A collection of podcasts exploring the culture in pop culture. Our shows range from the general (flagship show The Chronic Rift) to the specific (The Batcave Podcast). We look at literature (Dead Kitchen Radio), movies (The Weekly Podioplex), family (Generations Geek), gaming (The Cardboard Jungle), and more.

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Syndication

 This week we present the final step in the saga of “The Walking Man” contest when winner Florence Hubbard appears on The Jack Benny Program.  Those who have been listening closely for the past few weeks will have their attention rewarded as several old themes and topics are referenced. Then Academy Award-winning actor Ronald Colman and his wife Benita Hume star in their comedy-drama series set at a small Midwestern college, The Halls of Ivy.  Colman plays the college’s president, sagely dispensing advice to the undergraduates.  Lessons will be learned and heartstrings will be tugged.
 
 
Episodes
 
The Jack Benny Program
“Winner of The Walking Man Contest”
March 14, 1948
4:07
 
The Halls of Ivy
“Faculty Raffle”
June 28, 1950
36:25
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This week we present two episodes centering on possibly the most popular radio contest of the 1940s, “The Walking Man.” TWM was a contest to benefit The American Heart Association and took place on the radio show Truth or Consequences.  For eight weeks, along with the usual game show shenanigans, listeners were invited to guess the identity of a prominent figure based solely on a rhymed clue and the sound of his walking.  Spoilers:  It was Jack Benny.  Here is the episode of TOC where a listener correctly guesses Benny.  Check out the haul of prizes that had accumulated over the preceding weeks.  Next listen to the episode of The Jack Benny Program which was broadcast less than 24 hours later.  It had had to be almost entirely rewritten overnight because not even Jack’s wife, let alone his writers, knew in advance that he was The Walking Man.

 

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Episodes

 

Truth or Consequences

“The Walking Man is Revealed”

March 6, 1948

6:15

 

The Jack Benny Program

“Jack Benny is The Walking Man”

March 7, 1948

37:38

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This episode of The Jack Benny Program sets the stage for items that will referenced over the next few podcasts.  So pay attention as Jack quizzes bandleader Phil Harris about the dubious lyrics of the latter’s theme song, “That’s What I Like About the South.”  Then we take up crime solving with one of the few solo female private eyes of radio’s Golden Age, Candy Matson.  Based in San Francisco, she may look like a pinup and have the most sultry voice in radio, but she’s smart, tough, and fast-talking.

 

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Episodes

 

The Jack Benny Program

“A Town Called Do Wa Diddy”

February 29, 1948

6:12

 

Candy Matson

“The Devil In The Deep Freeze”

September 30, 1949

41:16

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This August 6th marks the 104th birthday of actress, comedian, and entertainment mogul Lucille Ball.  Before there was the television classic I Love Lucy, there was its radio incarnation, My Favorite Husband.  Though her radio husband Richard Denning works in a bank, not as band leader, you can’t help but see the roots of Lucy in Ball’s character Liz and all the zany situations she stumbles into.  But Ball was more than just a comic actress.  Like so many performers during the Golden Age of radio, she worked in drama as well.  This week she and real-life husband Desi Arnaz appear inSuspense, "radio's outstanding theater of thrills," which ran for twenty years.  Here they play strangers engaged in a potentially deadly game of cat-and-mouse.  But who is the criminal and who is the victim?

 

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Episodes

 

My Favorite Husband

“Liz Sells Dresses”

May 28, 1950

4:24

 

Suspense

“The Red-Headed Woman”

November 17, 1949

36:14

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The Screen Guild Theater, which presented Hollywood films in greatly-abridged versions but often with the original stars, did a fantastic job with The Philadelphia Story.  Their adaptation of the comedy classic about a high society wedding interrupted by the presence of the bride’s ex-husband and pair of tabloid reporters features all three of the film’s stars: Katharine Hepburn, Cary Grant,  and Jimmy Stewart.  Then that dashing “Robin Hood of Modern Crime,” Simon Templar, makes an appearance on The Saint.  Vincent Price stars as the sophisticated, suave (yet quick with his fists) righter of wrongs.

 

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Episodes

 

The Screen Guild Theater

“The Philadelphia Story”

March 17, 1947

4:56

 

The Saint

“The Corpse Said Ouch”

August 6, 1950

32:05

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For the Fourth of July, we present two unabashedly patriotic episodes from the Golden Age of Radio.  First, the show that captured the immigrant experience with warm-hearted comedy, Life With Luigi.  This time Luigi and his night school class are to march in an Independence Day parade.  Trouble arises when Luigi decides to add firecrackers to the parade.  Then CBS’s You Are There, the program that takes listeners to important moments in history, takes us to – where else – Philadelphia in July of 1776 for the debate over the Declaration of Independence.

 

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Episodes

Life With Luigi

“The Fourth of July Parade”

July 3, 1949

4:16

 

You Are There

“Philadelphia, July 4, 1776”

March 21, 1948

37:05

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Dashiell Hammett’s Nick and Nora Charles, the supposedly-retired PI and his socialite wife, heroes of his mystery novel The Thin Man, appeared on film, television, and, of course, radio.  The New Adventures of The Thin Man was a radio incarnation that emphasized the duo’s trademark witty repartee and underplayed the criminal violence.  This episode is about a missing dog, but still manages to work in boxing and gambling.  Then Old Time Radio’s premier science fiction anthology series, X Minus One, adapts a classic tale by Robert Heinlein, “The Roads Must Roll.” In a future where the highways became so crowded that we gave up cars in exchange for high-speed conveyor belt roads as our preferred mode of transport, one man stands alone against radicals seeking to take down the system.

Episodes

The New Adventures of the Thin Man

“The Adventure of the Passionate Palooka”

July 6, 1948

3:03

 

X Minus One

“The Roads Must Roll”

January 4, 1956

34:42


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We take two trips to England for this installment of Presenting the Transcription Feature.  First, history comes alive in an episode of CBS Is There (later known as You Are There).  This June marks the 800th anniversary of the Magna Carta, one of founding documents of the rule of law.  CBS’ newsmen and sound effects crews work overtime to show us what it would have been like had they (and we listeners) been there for a news broadcast from the fields of Runnymede as King John faced off with 25 of his barons in their effort to limit his powers. Then it's time to meet the lazy civil servants who make up The Men From the Ministry.  This 1960s BBC comedy pokes fun at bureaucracy, office politics, and avoiding work.

Episodes

CBS Is There

“The Signing of the Magna Carta”

January 18, 1948

4:23

 

The Screen Guild Theater

“The War With the Isle of Wight”

November 27, 1962

34:41


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Bob Hope starred in every form of Twentieth Century entertainment – from vaudeville to radio to movies to television.  In this episode of The Bob Hope Show (for Pepsodent) we get a visit from baseball great Dizzy Dean and a performance of the kooky novelty tune “Alexander is a Swoose.”  Then the Screen Guild Theater presents an adaptation of Ramona – the 1936 film, which was based on the famed pageant, which is, in turn, based on the 1884 novel by Helen Hunt Jackson.  One of the founding myths of Old California, it tells the romantic but ultimately tragic tale of a half-Native American girl who gives up life on the rancho to marry a fellow Indian.

Episodes

The Pepsodent Show Staring Bob Hope

“Guest:  Dizzy Dean”

March 11, 1941

5:03

 

The Screen Guild Theater

“Ramona”

April 30, 1945

38:35


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In honor of May and Mother’s Day, we start off with an episode of The Phil Harris-Alice Faye Show. Phil began his radio career as the bandleader on The Jack Benny Show, but his personality could not be contained.  His show with his wife, actress Alice Faye, was just as big a hit.  In this episode, Phil goes searching for a Mother’s Day gift for Alice.  His quest to do this on the cheap lands him and his pal Frankie Remley in the usual pots of hot water.  Then Dr. Watson returns to fill us in on The New Adventures of Sherlock Holmes.  Starring Nigel Bruce and Basil Rathbone, this adventure involves Boer War spies and carrier pigeons.

Episodes

The Phil Harris-Alice Faye Show

“Mother’s Day Present”

May 8, 1949

4:43

 

The New Adventures of Sherlock Holmes

“The Telltale Pigeon Feathers”

January 21, 1946

36:21


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