Friday, June 20, 2008

one down, nineteen to go

At the urging of my friend Tim, I tried listening to some NPR this week. Today I heard a show that was so good, I'm kicking myself for not knowing about it sooner. Fortunately all twenty past episodes of Radiolab are available online. They produce five episodes per season.

The episode that got me hooked was about the famous 1938 broadcast of "War of the Worlds." I downloaded the mp3 so I can hear the parts I missed while out of the car. People who posted comments on the show's blog loved it as much as I did.

Every Halloween some radio stations would rerun the old Mercury Theatre show. I used to hear it as a kid in New York on WOR. In L.A. it was on KNX. While I was at KLOS, I produced and directed a version of "War of the Worlds" at the Museum of Television & Radio, as it was known back then. We paid some old guy for the rights and used the same script.

In our production, Paul Sorvino played the Orson Welles part. I cast Paul Moyer and Colleen Williams from KNBC and Leonard Maltin from "Entertainment Tonight" in the roles of the newscasters who "interrupt" the program. They were all great but it was William Shatner who stole the show. He played Carl Phillips, the reporter who (spoiler alert) gets burned up by the Martians. Shatner got a well-deserved standing ovation during our first commercial break.

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Blogger bean said...

frank, i never heard your 'war of the worlds' with the great bill shatner on the radio. do you still have a copy of it? perhaps you could post if as a treat for all your blog readers if not now, maybe on october 30th, on the 70th anniversary of the original radio version.

Blogger Frank Murphy said...

I'm not sure that I have a copy but if I do, it will probably take me from now until October 30 to find it!


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