I’ve decided to move forward with sharing the rest of The Dante Experience, on a week-by-week basis. There is also a page now above (The Dante 3) that links to the episodes that have already been shared so you can catch up on Episode 1.
Episode 2 is called “Our Time in Limbo” and can be heard here:
-Radio and Me-
There are two moments I remember clearly that started me down the path of wanting to write comedy for radio. The first was when I was in fourth grade. I was in the car with my dad going to visit my grandparents and I first heard The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams.
By this time I knew of Monty Python and loved it, but there was something about the freedom of audio and the way it played with my imagination that was so much more to me. He just destroyed the world in his story! The man is about to be tortured by poetry!
How awesome is that!?
When we arrived at my grandparents I ran to turn on their radio so I could hear the rest of the story (I don’t even think I said hi), but by then there was only a few minutes left. Whatever the case, at that moment, I was hooked by Douglas Adams’ comedy writing and radio universe.
The second occurrence is when I discovered old-time radio, I was probably around 12 or so. I first heard it on an AM station in Grand Rapids, they would play it randomly between sport games and other events; and I am sure they didn’t think anyone else in the world was listening (and who knows it may have just been me).
I was immediately drawn to three different series: The Jack Benny Show, The Charlie McCarthy Show, and The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes (starring John Gielgud). I began to use my allowance to buy cheap tapes, filling them up with whatever I could, even beyond comedy, from Lone Ranger to even Dragnet.
My initial feeling at the time was based around the thought, “Does anyone else know about this?!” Because, clearly, then (and today) people really forgot the power of radio storytelling on the imagination. And for comedy, I saw endless possibilities since you can create environments with a simple soundscape that would take pages in a book or mountains of cash on a screen to produce. So creating a series about characters exploring the afterlife, looking back, is not a surprising decision. If anything, I am surprised we were the first to try.
More next week.