I just noticed the question about the '50s story which ends with the discovery that "the whole block's a rocket ship!" The story is Richard Matheson's "Shipshape Home."

I heard this story late at night on the radio when I was about 13. I liked it and so did my friends. We all went around saying "The whole block's a rocket ship!" for quite a while. (We lived in NYC, so it seemed quite reasonable.)

Years later, I told my kids the story. I did discover at one point that the story was "Shipshape Home" but what I'd really like to find is the radio show that I heard. It's probably not available — because I have tried looking at Old Time Radio websites — but I just thought I'd ask.

Does the radio show with that great ending — "The whole block's a rocket ship!" — still exist? Can I download it?

  • You may want to edit your question to add the information you left in the comment on my answer. – SQB Jan 26 at 9:20

I couldn't find a radio play, but apparently there is an episode of Studio 57 that was based on the story, called "Young Couples Only" (S2E1).

It seems to have starred Peter Lorre and Barbara Hale, although it's only listed on the latter's Wikipedia article. According to that source, it was broadcast in 1955. I don't know if that fits your timeframe.

The book Richard Matheson's Monsters mentions the story "Shipshape Home" having been adapted into a teleplay, but does not mention a radio play. While absence of evidence is not evidence of absence, it is an indication that the only adaptation was for television.

The story was later adapted in Studio 57's "Young Couples Only" (Season 2, Episode 1, 1955), with a teleplay by Lawrence Kimble, starring Peter Lorre as the weird janitor (the janitor in Matheson's story is constantly compared to Lorre because of his creepy nature).

Here it is on YouTube, in two parts:

  • Thank you for going to the trouble to try to answer my question. I had already found the TV show but it's not the radio show I was hoping to find. I must have heard the radio show in late 1957 or early 1958. I think it came on at midnight (my parents certainly didn't want me to be awake at that late hour) and the announcer began by saying "It's midnight ... and this is the voice in the night." And then he read a scary story. Maybe he even did it live, at midnight. Probably the show wasn't recorded or sold to other radio stations so it's just lost forever. Too bad. And thanks again. – Richard Samuelson Jan 26 at 9:14
  • @RichardSamuelson ah, that's a shame. If this isn't it, I'm out of ideas. You may want to edit your question, though, to add this information. – SQB Jan 26 at 9:18

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