In the 1950s and 1960s, Pittsburgh area radio listeners typically began their days hearing a dubious trombone rendition of
“Up A Lazy River” followed by Cordic’s “Hello there, you lovers of good music you .. .and welcome
to yet another chapter of the day-by-day, week-by-week, true-to-life adventures of Cordic & Company.’’
The host was Rege Cordic. The Company was Bob Trow, Karl Hardman, Bob McCully, Charlie Sords, Sterling Yates and engineer
During most of their 22-year run, they commanded ratings as high as an astounding 85 share in morning drive time. They created
a notable cast of characters: atrocious punster Carman Monoxide; the philosophical Slav garbage man Louie Adamchevitz; tipsy
golf pro Max Korfendigas; and Omicron, the bottle-shaped Venutian bureaucrat, incensed when Earthlings returned him for the
deposit. Cordic was creative when that didn’t mean inviting strippers and porn stars onto your show to challenge
the FCC and local standards of taste.
He established Brick Throwing as a sport, replete with fan rallies, a “Miss Brick” contest, and an official magazine,
Thud. One year he organized a 14-car train for a suburban whistle-stop campaign by his fictional political candidate Carmen
One of his best creations
was inspired by near-tragedy. One December night in 1964, a wayward Pitt student zoomed off the end of the incomplete Fort
Duquesne bridge, miraculously landing unhurt on the Allegheny riverbank. Within weeks, hundreds of thousands of cars bumpers
were labeled “Official Entry, Cordic & Company Bridge Leap Contest.” Taking no chances, police sealed off
the bridge with giant concrete barriers.
In 1965 Cordic couldn’t
resist Los Angeles’ KNX invitation to succeed Bob Crane as their morning drive-time DJ. Crane had left KNX to star in
his own TV show, Hogan’s Heroes. Cordic’s show did not transplant as successfully as he and KNX had hoped.
It was canceled after only 18 months and KNX switched to an all news format.
However, he began a stable
career as a supporting player in films and TV-and as a voice talent for HBO as well as in dozens of cartoons. He had a regular
role in the 1968-69 detective series “The Outsider” starring Darren McGavin. Cordic also appeared in a few motion
pictures, including Woody Allen’s “Sleeper,” Newman’s Law” and “The Wild Party.”
His voice was heard in others, as the clock, for example, in the 1977 film “The Mouse and His Child.”
lost touch with Pittsburgh. For years he pretaped movie intros for WTAE-TV on whose AM station he reprised Cordic & Company
in 1970. Cordic passed away from brain cancer on 16 April, 1999 in Los Angeles.
Rege Cordic’s most
lasting contribution to humor, and incidentally, to beer can collecting, was Olde Frothingslosh. He invented commercials for
the beer he called “the Pale Stale Ale--so light the foam is on the bottom.” Supposedly brewed by Sir Reginald
Frothingslosh IV at Upper-Crudney-On-The-Thames it was advertised with slogans such as “a whale of an ale for the pale
stale male.” The commercials were so popular that in 1954 Pittsburgh Brewing Company bought the rights to bottle
it and packaged 500 cases to give to customers at Christmas. Inside the bottles, of courses, was the normal Pittsburgh Brewing
Company beer. This proved so popular that Pittsburgh Brewing bottled more cases for Christmas 1955 and also issued a quarter
million 8 oz cans of Sir Lady Frothingslosh containing Pittsburgh Brewing’s Tech brand beer.