Month: June 2013

Our Ten Funniest Episodes

Last week, I wrote about our Ten Most Exciting Episodes. This week as we approach the big 1000 number, we continue the celebration with a look back at our most humorous episodes:

10) Pat Novak: Wendy Morris

Really, I could have put any episode of Pat Novak for Hire on this list (with one exception we’ll talk about next week.) and it’d fit. Pat Novak had the best line of patter and some of cleverest lines in all of radio, and a unique style of Novak-speak. This may have been the best in my memory, however, any episode could go on this list.

9) Leonidas Witherall: The State Fair Murder Case

A predictable murder of an unpleasant woman at the state fair is punched by clever deduction and light comedy.

8) Let George Do It: The Brooksdale Orphanage

Early episodes of Let George Do It were trying to be funny as a detective comedy complete with laugh track. Usually, the humor came up lame such as in the awful Cousin Jeff and the Pig. In this one, it works. It’s not George’s greatest moment, and I actually received a complaint from a new listener who thought I’d snookered him by advertising this as a detective’s podcast. Still, if you keep an open mind, it’s a pretty good show.

7) LuRadio Theater: The Thin Man

Cecil B. Demille brings together William Powell and Mryna Loy to perform their roles from the classic detective comedy.

6) Jeff Regan: She’s Lovely, She’s Engaged, She Eats Soybeans 

After Jack Webb left Jeff Regan, the show retooled with Frank Graham taking the lead role of Jeff Regan and comic character actor Frank Nelson took over as the boss Anthony J Lyon and turned the character into a lovable scoundrel. The result was a new series with some hard boiled elements, but also a few lighter comedic touches as illustrated in this story of Regan trying to guard a beautiful model on a health food kick.

5) Candy Matson: Devil in the Deep Freeze

A classically quirky Candy Matson story that finds Candy hired to find out who killed a man in a devil costume found in a theater. A hilarious solution follows with some pretty good action

4) Columbia Worshop: Murder in Studio One

We paid tribute to the late great Norman Corwin when he died in 2011 when playing this episode of the Columbia Workshop. Corwin was known for his powerful poetry, not his skill as a mystery writer, but this is a pretty good satirical comedy mystery as Helen Hayes investigates the murder of a man who may have deserved his fate as he was a traitor.

3) Barrie Craig; A Very Odd Job

Barrie Craig is hired to deliver a puppet to a showgirl in one of the oddest adventures of his career.

2) X Minus One: Protective Mimicry

Veteran radio character actor Mandell Kramer plays a futuristic T-man in search of a counterfeiter. The story is played relatively straight-laced which makes its humorous funny, and the denouement of the case is a classic.

1) Sherlock Holmes: The Second Generation

Does being able to fool Sherlock Holmes run in the family? The daughter of Irene Adler sure hopes so in this Rathbone-Bruce Holmes story.

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Telefilm Review: Evil Under The Sun

Poirot’s Eight series in 2001 began with the telefilm of Evil Under the Sun. Poirot has an apparent heart attack after eating at Captain Hastings Argentinian restaurant, so on doctor’s orders he goes to an island to rest and to eat a healthier, blander diet. When he arrives, he finds actress Arlena Marshall has a large number of enemies on the island, thanks to her obvious stepping out on her husband with a man whose married to another woman, who is also on the island and witnessing this.

When the actress is murdered, there are plenty of suspects, though the wronged woman has an airtight alibi. With multiple suspects, Poirot seeks to find the truth with the help of Captain Hastings, Inspector Japp, and Miss Lemon.

This episode like Lord Edgeware Dies had been adapted as a film starring Peter Ustinov. Both the motion picture and this release made changes from the book. In this case, I think the changes made by the telefilm version were detrimental to the story. They changed the gender of the murdered woman’s stepchild which took a clue that was mostly unremarkable and made it stick out like a sore thumb. My wife, never a fan of mysteries had her hackles raised by a fact that would not have gone on her radar had the character been female as in the book.

In addition, attempts to keep the original Poirot family in the story were really awkward in this production and the part about Captain Hasting restaurant was especially problematic. It all seemed rather forced. It was with good reason that none of these characters have appeared since the eighth series despite how well they were liked through the first six and how much I look forward to the return of Hastings in the final one.

It’s a bit better than okay adaptation, but it could have been better and Ustinov’s take was far a far stronger version.

Rating: 3.75 out of 5.00

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EP0986: The Line Up: The Pixie Picker Pickle Case

William JohnstoneGuthrie searches for a man who has been stabbing young women late at night with an icepick.

Original Air Date: November 8, 1951

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EP0985: Yours Truly Johnny Dollar: The Forbes Matter, Part Five and the Widow is Willing

Bob Bailey


Johnny knows all except why Sheldon Forbes through his life away on a woman who didn’t want him.

Original Air Date: December 30, 1955

The first heir is dead as an insurance investigator cuts through lies to find the truth about the existence of alleged photos of a murder.

Original Air Date: 1958 or 59

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EP0984: Sherlock Holmes: The Empty House

John GielgudSherlock Holmes returns from the dead to solve a locked room murder.

Original Air Date: April 17, 1955

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