Would you like to know if men or women have a keener sense of touch? Or what ancient people were buried in asbestos? Would you like to know the answer to many other interesting questions? The Answer Man will tell you!
The Answer Man was a 15-minute radio program that aired from 1937 to 1956, and was based on questions submitted by listeners, which were answered on the air by The Answer Man.
For almost two decades he was on the radio daily giving the answers to the selected questions of his listeners. And the questions poured in - close to a million of them per year!
The Answer Man himself was Albert Carlyle Mitchell, and the series was created by him and Bruce Chapman. It was a huge undertaking, as there were thousand of questions submitted every week. Many were answered on the air by Mitchell, but those who sent questions in which weren't used in the program were given answers by mail.
The location of the program was right across the street from the New York Public Library, which helps explain how Chapman and his staff (along with their many helpers!) were able to deal with the constant flow.
I cannot even begin to imagine how time consuming it was, especially now that we have the luxury of Google and Bing at our fingertips, to help answer any question we think of - no matter the time or day!
The show was carefully scripted, yet it created the illusion that Mitchell was answering spontaneously, with many listeners believing that he was a genius with total recall of all information.
However, according to an article printed in the 1940s, there were two questions that the Answer Man was unable to answer during the series run:
- How many buffalo would it take to fill Grand Canyon?
- Do birds dream?
I'm not sure even Google could answer those! Do you know the answer?