Screen Capture Theatre: The "Love Is on the Air" Guide to Making It in Radio

Greetings, fledgling broadcast superstar!

Yes, I'm talking to you, mumbles. Get your puss out of your oatmeal, slap on a smile, get behind a microphone and FACE LIFE already! You, too, could be the next Charlie McCarthy! There's a secret to making it in radio, and I'm going to slip it to you today, gratis! All you need to do is smile, turn on the charm and look like you know what you're talking about! As exhibit A, I give you Dutch Reagan, former announcer with WHO radio in Des Moines:

Dutch is a hard-working reporter for the local radio station.

A crime wave is sweeping the city, portrayed in stock
footage thrillingly borrowed from better movies.


Dutch immediately begins reporting on the case, not
even pausing to take off his hat or extinguish the fire on his sleeve.

But man does not live by news alone, and Dutch takes time
out to woo the slightly sensational June Travis.

Then he swings into action to create new shows
for radio, like ...

... "The Annoying Children's Hour" ...


... "Things You'd Rather See Than Listen To,"
featuring bicycle races ...


... and "Hollywood Child Actor Death Match."

While embarking on his latest show, "Three People in the
Back of a Truck," Dutch stumbles across a shootout
and broadcasts it.

He is a hero and the crime wave is smashed!

Who can say what lies ahead for Dutch? Big-time radio,
Hollywood, maybe even the presidency ... of the
Screen Actors Guild, that is!  

Podcast: What We Laughed At

My brother Steve and I sit down and talk about the comedians we enjoyed as kids, mostly on "The Ed Sullivan Show," like Jackie Vernon, Myron Cohen and Henny Youngman. We also talk about discovering "new" comics like Richard Pryor and George Carlin and more contemporary comics such as Brian Regan and Mike Birbiglia.

Screen Capture Theatre: "Quicksand," or Crime After Crime

Sacrificing itself this time around to Screen Capture Theatre is the 1950 film ...

... as opposed to slowsand, or even kind-of-fast sand.

Our hero is Mickey Rooney, as a short-but-honest auto
mechanic. It's the perfect job for him -- he doesn't need
a grease rack to get under the car!

One day Mickey is at the diner with future Mouseketeer Jimmie Dodd
when something catches his attention --

It is his dream girl -- a woman who looks just like
James Cagney in drag!

Upstaged by the innuendo on a lousy box of candy,
Mickey nevertheless asks female James Cagney out on a date...

...where he learns that she has very expensive tastes.


This causes Mickey to leave his old
girlfriend, Liv Tyler, behind ...

... and embark on a life of petty theft.

Mickey's crime spree involves buying a watch on time
(Ha ha! See what I did there?) and then hocking it.


And he also holds up a guy just because he
doesn't like straw hats.


This gets him mixed up with female James Cagney's old
boss, Peter Lorre, who runs a penny arcade on the Santa Monica pier.

He and Mickey become fast friends ... 

... but Mickey draws the line at playing peek-a-boo, so Peter Lorre
blackmails him over the straw hat guy robbery.

Now Mickey is really in a spot. He has to steal a
car for Peter Lorre AND buy him a straw hat. His nerves are on edge.

This leads to a tense meeting with the boss.

Happily, Mickey is shot by the cops and
reunites with Liv Tyler.

Then he realizes his father-in-law will be Steven Tyler,
and he starts thinking about female James Cagney again.

Screen Capture Theatre: "Back From Eternity," or Ekberg Ahead

Despite popular demand, it's time for another edition of Screen Capture Theatre with the 1956 film:

I can't think of anything funny here.

Our hero is Robert Ryan, as a brilliant but renegade
pilot who refuses to wear his earphones correctly.
(Sorry for the borrowed joke.)

On board his flight is the Maytag repairman ...


... future Bat Masterson and his fiancee ...

... George Bailey's mother ...

... and Lassie's master, Timmy.

Also aboard is Anita Ekberg as a party girl. She is
upset because the airline charged her extra fare
for her eyebrows.

And finally, there is a condemned man onboard. He is
being put to death for impersonating Marlon Brando.

"Make him an offer he cannot refuse." 

The flight is delightful ...

... even though one of the flight attendants walks off the job.

The plane makes a forced landing in an extremely isolated
place where no man dares to enter -- Cher's back yard.


"The horror. The horror."

"Please, God, let Anita Ekberg be my stepmother."

Everyone begins to bond. Ryan offers to let one of
Ekberg's eyebrows fly free.

And Bat Masterson's fiancee likes the co-pilot's
landing gear.

This leads to an argument about whose boyfriend is cuter.

But wait! There is a dark hand pushing aside artificial leaves,
which is the universal symbol of the headhunter.

"I coulda been a contender. I coulda been somebody
instead of a bum, which is what I am."

The passengers work together to try and throw the plane
into the air. There is only one working engine, so some
passengers will have to stay behind to keep the weight down.

"Sorry, kid, but it's either you or me."

No, just kidding. The group takes a vote on who will
be left behind, and the decision is unanimous.