My take on Norman Corwin Presents
This is one of my quests, something I’d really like to find.
Norman Corwin was one of the kings of radio. In 1972, he did a TV show that ran once in my area. It was a Canadian anthology show.
It made quite an impression on me, and I can still remember some of the episodes. They were clever, fantasy, and featured some great Baby Boomer stars. I’ve wondered why it isn’t available. I’ve even written to him through his http://www.normancorwin.com/ official site. It’s possible, I suppose, that the tapes were recorded over…but my 1972, that seem less likely. I’ve run into people who remember the episodes, too.
embarrassingly, for some years, I thought this had been “Roger Corman Presents”. I wrote to Corman about that…
Anyway, I’m going to summarize a bit the episodes I really remember. I’m going to give you a
because I’m going to give away things in the plot. I feel like I’m safe doing that, because I don’t think you are ever going to see them, unfortunately. Also, these summaries are just from my memory, and could certainly be wrong.
I remember an episode with Michael Dunn, who had played Miguelito Loveless on on The Wild Wild West. In this case, he played a martian. I don’t remember too much about this one, except that he was being interviewed or deposed in some way. The line was used saying that “Old martians never die, they just fade away…” and he did.
The next one I remember somewhat better. Mars and Venus (the gods, that is) are being interviewed on a talk show. Venus is fairly happy with the sexual revolution, as I recall. They say to Mars that, as the God of War, he should be happy with all the military conflict. He says something like, “Dropping a bomb from an airplane? That’s not war, that’s just killing people.” He wasn’t happy that war had become impersonal.
The next one was my favorite, and I do remember it the best. It’s the future, and adults are being raised in a Romper Room type environment. Fred Gwynne (Herman Munster) is one of the “kids”, but he doesn’t want to do what everybody else is doing, which is a no-no. He’s put on trial for not conforming, and allowed to pull up one person from the past to defend him. He chooses Ralph Waldo Emerson, based on Emerson’s “Self Reliance” essay. The twist (and I loved this) was that Emerson is on the stand and you expect him to speak eloquently in defense of individuality. He basically just says, “It’s your problem, kid,” and Gwynne is executed. Maybe the author of “Self-Reliance” was the best person to whom to turn for help. 😉
Okay, now that I’ve done the memory thing…
There are 26 episodes listed there.
Anybody else remember this show? Anybody know a way to legally watch the episodes again? Anybody know why this isn’t on video? Finally, if anybody knows Norman Corwin, let him know how much I appreciated his work on this show!
This post by Bufo Calvin originally appeared in the The Measured Circle