Episode 9 features two separate old time radio shows. both from the 1940s. The first is a short one (about 8 minutes) from a series titled Calling All Detectives. The episode is titled “Stud Poker.” I was reading around about this radio show and discovered that when it was first produced (in Chicago, I believe), they would actually stop the show just before the crime was solved, then call up people at random -- just picking names out of the phone book -- and ask if they could figure out whodunit. Since they’d often reach folks who hadn’t even been listening, they eventually scrapped that idea and instead had listeners send in postcards with their names and numbers. They’d draw one of the cards and ring ’em up. Hence the name of the show.
The whole thing was a big hit, it sounds like, but then the show became popular enough to get syndicated nationwide and so they had to forgo the live call-in segments. When I play the show in this episode of the HBPRS, I thought it would be fun to simulate the idea, so what I do is play the first 6-7 minutes of the show, then stop it and invite the listener to think about who the killer might be. Then I play the conclusion.
The “main feature” this time is an episode of the Nick Carter, Master Detective radio show called “The Case of the Poker Murders.” Like most of the regular old time radio shows, this one lasts about a half-hour.
Nick Carter was a pretty slick show, and so should be fun for those who like to listen to these old programs. The poker angle is kind of tangential here, with the villain going by the name of the “Ace of Spades” and all of his minions similarly styling themselves after playing cards. Some good fun, though, including some corny card-playing puns here and there.
For more on the show, you can check out the show’s blog where you’ll find show notes for all of the episodes. You can also subscribe over in iTunes, if yr into that sort of thing.