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Posted by on Dec 23, 2012 in Arts & Entertainment, Guest Contributor | 2 comments

Our Eighth Annual Christmas Podcast!

Welcome to his vorpal sword‘s  Eighth Annual presentation of “The Saint Nick Case,” a Christmas radio play of approximately one-half hour, which originally appeared on KOPT-AM, live (In other words, it’s an actual old time radio drama, performed live in front of an invisible audience of, potentially, trillions.)

Click for the radio play

For a special treat,  The KOPT Radio Theater Players appear herein in the 2005 production of “The St. Nick Case,” in wide-spectrum, full color stereo. The radio play was broadcast live on Eugene’s Air America affiliate KOPT-AM 1600 on December 23, 2005.

The St. Nick Case — a Sebastian Cole Mystery*

Right click and “save as.” It’s an mp3, 20 minutes, 4.4 megs. Professionally produced, and just as you heard it on the radio in 2005NOTE: As it is a radio play, there are no visuals. You will be required to supply them from your own imagination.

[* NOTE: Some screenwriter had a movie a few years back called “The Adventures of Sebastian Cole,” but I have Cole mysteries in print as far back as 1985, and he can’t have the name. Sorry, dude.]

Starring scintillating Host Nancy Stapp, protean producer Shelly Gaske, McGruff-voiced Mac McFadden and radio newsman extraordinaire Rick Little as the detective, with yours truly adding miscellaneous voices and sound effects, The KOPT Radio Theater Players presented their first and last production on Christmas Eve Eve, 2005.

Sadly, Mac passed away in October, and to him this airing is dedicated. Requiescat in Pace, my friend.

Mac in Tahiti-2006

Mac McFadden

I wrote this during the amazing Summer and Fall of 1986, when I wrote two books, two screenplays and a slew of short stories and essays in my Hollywood office on Kingswell, in what turned out to be Walt Disney’s original studio. There, he produced silent “Alice in Cartoonland” one- and two-reelers. (OK: He originally started in his garage,which was two blocks down the street. I used to walk by it, nights.)

As Christmas approached, I had this idea of a “film noir” radio play, a kind of Sam Spade meets Miracle on 34th Street deconstructing Milton Friedman. So I wrote it.

Tried on and off to get it produced. It never was. Nineteen years would pass.

In the mid- 1990s, I booked time with a local studio, and enlisted some actors to do the play, and, while the actual recording went great — very little need for second takes — the fellow who owned the studio completely screwed up the cross-channel tracks (we’d been recording it on discrete channels, so that we could intercut the parts, rather than as an ensemble recording) and the bleed-through made editing all but impossible. The local public radio station was going to broadcast it, and we spent a long, frustrating night in the producer’s basement trying to fix  it with the then-new miracles of digital editing and DAT.

OK: Impossible. I’ve still got the 16-track master tape, though, but it’s mostly good for a paperweight.

I had a local non-profit theater producer interested, that we might do it as a reading for Christmas, but he and the script vanished. That was about 1999.

wallace shawn as vizzini-princess-bride

We move on. But then luck decided to start acting like a lady, and a chance appeared.

Fast forward to 2005. I was a regular “pundit” on Fridays on the local AirAmerica affiliate, KOPT. And I thought it might be fun to broadcast it live, as a Christmas special. I suggested it. The host said … ‘GREAT!’ And it was the easiest casting call I’ve ever done.

And this we did. It was well-received.

It takes place during the Depression, and seems particularly appropriate for hard financial times.

So: my Christmas gift to you.

Here’s the complete Christmas Radio Play for you for FREE, originally broadcast on KOPT-AM in Eugene, Oregon on December 23, 2005.

Merry Christmas.


A writer, published author, novelist, literary critic and political observer for a quarter of a quarter-century more than a quarter-century, Hart Williams has lived in the American West for his entire life. Having grown up in Wyoming, Kansas and New Mexico, an honorary Texan, Clown (ditto) and a veteran of Hollywood, Mr. Williams currently lives in Oregon, along with an astonishing amount of pollen. He has a lively blog His Vorpal Sword. This is cross-posted from his blog


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