Monday, December 12, 2016

25 More Days of Old Time Radio Christmas - Day 12: Double Entry from Suspense

A Christmas story about accounting?  Well sorta.  In 1945, Suspense aired one of their best lighter episodes for the holidays that saw two big Hollywood actors play accountants and try to desperately keep one step ahead of the auditors at year's end.  While the story is not about Christmas per se, altruism plays a big role for sure!  Here is a link to all the previous OTR Christmas entries.  If you have Sirius/XM, you can listen to Greg Bell's Old time radio channel (#148).  He does a great job of showcasing great holiday themed episodes, especially as we get close to Christmas.

John W. Thomas Statue (Centennial Park, Nashville, Tennessee)

John W. Thomas Statue (Centennial Park, Nashville, Tennessee) - April 2015

Among the very best shows that were broadcast during the Golden Age of Radio, the CBS Network's Suspense really stands out as one of the best of the best.  Radio's "outstanding theater of thrills" had a 20 year run on CBS - starting in 1942.  In fact, the last Suspense episode in 1962 marks the end of the Golden Age of Radio.  One of the reasons why I love listening to the early episodes is because I enjoy the sponsor, Roma Wines.  Their commercials are the best - Salute!  They had numerous Christmas episodes over the years, and I showcased 1943's Back for Christmas last year with the great Peter Lorre.  Two years later, they featured Keenan Wynn and Hume Cronyn as accountants who might be in over their head!

In doing a bit of research for this entry, I discovered there was such a thing as an "Suspense Account" in accounting.  So...according to the Accounting Coach, a suspense account is:

A suspense account is an account in the general ledger in which amounts are temporarily recorded. The suspense account is used because the proper account could not be determined at the time that the transaction was recorded.
When the proper account is determined, the amount will be moved from the suspense account to the proper account.
OK...on to the episode.  This Suspense episode aired on December 20, 1945 and started movie actors Kennan Wynn and Hume Cronyn as best pals who work as accountants at a company facing their annual audit at the end of the year.  Keenan Wynn plays Eddie, an accountant who is does not have a care in the world.  But his best pal Sam (played by Hume Cronyn) has ulcers...and a secret.  Seems a few years earlier, Sam might have...well...borrowed $100,000 from the company.  He had been hiding them in the books over the last nine years, but he was convinced that this is the year he will get caught!  Eddie is stumped!  He had no idea how to fix this.  Then, an inadvertent visit by a bookie, gave Eddie an idea.  Bet $1000 on a long-shot, win and you can help out your best friend.  But where to get $1000?  Well, he can borrow it from the company....what could go wrong.  And the long-shot's name? Altruism.  Isn't that the spirit of the holidays?  What could go wrong? Well everything.   And just when things looked their darkest, a very surprising confession changes the fate of both accountant!

Wally Maher plays the bookie and Elliott Lews served as the announcer in this Robert Minton written script that was directed by William Spier.  Lots of Christmas mentions in the ads for Roma Wines and a greeting from Wynn and Cronyn at the end.  This script was used again four years later (December 22, 1949) with a bit more holiday focused.  I love this episode, so that is why it is in this series.  I hope you enjoy!

Another 25 Days of Old Time Radio Christmas (from 2016) & Other Links

25 Days of Old Time Radio Christmas (from 2015) & Other Links

25 Days of Old Time Radio Christmas (from 2014)

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