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For our second set of Christmas-themed episodes this month, we start off with The Jack Benny Program. Jack does one of his traditional holiday-shopping episodes. As always, he tries to go cheap, and he bumps into a lot of the show’s regulars doing their shopping as well. Then, on Have Gun – Will Travel, Christmas Eve finds Paladin interceding between an Indian chief and a White rancher who insists that the chief’s son is actually his boy, stolen many years ago. Check it out here.

This December I’m going to run all Christmas-themed shows. We begin with another episode of Fibber McGee and Molly. This episode is nearly 70 years old, but we see that some things never change. Fibber and Molly have to go to the post office to mail off some Christmas presents, and the lines were just as long and annoying then as they still are today. Then Nigel Bruce as Dr. Watson recounts another of The New Adventures of Sherlock Holmes. It’s Christmas Eve and the good Doctor has agreed to dress up as Santa Claus (uh, Father Christmas) for a children’s party. Will Holmes get to spend a quiet evening at home? Not on your Fezziwig . . . Check it out here.

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 on The Jack Benny Program, Jack attends that great Los Angeles event, the annual pre-Thanksgiving football game between UCLA and USC. He, 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. Check it out here.

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 . . . Click here to listen.

Two by me for Halloween

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.

Check it out here.

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. Check it out here.

For anyone interested in reading Thurber's short story, it's available on the Saturday Evening Post's archives.


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?

Click here to listen.