Chet Chetter's Tales From The Morgue
The stories Chet relates to us are all quite fanciful. They deal with topics that would be classified supernatural and science fiction. They border on outrageous but that is how they are meant to be. Roughly half of the shows feature a nice, likeable, rural southern manure hauler by the name of Elmer Korn who always finds himself involved in some inane predicament. The creators of the series themselves admit the show is rather offbeat but, you will find, not without it’s own charm which lies within the humorous writing and the recurring characters.
This series was created and produced by M&J Audio Theater. The M stands for Mark Sawyer and the J is for Jay Reel. Two childhood friends who met in the 6th grade in 1977 with a tape recorder that had a mutual interest in radio drama as influenced by old time radio shows such as X Minus One, Lum and Abner, and Gunsmoke. One can hear these influences in every story from the subject matter and the character voices, to the plots. The creaking door opening, the host’s oddly humorous manner and the “pleasant dreams” ending are an undeniable salute to The Inner Sanctum and Himan Brown. Between the two of them, Mark and Jay collaborate to do over 20 characters in these stories. Jay is the voice of Chet Chetter, Elmer Korn, the Sherrif, Roland, and Gale Headrush Taylor. Mark only admits to being the voice of Cecil Farris and incidental characters.
Mark and Jay produced the first Chet Chetter story, "The Highway of Death" in 1989. It was born from a series of 95 episodes, which they did over a period of years from 1980 to 1995. They call it "The Conofrof Saga". They submitted "The Highway of Death" to National Public Radio and were amazed when NPR responded with an order for 3 more stories. The 4 episodes were accepted and broadcast on NPR Playhouse in 1990. The following year NPR ordered 9 more installments of Tales From the Morgue to be broadcast as a complete 13 show series in 1992.