Drama! Intrigue! Geekiness!

April 28, 2008


srikanth @ 6:12 pm, GMT +0000 ( 1209406373 ) Play

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What is the this news bulletin‘s claim to fame ?

Identified by: pratap , Dibyo , Keerthi Kiran M , Atul Mathew , Rohan , Arun Krishnamoorthy , shivathilak , priyananda , yaksha , and RajT.

Complete answer by: Rahul, varuns88, Tathagata Chatterjee, Sandesh, udupendra, jayanth, duriel, Ginkgo100, and Ajay Parasuram.

And piezocake is just weird.

Answer:  This is an Orson Welles-directed rendition of War of the Worlds on CBS radio on Halloween day, 1938. Millions of viewers didn’t hear the first part of the program, and hence missed the disclaimer that it was fictional. They panicked thinking the martians were actually invading, and much hijinks followed. Hear the complete show at The Internet Archive.

24 Responses to “Don’t…”

  1. pratap

    Orson Welles’ War of the Worlds.

  2. Rahul

    Orson Welles’ gag of recreating the War of the Worlds over radio.

    “1,200,000 of the estimated 6,000,000 listeners took the broadcast literally and reacted accordingly. Several million more who had not heard the broadcast were caught up in the mass hysteria. The next day the newspapers were choked with wild stories of hysterical reactions to the broadcast.”

  3. Dibyo

    This is from Orson Welles’ ‘War of the Worlds’

  4. Keerthi Kiran M

    This is an excerpt from “The War of the Worlds”.
    The War of the Worlds was an episode of the American radio drama anthology series Mercury Theater on the Air. It was performed as a Halloween special on October 30, 1938 and aired over the CBS Radio network. Directed by Orson Welles, the episode was an adaptation of H. G. Wells’ classic novel The War of the Worlds.

  5. Atul Mathew

    Orson Wells War of the Worlds Broadcast

  6. varuns88

    This broadcast,based on HG Wells’s novel, The War Of The Worlds, was performed as a Halloween prank,on Oct 30,1938 by Orson Welles.The show suggested that an actual Martian invasion was in progress..

  7. Rohan

    Orson Welles War of the worlds broadcast?

  8. Arun Krishnamoorthy

    Orson Welles in Aladdin Radio Theater’s adaption of War of the Worlds

  9. shivathilak

    Orson Welles, broadcasting his radio play from the Mercury Theater in 1938 based on H.G Welles \

  10. Tathagata Chatterjee

    The famous “War of the Worlds” radio broadcast in 1938 over CBS radio, directed by Orson Wells- which created a panic attack all over US suggesting that Martians have invaded the earth.
    Tathagata Chatterjee

  11. piezocake

    It’s like nakednews, the anchors keep stripping as the news goes on; only, you can’t see them.

  12. Sandesh

    Its Orson Welles Mars hoax.
    Considered as the greatest Martian invasion hoax. Radio drama based on H.G.Wells “war of the worlds” was embedded with the hoax announcement, which was actually part of radio play was mistaken as actual martian invasion by more than 3 million people.

  13. Orson wells’ war of the worlds radio broadcast,performed as a Halloween special on October 30, 1938 and aired over the CBS Radio network. cause a whole lot of panic as people thought it was real!

  14. priyananda

    Orson Welles’ infamous viral marketing idea/War of the Worlds radio show.

  15. duriel

    War of the Worlds Halloween radio prank.

    Orson Welles spooked millions of radio listeners with his “War of the Worlds” broadcast [October 30th]. Many who did not hear the “only fiction” disclaimers fled their homes to avoid imminent gas attack by marauding Martians who had landed in Grovers Mill, N.J., creating traffic jams and sending dozens to the hospital for shock and hysteria.;sid=1135

  16. udupendra

    Don’t Panic – it’s only Orson Welles reading of HG Wells’ War of the Worlds on radio.

  17. Oh, that’s got to be the Halloween War of the Worlds broadcast that fooled half the United States!

  18. yaksha

    H.G. Wells alien-invasion novel, “The War of the Worlds”

    “War of the Worlds” became permanently etched in the American popular psyche when actor and director, Orson Welles, broadcasted his radio play from the Mercury Theater in 1938

  19. Ajay Parasuram

    Orson Welles\’ \

  20. Ajay Parasuram

    Orson Welles’ ” War of the Worlds ” was revealed as fiction which relieved millions of Americans of the reported Martian Landings somewhere in New Jersey.

  21. RajT

    This is one of Mercury Theater’s false news like announcements of Martian invasions and the like on Radio. H.G.Well’s War of the Worlds funda

  22. piezocake

    It must be noted that MP3 downloads are blocked here during daytime, and I had to answer :).

  23. Dibyo

    I’m cribbing here, but you asked for claim to fame, which I was right about. I assumed that people panicked was why War of the Worlds itself is famous. It’s the equivalent of saying, that’s a picture of Don Bradman, and not mentioning that he has the highest test batting average, no?

  24. srikanth

    @Dibyo: Just the fact that it’s Welles doesn’t make it truly noteworthy, and neither does the fact that it’s War Of The Worlds. What made it stand out was that people thought it is _real_.

    WOTW did not become famous because of this incident. It is/was an amazing work of science fiction in its own right, and was recognized as such by readers. Welles, however, gained a lot of fame for this, but a star’s rise to fame isn’t the kind of material that interests BB :)

    However, I do agree that the question’s wording was slightly ambiguous, hence the points to everyone who has mentioned Welles.

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