Small House of Everything

Small House of Everything

Thursday, January 24, 2019


The premiere episode of CBS Radio Mystery Theater -- the first of 1,399 original episodes -- aired on January 6, 1974 and starred Agnes Moorehead as the elderly Mrs. Candy.

Mrs. Candy has taken a boarder, Mr. Paulson.  Paulson soon became sick and died confessing to Mrs. Candy that he had been hired to kill a man ten years before.  Uncertain whether Paulson had really confessed to murder or whether this was a dying man's fevered imagination, Mrs. Candy decided to investigate.  Paulson's supposed victim was someone named Jackson and that a man named Lindell had been innocently convicted of the murder.  Jackson and Lindell had been partners in an investment  and Lindell has suspected Jackson had been stealing money from the firm.  According to decade old newspapers, the case against Lindell was ironclad.  Innocent or not, it turned out Lindell had died in prison three years before.  All three of the main characters in this tragedy were dead so there was no real reason for Mrs. Candy to follow the matter further.

Then Mrs. Candy got a new boarder -- Stuart Mansfield, a young, personable man who soon worked his way into Mrs. Candy's wife.  Slowly, Stuart Mansfield began to pump Mrs. Candy for information about Paulson...

Famed radio producer {more than 30,000 radio programs over seven decades) Himan Brown directed this episode from an original script by Henry Slesar.  Slesar was an Edgar-winning novelist, prolific short story writer, and even more prolific script writer for radio and television -- he was a major contributor to Alfred Hitchcock Presents and served as head writer for such soap operas and programs as Edge of Night (16 years!), Somerset, Search for Tomorrow, and Executive Suite.  (Slesar was also reportedly the person to coin the phrase "coffee break.")

Appearing with Agnes Moorehead on "The Old Ones are Hard To kill" were Leon Janney and Roger de Koven.  E. G. Marshall was the program's host.


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