Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Five things off the top of my head that changed radio

5. Comedians Who Used Silence as Humor - Comedians such as Jack Benny and Gale Gordon used silence as a comedy tool, unlike the machine gun repartee  of Burns and Allen and Milton Berle, Benny's pauses brought just as much laughter to audiences as a joke would.

4. The Rise of the Drama and Comedy over Music - Thanks to shows like Lux Radio Theatre, the drama changed radio by 1935 - from a news and music medium to a drama/comedy medium. 

3.  The Rise of the Kiddie Adventure - Crime fighters and adventures-seekers come in all shapes and sizes and a lot of them were geared at the child.  By the late 1930's, these shows were all over the dial.

2. The Rise of the Soap Opera - Lonely women, whose husbands and boyfriends were off fighting  on foreign soil, became captivated by the "soap opera" - radio melodrama whose commercials were geared at the woman (soap, breakfast cereals, hair products, etc.)

1. The Mercury Theater Presents The War of the Worlds  - No fault of their own, Orson Welles, Agnes Moorehead and company create panic on Halloween night in 1938, giving people a whole new understanding about the power of radio.

©Jimbo 2010/2011

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