In late 1925 radio actors Gosden and Correll had been approached about doing a radio show based on the then popular comic strip "The Gumps". Gosden and Corell thought about the suggestion, and then instead proposed their own radio show using characters they created themselves. Like comic strips, each show would be amusing in itself, but also be part of a longer story with continuing characters. As they had gotten much favorable response to some voices impersonating African American characters they had done on the radio earlier, Gosden and Correll proposed that the principle characters be African Americans (named Sam Smith and Henry Johnson) newly arrived in Chicago from the rural South.
Sam & Henry premiered on Chicago radio station WGN on January 12, 1926 and enjoyed popularity. The show ran for 586 episodes, the last one airing on December 18, 1927.Gosden and Correll also recorded some of their Sam & Henry routines for Victor Records.
The following year Gosden and Correll reworked the premise on a more ambitious scale, which became their famous radio show Amos & Andy.