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Kiwi Concert Party Sketch

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Note: contains coarse language.

Commercial radio advertising began in New Zealand in 1936 but this recording, made only five years later, shows it was already so well-recognised as part of everyday life, that it could form the basis for a humourous sketch.

The Kiwi Concert Party was an all-male entertainment troupe formed by men serving with the 2NZEF during World War II. They travelled with the forces through the Middle East, North Africa and Italy, performing variety shows in the vaudeville style – with a mixture of drama, comedy, novelty items and a range of music, from classical to jazz and Māori waiata.

In this recording, made at a soldier's concert in Egypt in 1941, four men present a mildly risqué sketch depicting several commercial radio stations broadcasting at once, and appearing to switch between Aunt Daisy's radio programme and various commercials mid-sentence, to humorous effect, with Aunt Daisy being the target of most of the jokes.

Well-known consumer brand names of the era are mentioned, including: Carter's Little Liver Pills, Velveeta cheese spread, Zambuck ointment, Rinso soap powder, Waitemata Beer and Nestle's milk.

The sketch ends by linking Aunt Daisy to an advertisement for worming tablets for female dogs. This military humour and coarse language was obviously considered too rough for radio audiences of 1941, and the original disc recording of the sketch bears a censor's label: "Do Not Play." (The national broadcaster probably didn't appreciate the soldiers poking fun at their star announcer either!)

Image: Paton, Harold Gear, 1919-2010. Kiwi concert party, El Alamein, Egypt. Ref: DA-02711-F. Alexander Turnbull Library http://natlib.govt.nz/records/23010463

Catalogue Reference 13140

Year 1941

Credits

Broadcaster: National Broadcasting Service Mobile Recording Unit

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