Small House of Everything

Small House of Everything

Thursday, November 6, 2014


Written by Arch Obeler, Chicken Heart is arguably one of the most famous episodes of the Lights Out radio program, if only for an episode of The Life and Loves of Dobie Gillis and an early Bill Cosby sketch.

Lights Out began as a 15-minute program on WENR in January.  Originally conceived to provide scary programs in serial format, by April the show was expanded to a 30-minute length.  The show was dropped in January 1935 but was brought back a few weeks later by popular demand.  In April, Lights Out premiered on NBC radio airing over the years at various times on Wednesday nights.  The show had been the brainchild of Wyllis Cooper who wrote close to 120 episodes before he left the program in 1936.

Cooper was replaced that June by the now legendary Arch Obeler, who chocked, thrilled, and outraged audiences until he left in 1938 to pursue other opportunities.  The show was cancelled the following year.  Then, in 1942, Obeler needed money, so he re-launched the show on CBS for the 1942-43 season.  Lights Out was revived at least four more times on radio ending in 1947, having made the transition to television the year before.  In one form or another the television show ran unto 1952.  An attempt to bring the show back through a television movie in the Seventies flopped.

From March 10, 1937 and featuring Hans Conreid as Dr. Calvin and some superb sound effects, here is Chicken Heart:

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