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Friday, January 22, 2010

Fat Man, The


The Fat Man, a popular radio show during the 1940s and early 1950s was a detective drama based on characters by Dashiell Hammett. It starred J. Scott Smart in the title role.

Broadcast from the studios of WJZ in New York, the series premiered on the ABC Radio Network on Monday, January 21, 1946, at 8:30pm, as part of a block of four new programs (I Deal in Crime, Forever Tops, and Jimmy Gleason's Diner). Based on Dashiell Hammett's fiction, The Fat Man was further developed by producer, E.J. ("Mannie") Rosenberg. The program was directed by Clark Andrews, creator of Big Town, and Charles Powers. The main writer was Richard Ellington, with other scripts by Robert Sloane and Lawrence Klee.

The veteran character actor Ed Begley co-starred as Sgt. O'Hara, and the supporting cast included Betty Garde, Paul Stewart, Linda Watkins, Mary Patton as Lila North and Vicki Vola, who was also the female lead in Mr. District Attorney. Amzie Strickland played Runyon's girlfriend Cathy Evans, and Nell Harrison was Runyon's mother during the early episodes. The cast also included Dan Ocko, Rolly Bester (wife of science fiction writer Alfred Bester) and Robert Dryden. An 11-piece orchestra was directed by Bernard Green, who also wrote the program's theme. The sound effects were by Ed Blaney, and the announcers were Charles Irving and sportscaster Gene Kirby (1909-1985).

The success of the radio series led to a movie, The Fat Man (1951), directed by William Castle with a flashback-within-a-flashback storyline. Smart retained his role as detective Brad Runyon, investigating the murder of a Los Angeles dentist with an assist from Bill Norton (Clinton Sundberg). One of the suspects is portrayed by famed Barnum & Bailey clown Emmett Kelly in his screen debut as an actor. Also in the cast are Rock Hudson, Julie London, Parley Baer (uncredited) and Jayne Meadows.

There was also a version made in Australia, syndicated on the Artansa label in 1954 - 1955. The Australian Fat Man was played by Lloyd Burrell.

All US Shows

All Australian Shows


Murder Plays the Horses 1 19/08/1954
Murder Sends a Xmas Card 2 26/08/1954
Murder Runs a Want Ad 3 2/09/1954
Murder Runs A Want Ad 4 9/09/1954
Murder Wears a False Face 5 16/09/1954
Murder Stalks the Dead 6 23/09/1954
Murder Meets an Agent 7 30/09/1954
Murder Missed Out 8 7/10/1954
Murder Takes A Train Journey 9 14/10/1954
Murder In Triplicate 10 21/10/1954
Murder Throough A Crystal 11 28/10/1954
Murder Makes A Hum 12 4/11/1954
Murder Plays A Double 13 11/11/1954
Murder Moves In Circles 14 18/11/1954
Murder And The Peacock 15 25/11/1954
Murder Calls The undertaker 16 2/12/1954
Murder Seeks A Lost Penny 17 9/12/1954
Murder Makes A Statue 18 16/12/1954
Murder Meets A Con Man 19 23/12/1954
Murder Finds Twins 20 30/12/1954
Murder Rings a Bell 21 6/01/1955
Murder Repeats Itself 22 13/01/1955
Murder Rides A Wheelchair 23 20/01/1955
Murder Finds A Coffin 24 27/01/1955
Murder For Sale 25 3/02/1955
Murder By Mail 26 10/02/1955
Murder Makes Am Alibi 27 17/02/1955
Murder in Close 28 24/02/1955
Murder Shows An Unfamiliar Face 29 3/03/1955
Murder Makes The Kings Coffin 30 10/03/1955
Murder Makes the Highest Bid 31 17/03/1955
Murder Finds A Devils Drum 32 24/03/1955
Murder Makes A Black Moon 33 31/03/1955
Murder Blows A Phantom Face 34 7/04/1955
Murder Makes A Silent Partner 35 14/04/1955
Murder Makes Music 36 21/04/1955
Murder Writes A Story 37 28/04/1955
Murder Meets An Uncertain Lady 38 5/05/1955
Murder Shows A Card 39 12/05/1955
Murder Makes The Payoff 40 19/05/1955
Murder Sends A Warning 41 26/05/1955
Murder Calls At Eventide 42 2/06/1955
Murder Seeks A Thousand Dollar Bill 43 9/06/1955
Murder Tells A secret 44 16/06/1955
Murder In The Dark 45 23/06/1955
Murder Shows Eyes In The Dark 46 30/06/1955
Murder Shows A Stolen Heart 47 7/07/1955
Murder Pays A Dividend 48 14/07/1955
Murder Appears Out Of The Pst 49 21/07/1955
Murder Made Stylish 50 28/07/1955
Murder Takes A Picture 51 4/08/1955
Murder Bait 51 18/08/1955
Murder Forecasts Death 52 11/08/1955


  1. Is Fat_Man_AU_19_episode_19.MP3 the same as Fat_Man_46-01-21_001_The_19th_Pearl.MP3

  2. These posts are awesome, even the old photo of that guy in mens suits, It was also interesting, I listened to some of it and it was so good.



Times Past has no affiliation with Old Time Radio Researchers. Any related content is provided here as a convenience to our visitors and to make OTRR's work more widely known.

References: Old Time Radio Researchers Group, Wikipedia, Frank Passage & Others OTR Logs, Archive.org, Encyclopedia of Old-Time Radio by John Dunning, Australian Old Time Radio Group

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