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First up, it’s The New Adventures of Nero Wolfe with Sidney Greenstreet as the rotund, yet brilliant private investigator. Hard to believe it, but Wolfe actually leaves his brownstone mansion to do a little detecting. Then we return to England as the bumbling government officials of The Men from the Ministry investigate a phantom train in a country village.

Listen here.

First up it’s X Minus One with one of their most intellectual episodes: “Appointment in Tomorrow,” which asks what role public perception plays in science. Then Bob Bailey stars private problem-solver George Valentine in Let George Do It. It’s up to George to find some missing currency paper before it’s used by a counterfeiting ring. The economy of a nation is at stake. Listen here.

We start this week with The Bob Hope Show. Bob is in England. He teams up with legendary British music hall and screen comedian Jerry Desmond for jokes about the National Health Service and a sketch about Bob’s school days. Then Orson Welles stars as The Shadow, that mysterious righter of wrongs with the power to cloud men’s minds. Who know what evil lurks in the hearts of men? He does.

Listen here.

Tonight we present two quiz shows recorded a little over a decade apart, but featuring the same contestant. In the 1940s young Margaret Merrick was a frequent panelist on The Quiz Kids, where it was no secret that she had had polio. Before we had the term, she was a “poster child” for what was then called “infantile paralysis.” Margaret then appears with her husband on Groucho Marx’s You Bet Your Life, where she talks about her youth and the couple tackle questions about numbers in everyday life. You can listen here.

Though polio has nearly been eradicated worldwide, The March of Dimes still exists. It’s currently dedicated to preventing premature birth and birth defects. You can donate here - https://www.marchofdimes.org/giving/support-general.aspx

A few weeks back, we presented the radio drama version of the classic film, Sunset Boulevard. Tonight, The Jack Benny Program is going to render (in the best sense of the word) its version. Mary is out sick, but her real-life sister, Babe, is on hand to play the Gloria Swanson role. Then we present three episodes of the little-known Basil Rathbone series, Word Detective. These three-minute investigations into word origins were really just ads for the Underwood typewriter company, but they are informative and entertaining nonetheless. Listen here.

This week, we have two programs we’ve never presented before. Humphrey Bogart and Lauren Bacall had their own adventure radio series in the 1950s, Bold Venture. It was part Casablanca and part African Queen. Bogie plays the proprietor of a Havana hotel frequented by conmen, gamblers, and treasure hunters, and every week brought the couple adventure and excitement. Next, it’s America’s favorite bow-tie-wearing redhead, Archie Andrews. Light on the adventure, but high on the domestic comedy and teen-aged shenanigans, here Archie finds the simple act of getting dressed for a date to be quite a challenge. You can listen here.

Sunset Boulevard is justifiably regarded as one of the finest films ever made. The tale of faded silent-era film star Norma Desmond (Gloria Swanson), desperate to make a comeback, and the screenwriter she dragoons into working for her (William Holden) has been a favorite with critics and viewers since its premiere in 1950. Although the film noir classic loses its striking visuals in this radio adaptation, the fact that it sticks so closely to the original dialog and has Swanson and Holden reprise their Academy Award-nominated roles makes listening to this Lux Radio Theater production the next best thing to watching the film. Listen here.

I'm on the M*A*S*HCast podcast again

The M*A*S*HCast podcast, on the Fire and Water network, celebrates the greatest TV show of all time, M*A*S*H. Host Rob Kelly was kind enough to have me on for a third time to talk about season 2, episode 3, "Radar's Report." Here, a North Korean soldier wounds a nurse, whom Hawkeye falls in love with, and we have the first appearance by Allan Arbus as Army psychiatrist Dr. Milton (later Sidney) Freedman. You can listen here.
Among other topics, Information Please asks about measures of length in common metaphorical phrases, Huckleberry Finn, and then-recent current events of 1939. Next we present for the first time, The Jimmy Durante Show. Jimmy is interested in politics, so he travels around the nation celebrating the 50 states and trying to get his show business friends to pledge their votes. Listen here.

On X Minus One big-game hunters go after the biggest of game: dinosaurs. It’s time-travelers vs their prehistoric trophies in “A Gun for Dinosaur.” Then on The Great Gildersleeve, Gildy helps out with the neighborhood women’s Red Cross committee. What could possibly go wrong? Listen here.