The original "bad boy of radio," Henry Morgan began his career as a page boy at New York radio station WMCA in 1932. Morgan worked his way up to announcer, making his mark with his wry, satirical delivery of advertising copy. In 1940, he was given his own daily series at New York's WOR, winning legions of fans (and losing just as many sponsors) with his dialect routines, lampoonish weather reports, and sarcastic commentary on the foibles of everyday life. After two years' war service, he returned to another comedy program on station WJZ, the flagship of the ABC radio network. In 1946, ABC gave him a nationwide hookup with The Henry Morgan Show, wherein he continued mercilessly drubbing such sponsors as Eversharp razors and Rayve Cream Shampoo. After one more starring radio series on NBC in 1949, Morgan settled into a career as "professional guest star," bestowing his wicked wit upon such TV programs as I've Got a Secret (1952-1966) and That Was the Week That Was (1964-1965). In 1959, he hosted the syndicated TVer Henry Morgan and Company, a precursor to the sort of irreverence later practiced by David Letterman. Every so often, Morgan would accept an acting role in films or on television: He starred in the 1948 period comedy So This Is New York, was effectively cast as an FBI agent in Murder, Inc. (1960), and essayed the role of magazine-editor Philip Jensen (a character based on New Yorker founder Harold Ross) on TV's My World and Welcome to It (1969). Henry Morgan's film and TV credits are often confused with those of actor Harry Morgan (Dragnet, MASH, etc.), who for many years billed himself as Henry (Harry) Morgan.
by Hal Erickson biography