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March 18, 2007



There was a UK comic much like Walter Tetley -- a pint-sized actor (4'3") named Jimmy Clitheroe whose voice never broke and who played smartass little boys on the radio (THE CLITHEROE KID) for years.


thanks! ''the rocky and bullwinkle book'' is large and has plot outlines for the ....get this... 335 episodes of r&b. 335 you say? yes. their plot lines had the cia, kgb, and aliens manipulating things thru the military industrial complex, and other bannable things. uhhhhh... yeah! most have never been broadcast twice, and are unavailable. 8((. a great book.
thanks again!

Dale Hazelton

Wow! I can't imagine how much time this post took to put together with all the information and links....amazing. Richard Crenna also had a youthful adnoidal thing down pat (obviously forced), most notably in the character of Walter in "Our Miss Brooks" (Eve Arden pre-"Mothers-in-Laws").

There is a great show for Hudson Valley folk on WVKR Sunday nights, and you can hear lots of great old radio comedies/dramas, complete with commercials for just how smooth Lucky Strike cigarettes can be and how cleanly "Blue Coal" will heat your house. I miss those days of the big old GERITOL sign behind hopefuls on the Amateur Hour, or Jack Benny pitching Pepsodent in the middle of his skits. But I suppose it actually never changed, American Idol could just as easily be called "The Coca-Cola Talent Hour".

Nate Whilk

Great post! One small problem - I got a 404 on that Peabody and Sherman cereal commercial.

Is this the TV prune commercial with Tetley?

Art Shifrin

This is very interesting and appreciated, but why must you disparagingly refer to Freddie Mercer as a "nobody"? I'd never heard of him until reading your entry. He evidently had potentially meaningful talent. For unknown reasons his career did not flourish. Could YOU sing with a major American City's symphonic orchestra? Could you be featured in a film opposite the likes of Roddy McDowell? If not, then by your apparent standards, what does that make you?

Listener Kliph

Art Shiffrin, I am definitely more of a nobody than Freddie Mercer. Compared to Tetley's experience and radio star power Mercer was, by historical standards, not even a blip on the radar.

Ted Hering

Walter never worked for Spike Jones, but the two DID appear weekly in 1943 on radio's "Bob Burns Show." Walter played a newspaper office go-fer named Dewey, and Spike Jones and his City Slickers was the house band.

By the way, an actor named Ray Hartley was Australia's answer to Walter Tetley. He played a charachter much like Leroy on the radio show, "Life with Dexter."

Kip W

Jim C., a commenter at YouTube says the actor in that scene is Ronald Long. (That's the prune ad I always remember. I'd like to see Tetley's.)


Thank you so much for this post. I love Walter's character (Julius Abruzio) in the "Phil Harris & Alice Faye" shows. I have always wanted to know more about this talented actor...thanks for shedding a little more light on one of my favorite actors!!


thanks you so much,
same you, i love walter's character.

Lynn Wagar

Thank you for this wonderful story on Walter!! I love every thing he did!! He never got the credit or rewards he deserved
and his last few years of life and death were a lonely and tragic ending to a wonderful person. I can only hope that some
how he knows what a differance he made while he was on earth and
is still making every day!!

Many Many Thanks!!


Mark Neyrinck

Thank you very much!
What a GREAT work to remember Walter. Like the others I cannot hope and pray enough that all the voices and talent behind the People and Emotions we have come to love, know how much we miss them.
I was lucky enough to let my love of the BBC radio pull me into Old Time Radio. Being from cent IL I have the pleasure of knowing many of the places Fibber and Molly mention regularly. On my wall is a framed disc of an actual Fibber and Molly broadcast. What would it be without Gildy? And what would have
become of Gildy without Leroy and the talent of Walter.
My kids (one of whom has served in Iraq twice) still get a kick out looking at dad and saying loudly... "ARE YOU KIDDIN?!"
My children will never know a time without the INTERNET.
My kids will also never know a time without Walter. He is still here and there...
Thanks again for the site and work.


I didn't think it was necessary characterize Ezra Stone from "The Aldrich Family" radio show as "a fat, chain-smoking Jew" (b.f.d., people. Grow up. Do you REALLY expect any of us actually to "gasp"?). Anyone who has any knowledge of "The Aldrich Family" or who was alive in the 1940s knows very well that Ezra Stone was Jewish. I find it anti-Semitic even to make mention of it. Furthermore, if you don't care for the show, then that's YOUR opinion and you're entitled to it, but I don't agree with it. The show was always funny with Henry's idiotic screw-ups and Homer's "sweet geek" demeanor--Henry's best buddy! And Henry's parents Sam and Alice and his sister Mary were a picture of a close, loving family in spite of their blow-ups and arguments. What exactly, is nauseating about that? Nothing at all.


I think Tetley was Speedy Alka-seltzer. They play all these shows on Serius satalite radio..


Awesome work! Never heard of him befor but I had to write a report on a actor and I randomly picked him. Your piece was a great help!


Your blog is really interesting! I have to say, I love walter's character.



Dick Beals was the voice of Speedy.
B.T.W. I actually know someone with a similar disorder who is now taking hormone replacement therapy. Kind of odd, watching someone go through accelerated puberty.

Ben Ohmart

It's good to see Tetley remember. I wrote the book on him. There need to be more voice actor books out there!

Information Security

Seriously smart data, here. Thanks for posting it.

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