Edgar John Bergen (Feb 16, 1903 - Sep 30, 1978) best known as a ventriloquist, was also the father of actress Candice Bergen. He taught himself ventriloquism from a pamphlet when he was 11. A few years later, he commissioned Chicago woodcarver Theodore Mack to sculpt a likeness of a rascally Irish newspaperboy he knew. The head went on a dummy named Charlie McCarthy, who became Bergen's lifelong sidekick.
Eventually Edgar Bergen and Charlie McCarthy began an 11-year run on The Chase and Sanborn Hour , starting May 9, 1937. Initially this incarnation of the program also featured as regulars master of ceremonies Don Ameche, singers Dorothy Lamour and Nelson Eddy, and (for the first few weeks) comedian W.C. Fields, accompanied by a different guest star each week.
Beginning January 7, 1940, the regular cast apart from Bergen and McCarthy were dropped and the show was cut to a half-hour and retitled The Chase and Sanborn Program. Also beginning in 1940, the program would go on hiatus for a number of weeks each summer. CBS would fill its airtime with a different substitute show each year. In the fall of 1948 Chase and Sanborn announced that it would terminate its contract with Edgar Bergen at the end of the year. The remaining Bergen/McCarthy programs eschewed guest stars in favor of regular sketches featuring Don Ameche and Marsha Hunt as The Bickersons. In 1949 Bergen went to CBS, with a new weekly program (The Charlie McCarthy Show) sponsored by Coca-Cola. (Source: wikipedia.org)