Newspaper Comic Strip Adventure Serial (1935 - in syndication until '54 )
Jungle Jim was another long-running jungle
adventure show, feet planted firmly in the footsteps
of Tarzan, but with
the hardware and politics of the modern great white
hunter. It began as a weekly comic series in the Hearst
papers by comic artist legend Alex Raymond. Raymond,
working with writer Don Moore, created the classics
Flash Gordon and Jungle Jim. This show
was the radio adaptation of the comic strips both
were intended for a general audience.
Jungle Jim Bradley is a successful businessman
who makes wild his business. His office is the jungle.
He's an intelligent great white hunter much like today's
Eco-adventurer. Matt Crowley played Jim until '38,
when Gerald Mohr came on board. Mohr is a solid radio
veteran, who later was featured as Sorrowful Jones
on Damon Runyan Theater, and was the french
teacher Jacques Monet on Our
Miss Brooks. In late 1955, he did a stint
as Johnny in Yours Truly,
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Jim is aided by his right-hand guide and friend Kolu,
(played by Juano Hernandez), and in most adventures,
Shanghai Lil (France Hale,) a worldly woman who has
been everywhere, is along for the ride. The quarter-hour
weekly adventuyre series winds its way through a tangle
of wild beasts, fierce tribes, foreign spies, poachers
and traders, wily tribal leaders and warriors, exotic
characters such as The Bat Woman and Karnak the Killer,
searches for treasure, ghostly happenings and mysterious
islands steaming with dread. Gene Stafford adapted
the Jungle Jim story for radio, and offers
up a thick plot of jungle danger and colonial politics,
as Jim often serves Allied interests as an operative.
The plots are denser than typical juvenile serials such as Captain Marvel, since the show was intended
for any fan of the comic strip. The music poaches
the classics like most of the early serials, and the
sound effects are effective, not exciting. Jungle
Jim is adventure with a reason, and never does
Jim lose his head. "Kolu, get the bearers ready!"