Much is known and written about the film and stage careers of Mae West. But she also worked sporadically on national radio and television during her seventy-five-year career in show business. Mae West: Broadcast Muse is the first comprehensive look at her television and radio appearances with Rudy Vallee, Perry Como, and, most famously, with Edger Bergen and Charlie McCarthy on The Chase and Sanborn Hour in 1937. Her portrayal of Eve, opposite Don Ameche’s Adam, in the infamous “Garden of Eden” skit, and her provocative sparring with Bergen’s wooden companion, Charlie McCarthy, earned the actress condemnation and a ban from national radio that lasted more than a decade. It also all but ended her motion picture career.
In the 1950s, she ventured into television with a surprise appearance on the 30th Annual Academy Awards presentation singing a duet with Rock Hudson, guest starring appearances on The Dean Martin Show and The Red Skelton Show, and an interview on the CBS-TV program, Person to Person, which was considered so risqué, the network cancelled the pre-recorded broadcast twenty-four hours before the show was scheduled to air. .
In the 1960s, she guest-starred on the popular sitcom, Mr. Ed, considered several television specials and a cartoon series, and did a rare sit-down interview with Dick Cavett. Mae West: Broadcast Muse includes the fascinating behind the scene stories of her work on these shows, and many rare photographs from the sets. The book also includes several proposed radio and television scripts that were written for Mae West, but never made it on the air, including a proposed appearance with Frank Sinatra on the Armed Forces radio show, Mail Call, in 1944, and fascinating interviews with the actress expressing her thoughts on television, censorship, sex, and being one of the most famous sex symbols in Hollywood history. .
“I never liked the idea of doing television because people could turn me off,” Mae West said to Joyce Haber in 1968. .
Mae West: Broadcast Muse explores with hilarious details all the famed actress’ radio and television ventures – those that made it on the air, and the many more that didn’t – and bring the actress back to life in a way her fans have never seen before.
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