeman F. Gosden were both freemasons and Shriners, and consciously patterned the structure of the Mystic Knights of the Sea after that of Freemasonry: Great Supreme Kingfish = Grand Master, Kingfish = Worshipful Master, Whale = Senior Warden, Mackerel = Junior Warden, Shad = Secretary/Treasurer, Jellyfish = Deacon, Swordfish = Tyler.
The initiation ceremonies of the Mystic Knights of the Sea, as detailed in episode 65 (6/29/28), required the candidate to be blindfolded and led through the lodge room to receive instruction from the officers. Other rituals are occasionally referred to, under the specifically masonic term "degree work." Other masonic terms, including references to "demitting" or "taking a demit" from the lodge occasionally occur during the early years of the program’s run. These references were all dropped by the time the series converted to a situation comedy format. (See The Original Amos 'n' Andy, Elizabeth McLeod. 1999.) A meeting of the Mystic Knights of the Sea also figures in Amos 'n' Andy’s only film, Check and Double Check.
Burns and Allen
Gracie Allen
Shriners are involved in episodes where Gracie runs for president. On 28 February 1940 Gracie Allen announced her candidacy for American president and the formation of the Surprise Party. Later she discusses fund raising:
Truman Bradley: $3 million, Gracie? That's enough to run any campaign.
Gracie: Oh yeah? The last convention I went to, I wasn't even running and it cost me $10,000 for tips.
George: $10,000 for tips?
Gracie: Well, it was a Shriners' convention and I thought they were red-caps.
George: I'll bet .. were their fezes red!
1940-04-03 "Til the Cows Come Home" www.otr.net
On May 9, 1940, Gracie, George Burns, and their entourage left Hollywood Station for the Surprise Party’s first national convention, to be held in Omaha, Nebraska during May 15 to 18 where Gracie was acclaimed the party candidate. The miniseries ran for 14 episode (22-35) until 29 May 1940. She continued to campaign on the Burns and Allen show as well as appearing on other radio shows until election day, 5 November 1940. See members.fortunecity.com/cbsrmt/esotericOTR/.
The Fred Allen Show (1941)
Fred explains to announcer Jimmy Wallington where he gets his newsreel jokes that open each show. He used weather jokes as an example for his headlines:
Fred: "Let's see how hot it is in other parts of the country.... Gary, Indiana."
Stooge: "Got so hot here, a 32nd degree Mason went up ten degrees."
The Fred Allen Show - Texaco Star Theater, "The Great American Pastime", 23 April 1941 (00:04:51). See www.freeotrshows.com (accessed 2007/12/26).
The Fred Allen Show (1948)
In the Allen’s Alley segment, the question is posed, "What is the worst storm you can recall?"
Fred: What happened when the snow stopped?
Titus Moody: Then it turned cold.
Fred: How cold was it?
Titus Moody: Well, sir, my brother, Luther St. Elmo Moody, a 32nd degree mason, he went down ten degrees.
http://www.otr.net/r/faln/66.ram [00:06:55]
The Fred Allen Show - Texaco Star Theater, "Psychopathic Spectacular", 4 January 1948 (00:30:30) Fred Allen [1894/05/31-1955/03/17], Portland Hoffa, guest star, James Mason. NBC, (New sponsor: Ford Motor Company). Sundays 8:30 - 9:00pm. See otrsite.com/logs/logf1019.htm and www.otr.net/?p=faln.
Goon Show
One character in this 1951-1960 BBC radio show, Major Dennis Bloodnok, Ind. Arm. Rtd., is a freemason who used his masonic contacts to secure his promotion to Major. This is noted in Spike Milligan’s Goon Show Scripts, Sphere Books Ltd., London: 1972; More Goon Show Scripts, Sphere Books Ltd., London: 1974. Any specific reference to this in the radio broadcasts is undocumented.
Theme Time Radio Hour (2006)
Introducing Charlie Walker's "Who Will Buy the Wine," Bob Dylan says that Charlie "was a freemason, and you can tell." He then went on: "Here are some other great freemasons that come out of the Grand Ol' Opry: Roy Acuff, Eddie Arnold, Grandpa Jones, Pee-Wee King, Little Jimmy Jenkins, Roy Clark, Charlie Louvin, and Grand Ol' Opry band member Joel Edwards. They've all committed themselves to the fatherhood of God and the brotherhood of man by becoming Master Masons. Preach on my brothers!"
XM Satellite Radio's "Theme Time Radio Hour with your host Bob Dylan," Wednesday, May 17, 2006. Cited at http://rightwingbob.com/weblog/archives/423. Also see http://www.xmradio.com/bobdylan/.
Vic and Sade (1939)
Vic needs his Sacred Stars of the Milky Way lodge regalia for a special meeting, but is upset when he finds that the various items have been loaned out all over town. Episode: "Lodge Regalia on Loan" broadcast 2 January 1939 (VS390102). Art Van Harvey as Victor R. Gook, Bernadine Flynn as Sade Gook, Bill Idelson as Rush Gook, and Clarence Hartzell as Uncle Fletcher. Written by Paul Rhymer (b. 1905). In over 3,600 fifteen-minute episodes, broadcast from June 29, 1932 until September 29, 1944, at least nineteen episodes incorporate the Sacred Stars of the Milky Way lodge into the story.


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