When the Felgercarb Hit the Fan over the War of the Worlds :: The Nation Reacts to the Greatest Hallowe’en Prank Ever! (October, 1938)








“This is Orson Welles, ladies and gentlemen, out of character, to assure you that The War of the Worlds has no further significance than as the holiday offering in which it was intended to be; the Mercury Theater’s own radio version of dressing up in a sheet and jumping out of bush and saying ‘Boo.’ Starting now we couldn’t soap all your windows and steal all your garden gates by tomorrow night so we did the next best thing: we annihilated the world before your very ears and utterly destroyed the [Colombia Broadcasting System]. You will be relieved, I hope, to learn that we didn’t mean it and that both institutions are still open for business. So goodbye, everybody, and remember, please, for the next day or so, the terrible lesson you learned tonight. That grinning, glowing, globular invader of your living room is an inhabitant of the pumpkin patch, and when your doorbell rings and nobody’s there, that was no Martian. It’s Hallowe’en.”


Video courtesy of MichaelTivey.

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