King Arthur and Robin Hood on the Radio: Adaptations for American Listeners
Katherine Barnes Echols
Before stories of King Arthur and Robin Hood were adapted and readapted for film, television and theater, radio scriptwriters looking for material turned to Thomas Malory’s Le Morte Darthur (1485) and Howard Pyle’s The Merry Adventures of Robin Hood (1883). From the 1930s throughout the mid–1950s, their legends inspired storylines for Abbott and Costello, Popeye, Let’s Pretend, Escape, Gunsmoke, The Adventures of Superman and others. Many of these adaptations reflect the moral and ethical questions of the day, as characters’ faced issues of gender relations, divorce, citizenship, fascism, crime and communism in a medieval setting.