WE HATE TO SAY IT--Ed Wynn, Texaco's Fire Chief on National stations, is on the slide--an opinion that is handed down with keen regret. No one has enjoyed Ed on stage and radio more than we have, and occasionally he still seems to have some of the old sparkle. But most of his jokes are getting older and older, and it is obvious that he and Graham McNamee are having to work harder than ever for the laughs. In fact, far too often during the last few programs we heard, Ed and Graham did all the laughing at some of the gags, the studio audience apparently being stone cold. Many listeners seem to enjoy it, but we have never cared for Ed kidding the advertising, nor for Graham doing the quick switch from feeder to commercial announcer. Ed's automotive jokes always seem dragged in by the ears, and rarely funny.
The whole program would be better if Ed's part of it were shorter and not so mixed up with the other parts. The pattern of the show should be varied, although admittedly this is difficult to do on a half hour program. Any change would, to be sure, require a better orchestra. Don Voorhees is now waving the wand over a brass band which would pall a bit in large doses. (Perhaps there isn't much left in the sponsor's budget after the star is paid.)
We understand Ed plans to stay on the air right through the summer, which takes courage. Our guess is that now is nearly the right time for him to take the holiday from radio that he has certainly earned many times over. But we should want the good old Fire Chief back after his vacation, by all means . . . with fresher material, better music, and a new program routine. His program has had a truly phenomenal run, but it should not continue so long at a stretch that the public will not thrill to the announcement of any new programs by Mr. Wynn.