Last modified on August 5, 2021, at 21:40

The Ev and Charlie Show

Everett Dirksen of IL.jpg Charles Halleck of IN.jpg

Senate Minority Leader Everett Dirksen (left) and House Minority Leader Charles Halleck (right).

The Ev and Charlie Show refers to joint weekly press conferences held between 1961 and 1964 by Republican leaders of the U.S. Senate and the U.S. House of Representatives. The "Ev" was Senate Minority Leader Everett Dirksen of Illinois, who died in office in 1969. The Charlie was House Minority Leader Charles A. Halleck of Indiana. Both were adamant conservatives within their party.[1][2]

Dirksen and Halleck held the press conferences during the administration of Democrat John F. Kennedy. The first one was just several days following Kennedy's inauguration, where reporters took a lighthearted view; Tom Wicker, a reporter for The New York Times, thus coined the term The Ev and Charlie Show.

With Dirksen being humorous and Halleck more serious, the Indiana congressman initially resented the publicity of the press conferences though went along with the show. They were soon dubbed famous American duos akin to "corned beef and cabbage" and "ham and eggs" for their personality, becoming well-known figures on the national level. The pair focused on a broad range of issues from civil rights to foreign policy.

The New York Times reported in 1962 that the show was opposed by Republican congressman William H. Ayres of Ohio, who was the publicity chairman of the party.[3]

The conferences ended in 1965, when then-representative Gerald Ford, a Moderate Republican (who was notably liberal on some social issues) from Michigan, unseated Halleck in the Republican conference to become the new House Minority Leader.[4] It was then referred to as the "Ev and Jerry Show", though the replacement of the easily angered Halleck by the more patient Ford caused a significant drop in comedic appeal.[5] Ford remained in the position until tapped for the vice presidency in 1973, and soon moved up to president with Richard Nixon's resignation. In 1974, Ford tapped Nelson Rockefeller, another Moderate Republican and former New York governor, to succeed him as vice president.


  1. Charles Abraham Halleck. Maurer School of Law. Retrieved June 14, 2021.
  2. Everett McKinley Dirksen. Britannica. Retrieved June 14, 2021.
  3. REPUBLICAN SCORES 'EV-CHARLIE SHOW'. The New York Times. Retrieved May 15, 2021.
  4. Barnes, Bart (March 4, 1986). Ex-House Majority Leader Charles Halleck Dies at 85. The Washington Post. Retrieved June 14, 2021.
  5. FascinatingPolitics (August 30, 2020). The Wizard of Ooze: Everett Dirksen of Illinois. Mad Politics: The Bizarre, Fascinating, and Unknown of American Political History. Retrieved August 5, 2021.

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