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First up, on Dragnet, a movie set is the scene of a murder. Jack Webb’s Sergeant Friday hits the soundstage and talks with gaffers, best boys, and directors while investigating a murder that puts the tarnish on Tinseltown. Then on You Bet Your Life, Groucho interviews two doctors -- one for people and one for the birds. Later, there’s a woman who met her husband while selling underwear door-to-door and an engaged couple who work at the same department store. You can listen here.

For New Year’s, we sum up all of 1939. First it’s Information Please from January of that year. The guest is Alexander Wolcott, the inspiration for the titular character in our previous episode, The Man Who Came to Dinner. The panelists take questions from columnist Walter Winchell, make up poker hands from Mother Goose, and identify famous generals. Then on the The Jack Benny Show it’s New Year’s Eve. Jack has a date, but forces conspire to prevent him from keeping it. Western star Andy Devine drops by to talk about taking his parents to Phil Harris’ wild late show. Listen here.

We present two Christmas-themed comedy programs this time. First up, on The Bob Hope Show, guest Gregory Peck debates with Bob about who’s the handsomer. Then Bob tries to buy a cheap Christmas tree. On The Great Gildersleeve, Gildy spends considerable time and effort selecting just the right present for his old pal Fibber McGee. Enjoy these broadcasts – which aired exactly seven years apart, as it happens – while trimming your tree or wrapping your gifts. Listen here.

The Man Who Came To Dinner was a 1939 Broadway comedy written by George S. Kaufman and Moss Hart. It has since become a classic. When radio commentator and professional wit Sheridan Whiteside is visiting a prominent family in a small town in Ohio a few weeks before Christmas, he injures himself and is confined to their house for a month. He may be stuck but the show must go on. “Sherry,” as his friends call him, continues to run his business, see friends and associates, and drive his nice suburban hosts crazy. This one-hour adaptation by the Lux Radio Theater stars Clifton Webb and Lucille Ball. Listen here.

Today we present two comedies, both Thanksgiving-themed, and both featuring the perils of trying to save money by buying a live turkey. First on Our Miss Brooks, teachers never have enough money, so Connie tries to work herself and her date into a big dinner with all the fixings at her principal’s house. Then on The Jack Benny Program, you can trust Jack to try to save a few pennies by getting his turkey the hard way. And it turns out to be even harder than he anticipated.
Listen here.

Real-life bandleader for The Jack Benny Show, Phil Harris, and his wife, Alice Faye, had their own sitcom radio show during the 1940s – 50s. Accompanied by his pal Frankie Remley (or is that Elliott Lewis? Listen and all will be explained.), Harris would stumble into problems surpassed only by the team of Flintstone and Rubble. This time around, it’s the infamous traffic in Los Angeles that will be the guys’ undoing. Then it’s time to see what you remember from school. On College Quiz Bowl we cover music, witches, and international capitals. Listen here.

On The Jack Benny Show, Jack has a terrible time trying to listen to the 1950 World Series. When he’s not being interrupted by visitors, his radio keeps jumping between a performance of “Bali Hai” and a boxing match from the 1920s. Then X Minus One adapts Ray Bradbury’s classic short story, “The Veldt.” How real is too real for the television of the future? Listen here.

"James and the Great Pumpkin (Carving Contest)" appears in Tales from the Canyons of the Damned issue 19. It's Halloween and Reggie and James are in New York to help out a friend with his Broadway musical, The Call of Cat's Hulu (or something like that). Magical and mysterious hijinks ensue. Read it plus four other Halloween tales for 2.99. Free on Kindle Unlimited. Paperback format also available.

Buy ebook version here.

Buy paper version here.

On You Bet Your Life a horsewoman and a fisherman come in for some good-natured ribbing, but they give as good as they get from the one, the only, Groucho Marx. And, as usual, a simple question like “How did you meet your spouse?” opens up a world of comedy. Then on Dragnet, there is no honor among thieves. When a jewel thief is caught, he’s quick to turn on his fellows once he learns that they’ve cheated him. Listen here.

Back in April, I was on Rob Kelly's Film and Water Podcast to talk about the 1937 classic film Lost Horizon, starring Ronald Colman and directed by Frank Capra. Now I'm back, as Rob and I discuss the 1973 musical remake. Spoilers: It's not as good, but we didn't hate it.