Thanks to Kliph Nesteroff’s brilliant new book, “The Comedians: Drunks, Thieves, Scoundrels, and the History of American Comedy” for making me aware of a comedian and an OTR show I had never heard of before. Harry Einstein, who is the father of comedians Albert Brooks and Bob Einstein (a.k.a. Super Dave Osborne) had a successful career in the 1940s and ‘50s working under the persona of Parkyakarkus – “Parky” for short. The conceit was that Parky was a malapropism-prone Greek restaurant owner in Hollywood. Parky appeared on the Eddie Cantor and Al Jolson shows, and then, from June of 1945 to July of 1948, on his own show, “Meet Me At Parky’s.”
“Jeff Regan, Investigator” was one the many shows that Jack Webb had a hand in. When he left to create “Dragnet,” it went off the air. But it was resurrected a year later starring Frank Graham. Not quite a comedy, but not too hard-boiled either, “Jeff Regan, Investigator” deftly balances the light and dark sides of P.I.s from the Golden Age of Radio.