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The Edgar Kennedy Show
While few know his name, most recognize Edgar Kennedy fondly as the bald-headed comedian from countless classic films. Edgar was America’s first “sitcom” star who played himself in 103 two-reel shorts produced by RKO Radio Pictures between 1931 and 1948. In each short Edgar is surrounded by a zany dysfunctional family consisting of dizzy wife, meddling mother-in-law and shiftless brother-in-law. Sound Familiar?
Every Edgar Kennedy short revolves around a typical sitcom plot with Edgar at the center of the action, often caught up in domestic turmoil, a household emergency, mistaken identity, or the latest get-rich-quick scheme certain to bankrupt the household or put them all in jail. Here are some clips of Edgar at work accompanied by an original song “Slow Burn” contributed to the project by film composer Charlie Barnett:
Team Edgar has been busy tracking down and rounding up Edgar's 103 RKO "Average Man" comedy shorts made between 1931 and 1948 for an original new series called The Edgar Kennedy Show. Each half-hour episode will showcase one of Edgar's best shorts shown in its entirety along with a mini-bio segment drawn from Edgar's 35-year film career working with Chaplin, Laurel & Hardy, Our Gang, the Marx Bros., the Keystone Kops and dozens of feature films. The Edgar Kennedy Show is a labor of love by many in the classic film industry who appreciate Edgar’s remarkable legacy.
The Edgar Kennedy Show is being developed by Festival Films and Bijou Productions, the creators of the original 1980s hit PBS series Matinee at the Bijou. Included on The Edgar Team is a growing roster of classic film industry and media professionals, film distributors, archivists and private film collectors who are joining the team to help restore the film legacy of Edgar Kennedy. They include:
Founder-owner of Festival Films, Ron is co-creator and producer of the Lost & Rare Film and TV Treasures series. Also a leading authority on classic film history, Ron brings to The Edgar Kennedy Show a lifetime of experience in locating and acquiring rare cinematic treasures - many of which will be showcased on upcoming episodes.
Bob is co-creator and producer of the original Matinee at the Bijou PBS series (1980-88) and The Uncle Sam Movie Collection film anthology series
(2000-03). Bob is a former front-row kid, a lifetime film buff, and recognized as a leading authority in classic American film history and content.
Bill is the definitive expert on Edgar Kennedy, having authored the superb biography "Edgar Kennedy: Master of the Slow Burn." Bill has also written film books about comedians Vernon Dent and Ted Healey.
Award-winning film and television composer Charlie Barnett has written an original music video homage to Edgar Kennedy called "Slow Burn" that will be modified to serve as The Edgar Kennedy Show theme song. You can enjoy the music video at the top of this page.
MARK LIVINGSTON KENNEDY
Mark is Edgar Kennedy's grandson and serves as a consultant on the series.
Derek is co-creator and producer of the Lost & Rare Film and TV Treasures series and a dedicated film collector and media producer who provides public domain TV shows and vintage features to WGGS-TV in Greenville, SC. His private film collections include many lost and rare Edgar Kennedy shorts and features.
Pete is an editor and producer on the original Matinee at the Bijou PBS series and The Uncle Sam Movie Collections series and will bring his experience and expertise to The Edgar Kennedy Show series.
Dennis Atkinson - Edgar collector who has released many Edgar shorts at his RKO Comedy Classics site.
Joe "Shorty" Caruso - World's biggest Edgar Kennedy fan whose modest goal in life is to see the last 14 (of 103) Edgar shorts he has yet to see.
Lou Sabini - Film collector, scholar and teacher who manages "My Reel Life" on Facebook.
Cliff Weimar - Vociferous vintage film fan who keeps the world up to date on new/old releases at "In The Balcony" website.
You can read more about the project and enjoy an abundance of film clips of Edgar in action in scenes from some of his RKO comedy shorts by visiting "The Edgar Kennedy Show" on Facebook and "Like Edgar" to receive updates. Also consider leaving a comment and posting a link on your own Facebook page to help spread the word.
More Edgar fun and news is available here at Café Roxy Blog.