There’s a podcast for everyone, and old-timey radio serials should be no different. Enter the Thrilling Adventure Hour! I first found out about the Thrilling Adventure Hour in 2012, becoming a big fan of its unique style and humor, and had the opportunity to attend 2 live-show tapings (one in 2013, one in 2014). A bit about the series, as per our friends at Wikipedia:
The Thrilling Adventure Hour was a staged production and podcast in the style of old time radio that was held monthly at Largo, a Los Angeles nightclub located in the former Coronet Theatre. The show ran from March 2005 to April 2015. Each episode featured three non-serialized segments as well as songs and commercials from fictional sponsors. The show was written by Ben Acker and Ben Blacker; and directed by Aaron Ginsburg. The show's original songs were written by Acker & Blacker with the composer and band leader Andy Paley.
The show features several standard storylines, primarily Sparks Nevada, Marshal on Mars, and Beyond Belief. Sparks is a bit of Bravestarr meets the Lone Ranger meets Flash Gordon, telling the story of Sparks Nevada, a loyal and trusty lawman who tries (with the help of his crew) to keep the peace in the Wild West plains of Mars. For fans of The Good Place or Brooklyn 99, you’ll recognize Sparks as Marc Evan Jackson aka Shawn in The Good Place or Kevin Cozner in Brooklyn 99 - and he’s not the only illustrious alumni from the podcast.
Beyond Belief told the side-splitting adventures of Frank and Sadie Doyle, a married high-society couple who deal with supernatural hijinx. From zombies to ghosts, genies to vampires, the Doyles have seen it all, so as long as they have a drink in their hand, they’re happy. Paul F. Tompkins and Paget Brewster play the title couple to perfection.
When The Thrilling Adventure Hour ventured outside of Sparks or Beyond Belief, you could hear segments from “The Chronopatrol Universe” and beyond. This included characters like "Jefferson Reid, Ace American,” “Amelia Earhart, Fearless Flyer," "The Cross-Time Adventures of Colonel Tick-Tock,” “Captain Lazerbeam,” "Desdemona Hughes, Diva Detective,” "Down in Moonshine Holler,” and even "Jumbo the Elephant.” Each of these characters took playful inspiration from various sources from classic superhero comics to Jules Verne novels to turn them into comedy gold. Each episode carries with it Celebrity cameos that create an atmosphere of familiarity and whimsy.
Which brings me to the exciting news: for fans like myself who worried that the Thrilling Adventure Hour was gone forever, as of October 1, 2018, we got wonderful news thanks to Forever Dog Podcast Studios: The Thrilling Adventure Hour was returning, with 2 new episodes released per month. Each month starting in October 2018, The Thrilling Adventure has been releasing a Forever Dog Podcast Network-produced in-studio episode as well as a “Hidden Gem” from the Vault.
This month’s episode features Amelia Earhart, Fearless Flyer and a Shakespearean drama from the court of the King of Coffee. In "All’s Pharaoh in Love and War" Amelia Earthart travels back in time to meet Cleopatra - but is it really Cleopatra? Will mummies ever find true happiness? And in the Workjuice Player’s “A Coffee in Winter,” the style of the Bard is applied to a drama of the Kingdom of Coffee. Shall "vile, disgusting Italian coffee!" triumph over the timeless brew? Will our heroes be able to escape “The weasel-water beverage of her erstwhile homeland”? Paul F. Tompkins, Janet Varney, Mark Gagliardi, Humphrey Ker, Daniel Taylor, Annie Savage, and John Ennis deliver Shakespearean performances that bring solid laughs. You can subscribe to The Thrilling Adventure Hour as it continues on iTunes Spotify, Google Play and more, and support them on Patreon. Workjuice or death!