Gordon blasted into amazing inter-planetary adventures on
California radio in 1935, thrilling West Coast whiz kids
and adults alike.
Gale Gordon, whose career spans decades (as well as galaxies),
plays all-star American athlete Flash. Gordon career includes
so many shows, he deserves his own collection disc! A few
of his starring roles were Dr. Petrie on Fu Manchu, Mayor
LaTrivia on Fibber McGee and Molly,
Rumson Bullard on The Great
Gildersleeve, Mr. Atterbury on My
Favorite Husband, and Principal Conklin on
Our Miss Brooks. He was also in the star-studded
Cinnamon Bear children's
classic. Of course, he took his Mr. Conklin on to TV, and
movie buffs know he played many fine comedy roles on the
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Meanwhile, back in outer space - Flash is accompanied by
his beautiful American sweetheart, Dale Arden, and Dr. Zarkov,
a great scientist. Our heroes fly to the planet Mongo, ruled
by Ming, a merciless dictator who threatens his world with
weapons of mass destruction. (Sound familiar? It did in
1935 too...) Sadly, we don't know who played Dale, but Ming
was portrayed by Bruno Wick... a great name in itself.
The Flash franchise has offered inspiration for many creative
imaginations. The Hearst comic strip featured the wonderful
artistry of Alex Raymond, and the fine Republic Serial series
of Flash Gordon adventures starring the most excellent Flash,
Larry "Buster" Crabbe flying wonderfully clunky
sparkler-driven rocket ships. Yet these radio adventures
are high-flying fun, and comics fans will love the list
of comic favorites in commercials for the Hearst 32-page
Comic Weekly. In the last of the shows, which seems to now
be lost, Flash and pals land back on Earth in the jungle,
and hook up with Jungle Jim (another Hearst property)
thus begin his own adventurous serial career on radio.
You can follow more juvenile adventure leads in the series:
Jungle Jim, Tarzan,
Speed Gibson, Terry
and the Pirates, and Air
Adventures of Jimmy Allen.
More space adventures for kids are Space
Patrol and Buck Rogers,
as well as the ones for everybody, such as Dimension
X, Journey into Space,
and the classic X Minus One.