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Monitor publicity shot of Tedi Thurman as Miss Monitor with Bob Elliott and Ray Goulding

Tedi Thurman was a fashion model and actress best known for her appearances as Miss Monitor on NBC's Monitor, programmed by Pat Weaver as an innovative 40-hour weekend radio show. Thurman, who lives today in Palm Springs, California, was one of the most familiar radio voices of the late 1950s. Jack Gould, writing in The New York Times, described her as someone who "made the (weather) report sound like an irresistible invitation to an unforgettable evening."

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Miss Monitor

With her alluring, breathy delivery, Thurman gave NBC's sexy weekend weather reports from 1955 until 1961. While Bob and Ray stayed at NBC all weekend to spontaneously go on the air in case of technical problems with scheduled remotes, Thurman was there throughout the weekend to do her hourly weather reports. Dennis Hart, the author of Monitor: The Last Great Radio Show (2002), recalled:

Tedi Thurman, she was an actress, she had done a little bit of radio, she had done some television, but she was a model. And it was Weaver who came up with the idea of do weather in a way it had never been done before. She would come into the studios and be there virtually every hour of the 40-hour weekend with just a few breaks, and she would do weather with this lush music behind her. To say the least, Miss Monitor probably became the most recognizable female voice in the country within a few short months after she went on Monitor.

When Miss Monitor delivered weather forecasts for cities across the country, her forecasts were all real, except for one occasion when Henry Morgan set Thurman's script on fire. She had to complete the segment by making up temperatures for each city. In the mid-1950s, she was lampooned by Edie Adams on various shows hosted by Ernie Kovacs. Bob and Ray also did a Miss Monitor satire.

Television and films

In 1957 Thurman appeared with Jack Paar on The Tonight Show, and TV Guide did a feature article, "Tedi Thurman: Weathergirl Supreme" that year.[1][2] She also can be seen as Miss Monitor in the trailer for the movie Ten Thousand Bedrooms (1957). In "Fair-Weather Friends," Time (April 12, 1968) remembered Thurman:

Just about every TV station in the nation has its own weatherman nowadays, but the trouble with a great number of them is that they are cloudy and mostly windy. In the beginning, weathermen talked so much about "occluded fronts" and "thermal inversions" that viewers wondered if they shouldn't start building an ark in the backyard. Then came the era of fair-weather girls. Preoccupied with their own frontal systems, they postured before the weather maps in the latest gowns and spun out sultry spiels. NBCs Tedi Thurman used to peek from behind a shower curtain to coo: "The temperature in New York is 46, and me, I'm 36-26-36."[3]

Thurman was interviewed about her life on Fire Island for Crayton Robey's documentary film When Ocean Meets Sky (2003). Edge editor Steve Weinstein, reviewing the film June 4, 2006, noted:

Robey traveled to Palm Springs to interview Tedi Thurman, the campy weather girl of Jack Paar’s "Tonight Show," who had a stormy longtime relationship with Peggy Fears. Fears, a former Broadway vocalist and producer, built the original Yacht Club and the cinderblock hotel that still stands today, Ciel being its most recent incarnation.

On Wednesday, July 14, 2004, 29 years after Monitor ended on NBC Radio; Thurman joined more than 40 former Monitor staff members who gathered at Hurley's Tavern in midtown Manhattan for the first Monitor reunion. The event was organized by Dennis Hart, author of Monitor (Take 2). The book features an introduction by Thurman.

References

  1. ^ "Tedi Thurman: Weathergirl Supreme," TV Guide, October 19, 1957.
  2. ^ Laskin, David. Braving the Elements: The Stormy History of American Weather, Random House, 1997.
  3. ^ "Fair-Weather Friends," Time, April 12, 1968.

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