Speaking of Radio

Chuck Schaden's Conversations with the Stars Who Made it Golden


Bob Arbogast

Recorded August 02nd, 1976 - 26 min

Star of Chicago’s zany Arbogast program of comedy and satire on WMAQ from 1951-54, he went on to become a writer and voice-over performer on the West Coast. He was born April 1,  1927 and was 49 at the time of our conversation in Hollywood, California. He died March 21, 2009 at age 81.

Arbogast Show - 11/1/51

Did you enjoy the interview? Listen to Bob Arbogast on the "Arbogast Show" from November 1st, 1951.


  1. Jim Melka says... comment left on July 7, 2012 at 6:41 pm

    I heard someplace that Mr. Bob Arbogast was a very important influence on a high school student, who at that time, in the early 1950’s, produced his own “ARBOGAST” type radio show, with a few friends. This was when they were all still in high school. I think this was on a small F.M. station near Chicago’s north-west side. I hear the show was really funny!
    Just like THIS Arbogast Show. A great slice of “CHICAGO, 1950”!

    OH, yeah! I heard someplace the young high school student’s name is Chuck Schaden…

  2. John Michael says... comment left on November 2, 2012 at 10:54 am

    I was one of a group of teenagers who listened to the show every night,
    and took the train down to Chicago to the Merchandise Mart to see Bob and
    Pete perform several times. More to the point, we also recorded some of
    the shows and have — sorry to say it Chuck — some much better examples
    of their work than the one from November 1, 1951. If any of you are
    interested, check out my website where there are some samples of their
    shows from 1953. http://people.umass.edu/~radiodoc

  3. Susan Robinson-Browning says... comment left on May 16, 2013 at 8:01 am

    Actually, I have communicated a few times with John Michael, and he does have quite the impressive collection. (Hi John!) But I also really enjoyed hearing this for the first time. I wasn’t alive during The Arbogast Show, being born in L.A. in 1960. But I knew his name from birth. My dad was Pete Robinson. Arbo was a name that we heard constantly growing up. He was very important to our father. He and Arbo left all their kids proud for all they accomplished in life. Thanks so much for uploading this interview. It really means alot.

  4. Al Campbell says... comment left on September 26, 2013 at 12:37 am

    I Remember the pace of the show in 1953 when someone from East Lafayette put me on to it, Johnny (from Philip Morris) stepping out of shop windows introduced it, WOW, my friends avoided it, and me.

  5. jack badofsky says... comment left on February 5, 2016 at 2:46 pm

    I remember staying awake weekday nights as a high school student, dutifully absorbing Arbogast comedy.
    Many years later, I headed up an eponymous ad agency that gained something of a reputation for comedy
    radio commercials. Arbogast was clearly one of my influences.

    I even recall one or two of his bits. Brilliant at word play (a ruling passion of mine as well), Arbogast
    reenacted an imaginary scene between Chicago Cub manager Frankie Frisch and then rooking first baseman
    Dee Fondy. Frisch’s fatherly advise to his fledgling:

    ” Fondy, there’s one thing you should know if you want to extend your career. You have to guard
    against the threat of contracting an enlarged heart. To ensure that, I want to warn you: stay away
    from drinking absinthe. Because, it’s well known that (pause) absinthe makes the heart grow, Fondy.”

  6. George Bullwinkel says... comment left on February 10, 2016 at 3:27 pm

    Me too: Listened every night; took the train from Mt. prospect to see Bob and Pete in person; worthy competitors to Bob & Ray in the same vein, too.

  7. Bob Bacchi says... comment left on March 13, 2017 at 3:58 pm

    Almost from the beginning of Arbo and Petey on WMAQ, I was a devotee of the boys and engrossed every night at 10:30. Even had people at the house to listen to those shows. Got to see them at the studio once. Such great guys. I remember well “The Adventures of Myrtle Mustermeister- Girl Female” and the ever popular Pedro Piccayune. I recorded much of their diatribe on tape and still have some of it. I was working at Webster-Chicago (recorder mfg) at the time and left for an engineering job in Calif in mid ’52, thus missing the remaining shows in Chicago. No entertainment like that left anywhere today

  8. Dave Dillman says... comment left on April 1, 2017 at 2:50 pm

    I remember Arbogast at WMAQ and I think he landed on Evanston’s strange WEAW for a while. It was a real challenge to listen to his shows since I was a kid at the time but I managed a few (hard to listen under the covers in the era before transistor radios).