Mar 18, 2020
By Valerie Massie
Inner Sanctum. I love this series. Not just because the writers had a field day inventing all sorts of devilish plots but as well to enjoy the actors, who too, reveled in their roles; the creepy Mr. Host and of course the Tea Lady, The program’s familiar and famed audio trademark was the eerie creaking door which opened and closed the broadcasts. Himan Brown got the idea from a door in the basement that “squeaked like Hell.” The door sound was actually made by a rusty desk chair. The program did originally intend to use a door, but on its first use, the door did not creak. Undaunted, Brown grabbed a nearby chair, sat in it and turned, causing a hair-raising squeak. The chair was used from then on as the sound prop. On at least one memorable occasion, a staffer innocently repaired and oiled the chair, thus forcing the sound man to mimic the squeak orally. Enjoy the episode, “You Could Die Laughing”.
And stay tuned to go back to hear what radio audiences were laughing at in 1951. Not a great ventriloquist, Edgar Bergen however didn’t have to be. He and his little dummy friend, Mortimer Snerd were on the radio! Bergen’s ability to jump from his own voice to that of Charlie’s is really quite remarkable. After a few moments, Charlie becomes a real person. Let’s listen to the show where they both welcome singer Frankie Laine.