Bob Elliott (born 1923) and Ray Goulding (19221990) were an American comedy team whose career spanned five decades. Their format was typically to satirize the medium in which they were performing, such as conducting radio or television interviews, with off-the-wall dialogue presented in a generally deadpan style as though it were a serious interview.
Elliott and Goulding began on Boston radio. Each was a disc jockey with his own program on radio station WHDH-AM, and each would visit with the other while on the air. Their informal banter was so appealing that WHDH would call on them, as a team, to fill in when Red Sox baseball broadcasts were rained out. Elliott and Goulding (not yet known as Bob and Ray) would improvise comedy routines all afternoon, and joke around with studio musicians.
Elliott and Goulding's brand of humor caught on, and WHDH gave them their own weekday show in 1946. Matinee with Bob and Ray was originally a 15-minute show, soon expanding to half an hour. This is why Elliott and Goulding became known as Bob and Ray: it rhymed with "Matinee." Goulding later quipped, "If the word had been Matinob, we would have been Ray and Bob."
They continued on the air for over four decades on NBC, CBS, Mutual, on New York City local stations (WINS, WOR, WHN) and NPR, ending in 1987. In the 1970s they were the afternoon drive hosts on WOR.
They were regulars on NBC's Monitor, often on stand-by to go on the air at short notice if the program's planned segments developed problems, and they were also heard in a surprising variety of formats and timeslots, from a 15-minute series in mid-afternoon to their hour-long show aired weeknights just before midnight in 1954-55. During that same period, they did an audience participation game show, Pick and Play with Bob and Ray, which was short-lived. It came at a time when network pages filled seats for radio-TV shows by giving tickets to anyone in the street, and on Pick and Play the two comics were occasionally booed by audience members unfamiliar with the Bob and Ray comedy style.
Some of their radio episodes were released on recordings, and others were adapted into graphic story form for publication in Mad magazine. Their earlier shows were mostly ad-libbed, but later programs relied more heavily on scripts. While Bob and Ray wrote much of their material, their writers included Tom Koch, who scripted many of their best-known routines, and the pioneering radio humorist Raymond Knight. Bob Elliott later married Knight's widow. Another writer was Jack Beauvais, who had performed as a singer for WEEI in Boston during the 1930s and also worked for some of the big bands in the 1940s and 1950s.
276 radio shows (in MP3 format) all on 1 data CD!
Numbers refer to production or broadcast dates (yymmdd) and series number when known: