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Mr. Keen, Tracer of Lost Persons - Single Episodes

(4,581 Sterne; 37 Bewertungen)


When Mr. Keen, Tracer of Lost Persons first debuted over the Blue Network on October 12, 1937, the show’s title accurately described Keen’s stock-in-trade; the “kindly old investigator” tracked down individuals who had mysteriously vanished, leaving behind their families, homes, jobs and other day-to-day activities. Keen (he never had a first name, unless it was “Peachy”) was assisted in these duties by an Irishman named Mike Clancy. Mike wasn’t much of a brainiac (the quote that comprises the title of this post was a semi-catchphrase that he seemed to use on the show every week) but he could use the necessary brawn when the situation called for it. Bennett Kilpack played kindly ol' Keen throughout most of the program’s run, as well as Philip Clarke and Arthur Hughes, while Jim Kelly took the role of Clancy. The series originally aired as a thrice-weekly fifteen-minute serial from 1937-43 (the show moved to CBS in 1942), providing more than ample time for Keen to solve even the most baffling of disappearances. Beginning November 11, 1943, the program changed its format to that of a half-hour weekly offering—and though the title and theme song remained, Keen branched out into investigating murders. If Mr. Keen, Tracer of Lost Persons sounds a little soap opera-ish, it’s because it originated from the “radio fiction factory” of Frank and Anne Hummert. (Frank received on-air credit for the writing, but the scripts were actually churned out by scribes like Lawrence Klee, Bob Shaw, Barbara Bates and Stedman Coles.) Mr. Keen“ employed all the stereotypes, heavy dialogue, and trite plotting of its daytime cousins” and “it appealed to a lowest common denominator.” So why is the show so popular with old-time radio fans today? Simple…it’s pretty doggone funny, in an unintentional sort of way. Mr. Keen, Tracer of Lost Persons enjoyed a healthy eighteen-year stint over radio, ending its run not—as previously reported on this blog—on April 19, 1955 but on September 26 of that same year. Over the years, the series had a variety of sponsors: Bisodol, Kolynos toothpaste, Chesterfield cigarettes, American Chicle, etc., and there are nearly sixty broadcasts extant today for modern-day listeners to revel in. It’s ample evidence that not every show during the Golden Age of Radio was “golden”—but I gotta admit, it sure is fun.

NOTE: Updated from Version 4.1 MP3s (25-Feb-2011).

From the Old Time Radio Researcher's Group. See "Note" Section below for more information on the OTRR.

This recording is part of the Old Time Radio collection.



Mr Keen 40-06-05 The Case Of The Woman Who Wasn't Needed


Mr Keen 44-01-06 The Case Of The Moonless Night


Mr Keen 44-01-13 The Case Of The Missing Witness


Mr Keen 44-01-20 The Case Of The Girl Who Sang Too Well


Mr Keen 44-02-03 The Case Of The Girl Who Flirted


Mr Keen 44-02-10 The Case Of The Boy Who Used Big Words


Mr Keen 44-02-17 The Case Of Mr Trevor's Secret


Mr Keen 44-02-24 The Case Of Murder In The Air


Mr Keen 44-03-16 The Case Of The Strange Display


Mr Keen 44-04-13 The Case Of The Leaping Dog


Mr Keen 44-06-15 The Case Of The Woman In Blue


Mr Keen 44-11-16 The Case Of The Frightened Child


Mr Keen 44-12-14 The Nightmare Murder Case


Mr Keen 45-03-15 The Case Of The Absent Minded Professor


Mr Keen 46-05-23 The Case Of The Glamorous Widow


Mr Keen 48-10-28 Identical Twins Murder Case (partial)


Mr Keen 49-06-09 The Case Of Murder and The Star Of Death


Mr Keen 49-09-15 The Case Of Murder and The Bloodstained Necklace


Mr Keen 49-09-22 The Yellow Talon Murder Case


Mr Keen 49-09-29 The Case Of Murder With A Thousand Witnesses


Mr Keen 49-10-06 The Case Of The Man Who Invented Death


Mr Keen 49-10-13 The Silver Dagger Murder Case


Mr Keen 49-10-27 The Case Of The Ruthless Murderers


Mr Keen 49-11-03 The Forgotten Cave Murder Case


Mr Keen 49-11-10 The Engaged Girl Murder Case


Mr Keen 50-01-05 The Case Of The Rushville Murder


Mr Keen 50-01-19 The Bride and Groom Murder Case (AFRS)


Mr Keen 50-01-26 The Telephone Book Murder Case


Mr Keen 50-02-09 The Case Of Murder and The Jewel Thief


Mr Keen 50-02-16 The Case Of The Two Faced Murderer


Mr Keen 50-03-09 The Case Of The Melody Of Murder


Mr Keen 50-03-16 The Innocent Flirtation Murder Case


Mr Keen 50-04-06 The Case Of The Murdered Detective


Mr Keen 50-04-13 The Eccentric Millionaire Murder Case


Mr Keen 50-04-20 The Country Club Murder Case


Mr Keen 50-04-27 The Case Of The Woman Who Married A Murderer


Mr Keen 50-05-04 The King Cobra Murder Case


Mr Keen 50-05-11 The Case Of Murder and The Missing Car


Mr Keen 50-05-25 The Broken Window Murder Case


Mr Keen 50-06-01 The Quicksand Murder Case


Mr Keen 50-06-15 The Skull and Crossbones Murder Case


Mr Keen 51-07-20 The Case Of Murder and The Strange Woman


Mr Keen 51-07-27 The Photograph Album Murder Case


Mr Keen 51-08-03 The Case Of The Strange Murder Of Carrie Ellis


Mr Keen 51-08-10 The Abandoned Well Murder Case


Mr Keen 51-08-17 The Poisoned Sandwich Murder Case


Mr Keen 51-12-06 The Case Of Murder At A Mile A Minute


Mr Keen 52-03-13 The Silver Candlestick Murder Case


Mr Keen 52-04-03 The Rented Cottage Murder Case


Mr Keen 52-04-10 The Mother's Plea Murder Case


Mr Keen 54-06-21 The Shrieking Prisoner Murder Case Part 1


Mr Keen 54-06-23 The Shrieking Prisoner Murder Case Part 2


Mr Keen 54-06-24 The Shrieking Prisoner Murder Case Part 3


Mr Keen 54-06-25 The Shrieking Prisoner Murder Case Part 4


Mr Keen 55-02-22 The Case Of Murder and The Revengeful Ghost



I enjoy this silly show

(5 Sterne)

This show is kind of corny but it's great fun! The Mr Keen giving the sound effects cues, like another review mentioned- is hilarious: "I am now going to open this door.... " (door creaks) "Uh oh, look out! He's aiming that machine gun right at us!" (machine gun sounds) ha ha! I listened to this show by accident, I could not find or remember the title to, nor could I find it via internet searches and old time radio show lists. Very frustrating, I do remember it was based on real-life missing persons cases, and American. Well just now I discovered the lost title I was looking for: "Address Unknown" Finally! So, if you like shows like this about missing persons, but one that is realistic, try that one too. Very good show.

Mr. Keen is Nice

(5 Sterne)

Mr. Keen is nice. But the shows have hum on them. That can be attenuated. But it is a bit annoying. Mr. Keen is funny. He will announce the sfx cues, like "Let's knock on the door, Mike." Then the door knock follows. :) Cute.

Not what I thought

(4 Sterne)

I liked this show more than I thought I would. It is a little soap opera-ish but it holds your intrest. Very funny when he searches people's houses and other illegle stuff like that. Couldnt do that today.

Breaking & Entering

(5 Sterne)

The celebrated old investigator and his partner would be jailed for breaking and entering nowadays. :) In these shows they often just go in and look through people's homes and offices without a search warrant.

Mr. Trace, Keener Than Most Persons

(5 Sterne)

For those interested in the parody mentioned by justaskmike it can be found as episode 127 here:

Misdated Show

(0 Sterne)

The episode The Case Of Murder & The Revengful Ghost should be correctly dated 55-02-22.

I have listened to these over and over for years.

(5 Sterne)

Mr. Keen wasn't too bright

(2 Sterne)

Mr. Keen was an soap opera that armchair detectives could enjoy. A murder would take place before the first commercial break, to catch the listener's attention. Then Mr. Keen would enter the case, interrogating the suspects until the final scene, when they were gathered together in the same room. He would then trick the murderer into confessing in a Charlie Chan like denouement. The program was written by the soap opera writing team of Frank and Anne Hummert who obviously felt that their audience were not too "keen" because the characters' names were repeated every few seconds to make sure that you understand who was talking or being spoken to. This particular plot device was not apparent in any other soap opera written by the Hummetts or any other writer, which made "Mr. Keene, Tracer of Lost Persons," a mystery show for "dumb down" armchair detectives. The comedy team of Bob and Ray did a famous parody called "Mr. Tracer, Keener Than Most Persons."