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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Truth or Consequences
“The Walking Man is Revealed”
March 6, 1948
The Jack Benny Program
“Jack Benny is The Walking Man”
March 7, 1948