Ace, Goodman

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ACE, GOODMAN (1899–1982), U.S. humorist. Born in Kansas City, Mo., as Goodman Aiskowitz, he was an actor, comedian, and writer who supplied dozens of performers with funny things to say but also became well known for the malapropisms he provided for his wife on a nationally heard radio program that ran from 1930 to 1945. At his peak Ace was probably the highest-paid writer in television. The son of a haberdasher, he got his first job as a hat salesman. He shifted quickly to newspaper writing and became a columnist on the Journal Post. Seeking to supplement his salary as a columnist and theater and film reviewer, he did extra work commenting on films for a radio station. After he finished a 15-minute program, the station manager asked him and his wife Jane, who happened to be at the station, to stay on the air because the performers for the next segment had not yet shown up. The ad-lib show proved so popular that the Aces were hired to do two programs a week. By 1931 they had moved to the cbs network. Over the air the quips and bon mots seemed to flow effortlessly, but Ace had carefully composed each misused expression for Jane Ace. She died in 1974. Ace wrote for performers as diverse as Danny *Kaye, Perry Como, Sid *Caesar, Milton *Berle, and Bob Newhart.

[Stewart Kampel (2nd ed.)]