Friday, December 21, 2007

Rarity of the Month: The Way Out World by Long John Nebel

Venture back to a simpler time, a time when all radio was regional; local news, local talk shows and local entertainment. It will be more than 23 years until syndicated shows will dominate all local markets subjecting listeners to the same endless flavorless debate on national politics, so enjoy it while you can by tuning your AM dial to New York’s WOR and prepare to be dazzled by the wit and weirdness of Long John Nebel.

Way before Art bell, Nedel and his co-host Candy Jones would mystify listeners with unusual guests who spoke on a series of strange topics including: ESP, UFOs, Extraterrestials, faith healing, time travel, and mysterious creatures. The Way Out World is culled together by Nebel’s reminiscences and quotes or transcripts from some of his most memorable shows. One highlight occurred when comedian Jackie Gleason (a fanatic UFO researcher and a fan of Nebel) calls in to challenge George King. King was known at the time for his incredible claims and did not disappoint the listeners when he bragged that he was commissioned to be a delegate to an interplanetary cosmic United Nations by alien lifeforms. King was in the middle of telling how he met Jesus Christ on a Martian saucer, when Nebel informed “Earth’s Ambassador” that a person called-in and wanted to speak with him. Below is the transcript of what occurred:

GLEASON: Are these people from outer space good friends of yours?
KING: I believe that they are friends of mine, yes.
GLEASON: Could you call on them for assistance? For instance, if you were in some sort of legal difficulty, embracing some part of their recognition of you, would they come to your aid?
KING: Under those circumstances, they would help, yes.
GLEASON: If I were, for instance, to say to you that you are a bare-faced liar, now you know you could sue me for libel, right?
KING: Yes, yes.
GLEASON: Now do you think that you could get any legal assistance from them in a case like this?
KING: No, I don’t.
KING: Why should they help?
GLEASON: Well, you’re championing their cause.
KING: No, no, I’m not. [cough] I’m trying to give a spiritual message, which I believe to be good for all people.
GLEASON: Why do we need a spiritual message from someone in a flying saucer? Don’t we have enough from Christ, Buddha, Moses -- men like that?
KING: Do we live by those teachings?
GLEASON: Yes, I do.
KING: You do? [cough] Then you're the first Christian that I’ve ever seen.
GLEASON: By the way, do you know that every time you are uncertain when you say something, you cough. Do you know what that means psychologically? In other words, you cough every time you tell a lie.
GLEASON: Now George, look at the juicy opportunity you have. Here’s a guy that you’re talking to that’s got a lot of dough. You can sue me for maybe a million dollars, and maybe get it. And all you have to do to get it is to bring one of your friends from Mars to O.K. this thing, and you will win.
KING: I’ve already answered this question. There isn’t a man on Earth who could do this.
GLEASON: In other words, you have absolutely no proof from these people whom you are championing? You have absolutely no backing from anybody from outer space for what you say?
KING: Just a moment, please. Just one minute...
GLEASON: I’m waiting, and cough a little bit.
KING: I shall put this phone down in a moment.
KING: I’m a guest here, you see.
GLEASON: Not in my house, you’re not a guest. I think you’re a phony!

Jackie was never sued for liable. Instead King chose to earn a meager living selling pamphlets about his adventures with his space pals. Jackie spent years trying to find proof of extraterrestrial life. He even offered a ten thousand dollar reward to anyone that could provide him that proof.

The Way Out World is filled with wonderful anecdotes like this one. It will entertain, and make you wish that Rush Limbaugh continued his career with the Kansas City Royals.

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