I like to listen to podcasts while I draw, and some of my favorites are the ones that replay ancient radio shows from the 1930s-1950s. When they first aired, going out over the airwaves to crackle out of old-timey wooden radios, I wonder if the makers had any idea that people would be able to listen to their shows at will over half a century later?
Look for Old Time Radio on iTunes and you’ll find a treasure trove. Did you know that Blondie used to have a terrible radio show to go with its terrible comic? There were good shows too – check out Our Miss Brooks or You Bet Your Life. I also enjoy Fibber McGee and Molly, which emulated the variety shows in that it was charmingly frank about its product placement, boasting a character whose only role was to show up and gas on about the linoleum company that sponsored the show. The practice of inserting the commercials into the plot so honestly seems almost refreshing in our modern era of Sylar carving subliminal Nissan and Sprint ads into people’s faces.
Wednesday in this space, I’ll tell you about a modern production that keeps the spirit of old-timey radio alive, with all the thrills and action of the sepia age and none of the racism and shameless huckstering for soap and Jell-O.