Charles Dickens wrote A Christmas Carol in 1843 and it would be presented countless times on stage, screen and radio in the next 177 years. On screen, I believe everyone knows by now that Alastair Sim is my favorite Ebenezer Scrooge, both in live action and animated. On radio, there really is only one Scrooge for me and that is Lionel Barrymore.
Barrymore may be best remembered by many as old man Potter in the perennial Christmas favorite, It’s a Wonderful Life. However, I always wonder what he could have done with the role of Scrooge had he actually performed it on screen. He was supposed to headline MGM’s version in 1938 but he had broken his hip and was unable to endure the physicality of the role. He first played Scrooge on radio in 1934 and continued that annual tradition until 1953. He died on November 15, 1954, at the age of 76, just missing the holiday season. He only missed twice, in 1936 when his wife died and he was replaced by his brother John, and in 1938, when he opted to not play Scrooge on radio in an effort to allow Reginald Owens an opportunity to shine on screen for MGM. He also did a studio recording for MGM, resulting in a grand total of 19 audio performances. I’ve listened to several but the 1939 version is, in my opinion, the definitive one.
Orson Welles had taken the lead role and brought it to life for the Campbell Playhouse in 1938. However, in 1939, he deferred to Mr. Barrymore and the result is an amazing performance. I first heard it on a local radio station in Paris, Texas, in 1989. I’ve listened it to it every year since and it never ceases to entertain me.
Happy Holidays from the Classic Horrors Club Podcast. Jeff and I offer up our Christmas gift to you…bonus episode 52.5! In this special episode, Jeff and I take a look at my favorite adaptation of Charles Dickens’ classic, A Christmas Carol from 1951 starring Alastair Sim!
After first discovering this version in the 1970s, it’s been an annual viewing for me since 1989. For Jeff, this year was his first time watching it. So, join the conversation as we discuss what many consider to be the definitive version of the classic holiday ghost story.
Attention!!! After recording, I discovered that the 1951 version of A Christmas Carol will indeed be on FXM starting Christmas Eve and running all day Christmas Day, alternating with the 2019 version. Do yourself a favor and check it out!
I love to overdose on holiday movies, specials and music every December. But, I also enjoy a change of pace and add in some holiday horror for good measure. In episode 695 of the Dread Media Podcast, I take a look at a film that was buried for decades…36.15 Code Pere Noel from 1990. It’s also known under a variety of alternate titles, including Deadly Games and Dial Code Santa Claus.
Never heard of it? Neither did I until Joe Bob introduced me to it on his recent holiday special on Shudder. Basically, think of a more intense version of Home Alone with a psychopathic Santa Claus instead of the Wet Bandits and a much more manic version of Kevin McAllister fighting not only for his home, but his dog and grandfather as well.
Check it out! I think you’ll enjoy it and, as always, tell ’em Monster Movie Kid sent ya!
Jeff and I take a tour of the life and career of horror icon Barbara Steele in episode 52 of the Classic Horrors Club Podcast! We’ll take a critical look at three of her films: The Ghost (1963), Terror-Creatures from the Grave (1965), and Revenge of the Blood Beast (1966).
Be sure to watch the companion episode with all kinds of highlights and bonus features on our YouTube channel. If you like what you hear, you’re going to love what you see! Check it out and give us some feedback… both on the podcast and the video. Let’s call the meeting to order…
It was May 2013 when Derek M. Koch launched the Monster Kid Radio Podcast. Since then, it has become universally recognized as the definitive podcast about the classic (and not-so-classic) monster movies we all love. It won the 2014 Rondo Award for Best Multimedia Site and a Silver Bolo Award from Joe Bob Briggs. Yours truly has even been a quest on the show several times and I count Derek not only as a podcasting colleague but also as a personal friend.
So, I’m very proud to announce Monster Kid Radio is celebrating it’s 500th episode. My podcasting partner-in-crime Jeff Owens and I join in the celebration with a special congratulatory message. Plus, aside from an array of special and usual features, after more than a year of being locked in an underground cellar for fear of what it would do to humanity, the infamous and legendary Classic Five game from Monster Bash 2019 has finally surfaced! Tune in to hear Derek, Dominique Lamssies, Chris McMillan, Scott and Tracey Morris, Mitch Gonzales, Steve Sullivan, Steve Turek, Ben Turek, Jeff and I as we all attempt to survive the game without dying from a lot of laughter. So, tune in and take a listen!
Congratulations Derek on 500 episodes! Here’s to another 500 and many more!