Joining me in the studio is fellow podcaster, Kevin Zerbe of Zerbinattorland.
We disccuss one of his favorite shows, Lights Out, and its creators Willis Cooper and Arch Oboler. We break up our conversation with clips from the shows we’re talking about.
Fast One, from October 14, 1936 is about an insurance investigator who stumbles on the secret behind a rash of robberies, and mysterious deaths. Instead of justice, greed takes over, and the limit is pushed with the elyxir that makes our partners in crime move at super speeds. Still, balance in the universe is called for, and natural side affects of the potion ensures justice wins in the end.
Nobbody Died, from December 9, 1936 is also about a secret elyxir. When greed and murder place a healing drug in the wrong hands, the abuse of it causes the opposite side affect of the one featured in the Fast One. What kind of side affect could a drug used for healing, and rejuvenation possibly have? Listen, learn, and remember… nobody died.
Sorry if the episode runs a little long, but we had fun in sharing tidbits about the show’s creator Willis Cooper, and the man who is probably most linked with Lights Out. Arch Oboler brought plenty of additional creativity to the ground breaking show with sound affects that brought the stories to life, and topics that pushed the limits of what the culture, and censors allowed. It was largely possible due to the lack of a sponsor, and the midnight hour that it aired.
The show came to an end just before the war. In part because Willis Cooper leftfor other ventures including working with the team over at Campbell Playhouse. While there he worked with Orson Wells, and Ernest Chapel. He would later create another ground breaking show, tailored especially for Ernest Chapel. Quiet Please was as under stated in the sound affects area as Lights Out used them , but was still able to present spooky tales with good affectiveness.
Arch Oboler continued with Lights Out, but his controversial messages of anti-fascism didn’t sit well with the networks. Once the war was in full swing, it became the cool thing to bash the Fascists, and after producing other shows, Arch Oboler was back. He used a combination of favorite old scripts, along with new ones to resurrect Lights Out.
Check out the entire track on Youtube: O Little Town Of Bethlehem (House Of The Rising Sun) – Stickipop