The Best of Old Time Radio

One of the joys of owning a satellite radio is that you get to hear all kinds of programming from all eras of broadcasting history. Please, join me in a look back at some classic and some obscure old time radio programs that I’ve discovered.

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All girl action, 30’s style.

Frank Merryman and the Class of ’38

This fun series details the adventures of a group of young men attending Yale University. Together they show the ultimate in school spirit, especially in their most famous episode entitled, “There’s no ‘I’ in Team!” In it, they pull together to win the big game, convince a crotchety old alumni to help the school purchase a new fangled wireless transmitter, and oppress Negro servants!

Circus on the Air

Actual broadcasts of circus performance, without narration!

Tales from the F.B.I.

Hosted by none other than an unaccredited actor portraying J. Edger Hoover, this ground breaking series exposed the evils of crime. Highlights include episodes about racketeering and not shaving regularly. Two of the most influential were the tale of Tom “Two Fist” Malone and his scandalous habit of not wearing a hat in public. And don’t miss the true story of the women who jitterbugged too much.

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Peter Lorre, seen here creeping the fuck out of himself.

Colgate Presents: Peter Lorre is Fucking Creepy

Actor Peter Lorre plays himself in various day to day situations while making people feel incredibly uncomfortable. Listen to business people try to make nervous small talk as he stares at them in elevators. Feel an icy chill in your gut as he reads childrens nursery rhymes. Hear the results as women realizing he’s peeping into their windows.

The Museum of Terror

This unusual horror show featured a woman screaming for five minutes as the intro. Unfortunately, the series was too far ahead of its time and only lasted two episodes.

Happy McGurn and Sally

This long lived comedy series spanned two decades and was a sensation from coast to coast. The show starred Jerry Munson and Harriet Fielder in the hilarious trials and tribulations of a drunken Irish wife beater and his oft beaten wife. The hilarious catch phrase, “When Happy gets angry, I fall down stairs!” is still used today.

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I have no idea why this is related, but seriously this is a dinosaur destroying a radio station. Sweet.

Red Skelton’s Hour of Idiocy

Who doesn’t love Red Skelton’s wit and the characters he immortalized such as Clem Kadiddlehopper, Willy Lump-Lump, and Junior, “the Mean Widdle Kid”? Nobody, including people in the 30s and 40s. That’s why his show was broadcast only in prisons to punish criminals during riots.

Victoria Gossamer’s Guide to the Stars

Before such celebrity “news” shows like Entertainment Tonight, the only sources for celebrity gossip were magazines and Victoria Gossamer. Victoria would give all the biggest scoops like what leading men where queer, what starlets were getting abortions, and who was recently indentured into whatever major studio for life.

GM’s Showroom of the Air

This was GM’s on air showroom where GM reps placed a microphone next to their newest cars on the showroom floor for the pleasure of the listening audience.

The Real Life

Before MTV’s The Real World, there was The Real Life. Recorded in a Japanese internment camp, a group of total strangers was forced to live together under the watchful eye of a racist government.

Abbott and Costello Mail it in

Do you like the classic “Who’s on First” routine? If you do you’re in for a treat, because this series had variations of the same skit in every episode! The two legendary comedians didn’t stop there! They often took turns reading the sports section aloud to fill time.

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Baby Jimmy giggles for fifteen minutes in his first broadcast before wetting himself.

Adventures of Baby Jimmy

What do you get when you give a baby full creative control over a radio series? Pure zaniness!

Barry Rockman: Detective for Hire

There were many old time radio programs featuring hard boiled detectives, in fact every over-the-air radio signal in the year 1952 was a detective show of some kind. Even news outlets had private eyes reading the weather. What set Barry Rockman apart? Unlike most of his counterparts, he got beat up at least once an episode and he had Down’s syndrome.

The Groucho Marx Live Sex Hour

The secret word is obscene! Listen to a full hour of thrills as contestants perform bizarre and often brutal sexual acts for prizes and host Groucho Marx’s own deviant pleasures.

Note: This was originaly published in a somewhat altered form on Digital Monkey Box.

  • Old time radio was the best, all the suspence and everything. I’m of the age where I actually remember it and miss it lol!

  • The ol’ timer

    Hey you young whipper snapper are you making sport of the best form of entertainment ever….you some sort of commie? I think I remember your story featured on I was a Communist for the F B I.