Henry Morgan was one of the rare radio stars of the nineteen forties to approach comedy from an intellectual stand point. Most popular comedy personalities relied on a stable of writers and "switch" jokes (bits that featured minor changes on a tired routine in attempt to sell them off as a new gag). Fred Allen, Henry Morgan, Stan Freberg and Bob & Ray were all popular during their era and were some of the first to break away from the old manner of operating. Yet the names tossed around today as the stars of old time radio comedy remain Jack Benny, Bob Hope, Red Skelton, Amos n' Andy, and for some reason, Fibber McGee and Molly. Not to take anything away from these often very funny performers and their respective shows (Okay, we'll take a little bit away from Amos n' Andy) but several decades later we should be able to acknowledge those whose comedy holds up as still funny and relevant. Those are the performers who, in retrospect, are the true stars of old time radio and deserve reverence today (I enjoy Bob Hope and probably listen to his Pepsodent radio program far more often than any young boy in his twenties should, but let's be realistic - most of it doesn't hold up).
Henry Morgan saw through all that was phony and contrived in the world of American media and held it in contempt. While most performers in early television pretended that dancing girls dressed as giant packs of cigarettes was perfectly normal, Morgan was pointing out the lunacy.
Morgan found television insipid but, incongruously, received his greatest fame as a game show panelist. That didn't soften his disposition any, although it may have humbled him somewhat. Listening to The Henry Morgan Show today is refreshing. Radio sponsors (that is to say corporate America) so dominated radio and television in the thirties, forties and fifties that it was rare to hear a point of view that contradicted that of R.J. Reynolds, Procter and Gamble or The United Fruit Company. Listening to Henry Morgan is to reassure us about the time period. Not everybody was Joseph McCarthy and not everybody bought the premise of the Cold War. Seven out of ten doctors did not actually recommend the leading brand of cigarette nor did most people believe that they did. Just as today, corporate media represented a minority opinion. A very wealthy and powerful minority that, were it not for voices like Henry Morgan's, we might believe represented the majority of Americans.