Sometimes OTR (Old Time Radio) programs aren’t all that old.
In the case of Chet Chetter’s Tales From the Morgue, they hail from the early 1990s, and are the brainchild of two boyhood friends who met 15 years earlier and shared a love for old radio shows like X Minus One and The Inner Sanctum.
The show consists of a series of short horror, sci-fi, or just plain weird tales introduced by its amiable host, Chet Chetter, a morgue attendant and licensed embalmer.
Humor and unlikely situations play a major role in these stories that are set in the deep south.
Mark Sawyer and Jay Reel – who do most of the voice work - produced their first Chet Chetter episode in 1989 (Highway of Death), and submitted it to National Public Radio.
To their surprise, NPR liked it . . . and ordered 3 more stories. The following year, NPR requested another 9 episodes, making a total run of 13 episodes that ran on NPR Playhouse.
Not all of the stories submitted were accepted by NPR, since some of the subject matter was considered `inappropriate’ for that network in the early 1990s.
In all 95 episodes were produced, and were aired extensively during the 1990s on radio stations in England and Australia.
Paying homage to some of the great-but-cheesy horror radio shows of the 1940s, Tales from the Morgue is frequently over-the-top, but always entertaining.
About half the episodes feature the outrageous adventures of manure hauler Elmer Korn, who manages to get himself into some pretty wild predicaments.
The voice work is excellent, and the audio quality is (as would be expected given its age), terrific.
If your tastes are `eclectic’, your sense of humor a little warped, and if you are looking for something a little different to put you in the mood for this year’s Halloween . . . then Chet Chetter may be just the ticket.
The Internet Archive has 21 half-hour episodes available for your online listening or for download, which you can access at the link below.
You can also download an entire CD of MP3 files all at once, from this link.