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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Once Upon a Village

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August 2020
S M T W T F S
     
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Syndication

 We start off with the first episode of “Big Town.”  Edward G. Robinson creates the role of Steve Wilson, the crusading, yet sometimes muckraking, editor of a big city newspaper.  There’s dark humor, drama, and plenty of melodrama.  Then Joan Davis, who would eventually star in the early television classic comedy “I Married Joan,” begins her career in radio.  She plays the proprietress of a small village store in “The Sealtest Village Store.”  She’s prone to all the difficulties an unmarried woman in radio comedy had to face, but there’s some great laughs and songs.

Episodes

 

Big Town

October 19, 1937

“Steve Wilson Is Shot”

3:44

 

The Sealtest Village Store

June 7, 1945

“Sell Bonds, Win a Screen Test”

35:05

Comments[0]

"Free For All"

UK Airing: October 20, 1967

US Airing: June 29, 1968

 

The Prisoner is thrust into the politics of the Village as he runs for the position of Number Two.

John and writer Jim Beard discuss an episode that was produced second and yet aired fourth and that bothers Jim.  They discuss how the episodes actually played out on television regardless of production, how this episode is timeless in its commentary on elections, and the dig the episode takes at the Fifth Estate.  

Take a moment to comment on the episode here or by writing chronicrift@gmail.com.  One source used for this episode was The Official Prisoner Companion by Matthew White and Jaffer Ali.

Direct download: Once_Upon_A_Village_-_Free_For_All.mp3
Category:Once Upon a Village -- posted at: 3:27pm EDT
Comments[0]

 “Lux Radio Theatre” presents yet another star-studded adaptation of a cinema classic.  This time, it’s the 1950 film “All About Eve.” Bette Davis, Anne Baxter, and Gary Merrill reprise their roles from the Academy- Award-wining film originally written and directed by Joseph L. Mankiewicz.

 

Lux Radio Theater 

October 1, 1951

“All About Eve”

2:14

Comments[0]

"A. B. and C."

UK Airing: October 13, 1967

US Airing: June 22, 1968

 

Number Two has only one more chance to get the information they need from The Prisoner.  He turns to a new brain scanning technique of Number Fourteen's for help.

John and author Jim Beard discuss the direction of this episode, how it is a much smoother episode than fan favorite, "The Chimes of Big Ben" and continue their discussion of episode order in light of how this episode plays out.  Please make sure you comment here or by writing us at chronicrift@gmail.com.

Direct download: OUAV_-_ABandC.mp3
Category:Once Upon a Village -- posted at: 8:32am EDT
Comments[0]

Episode 57—The Immersive War of the Worlds

Science fiction writer and editor Scott Pearson’s cohost Ella Pearson recounts surviving a Martian invasion with a walkthrough of her visit to Jeff Wayne’s Musical Version of the War of the Worlds: The Immersive Experience. Sets, actors, and VR headsets put her into the middle of a nineteenth-century London swarming with Martian tripods! Warning: spoilers for people lucky enough to be able to attend the Immersive Experience themselves.

 

Segments

00:27 Intro

01:04 A Musical War of the Worlds?!

03:15 An Immersive Overview

15:25 The Invasion Begins

17:35 Looking for Carrie

19:45 Evacuating London

21:00 Captured by Martians

26:00 Going Underground

29:00 Into the Air

30:15 The End of the Martians

31:10 Surviving the Invasion

32:13 Down the Pub

33:18 Final Thoughts

Direct download: GenGeek57.mp3
Category:Generations Geek -- posted at: 7:51am EDT
Comments[0]

We start off with another episode of “The Aldrich Family,” that domestic sitcom featuring the adventures of teen-ager Henry Aldrich.  This episode, centering on a neighborhood wedding, is several notches above the usual fare, with some particularly clever lines and funny misunderstandings – all the elements you need for a solid sitcom.  Then let’s test our collective brainpower with an episode of “Information Please.”  Are you up on famous elopements, occupations of the Signers of the Declaration of Independence, and schoolteachers in fiction?

 

Episodes

The Aldrich Family

May 13, 1948

“Date with Helen Forbes” 

aka “Wedding Day Date with Helen Forbes”

1:47

Information Please
August 1, 1941

“Guests:  Lyman Bryson and Henry Noble McCracken”

30:18

Comments[0]

 "The Chimes of Big Ben"

UK Airing: October 6, 1967

US Airing: June 8, 1968

 

One of the fan favorites, in the second episode of the series, The Prisoner has a chance to escape thanks to meeting a prisoner who a similar background to our hero.

John and author Jim Beard discuss the plot choices of this particular story, pose the questions, "Does anyone really ever leave?", and "Is the viewer as much a prisoner as The Prisoner himself?".  Please make sure you comment here or by writing us at chronicrift@gmail.com.

Direct download: Once_Upon_A_Village_-_The_Chimes_of_Big_Ben.mp3
Category:Once Upon a Village -- posted at: 9:03pm EDT
Comments[0]

 Groucho Marx kicks things off with an episode of “You Bet Your Life.”  He trades barbs with a taxi driver from Vienna, and an Irish-American Texan tells how he met his wife when he ruined her cake at a St. Patrick’s Day party.  Then, on “Vic and Sade,” their teen-aged son Rush is staying up late hoping to finish off the leftovers from a neighbor’s party.  Later, both Rush and Vic have to fight the temptation to draw a mustache on a sleeping man.

Episodes

 

You Bet Your Life

December 6, 1950

“The Secret Word is ‘Hair’”

2:08

 

Vic and Sade

1940

“Too Many Faces in the Windows” 

aka “Ice Cream and Salted Peanuts at Midnight” 

“Mr. Sludge Grows a Mustache”

aka “Sleepers Beware”

31:48

Comments[0]

"Arrival"

UK Airing: September 29, 1967

US Airing: June 1, 1968

 

Your Chronic Rift host, John S. Drew, is joined by author/editor Jim Beard to explore this cult limited series in the first of our limited series summer podcasts.  You know Jim from such podcasts as The Batcave Podcast, The Hornet's Sting Podcast, and right here on The Chronic Rift.  Together, as a pair of fans with some knowledge of the series between them, they will explore each episode and try to come up with their only answer to what it is we all want - information.

In the first episode, John and Jim discuss the pilot episode, the Village, and Patrick McGoohan as an actor.  Please make sure you comment here or by writing us at chronicrift@gmail.com.

Direct download: Once_Upon_a_Village_-_001_-_Arrival.mp3
Category:Once Upon a Village -- posted at: 4:50pm EDT
Comments[0]

 We start off this week with some clever science fiction in the form of “X Minus One.”  In this episode, some hapless humans find themselves at the mercy of an alien lifeboat bent on saving their lives no matter what.  It’s an adaptation of Robert Sheckley’s “The Lifeboat Mutiny.”  Then, on “The Jack Benny Show,” Jack obsesses about the $4.75 he lost on a horse race, and the event manifests itself in the form of a hilariously strange dream. Also, the gang sings a parody of that ballad of a fighting Irishman, “Clancy Lowered the Boom.”

Episodes

X Minus One

September 11, 1956

“The Lifeboat Mutiny”

1:46

 

The Jack Benny Show

May 2, 1954

“Jack Loses $4.75 at the Race Track”

31:56

Comments[0]

It’s National Library Week, from April 19th to 25th of 2020, so we’re going to present two transcriptions, one a thriller and the other a comedy, centering on libraries.  First up, in this episode of “Suspense,” movie star Myrna Loy, who you probably know as Nora Charles in the “Thin Man” movies, is a librarian whose investigations into a vandalized copy of “Gone With the Wind” seem to point to a kidnapping.  Then on “Fibber McGee and Molly,” Fibber receives a bill for an overdue library book, which he can’t find.

Episodes

Suspense 

September 20, 1945

“Library Book”

2:13

 

Fibber McGee and Molly

November 21, 1939

“Overdue Library Book”

33:52

Comments[0]

Will Rogers, Jr. was an American politician, writer, and newspaper publisher. When he wasn’t involved in politics, he was frequently found acting in movies, television, and even radio.  Tonight we present “Rogers of the Gazette,” his series where he plays a modified version of himself. Here he runs the fictional small-town newspaper, the “Illyria Weekly Gazette,” and dispenses homespun common sense and aphorism-filled advice to the betterment of his readers and fellow citizens.  Then on “Our Miss Brooks” what could possibly go wrong when one of Connie’s students whips up a new form of egg dye?

 

Episodes

Rogers of the Gazette

August 12, 1953

“Land Deal”

2:13

 

Our Miss Brooks

April 9, 1950

“Dyeing Easter Eggs”

32:21

Comments[0]

Here’s another bonus quarantine-themed episode for you to help pass the time.  We begin with “The Adventures of Horatio Hornblower.”  Horatio Hornblower started life in a series of adventure novels written by C. S. Forester from the 1930s to the 1960s.  Hornblower is a British officer in the Royal Navy during the Age of Sail, the Napoleonic Wars of the 1800s.  That’s the same time period as Patrick O’Brian’s Aubrey-Maturin or “Master and Commander” series.  If you like one, you’ll like the other.  Then, on “Fibber McGee and Molly,” all the usual gang has been quarantined at the McGee residence for a week due to measles.  Let’s check in and see if everyone is still on their best behavior.

 

Episodes

The Adventures of Horatio Hornblower

August 18, 1952 / May 8, 1953

“Quarantined for the Plague”

2:47

Fibber McGee and Molly

March 11, 1941

“Quarantined With Measles”

24:27

Comments[0]

“If Freedom Failed” was a radio program created by the Armed Forces Radio Service. It depicted an alternate America in the 1950s that had been taken over by Communists. Each of the 26 episodes was inspired by actual events in Communist nations, but presented filtered through the prism of American life in fictional Springfield, U.S.A. This episode centers on a museum where historical facts are being altered to suit the Party.  Then on “Duffy’s Tavern,” actor Vincent Price drops by to visit “The Ham’s Club,” a dining establishment for actors only that barkeep Archie is trying to promote.

 

Episodes

If Freedom Failed
Episode 1, 1951
“A Matter of Fact”
2:37

Duffy’s Tavern
January 26, 1951
“Actor’s Club at the Tavern”
34:55

Comments[0]

Here’s a special bonus episode for everyone stuck inside and starved for entertainment -- two episodes on the theme of quarantine.  First up on “Have Gun Will Travel,” Paladin helps a Native American man whose sick cattle result in others enforcing a quarantine around his land with their rifles.  Then on “The Jack Benny Program,” Jack is sick in bed, and the gang is NOT practicing “social distancing” as they keep dropping by to visit.

 

Episodes

 

Have Gun Will Travel

February 22, 1959

“Winchester Quarantine”

1:43

 

“The Jack Benny Program”

March 18, 1951

“Jack Talks About His Illness the Previous Week”

26:36

Comments[0]

Just in time for St. Patrick’s Day, it’s “Lux Radio Theatre” with their adaptation of the 1949 film “Top o’ the Morning.”  This tale of a singing insurance investigator – NOT Johnny Dollar – stars Dennis Day from “The Jack Benny Show.”  Academy Award-winner Barry Fitzgerald and nominee Ann Blyth reprise their roles as residents of the Emerald Isle caught up in Day’s search for the stolen Blarney Stone.

Lux Radio Theatre 

March 17, 1952

“Top o’ the Morning”

2:55

Comments[0]

 “It Pays to Be Married” was a daytime game show aimed at housewives.  Five days a week, Jay Stewart interviewed couples from all walks of life who had faced and solved problems within their marriages. It was an inspirational, if generally light-hearted, program.  On tonight’s program, Jay interviews a Latvian war bride who had trouble adjusting to life in America.  Then Phil Harris and Alice Faye explain the marriage-centric origin of their radio show and tell the unexpectedly moving story of the birth of their first child.  Next, on “The Bob Hope Show,” Bob teams with fellow radio comedian Fred Allen.  The two bemoan television’s threat to their radio careers and decide to break into the new medium.

 

Episodes

It Pays to Be Married

January 27, 1954

“Guests:  Mr. and Mrs. John Scovern”

March 8, 1954

“Guests:  Phil Harris and Alice Faye”

2:31

 

The Bob Hope Show

February 7, 1950

“From the Vine Street Playhouse with Fred Allen”

32:30

Comments[0]

 We start out with a very faithful adaptation of the one of the oddest short stories in American literature, Herman Melville’s “Bartleby, the Scrivener.” It’s the story of a Wall Street office clerk, Bartleby, whose job is to make copies of documents. Then one day, he doesn’t want to, saying simply "I would prefer not to."  Indeed, he would prefer not to do anything.  It’s an enigmatic tale presented by the “The NBC Theater.”  Then the cast of “The Danny Kaye Show” celebrates Valentine’s Day.  Danny portrays “Dan Cupid” in a sketch about the little cherub spreading love and sings one of his patented dialect songs about Russian acting coach Stanislavski.

 

Episodes

The NBC Theater

December 2, 1950

“Bartleby, the Scrivener”

2:52

 

The Danny Kaye Show

February 10, 1945

“A Valentine for Jack Benny”

32:52

Comments[0]

During the Golden Age of Radio, there was almost no Afrocentric programming, and what little there was was comedy or music.  “New World A-Coming” broke that mold.  This series of docudramas was created by African-American journalist Roi Ottley and inspired by his Peabody-Award-winning book of the same name examining life in Harlem.  This episode takes on domestic service inequality as well as the inequality which took place in the armed forces during World War II.  Then on “You Bet Your Life,” Groucho grills two high school students about vocabulary they should know.  Next, a married couple sailing around the world recall how they met while in the Army.

 

Episodes

New World A-Coming

June 18, 1944

“The Mammy Legend”

3:04

 

You Bet Your Life

January 30, 1952

“The Secret Word is ‘Food’”

28:24

Comments[0]

SLXLM

“The Jack Benny Show” starts the year off right, with talk of Christmas presents and Jack and the gang going to the Rose Bowl for the New Year’s Day game.  Then on “Information Please,” are you up on are you up on famous dinner parties, the first words of poems, and the specialized slang of obscure professions?  Get ready to stump the experts.

 

The Jack Benny Show

January 5, 1941

“Rose Bowl Game – Stanford vs. Nebraska”

2:13

 

Information Please

January 23, 1942

“Guests: and Alexander Wolcott and Deems Taylor”

32:20

Comments[0]

1