CBS Radio Mystery Theater

(4.7 stars; 68 reviews)

CBS Radio Mystery Theater (aka Radio Mystery Theater and Mystery Theater, sometimes abbreviated as CBSRMT) was a radio drama series created by Himan Brown that was broadcast on CBS Radio Network affiliates from 1974 to 1982, and later in the early 2000s was briefly carried by WVXU in Cincinnati.

The format was similar to that of classic old time radio shows such as The Mysterious Traveler and The Whistler, in that the episodes were introduced by a host (E. G. Marshall) who provided pithy wisdom and commentary throughout. Unlike the hosts of those earlier programs, Marshall is fully mortal, merely someone whose heightened insight and erudition plunge the listener into the world of the macabre (in a manner similar to that of "The Man in Black" on yet another old time radio program, Suspense). (Summary from Wikipedia)

This recording is part of the Old Time Radio collection.


Favorite 5 Episodes

(5 stars)

I can listen to these episodes every single day while falling asleep. Just something about them, nostalgic but not TOO outdated...bridge that divide between the then and now and George Bell is just top notch: Death on Skiis: I love the way that Kay Wiley and Tony Shaw are supposed to be 20 somethings yet sound like they are in their 60s, while the husband, Dan Wiley, is supposed to be 41, and sounds about that, if not a bit younger. Otto reminds me of Klaus from American Dad. And, Tony Shaw emphasizes how he is this fun loving ski bum by talking about practical jokes he has pulled in the driest most humorless fashion! But, all the so-bad-its-good comments aside, it is well acted and extremely enjoyable. Great episode. Having a Horrible Time: All the male voices sound similar, from the phone call to Fred Russell, Ralph Cook and George Smith. Not sure if they are doubled up, though the ending credits suggest otherwise. Lois Wilson has a Carol Burnett type voice and Amy Hasting's voice is difficult to describe. Great great episode. The Woman in Red: Love any television or radio program that references modern art. Emmett Porcelain is a great character. Almost sounds like he is voiced by Brother Theodore, but it is someone else. The seedy bar, bickering cops..great stuff. The Case of MJH: I try to model myself after Jimmy French, a down on his luck hustler trying to make a big score to pay off his debt and land the girl. Well, personality wise. More like an acted version, without the actual hustling, since I am not cut out for that. Sign of the Beast: Crazy episode. She just screams she is hungry and doesn't go Lycan on everyone, like she would in an episode of True Blood, where everyone in her camp would be dead the first night. But, she finally goes off to hunt and kill later on, so it's not like she screams like an enraged infant waiting for someone to help for too long. Powerful episode.

mystery theater is part of my teen years

(5 stars)

i was never interested in tv as a teenager but i always loved radio and i found mystery theater in 1976 when i was 12 years old after i got my first radio which was a clock radio. by the time i was 14 i had my first stereo and along with music, i listened to mystery theater throughtout my teen years. i love the themes, the music, the sound effects, and now i appreciate the philosophies given by e.g. marshall. these shows bring me back to the late 1970s and i think about family and people i knew then. many are now gone. it is sentimental for me to listen to these shows. i still visualize the physical settings of the stories in my mind like i did back 30 years ago and i still fall asleep and miss the end of the stories, but now i can listen to the same story the next night because i download these shows. these were great shows for a teen and now they are great shows for a middle aged person. these shows are timeless. i think it is good for one's mind to visualize the story settings and i think shows like this help with one's listening skills. these shows should have been put onto cds or dvds 10+ years ago when tv and radio become unbearable. someone needs to digitally enchance these shows and put them all on dvds. keep the news and commericals in them if you can. thank god for the people who taped these shows 30+ years ago who let us enjoy them again today.

OTR Shows

(5 stars)

I'm not sure what Reviewer: Carly Corday is talking about. --- Quote: Reviewer: Carly Corday - - August 30, 2018 Subject: Not great advice after all: " seems to provide only a club and chat, plus an amazing list of every OTR show that ever was, it seems, but links to NOTHING. Many minutes wasted checking this out to the point of REALIZING what it IS. And ISN'T." --- The "amazing list of every OTR show that ever was" that she mentions on is actually a list of everything available for download on the site. Over 49,500 shows. The site has been up since 2007. This website doesn't have to LINK to anything. Everything is already on their server. .

Memories of days past

(4 stars)

These Radio shows bring back many memories to me. We used to listen to the CBS radio mystery theater when we were on family road trips. I wish Himen Brown would release them for sale. The quality of recording varies however for a free download what do you expect. I listen to them on the way to work now. Often getting stuck in traffice as a result. It's sad there isn't any good content on the radio anymore. I used to have a $4000 stereo in my car. Now there is no more music, people like H Stern, and just worthless talk. Thanks to Internet Archive users that have shared these resources to people.

bittorrent help

(5 stars)

To download the shows via bittorrent you need to either install and use the Opera browser ( which has a built-in bittorrent client, or install a separate bittorrent client such as the one I use, Utorrent ( which is also quite easy to use. Then go to the site where the torrent files are located and click download, and soon the files will start downloading via the software or browser. By the way, we didn't have a tv in our house where I grew up from about 1967 til 1976 and I listened to cbsrmt almost every night. These stories are still great to hear and still pretty scary as well as thought-provoking.

This really takes me back!

(5 stars)

When I listen to the episodes of 1974 The CBS Radio Mystery Theater with the news segments, they really take me back to those days. I can't believe I am listening to the actual newscasts about Nixon, Watergate and the accompanying subpoenas, etc., as well as Patty Hearst's turn as a bank robber - WOW! The commercials bring on feelings of nostalgia too: Budweiser ("When You Say Bud") and Diet 7UP with Goldilocks as a spokesperson. PSAs about fuel conservation by Hal Linden sound like they could have been made today. I am really grateful to the people who uploaded these shows - the history!!

Modern audio drama

(0 stars)

hi I was pleased to find this site and have spent hours listening on these good old america gold nuggets. It brings me back... Hailing from Norway, there's isnt that much in my own language of audio drama available on the internet, so joy when I found CBS Mystery Theater. I am currently also listening to the Witch-hunter, a belgian group dedicated to revieve the noble art of audio drama, in a modern way. The witch-hunter have a strong fantasy theme, but otherwise it's excellent and worth chekcing into. A new episode is aired every sunday. good listening From Norway

Time capsule gems

(5 stars)

I thoroughly enjoyed listening to these radio dramas, which are the perfect length to listen to during a gym workout (45 to 60 minutes). Thank you very much for sharing these. Not only did I enjoy the well-acted dramas, but as a historian I also loved the snippets of news contained in some files, as well as the advertisements. It stuck me how the stories themselves and their narration are little time capsules of 1970s America: compared to the 2010s, for example, the language is often gendered, and many shows reflect the Cold War anxieties of the time.