Flywheel, Shyster & Flywheel Series 3

1st Broadcast 11th July to 22nd August 1992 BBC Radio 4

 

Producer

Dirk Maggs

 

Director

Dirk Maggs

 

Adaptation

Mark Brisenden

 

Produced for

BBC Radio Light Entertainment BBC Radio 4/2

 

Synopsis

Something of an event in radio comedy history: a selection of recovered scripts from this 1930s Marx Brothers radio show,

written by Nat Perrin and Arthur Sheekman and first broadcast on the American NBC network, were adapted and performed before modern audiences.

This experiment proved highly successful, and there were 3 series in total produced.

The last series was six episodes, and is notable as Spike Milligan appears in a couple of the episodes.

 

Episode 1

Crexton Mansion. In which Flywheel and Ravelli sleep over with a ghost.

 

Show Recorded on 15th March 1992

First BBC Broadcast:BBC Radio 4, 1030-1100 Saturday 11th July, 1992

 

Based on the Nat Perrin & Arthur Sheekman script for FSF Episode 20, April 10th 1933

Song: Life Is So Peculiar (Burke/Van Heusen/Lazarus/Vosburgh, pub. Harmo Bros Music

Signature Tune & Links: Hooray For Captain Spaulding (Bert Kalmar & Harry Ruby, pub. Harmo Bros Music)

 

Episode 2

The Laughing Hyena. In which Flywheel and Ravelli go prospecting.

 

Show Recorded on 8th March 1992

First BBC Broadcast:BBC Radio 4, 1030-1100 Saturday 18th July, 1992

 

Based on the Nat Perrin & Arthur Sheekman script for FSF Episode 22, April 24th 1933

Song: Omaha Nebraska (Groucho Marx & Harry Ruby, pub. Harry Ruby Music)

Signature Tune & Links: Hooray For Captain Spaulding (Bert Kalmar & Harry Ruby, pub. Harmo Bros Music)

 

Episode 3

Fly By Wheel Tours. In which Flywheel and Ravelli inherit a bus.

 

Show Recorded on 15th March 1992

First BBC Broadcast:BBC Radio 4, 1030-1100 Saturday 25th July, 1992

 

Based on the Nat Perrin & Arthur Sheekman script for FSF Episode 24, May 8th 1933

Song: Gorgonzola (Sarony/Moore/Lazarus/Vosburgh, pub. Lawrence Wright Music)

Signature Tune & Links: Hooray For Captain Spaulding (Bert Kalmar & Harry Ruby, pub. Harmo Bros Music)

 

Episode 4

The Chicago Clarion. In which Flywheel and Ravelli get a scoop.

 

Show Recorded on 22nd March 1992

First BBC Broadcast:BBC Radio 4, 1030-1100 Saturday 1st August, 1992

 

Based on the Nat Perrin & Arthur Sheekman scripts

Song: My Brother Makes The Noises For The Talkies (Amberg/Raymond/Bernauer/Ege/Lazarus/Vosburgh)

Signature Tune & Links: Hooray For Captain Spaulding (Bert Kalmar & Harry Ruby, pub. Harmo Bros Music)

 

Episode 5

Coney Island. In which Flywheel and Ravelli join the carnival.

 

Show Recorded on 8th March 1992

First BBC Broadcast:BBC Radio 4, 1030-1100 Saturday 8th August, 1992

 

Based on the Nat Perrin & Arthur Sheekman script for FSF Episode 18, March 27th 1933

Song: Sing Me A Sensible Song (Lazarus/Vosburgh, pub.)

Signature Tune & Links: Hooray For Captain Spaulding (Bert Kalmar & Harry Ruby, pub. Harmo Bros Music)

 

Episode 6

Miracle On Eatwell Street. In which Flywheel and Ravelli cook up a Christmas.

 

Show Recorded on 22/03/1992

First BBC Broadcast:BBC Radio 4, 1030-1100 Saturday 15th August, 1992

 

Based on the Nat Perrin & Arthur Sheekman script for FSF Episode 5, December 26th 1932

Song: I’ve Got A Little List (Gilbert & Sullivan/Lazarus/Vosburgh, arr. Firman

Signature Tune & Links: Hooray For Captain Spaulding (Bert Kalmar & Harry Ruby, pub. Harmo Bros Music)

 

Cast for all Episodes

Character

Actor
The Announcer

Graham Hoadly

Groucho Marx
Michael Roberts
Chico Marx
Frank Lazarus
All the ladies
Waldorf T Flywheel
Michael Roberts
Emmanuel Ravelli
Frank Lazarus
Madame Zodiac
Zelda Harlow
Clark Dearborn Jr.
Arnie Hemingsley
Vincent Marzello
Melvin The Lifeguard
Vincent Marzello
Cyrus Braxly
Vincent Marzello
The Kind Old Gentleman
Vincent Marzello
Restaurant Captain
Vincent Marzello
Chuck
Dick Vosburgh
Old Vanus
Dick Vosburgh
Colonel Thistledown
Hortense
Mean Waitress
Mr McBride The Landlord

Graham Hoadly

Mr Cordwell
Daisy Maisy
Prune Face
Judge Milligan
Spike Milligan
Mr Moody
Dick Vosburgh
Donald Spotnik
Dick Vosburgh
Mr Gruber The Tailor
Herbert Meekfellow
Laughing Hyena
Old Prospector
Redwood Lil
Cop
Vincent Marzello
Mayor Beauregard Watkins
Spike Milligan
Imogen Crexton
Eddy Nelson the Mountie
Vincent Marzello
Mr Chairman

 

Production Crew

None at this time

 

Recorded at

The Paris Studio, Lower Regent Street, London England

 

Music composed & Arranged

None at this time

 

Comment by Dirk Maggs

My favourite audience series was a re-creation of long-lost Marx Brothers shows of the early 1930s. Although some of the old shows have since come to light, at the time we recorded these it was like opening Tutankhamun’s tomb, a treasure horde of delightfully crazy humour.


The great thing about audience shows is doing the effects live on stage. BBC Radio Light Entertainment tended to have the effects operator hidden away behind curtains so they wouldn’t distract the audience! A few Light Entertainment Producers like me have reasoned over the years that the spot effects are part of the entertainment so we brought the operator out front. And in the case of ‘Flywheel’ we dressed him or her up as Harpo!


Michael Roberts who played Groucho came out with such good ad libs that I was always happy to cut scripted gags to keep them ... one great one was when he and Frank as Flywheel and Ravelli find themselves in a pigsty - the rest of the cast pushed in to make pig voices - and Mike ad libbed, 'Imagine - two nice Jewish boys surrounded by ham' - it brought the house down.


I was very proud that same show won a Gold Medal at the 1992 New York Festivals.

 

Running Time

6 Episodes in series each 30 Minutesl ong

 

Other Items

Flywheel, Shyster & Flywheel Series 1

Flywheel, Shyster & Flywheel Series 2

Flywheel, Shyster & Flywheel Series 3

Useful Page

Orginal Programme Script for Episode 12

 

Cast Pictures

Flywheel Cast

Regular Cast Members in Flywheel, Shyster and Flywheel


L-R, Lorelei King, Frank Lazarus, Dick Vosburgh, Michael Roberts, Spike Milligan, Graham Hoadly

Photo Graham Hoadly

Lorelei King
Lorelei King

 

 

Home | Contact | Biography | Production Credits

Productions Year By Year | Productions By Decade

Productions an A-Z | Productions By Category

Bibliography: The Complete Radio Production Listing