Back in the day when television was still a new thing and the internet didn't even exist as an idea, there was radio. Radios helped in communication during war and provided information as well as entertainment for people of all ages. Some time in the 1930s, an actor and film producer by the name of John Houseman teamed up with a very young Orson Welles to create The Mercury Theater On Air with just $100. Choosing stories that were suitable as radio drama and pairing them with the use of innovative sound-effects, music and Welles' acting skills, a new kind of radio show was born. The Mercury Theater aired stories such as Bram Stoker's Dracula, Shakespeare's Julius Ceaser and Alexandre Dumas' The Count of Monte Cristo. Even though the show itself was inventive and forward-thinking, ratings were low until the day H.G. Wells' The War of the Worlds was aired. Simulating news bulletin broadcasts, The Mercury Theater aired a performance that caused confusion and panic because it made listeners believe that there were actual attacks on planet earth by alien beings. Needless to say, people were furious in finding out that it was merely a radio show produced for entertainment. The controversy, however, helped the radio show acquire an official sponsor and boosted its ratings and Orson Welles' career. Listen for yourself to the horrifying WOTW episode and a collection of other broadcasts here... war-of-the-worlds-by-orson-welles+60 orson_welles_1938