“Get this and get it straight: crime is a sucker's road, and those who travel it wind up in the gutter, the prison, or the grave.”
~Gerald Mohr as Phillip Marlowe
In the end, the radio blog got the vote, because to me, Gerald Mohr was a top radio man through and through. I know him best as CBS radio's version of Phillip Marlowe; his deep, crisp voice popped out hardboiled wisecracks as well as Dick Powell or Bogart ever did, and consistently, over 113 episodes.
In the last decade or so, I discovered his huge body of radio work. Mohr was all over the place on the radio dial, from hardass Detective stuff to ripping funny comedy. Most recently I've been enjoying his run as the excellently snide Archie, backing up the amazing Sidney Greenstreet in The New Adventures of Nero Wolfe. Mohr is so entirely amusing, but with a hard edge, giving legs to Wolfe's prodigious brain for the detective legwork, and, of course, fists with which to crack the occasional jaw. I'm not sure how this amazing show eluded me for so long.
Recently I've been tracking down some of the hundreds of episodes of various shows that he took part in; the list is mind-boggling: Our Miss Brooks, in which he played the french tutor Jaques Monet, utilising Mohr's fluency in the language (he was also fluent on both German and Swedish), Suspense, Night Beat, Burns & Allen, The Inner Sanctum mysteries, My Favourite Husband, Escape, Mandrake the Magician, The Man Called X, Damon Runyan Theater, Command Performance, Box 13, Let George Do it, I Was a Communist for the FBI, Shorty Bell, The Six Shooter, The Jack Benny Show, Gunsmoke ...the list goes on and on.
Well, if you don't know Gerald Mohr, here are two of his best roles, represented by two whip-cracking episodes. I think you'll see what I mean when I call him a radio phenomenon!
Download Phillip Marlowe - The Hairpin Turn HERE
Download The New Adventures of Nero Wolfe - Calculated Risk HERE