Damon Runyon Theater


Damon Runyon
1880-1946

The guy in the picture to the left is Damon Runyon. He is one of my favourite authors. If you have never read him, give him a try.

Quite by chance today I came across a site with freely downloadable sound files of many (if not all) the episodes of the Damon Runyon Theater, which was syndicated to local radio stations in the USA in 1947 and 1948. Even if Runyon’s style and subject matter are not to your taste, you may be interested in the hours of recordings of now outdated American accents, many of them from New York and environs.


Photo in public domain

6 Responses to “Damon Runyon Theater”

  1. The first lines I have read so far seem too inviting to refuse further reading:
    “One day a certain party by the name of Judge Goldfobber, who is a lawyer by trade, sends word to me that he wishes me to call on him at his office in lower Broadway, and while ordinarily I do not care for any part of lawyers, it happens that Judge Goldfobber is a friend of mine, so I go to see him.”

  2. Emilio Márquez says:

    … too inviting for anyone to refuse…
    ;)

  3. John Maidment says:

    Emilio,

    I am delighted you have decided to try. Welcome to Broadway. You will have noticed by now that Damon Runyon refuses to use the past tense, or even the conditional form of the verb. This is true of all his Broadway stories. There are supposed to be two instances of the past tense form in these stories. I know where one of them is, but haven’t found the other.

  4. Thank you, John. I like our man’s style -and the recordings are great!
    (I’ll be looking out for those past tense forms).

  5. Brian Davies says:

    John

    Like you, I’ve found one instance of the past tense. It’s in the story Breach of Promise, and it’s over half way in. It goes “…and I am not surprised when a few years ago he convinced her it is best for her to retire from active work, and move out to this spot.” I wonder if it’s the same one that you found.

  6. John Maidment says:

    Brian,

    Thank you for that. No, the one I knew about was from the story “The Lily of St. Pierre. It is very near the end and reads: But maybe he had a chance to think a little of Lily Dorval.

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