The Gornisht Artificial Cheese Dan and Jay’s Comedy Hour Premieres on WEPN NY

The Gornisht Company stuck with Dan and Jay’s Comedy Hour after the success of The Gornisht Roll in 1893.  They continued to fund new comedy projects as they came along, and, in 1922, agreed to sponsor the duo’s first radio program.  Comedy Hour was presented by Gornisht Artificial Cheese, a product developed from their failed attempt at the creation of a stable phonograph cylinder.  Using the word “roll” as their inspiration, the Gornisht Company developed further uses for their petroleum-based products, many of which were deemed not only edible but potentially “health-worthy,” as early ads touted.

Comedy Hour was one of the earliest sketch shows on radio, as well as one of the first radio shows with a live audience.  Adapting some of their classic sketches, they also developed new characters, two of which became household names within month of the show’s premiere.  Captain Middlestout and Pord were two mismatched uncles who managed, through a series of mistaken identity gags, to become the leader of a different country, each week.

While the first week they became the Prime Ministers of Canada, in subsequent episodes they made up “funny-sounding” countries with “made up” accents to avoid insulting any marginalized groups.  Over the next seven years, they’d stumble upon an existing accent or country they didn’t realize actually exists only seventeen times.

Author: Jay