Small House of Everything

Small House of Everything

Thursday, September 12, 2019


The introduction to the show was:

"From the heart of the jungle comes a savage cry of victory.  This is Tarzan, Lord of the Jungle!  From the black core of dark of enchantment, mystery and violence come one of the most colorful figures of all time.  Transcribed from the immortal pen of Edgar Rice Burroughs -- Tarzan, the bronzed, white son of the jungle!  Andnow in the very words of Mr. Burroughs:"

Well, not quite.

The stories aired had little to do with anything that came from Burroughs' pen.  Tarzan, Lord of the Jungle was a product of the very small and scappy Commodore Productions, which consisted of Walter White, Jr., and his wife Shirley Thomas.  (Apropos of nothing, White and Thomas were married three times in three years -- which must be a record of some sort.)  The show ran from 1951-1953 and began at LA radio station KHJ before being picked by the Don Lee Mutual Broadcasting System, which covered 45 stations in the Western States.  Eventually the program went to CBS radio with General Foods as a sponsor.

This Tarzan, who is highly articulate, is played by Lamont Johnson and does not live with Jane (in fact, I'm not sure if Jane is ever mentioned); instead he lives at the cabin that had built by his parents.  From there, Captain Sidney Lawrence of the Governmental Police contacts him about some jungle problem that Tarzan goes off the resolve.  Sometimes instead of Lawrence, Tarzan is contacted directly by natives.  Tarzan also spends a lot of time with the Punya tribe.  No matter what the challenge, Tarzan manages to pack a lot of action and plot into a half hour time frame.

Johnson is the only cast member credited with a specific role.  No roster of other players exists.  The names of some of the actors are known but there is no indication which parts they played.  White produced all the episodes and all but three were written by Budd Lesser.

And now, on to "Tarzan and the Stranger"...

"Perhaps only those who have visited a native African village during the long rainy season can picture the crawl of the Poona tribe.  It had rained on and on for months, great stagnant pools of water were everywhere, rubble was piled high behind each hut and the natives that were out doors wore hides that were mildewed and sodden.  Yet inside the hut where Tarzan towered above Torgo, the small native boy who was Almost like a son to him, it was comparatively comfortable..."

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