Bob Elliott 1923-2016
We are saddened to hear that comedian Bob Elliott passed away on February 2nd. His most notable work, as one half of the comedic duo “Bob and Ray”, will always be remembered and we offer our condolences to his family and friends. In memory of Bob Elliott, below is an interview from 2013 where he and David Pollack, author of Bob and Ray, Keener Than Most Persons spoke with radio legend Joe Franklin.
By the established comedy conventions of their era, Bob Elliott and Ray Goulding were true game changers. Never playing to the balcony, Bob and Ray instead entertained each other. Because they believed in their nuanced characters and absurd premises, their audience did, too. Their parodies – broadcasting about broadcasting – existed in their own special universe. A complete absence of show-biz slickness set them apart from the very institution they were mocking, yet were still a part of. They resisted being called comedians and never considered themselves “an act.”
Bob and Ray, Keener Than Most Persons traces the origins and development of the pair’s unique sensibility that defined their dozens of local and network radio and TV series, later motion picture roles, Carnegie Hall performances, and hit Broadway show Bob and Ray – The Two and Only.
Together for 43 years (longer than Laurel and Hardy, Burns and Allen, Abbott and Costello, and Martin and Lewis), the twosome deflected all intrusions into the personalities behind their many masks and the dynamics of their relationship, and rarely elaborated on their career trajectory or methodology. Now, with the full cooperation of Bob Elliott and of Ray Goulding’s widow, Liz, together with insights from numerous colleagues, their craft and the culture that made them so relevant is explored in depth.