It’s October, and as Halloween approaches, I am reminded that I have not posted many stories from radio’s always popular macabre or thriller series… Might as well start early.
“Scoop,” the December 8, 1942, episode of the scare-filled late-night radio show Lights Out must not be confused with the amusing Evelyn Waugh novel by the same name.
As it opens, a 40-year-veteran newspaper columnist is called into the office of a heartless and clueless new publisher. To save his job and keep serving his readers, the columnist even offers to continue working for no money.
The columnist sounds a bit like Boris Karloff, which should be a warning that the publisher’s end will not be a pretty one.
The story is by Arch Oboler (1909–1987) one of radio’s most creative writers and producers. At the end of the wartime program, he delivers a personal war-bond sales message about a real terror, preventing “the horror of a Jap-Nazi world.”
Archive.org has separate sections headed “LightsOutOTR” and “LightsOutoldTimeRadio,” each with a version of this program, so I will include a link to the duplicate copy here, just in case one or the other is, like the old man in the story, declared redundant.
Pioneer radio collector and historian J. David Goldin reports that the later syndicated episode was also known as “Cemetery.”