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

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For Thanksgiving, it’s two comedy episodes (because there just aren’t any good OTR dramas about Thanksgiving except dramatizations of The First Thanksgiving).  First off, meet Eve Arden in Our Miss Brooks, where she plays a refreshingly sardonic high school English teacher who’s not above occasionally offering a zinger at the expense of her students.  As Thanksgiving approaches, more and more people invite themselves to her place for dinner – where there’s nary a turkey to be found.  Then Jack Benny attends that great Los Angeles event, the annual pre-Thanksgiving football game between UCLA and USC.  Jack, Mary, and Dennis drive out to the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, Dennis gets lost, and Jack bumps into Frank Fontaine, doing his character of Mr. Silvoney, the inspiration for Pete Puma from the Looney Tunes cartoons.

 

Episodes

Our Miss Brooks

“Thanksgiving Weekend”

November 27, 1949

3:41

 

The Jack Benny Program

“Jack Tries to Buy Tickets to the USC – UCLA Game”

November 26, 1950

36:13

 


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We start off November with the return of The Great Gildersleeve.  This is the episode immediately following the Halloween episode from last time.  Gildy is still in the doghouse with Leila Ransom.  Meanwhile, it’s the middle of World War II, and nice cuts of meat are hard to find due to rationing.  When Gildy procures a prime pot roast, that roast’s fate on his table is far from assured.  Then Sydney Greenstreet debuts as Nero Wolfe in The New Adventures of Nero Wolfe.  As always, Wolfe is reluctant to take any case that will interferer with his orchids, his reading, and his gourmet meals.  When a woman arrives asking him to investigate a treasure map her father has bought, he dismisses her.  Then the bodies start to pile up . . .

 

Episodes

The Great Gildersleeve

“The Pot Roast”

November 7, 1943

 

3:54

 

The New Adventures of Nero Wolfe

“Stamped for Murder”

October 20, 1950

32:12

 


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For the end of October, here’s two timely episodes.  On The Great Gildersleeve, it’s Halloween.  And that means pranks and parties.  Good old fashioned fun in the small town of Summerfield.  Then, in honor of the World Series, we check in with amateur detective Ellery Queen as he investigates a ballplayer’s stolen bat.

 

 

Episodes

The Great Gildersleeve

“The Halloween Party”

October 31, 1943

3:53

 

The Adventures of Ellery Queen

“The Adventure of the World Series Crime”

October 8, 1942

 

 


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It’s October, and, in honor of the World Series, this month I’ll be bringing you a couple of baseball-themed episodes.  First up is a CBS Radio Workshop adaptation of James Thurber’s “You Could Look It Up.”  Here, a baseball team’s manager tries an extreme tactic involving the strike zone in an effort to win a crucial game.  Then, on Dragnet, Friday goes undercover to bust a drug ring.

 

Episodes

CBS Radio Workshop

“You Could Look It Up”

July 7 1957

3:27

 

Dragnet

“The Big Meet”

October 26, 1950

29:03

 

 


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This time on Presenting the Transcription Feature, George Burns and Gracie Allen start things off.  George has inherited money that must be used for his college education.  So, at the age of 50, he’s attending college and none too happy about it.  To get him to stay, Gracie asks George’s pal Jack Benny to enroll as well.  Then Rex Stout’s famously fat (and famously brilliant) private investigator Nero Wolfe gets involved with a stolen Shakespeare First Folio.  What is a copy of it doing hidden in a volume of Spinoza that a cabby bought for 25 cents?

 

Episodes

Burns and Allen “George and Jack Go to College” November 29, 1945 6:24

 

The Amazing Nero Wolfe

“The Shakespeare Folio”

December 15, 1946

39:53

 


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On the latest episode of Presenting the Transcription Feature you meet the strange being who knows many things, for he walks by night and knows many strange tales hidden in the hearts of men and women:  The Whistler.  This anthology suspense show “starred” a narrator / Greek chorus, who sometimes mocked, and sometimes encouraged, the criminals in the tales he told.  Then it’s time to see if you have the proper education to survive life in the 1940s with Information Please.  This episode of the venerable quiz show seems to have a few more political questions than usual—probably because the U.S. was just months away from going the Allied forces in World War II.

 

Episodes

The Whistler

"Seven Steps to Murder"

February 3, 1947

3:20

 

 

Information Please
April 4, 1941 34:08

 


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This time on Presenting the Transcription Feature, in memory of Groucho Marx, who died 37 years ago this August, we present a special episode of his comedy quiz show, You Bet Your Life.  The show was recorded live over the course of an hour and then cut down to 25 minutes for broadcast.  This is the hour-long, unedited audio for one show from 1955.  Along with half an hour of material that never aired, there’s a retake at the end when something goes wrong. If this podcast is as close as you’ll get to listening to Old Time Radio on the air, then this episode is as close as you’ll get to being in the audience for a show as it was recorded.

Episodes

 

You Bet Your Life

“Name”

December 14, 1955

6:32

 


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We start off this installment of Presenting the Transcription Feature with The Abbott and Costello Show.  It’s time for Lou to pay his income taxes, and he finds himself up to his ears in financial advice.  When he learns that he won’t have to pay anything if he doesn’t earn any more income for a week,  he’s suddenly awash in unwanted money. Then, on Have Gun -- Will Travel, the tables get turned when Paladin is hauled in by a bounty hunter.

Episodes

 

The Abbot and Costello Show

“Income Tax Troubles”
March 6, 1947
5:40

 

Have Gun Will Travel
“Bounty Hunter"
August 21 1960
36:35


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The latest episode of Presenting the Transcription Feature brings you the one, the only . . . Groucho Marx. Groucho’s finest turn in the world of radio was as the host of You Bet Your Life. Ostensibly a quiz show, the quiz portion was almost an afterthought.  The real fun was in Groucho doing the pre-quiz interviews, during which, if the contestants said the secret word, they could win a little extra cash. Groucho’s whip-smart wit could take the blandest of comments and spin comedy gold from it. Secondly, on Yours Truly, Johnny Dollar, actor Vincent Price guest-stars as himself.  In an episode that plays on his public persona as an art aficionado, Price hires freelance insurance investigator Johnny Dollar to track down a painting that’s been stolen from his collection.  Price then insists on joining Dollar each step of the way.

 

 

 

Episodes

You Bet Your Life

"Secret Word: Ink"

November 9, 1949

4:25

 

Yours Truly, Johnny Dollar
"The Price of Fame Matter"
February 2, 1958
34:55


 

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This time on Presenting the Transcription Feature, we revisit two old favorites.  On The Jack Benny Program, Jack and Mary attend a special showing of suave British actor Ronald Colman's latest movie, A Double Life.  Colman and his wife Benita Hume play themselves in this episode.  They were frequent guests on Jack’s show.  So much so that many people thought they were actually his next door neighbors.  On Dragnet, Friday and Romero are up against a criminal armed with a bomb who’s threatening to blow up City Hall unless his convict brother is released.

 

 

 

Episodes

The Jack Benny Program

February 1, 1948

4:43

Dragnet

"The Big Bomb"

July 13, 1950

 

34:55


 

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