The Breakfast Club

Right: The caption sheet for this photo, provided by the NBC Archives, reads as follows:
The "drammer" reaches a high point as the photographer catches three members of the NBC Breakfast Club cast during one of the early morning broadcasts. Don McNeill, master of ceremonies, left, has been bested by Sid Ellstrom (Grandpa Putterball) and Fran Allison (Aunt Fanny). The program is heard daily except Sunday over the NBC-Blue network at 9:00 a.m. EST.

Breakfast Club cast

The Breakfast Club was radio's longest running network entertainment show. It made its debut on June 23rd, 1933 and left the air on December 27th, 1968. During its first decade it was carried by the NBC Blue Network. Thereafter it was heard over ABC, the successor to the NBC Blue.

The photograph above, dating from 1938, shows Don McNeill, Sid Ellstrom and Fran Allison (who was equally well-known in the early years of television as a cast member of Kukla, Fran and Ollie.

Broadcast pioneer Don McNeill passed away on 5/7/96 at the age of 88. Don was one of Chicago's most beloved broadcasters. He was perhaps the city's most successful.

Additional Breakfast Club Resources:

The complete "Breakfast Club" broadcast of December 8th, 1941. Don tries to offer hope to the nation on the morning after the attack on Pearl Harbor.

A mini-documentary on the "Breakfast Club" the curator put together in 2004.

The Breakfast Club Family Album of 1942. Meet members of the "Breakfast Club" cast, past and present, and Don's family.

"Twenty Years of Corn": Highlights from the 1953 Breakfast Club Year Book.

"The Nineteenth Floor": the memoir of engineer Kermit Slobb who worked the "Breakfast Club" as well as a number of other broadcasts on NBC Blue and ABC.

Introduction and main index to this site
WMAQ radio history | "Amos 'n' Andy" | "Fibber McGee and Mollie" | "The Breakfast Club"
Dick Kay | Television at the Merchandise Mart | 1970 television facilities tour | Channel 5 turns 20
The "Chicago School" of television | "Kukla, Fran and Ollie" | Dave Garroway | Mary Hartline
"Lights Out" | Sound effects | 1930 studio tour | WLS | "Empire Builders" | Barry Bernson
Floyd Kalber | The Queen of Love and Beauty | "Today's Children" | Staff announcers | Carol Marin
Ron Magers | Studs Terkel l "Chicago Tonight" | Channel 5 News scrapbooks |Roger Miller recalls
Zoo Parade | Clifton and Frayne Utley | Val Press | Len O'Connor | Johnny Erp | Bill Ray | Daddy-O
Experimental Television: 1930-1933 | Bob Deservi | Kermit Slobb | Ding Dong School | Quiz Kids
Bob Lemon | The Korshak Chronicles | KYW: The Chicago Years | WENR | O.B. Hanson | Renzo
Jack Eigen | Ed Grennan | The World's Best Cup of Coffee | Glenn Webster | Mr. Piano | Hawkins Falls
Chicago Television for Kids |
Radio Hall of Fame |The NBC News Night Report: 23 February, 1967
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