Comedians

18 Awesome Truths Revealed About Cliff Arquette

1. Arquette was born on December 27, 1905, in Toledo, Ohio, as the son of Winifred Ethel and Charles Augustus Arquette, a vaudevillian. The eventual patriarch of the Arquette show business family, which became famous because of him, Arquette was the father of actor Lewis Arquette and the grandfather of actors Patricia, Rosanna, Alexis, Richmond, and David Arquette.

2. In his early career, Cliff was a nightclub pianist, later joining the Henry Halstead orchestra in 1923.

3. Arquette had been a busy, yet not nationally known, performer in radio, theatre, and motion pictures until 1956, when he retired from show business.

4. At one time, he was credited with performing in 13 different daily radio shows at different stations in the Chicago market, getting from one studio to the other by way of motorboats along the Chicago River through its downtown.

5. One such radio series he performed on was The Adventures of Wild Bill Hickok. Arquette and Dave Willock had their own radio show, Dave and Charley, in the early 1950s as well as a television show by the same name that was on the air for three months.

6. It was when Arquette performed on the shows that he created, and inaugurated his performances as, his eventual trademark character of Charley Weaver.

7. The story that Arquette later told about his big break was that one night, in the late 1950s. he was watching The Tonight Show.

8. Host Jack Paar happened to ask the rhetorical question, “Whatever became of Cliff Arquette?”

9. That startled Arquette so much that “I almost dropped my Scotch!”

10. Arquette depicted the character of “Charley Weaver, the wild old man from Mount Idy.”

11. This characterization proved so popular that Arquette almost never again appeared in public as himself, but nearly always as Charley Weaver, complete with his squashed hat, little round glasses, rumpled shirt, broad tie, baggy pants, and suspenders.

12. “Sometimes his jokes are old, and I live in the constant fear that the audience will beat him to the punch line, but they never have.

13. And I suspect that if they ever do, he will rewrite the ending on the spot.

14. I would not like to say that all his jokes are old, although some have been found carved in stone.

15. What I want to say is that in a free-for-all ad lib session, Charley Weaver has and will beat the fastest gun alive.”

16. Arquette also appeared as Charley Weaver on the short-lived The Roy Rogers and Dale Evans Show on ABC from September 29 to December 29, 1962.

17. In 1960, Arquette was honored with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame for his contribution to radio.

18. A strange-name greeting from “Mamma,” with Weaver explaining that it related to what “Mamma always wanted me to be.”

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