We begin with John Astin reading “Eldorado” at the Edgar Allan Poe Bicentennial Celebration in Baltimore. (I was there later that year and saw Astin hosting Poe’s second, proper funeral.) John Astin is to Poe what Hal Holbrook was to Mark Twain.
Next, we come to a classic of Old-Time Radio. So much so that I searched the site twice to make sure I was right and we hadn’t posted it before. From Bela Lugosi’s Mystery House, it’s “The Thirsty Death.” In fact, Bela Lugosi’s Mystery House is “The Thirsty Death.” It’s the only known produced episode of the show, and it even mentions a series of similarly named movies that Lugosi was going to star in…that nobody seems to know anything about. Because they never happened.
Perhaps the pilot episode slipped here from an alternate universe where the whole thing, radio and movies, took place. And the Mystery House series has been an enduring multimedia franchise since the 1940s. It’s fun to think about. If anybody has a Berenstein/Berenstain Bears-type connection with this, please let me know.
Again, I could’ve sworn we’ve posted this. It’s the most famous episode of the anthology show, Tales of Tomorrow: “Frankenstein” with Lon Chaney Jr. All of these were broadcast live. (Kids, ask your…well, grandparents, I guess.) Enjoy.