Cast: Jim and Marion Jordan
Fibber McGee and Molly
Jim and Marian Jordan as Fibber McGee and Molly. In the entertainment world of fakes and phonies, it is refreshing to find Jim and Marion Jordan, who were reported as being every bit the warm and loving couple in real life that they portrayed on the air. It is generally agreed that the success of their show stems from the fact that their characters had a basis in their real lives.
Jim was a farmer's son, born five miles west of Peoria, IL, who grew up wanting to sing. Marian (nee' Driscoll) was a coal miner's daughter, born in Peoria, who was drawn to the stage. The couple met while singing at St. John's Church. They were married in 1918, but five days after the wedding Jim was drafted for WWI. Arriving in France at the time of the Armistice, Jim toured with a performance troupe throughout post-war France. When he returned home the couple entered Vaudeville. At one point they considered taking their act to China, but being unable to bring their young children with them, the idea was scrapped.
They got their first taste of radio work as the result of a bet. While visiting suburban Chicago and listening to a radio set tuned to WIBO, they heard a singer who was murdering the song. Jim stated that he and Marian could do better, and there was $10 that said they couldn't. Then came a trip to the station where they managed to get on the air. The result was an offer for a once a week spot for the Oh Henry Candy Company as the O'Henry Twins for $10 a week. They managed to stay busy in the Chicago market for the next few years, when the Johnson Wax Company came calling.
Taken with the idea of using unknown's for their next show then letting the program grow into it's niche, the S.C. Johnson Company threw their lot with the Jordan's, and the result, as is said, became history.
Fibber McGee and Molly have their Star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame on the East side of the 1500 block of Vine Street.