Poets, Prophets, And Madmen

Some say only thin lines separate poetry, prophecy, and madness –Miriam Webster Word of the Day, vatic

Though the folks at Miriam Webster admit they don’t know whether that quote is entirely true, they seem to be the primary source of this quote. Regardless, it got my curiosity going.

What kind of evidence is there in the world of classic radio dramas relating to prophets?

I won’t say my notes are accurate, and they only cover shows I currently have posted on Retro Radio Podcast as of today. Here’s a sampling of those madmen.

To start with, I found these that have nothing at all to do with prophets in the show. However the writers seem to have an uncanny knack at peering into the real life future of Dennis Day.

Dennis Day – Dennis Donates For A New Gym. ep83, 480630

As stated, the show itself has absolutely nothing to do with prophets. However, I suppose the zaniness of Dennis Day would qualify for the mad man part, and the lyrics of his songs would be poems.

Here’s how I recorded it in my original show notes:

Trivia Alert: In filling out a questionnaire for his school, Dennis is about to say he is married with 10 kids. Though he was married in the late 1940’s, he was prophetic in his statement. He eventually did have 10 kids.

The next Dennis Day prophecy comes a few years later with this gem.

Jack Benny – Show Not Being Broadcast. 540926

There isn’t anything out of the typical lunacy in the show. Mary doesn’t make an appearance to share a poem, Dennis has his moment of prophecywhen he claims he’s leaving the show, due to being married with nine kids. Though he admits that he’s neither, (he
time.

Inner Sanctum – Murder By Prophecy. 480927

A man in financial trouble, a library complete with and old librarian, and the eerie feeling that he’s having his spirit led to something big. It is big, a possible treasure. But there’s also a catch to the prophecy. How far will he go to claim the legacy? If its all prophesied, it’s a done deal… right? Be prepared to be spooked as problems go from bad to worse.

The Shadow – The Bride Of Death. 380306.

Real prophets need not apply. As Lamonte Cranston, the Shadow investigates a cult. Still, Margot Lane has vanished, and the pseudo psychic gives the Shadow a run for his money in matching him in the power to cloud men’s minds. Human sacrifices, panthers, and lots of creepy stuff stand in the way to expose the false prophet.


Casey, Crime Photographer – The Suicide. 500504

Detectives of all types battle bogus claims of false prophets, and the like. Charlatans who are out to scam the gullible out of their money.

This time though, Casey is confronted with what appears to be the anguished soul of a playwright who predicted his own death. The logical minded Casey isn’t having any of it, and chases the case from eerie prophecy, to planned suicide, to murder.

Is there a connection between Poets, Prophets, and Madmen? I’ll admit I don’t see much of it between Poets and Prophets, but there’s a little bit of mad man in both. Especially in the release of the inner demons of the poet, and the motives of the false prophet.