James Francis Durante, better known as Jimmy Durante, (February 10, 1893 January 29, 1980) was an American singer, pianist, comedian, and actor, whose distinctive gravel delivery, comic language butchery, jazz-influenced songs, and large nose his frequent jokes about it included a frequent self-reference that became his nickname: "Schnozzola" helped make him one of America's most familiar and popular personalities of the 1920s through the 1960s.

Durante made himself a bigger name with his nationally-broadcast radio variety show in the 1940s. Durante received his first radio job when the creators of Eddie Cantor's popular The Chase and Sanborn Hour (which also made stars out of Edgar Bergen & Charlie McCarthy) contacted him to fill in for Cantor. He made his first appearance on September 10, 1933. Durante was such a hit he was offered his own show.

In 1943, future television favorite Garry Moore joined Durante as his radio sidekick. Already successful as a solo, Durante's comic chemistry with the young, brush-cut Moore brought Durante an even larger audience. "Dat's my boy dat said dat!" became an instant catch phrase. He became one of the nation's favorite radio stars for the rest of the decade, including a well-reviewed Armed Forces Radio Network command performance with Frank Sinatra that remains a favorite of radio collectors today. Durante worked in radio for three years after Moore's 1947 departure, including a reunion of Clayton, Jackson and Durante on his April 21, 1948 broadcast.



Jimmy Durante