Adventures Of Frank Merriwell

Adventures Of Frank Merriwell

 Donald Briggs originally starred as the fictional character of Frank Merriwell, a juvenile role model who played and excelled at all types of sports at Yale University, including football, baseball, basketball, crew and track.

Besides Frank’s busy sports schedule, he also solved complicated mysteries, always taking the right path and never tired of fighting for the underdog. Merriwell’s creator, Patten, summed up Frank’s character by stating, The name was symbolic of the chief characteristics I desired my hero to have -- Frank for frankness, merry for a happy disposition and well for health and abounding energy.

Indeed, Frank Merriwell was the epitome of the perfect student and person. He didn’t drink or smoke and exercised to keep in great condition. But Frank did show his humanness a few times in the series. Once he let down his perfect façade to play in a poker game and later, Frank confessed his indiscretion to his friend, Bart Hodge, and also revealed that he had an almost uncontrollable weakness for gambling. Frank further confessed that he once stole money from his dear, sweet mother to sustain his gambling habit.

Before radio broadcasted The Adventures of Frank Merriwell, he appeared in a series of magazine stories in Tip Top Weekly beginning in 1896 and continuing to 1912. Patten later wrote the Frank Merriwell series for dime novels and comic books. There were three generations of Merriwells in the series – Frank, half-brother Dick, and Frank’s son, Frank Jr. Dick was an unusual character in the series because he had strange friends (including an Indian) and special talents that helped him meet challenges.

After its 1934 premiere, The Adventures of Frank Merriwell didn’t appear again until October 5, 1946. NBC broadcast the series as a 30-minute Saturday morning show starring Lawson Zerbe. In 1936 a film serial of The Adventures of Frank Merriwell appeared in theaters nationwide. Frank Merriwell has been compared to other juvenile heroic characters such as the Hardy Boys, Encyclopaedia Brown and Nancy Drew.

There’s no doubt that The Adventures of Frank Merriwell provided a positive role model for thousands of children during the turn of the century and beyond. Gilbert Patten grew along with his character, Frank, and changed the scenarios from the late 1800s to the 1940s during and after World War II, when our country was undergoing many changes in the way children were raised and what they were exposed to. The Adventures of Frank Merriwell made for delightful reading and then listening on the radios during the golden age of radio.

Broadcast: 5th October 1946
Starring: Lawson Zerbe
Added: Jul 07 2009
Broadcast: 19th October 1946
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Broadcast: 15th March 1947
Added: Jul 10 2009
Broadcast: 15th May 1948
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Broadcast: 22nd May 1948
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Broadcast: May 29, 1948
Added: May 08 2015
Broadcast: 5th June 1948
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Broadcast: 12th June 1948
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Broadcast: 19th June 1948
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Broadcast: 26th June 1948
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Broadcast: 3rd July 1948
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Broadcast: 24th July 1948
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Broadcast: 31st July 1948
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Broadcast: 4th August 1948
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Broadcast: 11th September 1948
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Broadcast: 25th September 1948
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Broadcast: 2nd October 1948
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Broadcast: 9th October 1948
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Broadcast: 23rd October 1948
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Broadcast: 6th November 1948
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Broadcast: 13th November 1948
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Broadcast: 20th November 1948
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Broadcast: 27th November 1948
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Broadcast: 4th December 1948
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Broadcast: 11th December 1948
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Broadcast: 18th December 1948
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Broadcast: 8th January 1949
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Broadcast: 15th January 1949
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Broadcast: 29th January 1949
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Broadcast: 26th February 1949
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Broadcast: 5th March 1949
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Broadcast: 12th March 1949
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Broadcast: 19th March 1949
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Broadcast: 2nd April 1949
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Broadcast: 16th April 1949
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Broadcast: 7th May 1949
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Broadcast: 28th May 1949
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Broadcast: 4th June 1949
Added: May 10 2010