Very much in demand as a screen star, in 1933 MAE WEST was approached by a radio sponsor to do some ads for a lady's face cream. Her salary would have been $6,500 a week and NBC was the broadcast network.
• • Here's the secret story about how it came together, then fell apart.
• • cherchez la femme • •
• • New York City native and first lady Eleanor Roosevelt [1884 — 1962] did not approve of the Brooklyn bombshell, as it turns out.
• • Radio Guide columnist Martin J. Porter wrote: Like all the rest of the tribe that slaves at writing radio items, 1 had looked forward to the radio debut of Mae West on an imminent commercial as something that would provide and provoke many comments. I had anticipated with diabolical glee the squawks that would arise from the Parent-Teacher associations, and from the gentlemen of the cloth. There surely would be a great to-do also over the type of material that Mae would have to use, because without strictly Mae Westian material, the sponsor might just as well have used Aimee Semple McPherson.
• • Martin J. Porter explained: But all my fond expectations have come to naught. Mae West, although having been voted a $6,500-a-week salary, and although time was cleared and everything set for Miss West to exploit a face cream, isn’t going on the air at all, at all.
• • Martin J. Porter wrote: When you ask the sponsor why not, you’ll be told there was trouble over money. The NBC will probably tell you the same thing But the real low-down is this: Neither sponsor nor network is willing to take a chance on Mae West — — not after learning of the way Mrs. Franklin D. Roosevelt feels about pictures and dialogue of the type that Mae West brought into popularity.
• • Martin J. Porter observed: The radio men and advertisers have been reading or hearing about recent addresses by Mrs. Roosevelt, before women’s organizations, in which she politely, but unmistakably deplored a trend toward salacious advertisements by the movies, ballyhooing pictures in which the gals were voluptuous and sirenish, and in which the language is not what you’d expect to hear in a conventional drawing room. Will Hays became aware, too, of the First Lady’s objections to recent screen trends, they say, by means of a letter from Washington.
• • Martin J. Porter continued: Having learned about all this, the radio gents and the sponsors decided that perhaps it would be best all around if Mae West didn’t become a radio personality. So radio won't go West. . . .
• • Source: Excerpt from an article "Reviewing Radio" written by Martin J. Porter for Radio Guide; published on the week ending 23 December 1933.
• • On Monday, 20 June 1932 • •
• • Eleanor Barnes, a columnist for the Los Angeles Illustrated Daily News wrote this: Mae West — — big and buxom — — no indeed, svelte and blonde, blew in on the Chief from New York, tired, not cranky, but peeved at the Great American desert for providing her with weather that was too torrid for even Mae to work in. "Diamond Lil" has yet to see a movie studio first-hand. She has never even seen a talkie made — — even in Gotham. But this oversight will be a thing of the past today when Mae gets over to Paramount studios where she is to play the leading role in "Night After Night. ..." Her coverage was published on Monday, 20 June 1932 in the Los Angeles Illustrated Daily News.
• • On Saturday, 20 June 2009 in Iowa • •
• • Mae West's play "The Drag" was back onstage on Saturday night, 20 June 2009, thanks to Dreamwell Theatre in Iowa.
• • Overheard in Hollywood • •
• • Hedda Hopper once asked Mae West how she knew so much about men. “Baby,” replied the sex star, “I went to night school.”
• • In Her Own Words • •
• • Mae West said: "I'm sorry I didn't know the fleet was coming in tomorrow as I certainly would have come down then. I'm very patriotic that way."
• • Quote, Unquote • •
• • A Hollywood columnist mentioned Mae West.
• • "Mae West... there ll be plumes!" • •
• • It wouldn't be Carmen Miranda without her inverted fruit basket. Ditto for Mae West's Diamond Lil chapeaux, large and lavish. Although Mae goes tropical in "Tropicana," you can bet your old gray bonnet ostrich feathers will be sticking out of every crevice. . . .
• • Source: Item from Hedda Hopper's syndicated column; published on Sunday, 29 August 1943
• • The Mae West Blog celebrates its 11th anniversary • •
• • Thank
you for reading, sending questions, and posting comments during these
past eleven years. The other day we entertained 3,497 visitors. And we
reached a milestone recently when we completed 3,400 blog posts. Wow!
• • By the Numbers • •
• • The Mae West Blog was started eleven years ago in July 2004. You are reading the 3467th
Unlike many blogs, which draw upon reprinted content from a
newspaper or a magazine and/ or summaries, links, or photos, the
mainstay of this blog is its fresh material focused on the life and
career of Mae West, herself an American original.
• • Come up and see Mae every day online: http://MaeWest.blogspot.com/
• • Photo: • • Mae West • • in 1943 • •
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