Bob Elliott

As one-half of the legendary comedy team Bob and Ray, Bob Elliott influenced several generations of comic talent with four decades of gently offbeat and satiric routines for radio and television, all delivered in ... Read more »

Born: 03/26/1923 in Boston, Massachusetts, USA

Filmography

Actor (15)

Lateline 1999 - 2000 (Tv Show)

Actor

Cabin Boy 1994 (Movie)

William Mayweather (Actor)

Get a Life! 1990 - 1992 (TV Show)

Actor

Quick Change 1990 (Movie)

Bank Guard (Actor)

Chris Elliott's FDR -- A One-Man Show 1987 - 1988 (TV Show)

Actor

Action Family 1986 - 1987 (TV Show)

Actor

The Night of 100 Stars II 1984 - 1985 (TV Show)

Actor

It Only Hurts When You Laugh 1982 - 1983 (TV Show)

Actor

Author! Author! 1982 (Movie)

Patrick Dicker (Actor)

From Cleveland 1980 - 1981 (TV Show)

Actor

Comedy News 1972 - 1973 (TV Show)

Actor

Between Time and Timbuktu 1971 (Movie)

(Actor)

Cold Turkey 1971 (Movie)

Telecaster Impressions (Actor)

Happy Days (TV Show)

Actor
Production Management (1)

A Stranger to Love (TV Show)

Location Manager
Writer (1)
Other (3)

Summer in February 2013 (Movie)

Hunt Master (Animal Trainer)

He Said, She Said 1991 (Movie)

(Driver)

Rush 1991 (Movie)

(Driver)

Biography

As one-half of the legendary comedy team Bob and Ray, Bob Elliott influenced several generations of comic talent with four decades of gently offbeat and satiric routines for radio and television, all delivered in deadpan style with his partner, Ray Goulding. Born Robert Brackett Elliott on March 26, 1923 in Boston, Massachusetts, Bob Elliott began his radio career as a disc jockey for the local station WHDH-AM. There, he met and frequently engaged in humorous on-air banter with Goulding, who worked for the station as a news reader. Their improvised conversations soon won them a following and their own program, a weekday show called "Matinee with Bob and Ray," in 1946. The afternoon broadcast established Bob and Ray's unique brand of humor, which skewered the conventions of radio drama and news with dry, intelligent humor. Soap operas, mysteries, quiz shows, man-on-the-street interviews and homemaker segments were all spun into quiet exercises in verbal surrealism by Bob and Ray's routines, as were self-professed experts of all stripes, who invariably revealed their own ineptitude while attempting to convince listeners of their superior talents. Both performers also essayed numerous recurring characters, with Elliott's stable counting the hapless news reporter Wally Ballou, fast-talking sports announcer Biff Burns and the spokesperson for the Slow Talkers of America, who drove Goulding's interviewer into a frenzy with his delayed responses to questions, among its number. The popularity of Bob and Ray's Boston-area show led to similar assignments on national broadcasting networks and several stations in New York, as well as occasional forays into television, most notably the 15-minute "Bob & Ray" (NBC, 1951-53) which also featured young starlets Cloris Leachman and Audrey Meadows. They received greater exposure during this period as the voices of two animated pitchmen for Piels Beer, which led to the pair's own advertising voice-over company, Goulding Elliott Greybar. In the 1970s, Bob and Ray were introduced to a whole new audience through animated segments for "The Electric Company" (PBS, 1971-77) and a 1979 TV special for NBC that teamed them with Jane Curtin, Laraine Newman and Gilda Radner from "Saturday Night Live" (NBC, 1975- ). They also made their Broadway debut with "The Two and Only" in 1970 and a 1984 follow-up, "A Night of Two Stars," in 1984. Their final radio show was a 1987 stint with National Public Radio, which aired shortly before Goulding's death in 1990. Elliott's career continued on television as a co-star on his son Chris Elliott's bizarre cult sitcom "Get a Life" (Fox, 1990-92) and as an occasional performer on radio, most notably with Garrison Keillor's American Radio Company of the Air. Bob and Ray were inducted into the National Association of Broadcasters Hall of Fame in 1995, while their unique brand of humor was feted in press and print by the likes of David Letterman, Al Franken and Kurt Vonnegut, Jr. In 2010, Elliott's granddaughter, Abby Elliott, continued in the family tradition by joining the cast of "Saturday Night Live."

Relationships

Abby Elliott Actor

Granddaughter

Chris Elliott Actor

Son

Milestones

1990

Co-stars with son Chris Elliott on "Get a Life"

1979

NBC Special, "Bob & Ray, Jane & Laraine & Gilda"

1970

Contribute to "The Electric Company"

1952

Wins the Peabody Award

1951

Debuts on national radio with NBC

1946

First radio show with Ray Goulding, "Matinee with Bob and Ray"

Bonus Trivia

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Signed off each program with his catch phrase, "This is Bob Elliott, reminding you to hang by your thumbs."

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With Goulding, he co-hosted an audience participation show, "Pick and Play with Bob and Ray," in 1954. The audiences, which were culled from passers-by on the street through free ticket giveaways, frequently booed the performers because they were unfamiliar with their style of comedy.

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Many of their radio routines were adapted into illustrated pieces for Mad magazine.

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Elliott frequently played any child characters on their radio shows, while Goulding used a falsetto voice for female characters.

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With Goulding, he wrote the children's book Linda Lovely and the Fleebus (1960).

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When granddaughter Abby Elliott joined the cast of "Saturday Night Live," she was the third generation of her family to appear on the sketch comedy series.

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