In the 1980’s, Frank Nelson wrote this summary of his career:
My career started in Denver, Colorado, in 1926. At a rather tender age, I auditioned for the part of a man in his 30’s with 30 other applicants. After a series of auditions, I was selected for the part. It was for a 26-week series featuring a married couple and was for a local bank. (Needless to say, I never did really understand the part.) My wife was played by a very lovely 32-year-old redhead. So much for missed opportunities. The show was on KOA. I next worked as an announcer at KFEL in Denver.
Left there and came to Hollywood, California at the end of 1929. Worked here on all of the local drama shows, mainly as a leading man, up to 1932. In 1932, returned to staff announcing and worked briefly for KGB in San Diego, then back to L.A., where I announced at KFAC-KFVD and KMTR. The night before I was to be married in January of 1933, I received a wedding present from KMTR — I was fired!
Returned to freelance acting and freelance announcing where I have remained ever since. Some of the better-known shows in Los Angeles during that period, on which I was the leading man, were “Tapestries of Life”, “The Three Musketeers”, “Vendetta”, “The Witches’ Tale”, “Makers of History”, “Calling All Cars”, etc.
It was not until 1933 that any transcontinental shows emanated from Hollywood. The First of these was a sustaining show done by RKO and was called “Hollywood on the Air”. I announced the show and also worked as an actor. Sometimes when a star scheduled to appear failed to show up, I did the star’s part, too. The show ran 1933 and part of 1934.
The first sponsored transcontinental show from here was called “Flywheel, Shyster and Flywheel”, and starred Groucho and Chico Marx. It ran for 26 weeks and I was on all of the shows. The show was done live from a movie sound stage on the RKO studio lot, as the NBC studios did not exist at that time.
The following list is composed of shows on which I worked during my career. The dates merely indicate the first time I performed on each. They are, of course, all network shows.
|Feb. 7||Burns & Allen|
|April 8||Hall of Fame|
|May 6||Chase & Sanborn|
|June 1||Jack Benny (38 years)|
|Oct. 3||Log Cabin|
|Feb. 13||Mary Pickford Show|
|Feb. 26||Bing Crosby Show|
|March 8||Hollywood Hotel (Leading Man for Motion Picture Stars)|
|June 4||Red Trails|
|June 29||Shell Chateau (Announced show for two years)|
|March 1||Leslie Howard|
|March 13||First Nighter|
|June 1||Lux Radio Theatre (Announcer for two years)|
|Oct. 1||Joe E. Brown Show (Featured Performer during run of show)|
|Jan. 4||Amos ‘N Andy|
|Jan. 12||The Al Jolson Show|
|Jan. 24||Walter Winchell|
|Feb. 16||Jack Oakie College|
|Feb. 17||Frank Morgan Show|
|April 25||Eddie Cantor Show|
|June 5||Grace Moore Show|
|Sept. 29||One Man’s Family|
|Nov. 14||Silver Theatre|
|Jan.16||Tyrone Power Show|
|April 1||Lum ‘N Abner|
|April 30||I opened the new CBS studios on Sunset Blvd., as I started every show starting a 6 AM and finishing at midnite. Charlie Vanda of CBS hired me for the day for $50.00. I later told him that had AFRA been in existence, it would have cost him a couple of thousand. To which he replied – “Hell, if AFRA had been in, I wouldn’t have hired you!”|
|July 3||Passing Parade|
|Sept. 29||Good News of 1938|
|Oct. 5||Texaco Star Theatre|
|Nov. 17||The MGM Show|
|Jan. 10||The Hedda Hopper Show|
|Jan. 30||Those We Love|
|Jan. 31||Fibber McGee & Molly|
|June 7||Kay Kyser’s Kollege|
|June 13||Big Town|
|July 24||Blondie (I was Herb Woodley, the next-door neighbor 6 yrs.)|
|Sept. 7||Good News of 1939|
|Nov. 6||Sherlock Holmes|
|Nov. 10||Sunkist Show|
|Dec. 23||Arch Oboler Show|
|Dec. 30||Gene Autry’s Melody Ranch|
|July 21||Signal Carnival|
|Oct. 18||I Want a Divorce|
|Oct. 24||Rudy Vallee Show|
|March 24||Point Sublime|
|April 24||Tommy Riggs Show|
|Sept. 12||3-Ring Time (39 weeks with Milton Berle)|
|Sept. 14||Great Gildersleeve|
|Oct. 12||Flagg and Quirt Show|
|Dec. 17||The Dizzy Duncans (Starred in show)|
|Dec. 30||Horace Heidt Show|
|Feb. 2||Orson Welles Show|
|March 29||The Screen Guild Show|
|Feb. 18||The Bob Burns Show|
|Feb. 28||The Ransom Sherman Show|
|June 30||Date With Judy|
|July 22||Roma Wine Show|
|Sept. 7||Judy Canova Show|
|Sept. 30||The Maxwell House Show|
|Jan. 4||Red Skelton Show|
|Jan. 13||Sealtest Show (Featured Performer over 2 years)|
|Jan. 23||Life of Riley|
|Feb. 23||Frank Sinatra Show|
|Feb. 26||Corliss Archer|
|March 3||People Are Funny|
|April 12||Dr. Christian|
|June 8||Dinah Shore Show|
|July 18||The Philip Morris Show|
|Sept. 14||The Joan Davis Show|
|Sept. 17||Toasties Time|
|Oct. 1||Hall of Fame|
|Oct. 29||Ozzie and Harriet|
|Jan. 6||The Danny Kaye Show|
|April 25||The Billie Burke Show|
|May 20||The Eddie Bracken Show|
|May 30||The Jack Carson Show|
|June 20||The Saint|
|Sept. 23||The Fannie Brice Show|
|Oct. 25||Abbott & Costello|
|Nov. 30||Durante-Moore Show|
|Jan. 6||The Baby Snooks Show (worked weekly thru entire series)|
|March 15||The Ginny Simms Show|
|May 3||Duffy’s Tavern|
|June 7||The Alan Young Show|
|June 8||The Jack Kirkwood Show|
|Oct. 3||The Dick Haymes Show|
|Oct. 8||Bob Hope Show|
|Oct. 13||The Phil Harris Show|
|Nov. 19||My Friend Irma|
|May 12||The Victor Borge Show|
|May 28||The Dennis Day Show|
|Oct. 19||Meet Me At Parky’s (Featured Performer thruout Series)|
|Nov. 26||The Jack Paar Show|
|Jan. 30||The Danny Thomas Show|
|Feb. 4||The Tony Martin Show|
|Feb. 11||The Jimmy Durante Show|
|June 17||Hallmark Theatre|
|June 26||Steve Allen Show|
|Sept. 27||Our Miss Brooks|
|Oct. 16||My Favorite Husband|
|Jan. 30||Life With Luigi|
|April 5||Martin & Lewis|
|Jan. 27||Screen Directors Playhouse|
|June 15||Sara’s Caper|
|March 28||Dr. Christian|
|Feb. 3||Donald O’Connor Show (TV)|
|Feb. 27||Eb & Zeb (TV)|
|March 9||Jack Benny (TV)|
|April 11||I Love Lucy (TV)|
|May 21||Edgar Bergen Show|
|Oct. 17||Corliss Archer|
|April 5||Life With Luigi (TV)|
|June 16||My Little Margie|
|June 27||Saturday Nite Revue (TV)|
|Jan. 11||The Ray Milland Show|
|Jan. 30||The Roy Rogers Show|
|July 28||Make Room for Daddy (TV)|
|Feb. 1||Private Secretary (TV)|
|June 28||Climax (TV)|
|Oct. 14||Sally (TV)|
|Feb. 13||Shower of Stars (TV)|
|Feb. 19||The Betty White Show (TV)|
|Nov. 19||The Real McCoys (TV)|
|Feb. 26||I Married Joan (TV)|
|April 8||The Flintstones (TV)|
|July 28||Dennis the Menace (TV)|
|Sept. 22||Oh, Those Bells (TV)|
|Feb. 15||Angel (TV)|
|Dec. 12||Pete & Gladys (TV)|
|Jan. 2||The Phil Silvers Show|
|Aug. 27||The Addams Family (TV)|
|Dec. 13||Petticoat Junction (TV)|
Actually from 1961 on, I have concentrated my work in the commercials field, plus Jack Benny Specials. For the past 18 years, I have been the voice of the symbol of Harris Trust and Savings in Chicago. I am Hubert, the Harris Lion.
My most recent credits would be “The Oddball Couple”, a cartoon series in which I co-star with Paul Winchell. He plays Fleabag, the slob dog, and I am Spiffy, the elegant cat. Also a number of “Sanford and Son” shows.
As well as performing as an actor, I announced such shows as “Hollywood on the Air”, “Lux Radio Theatre”, “Shell Chateau”, “The Al Jolson Show”, and others.
Worked as a leading man opposite Motion Picture Stars on shows such as “Hollywood Hotel”, “The Leslie Howard Show”, “Texaco Star Theatre”, “Screen Directors Playhouse”, “Arch Oboler”, etc.
For Hanna-Barbera – “Dinky & Dog”, “Snorks”.
I’m curious who is posting this site? Is it a member of Mr. Nelson’s family. I’m a fan of Frank’s too. I’ve only seen him interviewed twice but I was impressed with his personality and who he was as a performer. I’m just curious as to who loves him enough to dedicate a site to him.
Hi, Heather. My name is Mike Schryver and I operate the site. I started it in the early days of the web when I was looking for a subject to write a web site about, and later a member of Frank’s family contacted me and asked me to post some material they forwarded to me, which now makes up most of the site.
please recall his spots on Sanford & Son.
Once he was an airline pilot , another a shopkeeper. I don’t recall any others.
I’m 56 years old and a lifelong fan of Mr. Frank Nelson, whom I still remember very fondly after all these years. I’ve always thought that he had a rare talent that somehow allowed him to be witty, classy (in a wholesome, family-oriented, non-sexual sort of way), not boring and genuinely funny at the same time. His jokes and put-ons have definitely stood the test of time and harken back to much simpler, less pessimistic times for American society. His interviews (of which he gave quite a few throughout his life) showed him to be a warm and thoughtful human being as well. God bless him for all the laughter and joy he’s brought to millions and may God rest his soul.
I’ve always enjoyed Frank Nelson’s work. As a kid we used to crack up when he did Flinstone voice overs. His trade mark YYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYES would automatically have everyone trying to replicate it.
This site is a true treasure. To be able to learn more about Frank Nelson, his work and his instrumental role with AFTRA appropriately honors his life and legacy. This is a most thorough and comprehensive collection of honors, credits and memories. You have created an excellent tribute to Frank Nelson. Congratulations and thank you.
This is a great site. I thought my husband and I were the only ones obsessed with the Eee-Yeeeessss Man!
I suspect there are PLENTY of us out there who truly appreciate Mr. Nelson’s style of comedy and miss him terribly.
I’m 47 years old so I’m probably the kid of love this fanbase. But growing up in New York City, and watching mass quantities of vintage TV reruns and I Love Lucy…. I grew up loving this character actor and his iconic phrases over the years. A great comedic actor and I’m happy I know more about him. I’ll try my best to keep the flame alive to younger Generations
Way before I was born my father worked at manage studios in Hollywood for radio shows and then later for television shows as a studio musician and then he got the job with Desi Arnaz and Lucille Ball for the I Love Lucy show for 10 years my dad knew Frank personally in fact Frank and sold him a keystone movie camera and projector which my family still has to this day I noticed no one‘s mentioned that he sold those I was born in 1950 so we had it when I came along and we watch all the whole movies to this day. My father Dale Nicholls played Trombone
My parents had the movie camera since approximately 1942. From dates in our movies