From time to time, for my monthly cartoons in CQ Amateur Radio Magazine, I draw a “dubious moment in radio history.” It’s almost always based on some actual momentous occasion, but with a dumb anachronistic punchline.
For instance, in 2012, a Georgetown law student testified to Congress in favor of legal access to birth control. Rush Limbaugh called her a “slut” and a “prostitute.” Dozens of sponsors pulled their advertising from his show.
I quickly drew a cartoon for CQ‘s then-sister publication, Popular Communications, which depicted legendary old-time radio announcer Graham McNamee getting in trouble in the 1930s for referring to a woman who wore trousers as a “harlot”:
I thought it was a pretty obvious joke that everyone would get until someone emailed me and asked, “Did Graham McNamee really do that?” Oops.
Anyway, the first live play-by-play of a hockey game did happen on Feb. 8, 1923, over Toronto’s CFCA. A reporter for the Toronto Star, Norman Albert, described the third period of a game at the old Mutual Street Arena between two Ontario Hockey Association clubs, Midland and North Toronto. (History records that North Toronto gave Midland a 16-4 thumping.)
I couldn’t find any photos of Norman Albert, so I based the announcer in the cartoon on Foster Hewitt, the original host of “Hockey Night in Canada” on radio and TV, and a contemporary of Albert’s.
In real life, according to the 99% Invisible podcast, the “bleep” tone to censor naughty words was actually invented in the 1950s.
As always, these cartoons are posted after they appear in CQ Amateur Radio Magazine. If you want to see them when they’re new, you’ll have to subscribe. A digital subscription is just $30 per year.