Mr. Chameleon

Listen to “The Great Detectives Present Keen and Company” on Spreaker.

The Frank and Anne Hummert radio factory had more than decade of success with Mister Keen, Tracer of Lost Personswhen their second mystery series, Mister Chameleon was played over CBS.

The series was about a college-educated man named Chameleon who came from a well-to-do family. Because he was named Chameleon, he tried to live up to that name by “taking on the color of any situation.” He eventually joined the police force and by using his powers of disguise, assumed a different identity and went undercover to solve all of his cases. The terms of the episode were the listeners would know who Mister Chameleon was but the suspects would not.

The Hummerts cast Karl Swenson in the role of Chameleon. According to some reports, the role was created for him. This would make sense as few actors in the New York radio scene could perform all the accents and dialects that would be required. While the series didn’t enjoy the long-lasting success of Mister Keen, the series ran for four and a half years and was often among radio’s highest-rated programs.

About the Star:

Karl SwensonKarl Swenson (1908-78):  Known to families across America as Mr. Hanson on Little House on the Prairie, Swenson enjoyed a long career over radio, television, and movies primarily as a character actor.  Swenson played the lead in two golden age radio detective series, Father Brown and Mister Chameleon.  (Picture Courtesy of Digital Deli)

 

 

Episode Log:

 

*Originally played in 2014

New episodes added every Tuesday