CBS Radio Mystery Theater was a radio drama series created by Himan Brown that was broadcast on CBS Radio Network affiliates from 1974 to 1982, and later in the early 2000s was carried by the NPR satellite feed. The format was similar to classic radio shows such as The Mysterious Traveler and The Whistler, where the episodes were introduced by a host (in this case E. G. Marshall) who provided pithy wisdom and commentary throughout the broadcast. Marshall’s insight took the listener into the world of the macabre.
Each episode of CBS Radio Mystery Theater opened and closed with the ominous sound of a creaking crypt door, accompanied by Marshall’s disturbing utterance, which said “Come in… Welcome. I’m E. G. Marshall.” This was followed by one of Marshall’s other catchphrases, either “The sound of suspense” or “The fear you can hear.” At the conclusion, the door would swing shut, preceded by Marshall’s classic sign off, “Until next time, pleasant… dreams?” Marshall hosted the program from January 1974 until February 1982, when actress Tammy Grimes took over for the series’ last season, maintaining the format.
CBS Radio Mystery Theater was broadcast each weeknight, at first with a new program each night. Later in the series run three or four episodes were original each week, and the remainder repeats. There were 1,399 original episodes, with a total of 2,969 broadcasts, including reruns. Each episode was approximately 45 minutes.
In repeats of the show broadcast in the early 2000s, Himan Brown took over E.G. Marshall’s hosting duties.