Lights Out query

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Lights Out query

Postby OTRMysteryGuy » Mon Sep 25, 2006 1:20 am

Hi everyone,

I'm a long-time OTR fan (17 years), first time commenter on this site (although I've visited it and found it extremely informative for awhile).

I've got a question that I hope someone can help with. It's one that goes back to when I first started listening to OTR.

The first OTR stories that I listened to were Arch Oboler's Lights Out Everybody. They scared the pants off me. The episodes I got in the late eighties seemed to have re-recorded intros for the the theme music, and modern day introductions by Oboler, himself.

Ok, now for the question: One of the stories (a personal favorite) is called "Night." Does anyone know when this was produced? It wouldn't seem to be a true OTR show, because it references the Vietnam War, characters say they are going to "beam in on NASA," and although it's never explictly stated, there would appear to be an aged former Nazi character in the program, as well, putting it some time after WWII.

The program features an introduction by Vincent Price.

I've done internet searches galore, trying to find information about the episode, but have come up empty handed. Anyone know the scoop about "Night"?

Thanks, and take care.

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Postby WaltP » Tue Sep 26, 2006 2:18 am

The only record I find for "Night" was a broadcast on June 7, 1945. The rerecorded intros were frombably from "The Devil and Mr. O" which, if memory serves, was exactly as you described -- old OL eps with new Oboler intros.

He also had a series in 1964 called "Arch Oboler Plays" but Night doesn't seem to be one of them.

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Postby Remley » Tue Oct 10, 2006 4:50 pm

I also have been equally perplexed by "Night" and some other Oboler shows. "Night" sounds like it was from at least the 60s, without a doubt. It actually sounds like it's from the early 70s, judging by the audio, the pacing of the acting, and the general sound. It's very similar in sound to the early 70s shows like Rod Serling's 'Zero Hour'. (Incidentally Elliot Lewis was an actor in "Night", and was also involved in the Zero Hour.)

I haven't seen any logs from "Arch Oboler's Plays" that contain this broadcast, and it doesn't seem to fit with the 1964s revival of this series, but perhaps it is some other special 60s or 70s broadcast, or perhaps done specifically for an old-time radio retrospective on LP vinyl (Arch had done that before, doing a 'new' studio version of "Cat Wife" on the Longines Symphonette multi-LP set on old radio released in the 60s).

In any event, it seems obvious that the old "Lights Out" intro and outro have been grafted onto this show, as has happened with several episodes of Arch Oboler's Plays. It seems that at some later point Arch and co. were happy to refer to his entire radio output under the "Light's Out" brand.

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Joined: Sat May 13, 2006 5:28 pm

Postby Remley » Wed Apr 04, 2007 4:15 am

I've solved the mystery. I don't know if the person who asked the question last September will ever see this, but the episode called "Night" was never a Lights Out show. It was recorded in 1980 for the Mutual Radio Theater (which was previously called the Sears Radio Theater).

The episode originally aired May 14, 1980. Arch Oboler did indeed write, produce and direct this show. He did a number of episodes for the Mutual Radio Theatre:

1980-04-23 Lion Hunt
1980-04-30 House On Fire
1980-05-07 Vicious Circle
1980-05-14 Night

Metacom clearly must have taken this recording of "Night", and tacked on the Lights Out 'gong' intro & outro for the cassette that was offered for sale in the early 1980s. My copy had "Bathsyphere", an original Lights Out episode from the 40s, on the other side.

If you're still out there, OTRMysteryGuy, hope this clears it up for you.


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