04 January 2012

Marlene Dietrich, The Love Doctor

Dietrich recording her Monitor segments
(Note: The earliest date stamp is Oct. 24, 1958--
NOT May 1964 as stated on the Wikipedia page)
Happy New Year, all! For my own amusement, I'm going to change the tone of my blog entries from time to time. If that rubs you the wrong way, go read Proust with Maximilian Schell. Or--better yet--join us in blogging about Dietrich! In particular, I'd like to see a woman blogger in our crew. If you're interested, email us at or comment on this post. Now, I'll return you to our irregularly scheduled entry. . . .

Back in the 1950s, Marlene Dietrich dispensed relationship advice on the NBC radio program, Monitor. Then, the public didn't know that they were tuning in to the wisdom of a grandmother who pined for the married Yul Brynner, but Dietrich's private adolescent woes could have made her public views all the more insightful. It's like having a shrink who plays with the dolls before she doles them out.

Of course, I jest. It just so happened that folks had been soliciting Dear Dietrich's guidance since World War II, and Dietrich aptly employed her approachability when less movie roles were coming her way.

Many of you may be asking where you can find recordings of Dietrich's segments. Well, I have the same question! All that Steven Bach told us was that Dietrich "purred," but he may have been at a loss for words because that's how he described most of Dietrich's radio contributions. If you know where we can hear Dietrich's love doctor routine, don't keep them to yourself! In the meantime, I'll just have to settle for the notion that Dietrich responded to every query by purring the words: "Use Heinz vinegar."

At the very least, I can direct you to audio on The Monitor Tribute Pages. Click here and listen to the clip called "John Bartholomew Tucker hosts Monitor '75 -- Saturday, January 25, 10-11 a.m. ET," which features a brief interview with Dietrich at about 11:15. What do you think about Dietrich's views regarding television? I respectfully disagree because I could never imagine anything as ethereal as the creatures that I've recently seen on T.V.:


  1. The chances of those "Monitor" talks surviving are probably slim, but you never know!

    Happy 2012.


  2. I think MD would be appalled by all the reality tv crap. All these undeserving people getting fame and fotune for behaving like idiots.

  3. Missladiva, Happy New Year! That doesn't bode well if you haven't heard Dietrich's segments. I just asked the Monitor site webmaster about the subject, and hopefully he'll surprise us.

    Umaneo, they are appalling and undeserving, but I can't stop watching this rare species, who sounds remarkably like Harvey Fierstein.

  4. It would be great to hear these radio segments! With her life experiences and personality these must have been highly entertaining.

  5. I think there is really quite little quality television left. But there are still some gems there, if one is willing to make an effort to watch.

    Oh, it would be fantastic if anyone has those radio segments. And I laughed at "Heinz vinegar". :)

  6. Kim, I agree. I'm also curious to hear them just to know how a radio advice segment was formatted. Could or did callers call in with questions, or did radio hosts read the questions?

    Cara, what do you watch? I must admit that I'm addicted to all the housewives shows, which doesn't do much for my deteriorating brain cells.

  7. I'm hooked onto several shows, which unfortunately have the shortest seasons! Downton Abbey... well, that's a given, since it's a British show and they all have very short seasons. Sherlock is a good modern adaptation of the books, one of the best but has three episodes a season! I watch Damages, and am addicted to the Machiavellian Patty Hewes (Glenn Close is amazing) - again, 13 episodes a season. But they're all quality writing. I also adored Arrested Development when it was still on. Mad Men is wonderful! I don't watch reality TV, since I don't have a television here in uni and only ever watch it if it so happens to be on the telly when I switch it on.

  8. God have mercy she does sound like Fierstien! Cars? Houses? To quote MD "How do these horrible women do it!"