28 August 2012

28 August - Charlie McCarthy; Charles Cocktail

Today in 1938 on the Charlie McCarthy Show (radio), Ralph Dennis, the Dean of the School of Speech at Northwestern University awarded an honorary degree of Master of Innuendo and Snappy Comeback to Charlie McCarthy, seen here in a candid moment.  Among other things, the award stated that he was “…churlish in behavior, acid in conversation, wooden-faced in all relationships, and thus in many respects a typical product of higher education in America.” [so true]

(If you are too young to remember Edgar Bergen and Charlie McCarthy, read about them here in a 1995 Old Time Radio article by Read G. Burgan, and on Wikipedia.)

This was not the first time a degree was awarded to a dummy. 

It certainly wasn’t the last.

No one ever claimed there was anything honorable in honorary degrees.


To celebrate Charlie’s M.A. (or M.I.S.C.?), enjoy a CHARLES COCKTAIL:

1 ¼ ounces Sweet Vermouth
1 ¼ ounces Brandy
1 dash of Bitters
Stir well with cracked ice and strain into a 3-ounce cocktail glass.

A few of those and you too will have sawdust for brains.