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by Fred Allen

How to Become a Radio Sponsor

It Is Necessary to Begin Your Training From The Cradle If You Have Ambitions To Become a Backbone of Radio Industry

1933 - In this treatise you will learn HOW TO BECOME A SPONSOR for he is the backbone of the radio industry. Without him, there would be no Commercial Programs. Without Commercial Programs, radio systems could not afford to support Sustaining Features and minus the latter, radio entertainment would dwindle down to nothing but an unseen gentlemen hitting a musical note, or gong, every fifteen minutes throughout the day. The theme song of all broadcasting companies would be "That Old Gong of Mine" and listeners would be throwing radio sets out of windows in such quantities that it wouldn't be safe to walk the streets.

TO BECOME A SPONSOR it is well to be born a boy and the son of wealthy parents, named Boggs, if possible. If your father is the owner of a flourishing pig's foot business, so much the better. It will be yours, in years to come, and the bigger the business, the larger the radio program you will need to exploit your wares.

The first few years of the prospective sponsor's life should be devoted to the usual boyhood activities. Growing, school, leap-frog and whittling are recommended.

High school and college years should be passed over hurriedly. They can be utilized to stunt the sense of humor and to court a girl who is attending the local Conservatory of Music. If the girl plays the bag-pipes, and you finally marry her, it will be to your advantage. She will be a great help at auditions.

The years spent mastering your business and proving that you are the boss in your own home do not interest us. You are not yet... THE SPONSOR. It is only when you decide that the Pigs' Foot Business is on its last legs, and that you are going to put a Boggs Pigs' Foot Program on the air, that we are aware of your presence. From the morning you advise the advertising agency that you want to engage talent for the forthcoming radio premiere, you are known as "The SPONSOR". Overnight, from an obscure owner of an ex-thriving Pigs' Foot Business, you become a critical judge of singer, comedian and musician. Business conferences give way to auditions.

Prospective customers are pushed out of your office by anemic song-pluggers who smell blood. Your relatives, getting wind of your intentions, suddenly appear in droves telling you to be sure and hire their favorites. Trying to please everyone, you rush from audition to control room and run the gamut of talent from the eminent Colonel Stoopnagle to a crack-voiced niece who recites. Months pass and, hopelessly confused, you regret the day that radio crept into your conversation ... not to mention your life.

Meanwhile, your wife has been biding her time. To her, the singers have been flat and the comedians flatter. The Scat Callers have been too soft and the Crooners too loud. Your business has gone to the dogs and wins a Blue Ribbon at a Kennel Show. When you finally go on the air, the opening program consists of fifteen minutes of assorted bag-pipe concertos played by your wife and the Boggs Pigs' Foot Theme Song is "A Farewell to Arms". The next morning you arrive at the office to find that the critics have panned the bag-pipe soloist. Your wife is in tears. Thousands of Pan Letters arrive in the first mail. As you reach for the revolver that should be in the top drawer of your desk you know that the epitaph will read ... "Here Lies . . The Sponsor".

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