Hobby Lobby allowed listeners everywhere to write in about their unusual hobbies so they could come on the radio and "lobby for their hobby." Many of the hobbies were actually people's professions like a female gorilla trainer, a scientist that makes robots, and a beekeeper (whose bees escaped during the show).
The show's host was Dave Elman billed as "the dean of American hobbyist" as he collected information about strange and fantastic hobbies. Elman was also an accomplished hypnotherapist and initially wanted to do a show about the miracles of hypnotherapy;he taught numerous seminars about hypnotherapy techniques.
The show often had a round assortment of odd balls of guests including:
- A dog that could say "Hurray for Roosevelt!"
- A man who put hot coals in his mouth and cooked bacon on his face
- A collector of elephant hair
- A woman who hypnotizes crocodiles
- A fingerless pianist
- A spoon player who performers "The Beer Barrel Polka"
- A watch collector who has a watch from 1750!
During WWII, the FBI recived word that Nazis were attempting infiltrate the show and use Hobby Lobby to covertly send messages to other Nazis over the radio. The agency sent Dave Elman a list of potential Nazis who might try to get on his show by pretending to have a hobby. Eventually threats were made on the lives of Elman and his family requiring 24 hour FBI protection.
The show ran for dozens of years and was a top radio hit. In one lost episode, Eleanor Roosevelt appears as the substitute host. These recordings are very rare and though we don't have all the episodes listed above, this collection contains the two recordings available in circulation. Hobby Lobby is a fantastic one of a kind show.