Podcast: The greatest prank ever played


Today is April 1, and media organisations here, there, everywhere are trying to pull off their annual prank on readers, listeners and viewers. But nothing will probably ever come close to what is considered the greatest radio broadcast of all time, The War of the Worlds, by Orson Welles. The broadcast was made on November 30, 1938.

“Produced by John Houseman, it caused a near-panic, and lots and lots of press coverage. It also spurred legislation banning the “news” format from radio drama for years following. And although Welles himself said they had no idea they were causing such an uproar, he actually knew it was happening and was thrilled with all the attention. The script, by the late Howard Koch (who also won an Academy Award for the screenplay of Casablanca), was actually titled The Invasion From Mars, but was based on H.G. Wells’ novella”