Flash Gordon, the thrilling inter-planetary hero, made his explosive debut on California radio on April 27, 1935, captivating both young whiz kids and adults along the West Coast. Since then, the iconic hero has been the inspiration for countless space adventurers, thrilling audiences for more than eight decades.
The talented Gale Gordon, renowned for his extensive career spanning decades and galaxies, assumes the role of the all-star American athlete, Flash. Gordon’s remarkable career boasts an impressive repertoire of shows, warranting his very own collection disc! Among his notable starring roles were Dr. Petrie on Fu Manchu, Mayor LaTrivia on Fibber McGee and Molly, Rumson Bullard on The Great Gildersleeve, Mr. Atterbury on My Favorite Husband, and Principal Conklin on Our Miss Brooks. He even graced the star-studded Cinnamon Bear children’s classic. Additionally, he successfully brought Mr. Conklin to television, while movie enthusiasts may recognize his brilliant comedic performances on the silver screen.
The captivating outer space escapades continue as Flash is accompanied by his beautiful American sweetheart, Dale Arden, and the brilliant scientist, Dr. Zarkov. Together, our heroes embark on a thrilling journey to the planet Mongo, ruled by the merciless dictator Ming the Merciless, who poses a grave threat to his world with his arsenal of mass destruction. Interestingly enough, the parallels between Ming’s tyranny and contemporary concerns were already present back in 1935. Unfortunately, the identity of the actress who portrayed Dale remains unknown, but Bruno Wick brought Ming to life with his remarkable portrayal—a name that resonates with greatness.
Gale Gordon’s portrayal of Flash has inspired countless imaginative minds. The renowned Hearst comic strip, with the exceptional artistry of Alex Raymond, and the subsequent Republic Serial series starring Larry “Buster” Crabbe’s extraordinary Flash Gordon adventures, have contributed to the franchise’s legacy. However, it’s the exhilarating radio adventures that truly soar, captivating comic fans with their beloved characters in commercials for the Hearst 32-page Comic Weekly. In the final episode, Flash and his comrades return to Earth, encountering Jungle Jim (another Hearst property and a nod to Edgar Rice Burroughs’ Tarzan of the Apes), launching Jungle Jim’s thrilling radio serial career.
The entire run of Flash Gordon in radio surprisingly only lasted 26 episodes, but we have all 26 of them ready for you to listen to each week, presented in original broadcast order.
Flash Gordon can be heard on SCIFI.radio at 1 am and 1 pm Pacific time. We hope you enjoy this blast from the past.
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