Strange As It Seems - Single Episodes

(4.2 stars; 23 reviews)


Strange As It Seems was a radio program of strange and unusual tales about fantastic people and events, based on the daily syndicated newspaper cartoon panels of John Hix of the same name. Strange As It Seems began as a 15 minute radio program on March 22, 1935. It was broadcast over the Columbia Don Lee Coast radio network. The schedule was 3 nights a week, Sunday, Wednesday and Friday at 7:45 PM (6:45 during summer daylight savings time). The sponsor was Ex-Lax. In late September 1935 the show changed to two shows per week, dropping the Sunday show. In late September 1936 the schedule changed again to Tuesday and Friday nights. A 1936 booklet of the Strange As It Seems stories was sponsored by Ex-Lax and given away as a free promotion of the radio program by writing to the station. The show was hosted by Gayne Whitman, produced and directed by Cyril Armbrister and the music was composed and directed by Felix Mills. Whitman had been the announcer on the Strange As It Seems movie shorts from 1930 - 1934. The programs included 2 or 3 segments of dramatized events in mini plays with dramatic, fanfare music interspersed in the show between segments. After the opening line, an Ex-Lax commercial would follow. Then 2 or 3 strange stories would be presented. The show would conclude with a preview of the next show's stories, an Ex-Lax commercial, a strange fact of trivia, such as "Butterflies smell with their feet" and finally a short musical ending. There were occasionally live interviews with unusual personalities, such as the World's Fastest Talker. Many of the programs were distributed on 16" 33 RPM records with one 15 minute show on each side. Many sources list at least 39 of these records with a total of 78 programs recorded. This run of the shows concluded at the end of January 1937, after over 210 shows. The show began again in January 1938 as a 15 minute once a week program, airing on Sunday afternoons at 3:00 (2:00 during daylight savings time). The show ended at the end of December 1938, with 53 shows in this run. The Strange As It Seems radio program was picked up as a 30 minute network program on the CBS network from August 17, 1939 to Dec. 26, 1940 on Thursdays at 8:30 P.M. (7:30 P.M. during the summer daylight savings time). There were 72 broadcasts of these half hour broadcasts. The sponsor was Palmolive Shave Cream and the host was Alois Havrilla. Havrilla was the announcer on the Stranger Than Fiction movie shorts beginning in 1934 and continuing in that role until the shorts were ended in 1942. Stranger Than Fiction was the successor to the Strange As It Seems movie shorts that ran from 1930 until 1934. The program had one final run in its original 15 minute format from Nov. 10, 1946 to April 13, 1947, airing at 7:30 PM on Sunday nights. There were 22 episodes aired in this run. In the newspaper story about the death of John Hix on June 6, 1944, Ernest Hix stated there were over 600 radio programs produced, indicating there were other shows than those so far identified. From the Old Time Radio Researchers Group. See "Note" Section below for more information on the OTRR.

This recording is part of the Old Time Radio collection.



Strange_As_It_Seems_39-09-21_ep006_The_World's_Most_Ingenious_Salesman 24:46
The Author Who Ate His Own Book 12:34
The Man Who Ate a Fortune 11:26
The Man Who Sold the World 11:52
The Banquet of Ghosts 11:32
The Web Of Gold 11:09
How America Was Named 11:12
The Raw Deal 11:44
Where Is Swanee River 11:52
Fort Blunder 11:20
The Diamond Dinner 11:02
The Elephant Who Ran A Zoo 11:40
The Costliest Temple in the World 11:08
The Mysterious River 11:03
The Self-Appointed Record Breaker 11:48
The Woman Who Tempted Fate 14:58
Strange_As_It_Seems_3x-xx-xx_ep016_The_World's_Smartest_Counterfeiter 15:10
Strange_As_It_Seems_3x-xx-xx_ep017_The_World's_Largest_Diamond 15:10
The Power of the Press 15:05
Rome Transplanted 14:52
Stories About the Oregon Trail 15:06
The Peacemakers 14:55
The Happy Accident 14:56
London Pays Rent to the King 14:49
Strange_As_It_Seems_3x-xx-xx_ep024_Poe's_Raven_Actually_a_White_Owl 14:52
The Martyr To Etiquette 14:56
The Devil Tracks Of Devonshire 15:05
The Man Who Financed the Revolution 14:26
The Key That Performed A Miracle 14:54
Horse Flies That Made History 14:36
The Old Fashioned Cure For Rabies 15:00
The Dog Came Back 15:04
The Human Horse 15:12
The Man Who Solved His Own Crime 14:54
The Beard Tax 14:56
Strange_As_It_Seems_3x-xx-xx_ep035_The_World's_Most_Valuable_Book 14:53
The Baby Spy 14:55
Strange_As_It_Seems_3x-xx-xx_ep037_Cinderella's_Slipper 15:06
The Original Sherlock Holmes 3:55
The Mystery of the Barbados 14:57
The King Who Saw Ghosts 14:56
The Man Fate Could Not Conquer 15:06
The Man Who Had Green Hair 15:06
The Lost Art 14:52
For Whom Was Pennsylvania Named 14:59
Strange_As_It_Seems_3x-xx-xx_ep045_Sarah_Bernhardt's_Coffin 15:03
The King Who Could Not Die 15:04
The Bloodless Battle 15:15
The First American Dice Shooter 15:18
The Mark of the Hesperus 15:08
The Woman Who Sold the Winds 15:09
Strange_As_It_Seems_3x-xx-xx_ep051_The_Smoker's_Rebellion 15:23
Strange_As_It_Seems_3x-xx-xx_ep052_The_World's_Most_Expensive_Cold_Cure 14:58
The Wolf Month 14:53
Owl Testifies At Trial 14:54
The Man Who Fell Five Miles 15:15
Little Jack Horner Really Lived 14:57
The Neck Verse 14:45
The Statue of Irony 14:50
Hot Money 14:51
Strange_As_It_Seems_3x-xx-xx_ep074_The_Pirate's_Revenge_-_Jean_LaFitte 14:58
Washington Crosses the Rhine 14:46
The Worthless Winner 14:42


Strange As It Seems (all eps) Had a good time listening to all.

(4 stars)

I'm been an OTR junkie for lo, these many years. Love doing mindless games with these to relax before sleep. Many thanks to the donor of this series---dedication & care are evident - 10.0 points...and some were truly gems. Hey, for those of you under the age of, say, forty-ish...think of these as podcasts from those great programs of yesterday. Now, imagine there's NO wi-fi. Ackkķ! Seriously, sip a cuppa /vintage of your beverage of choice, close your eyes and VISUALIZE- and make the story your very makes it so worth it. Hope this review helps some who might not take this lovely trip of the mind. Have fun! Salustra

Some great stuff mixed in with the bland

(4 stars)

I loved hearing the actual voice of George Washington Carver in the first episode.

great series!

(5 stars)

Seeking documenting about the story told in "how America got it's name". claims a WW1 pilot got his plane into a landing pattern then died. plane landed safely.

simply fun.

(5 stars)

These are so easy to listen to. Short, simple, entertaining stories. I listen to them as I’m falling asleep!


(5 stars)

In the first program, they laud the so called virtues of George Washington Carver. George Washington Carver is now known to be an infamous Uncle Tom, who had so much internalized raycysm that he might as well have been white. Rather than fighting systemic inequality, he actually became part of the oppressor class. He affected all the trapping of whiteness. He determined that he should become a scientist. Science and education are the tools that evil cissy white males use to oppress BIPOCs. Carver basically betrayed social justice and goodness by getting this education through sheer force of will. 'Force of will' is what the NAZIs used, and is always bad. No, Carver, just like Frederick Douglass, Abraham Lincoln and Dr Seuss are now known to be problematic. They are all terrible people needing to be erased. The rest of the stories are equally problematic, but i could not get through the first story, because I was openly weeping for all the endemic raycsm and open heteronormativity.

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(1 stars)

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