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Jack Douglas Papers

An inventory of his papers at Syracuse University

Finding aid created by: ASD
Date: Mar 1970

Biographical History

Jack Douglas (1908-1989) was a well-known gag writer who wrote for such radio and television performers as Bob Hope, Red Skelton, George Gobel, Jimmy Durante, and Jack Paar. He was the author of My Brother Was an Only Child. He was a regular guest on on Jack Paar's shows in the late 1950s and early 1960s and on shows hosted by Merv Griffin, Dick Cavett and Johnny Carson. Douglas was married three times: to Merle Crain, with whom he had a son John and a daughter Marlene; to Marion Hutton, with whom he had a son, Peter; and to Japanese-born singer and comedienne Reiko, with whom he had two sons, Bobby and Timothy. Reiko frequently appeared with him on television.

Scope and Contents of the Collection

The Jack Douglas Papers, 1938-1955, consist chiefly of writings and a small group of memorabilia.

Memorabilia includes a certificate of appreciation awarded by the Veterans Administration to Douglas's second wife, Marion Hutton, and a copy of a protest made in 1952 to the United States Treasury Department.

Writings are radio, television, and motion picture scripts, a novel and an untitled play. The scripts are, for the most part, mimeographed copies with notes and corrections, and many contain extensive annotations. The word "revised" is used only when it has been found within the script. The abbreviation "rev." indicates that there are corrections and revisions made by hand in the script. "Anno." refers to annotations in the form of notes or pictures. The number of pages given indicates actual number of leaves in a script. Included in the motion picture scripts is a small group of writings by others. Mr. Douglas's relationship to these scripts, as well as to the novel, The Harvey Girls, also included, is not known. The untitled play appears to have been written by Mr. Douglas.

This collection is of particular interest for the way in which the scripts reflect American life during the World War II years. The patriotic efforts of such entertainers as Red Skelton, Bob Hope, Kay Kyser and Jack Carson, among others, are evident. Another point of interest is the titles of songs that were popular during the period covered by these scripts.

Following is a list of radio and television shows with inclusive dates of scripts. Radio shows are indicated by "R" and television shows by "TV."

Arrangement of the Collection

The radio and television scripts, which form the largest part of the papers, are arranged under those headings, then alphabetically by show and chronologically within each show, with undated scripts and fragments at the end of each show. Shows are dated whenever possible by actual broadcast date. When a taping date was used, as in the case of some of the Phil Harris-Alice Faye shows, the letter "T" follows the date. The motion picture scripts are arranged alphabetically by title. Miscellaneous scripts in the categories of radio, television, and motion picture scripts are arranged alphabetically at the end of the category.


Access Restrictions:

The majority of our archival and manuscript collections are housed offsite and require advanced notice for retrieval. Researchers are encouraged to contact us in advance concerning the collection material they wish to access for their research.

Use Restrictions:

Written permission must be obtained from SCRC and all relevant rights holders before publishing quotations, excerpts or images from any materials in this collection.

Related Material

Special Collections Research Center has the papers of a number of radio and television personalities and shows. Please refer to the SCRC Subject Index for a complete listing.

Subject Headings


Douglas, Jack, 1908- Archives.


Authors, American.
Radio authorship.
Radio comedies.
Television authorship.
Television comedies.

Genres and Forms

Radio scripts.
Television scripts.



Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

Preferred citation for this material is as follows:

Jack Douglas Papers,
Special Collections Research Center,
Syracuse University Libraries

Acquisition Information

Gift of Jack Douglas, 1969.

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