Duffy’s Tavern was a radio comedy series featuring tavern manager Archie, his get-rich-quick schemes, and his well-known guest stars.
The familiar opening song “When Irish Eyes Are Smiling” is interrupted by the ring of a telephone and actor Ed Gardner’s New Yorkese accent as he answered, “Hello, Duffy’s Tavern, where the elite meet to eat. Archie the manager speakin’. Duffy ain’t here—oh, hello, Duffy.”
Duffy’s Tavern, first heard in 1940, was cocreated and written by Ed Gardner, who played Archie, the manager of Duffy’s Tavern, which was a flea-infested dive in New York City. Archie’s abuse of the English language quickly became a favorite feature of the show. Regulars on the show included Duffy’s man-hungry daughter Miss Duffy; Clifton Finnegan, the classic village idiot, played by Charlie Cantor; Eddie the waiter, played by Eddie Green; and Clancy the cop, played by Alan Reed. Duffy himself was never heard on the show; he was an absentee owner who left the daily operations to Archie.
Archie was always trying to get rich quick, and his harmless schemes often involved weekly guests who were well-known stars, including Shelley Winters and Vincent Price.
Some of radio’s sharpest comedy was penned for Duffy’s Tavern by top Broadway and TV veterans, including Abe Burrows, Larry Marks, Larry Gelbart, and Dick Martin. Download and start listening now!