n 1921, when my mother was only five, her Uncle Harry slipped headphones over her ears and she heard, crackling from a thousand miles away, “This is KDKA Pittsburgh!” Mystified but thrilled, she said “That’s what I’m going to do when I grow up, talk my words through the air!”
And so she has, talking millions of words through the air during a career that has now spanned more than seventy years, becoming one of the First Ladies of Radio and Television, the first woman, to be exact (not counting Gertrude Berg because I don’t want to, because I don’t like her, because she snubbed my mother at Writer’s Guild meetings) to create, write, own and star in both her own radio and television domestic comedy series.
My mother’s comedy is timeless and ever believable. She wrote about the little things in life--losing the car keys, the jar that won’t open, looking for that other shoe, the guests who leave things and need them mailed, the driver’s license that expires — the things that strike a responsive chord in us all(so responsive, in fact, that when ABC once tried to shift Ethel and Albert to an earlier slot, more than eleven thousand irate viewers wrote in overnight complaining that if it were going to be aired any earlier they wouldn’t be home in time to see their favorite show — and ABC, believe it or not, complied).
All told, my mother has written nearly eleven thousand scripts for radio and television, alone and unaided. Devoted fans included James Thurber, George S. Kaufman, Moss Hart, Jack Benny, Phil Silvers, George Burns and Gracie Allen, John F. Kennedy, Golda Meir, Abba Eban, Helen Hayes, Tyrone Power, Orson Welles, John Huston, Charles Laughton, Basil Rathbone, Tallulah Bankhead, Marlene Dietrich, Trevor Howard, to name but a few, plus award-winning novelist John Cheever, who was feverish to write for the show and once even submitted a script (which Peg politely declined).
Her biggest fan though, is her daughter.
PEGLYNCH.COM is a work in progress. My mother’s archive is vast. Plus she kept at least three copies of things. Imagine a house with every closet full of scripts and tapes and letters and....
What I have managed to so far compile here is merely a taste. Treasures abound. I will be adding to, rearranging and re-thinking this site. I will have scrapbooks and memorabilia to pore over, tracks to listen to, videos to watch, scripts for download, and even a limited number of original broadcast scripts for sale, recently signed by the legend herself.
Explore and enjoy. Any questions, write to me. I'll do my best.