Friday, December 5, 2014

25 Days of Old Time Radio Christmas: Day 5 - Nero Wolfe & the Slaughtered Santas

Working on sending out one blog entry each day in December to showcase great Old Time Radio for the Christmas season.  Here is a link to all the entries.  Here is day #5 - and the timing could not have been better!  Today is the first day of the 37th Annual Black Orchid Banquet (December 5-7 in New York City).  This event is sponsored by The Wolfe Pack, the group that celebrates everything Nero Wolfe.  The keynote for this year's event will be award winning Broadway composer Stephen Schwartz (Pippen & Wicked just to name two).  He also loves Nero Wolfe!

If you have Sirius/XM, you can listen to Greg Bell's Old time radio channel (#82). He has a number of great programs available throughout the month of December on his great show.  You can also get a large number of these programs at a variety or resources on the web. One place to find these shows is the 500 OTR Christmas Shows from the Internet Archive. This is a great resources for many of these wonderful radio shows!

Antique Postcard of the NBC Radio Studios in Hollywood, California 

I have been a very big fan of Nero Wolfe on the radio (and the stories).  This series aired on the NBC Network and featured the great actor Sydney Greenstreet as Nero Wolfe.  Greenstreet played Signor Ferrari in Casablanca, probably my favorite movie ever.  Greenstreet does a masterful job as the robust detective.  Playing Archie Goodwin, Nero Wolfe's trusted assistant and 'man in the field' were five different actors in the relatively short run: Wally Maher, Lamont Johnson, Herb Ellis, Lawrence (Larry) Dobkin, Gerald Mohr, and Harry Bartell.  Listening to these episodes are a great treat.

The Christmas episode aired on December 22, 1950 and was called "The Case Of The Slaughtered Santas". Joining Greenstreet and Larry Dobkin as Archie Goodwin were Howard McNear, Jeanne Bates, Herb Butterfield, William Johnstone, with Don Stanley as the announcer.  In the story, the Wolfe household is disturbed by a call from Santa Claus right before Christmas.  He called Nero Wolfe to get protection as he was one of four charity Santas who worked a corner.  Only two of them were killed - and the caller was convinced he was next.  So it is up to Nero Wolfe to find out who is killing the sidewalk Santas.  And why were they being killed?  He does not disappoint...he never does!  Here is a link right to the episode:

Here are some links to programs relating to Nero Wolfe:
25 Days of Old Time Radio Christmas:

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