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The Joy Boys was a popular daily improvised comedy radio show in Washington, D.C., between 1955 and 1974 that launched the broadcast careers of the program's co-hosts Willard Scott and Ed Walker. The two did various skits and satirized prominent people of the day, such as Scott's character "Arthur Codfish" (mocking Arthur Godfrey). They both regularly parodied NBC-TV's Huntley-Brinkley Report with their own zany "Washer-Dryer Report". Walker told an interviewer years later that the duo imitated some 20 voices in all.
Scott and Walker teamed as co-hosts on WRC-AM, the NBC-owned-and-operated station in Washington, beginning July 11, 1955. Initially, the program was titled Two at One and aired at 1 p.m. The term Joy Boys originated when they adopted a brief song of that title, set to the "Billboard March" as their theme music.
We are the Joy Boys, of radio,
We chase electrons to and fro-o-o-o...
Later, the Joy Boys became a nightly feature at 7 p.m. on WRC. In a 1999 article recalling the Joy Boys at the height of their popularity in the mid-1960s, the Washington Post said they "dominated Washington, providing entertainment, companionship, and community to a city on the verge of powerful change".
Walker, who was totally blind since birth, said that growing up "radio was my comic books, movies, everything". On the Joy Boys program, Scott would sketch a list of characters and a few lead lines setting up the situation that Walker would commit to memory or note on his braille typewriter. Scott and Walker formed a professional and personal bond which continued up to Walker's death. Scott said in his book, The Joy of Living, that they are "closer than most brothers".
The Joy Boys moved from WRC to another Washington radio station, WWDC-AM (now WWRC), in October 1972, where it was heard until the show's final broadcast on October 26, 1974. The show was sold in syndication that year.
- Marc Fisher (1999-09-13). "Washington Comes of Age". The Washington Post. Retrieved 2008-01-29.
- "Interview with Ed Walker (video)". University of Maryland. Retrieved 2008-01-29.
- "Where did the theme music come from?" -- The Joy Boys - History
- Hendrix, Steve (July 29, 2009). "Ode to Joy Boy, a Washington Radio Institution". The Washington Post. Retrieved 2009-07-29.
- Willard Scott (1982). The Joy of Living. New York: Coward, McCann & Geoghegan. ISBN 0-698-11130-3.
- "The Joy Boys website". Retrieved 2008-01-29.