Raymond Knight was an actor, comedian and comedy writer, best known as a pioneer in satirical humor for network radio.
Born in Salem, Massachusetts, Knight studied law at Boston University and passed the Massachusetts bar, but he returned to school to study theater and writing at Harvard’s 47 Workshop, followed by more studies at Yale. In 1927 he performed in the Broadway musical revue The Manhatters.
Knight was writing continuity and commercials for NBC in 1929, when NBC programmer Bertha Brainard asked him to devise “something cuckoo” for the Blue Network. He responded with the zany The Cuckoo Hour, aka The KUKU Hour, as a showcase for his comedy. One of his characters on the series was Professor Ambrose J. Weems, who ran a radio station where he would give his views on current events and chat with his sidekick, Mrs. Pennyfeather.
Radio historian Billy Jack Long described the unique aspects of Knight’s satirical series: