It would be easy for modern listeners to dismiss or even ignore the traditions of American Minstrelsy and blackface performers. The performances created and reinforced stereotypes of the African-American experience that still brings shame to the American consciousness. There are few issues Americans find as abhorrent as the ones which recall that "peculiar institution".
Ignoring minstrelsy dismisses the practice's contribution to American entertainment. Minstrel shows were the primary source of entertainment for Americans for the greater portion of the 1800s, finally giving way to Vaudeville around the dawn of the twentieth century. Just as Vaudeville traditions carried into Radio and the early film industry, Minstrelsy laid the foundations for Vaudeville.
The buddy comedy format developed as part of the minstrel tradition. The pun and malapropism filled Stump Speech was a vital part of a minstrel show. Although primarily a monologue, the stump speech often took the form of a dialogue between two of the program's stock characters. These characters took the forms of "The Slave and the Dandy" or "Mr. Tambo and Mr. Bone". On the radio, they took the form of The Two Black Crows, Amos 'n' Andy, and Pick and Pat.
Pick Malone and Pat Padgett were vaudeville veterans who made the transition to radio, initially with a routine with the characters "Molasses and January". During the 1930's, they had a number of their own programs under the sponsorship of various U.S. Tobacco brands. They were also frequent guests on other U.S. Tobacco programs such as The Chesterfield Supper Club.
The humor of Pick and Pat seems less refined than that of the more popular Amos 'n' Andy, but they helped to blaze a path for teams like Laurel and Hardy, Bob Hope and Bing Crosby, Kramden and Norton, and Flintstone and Rubble.
For other similar series, see also Amos And Andy Music Hall, Beulah, Pick and Pat, Johnson Family, Black
Crows, Johnson Family, Southland Echoes, and Sam n' Henry. See also: article on the history of Minstrel Shows and Old Time Radio.