Saturday, November 11, 2006

Rejection Slip Theater ©

Hey, kids, wake up. It's time, once again, for Rejection Slip Theater ©, the only radio drama series devoted to unrejected rejected literary works previously condemned to obscurity by a publisher's cold-hearted rejection slip. What writer doesn't have a stack of rejections slips stashed inside the closet (okay, other than Stephen King) ? And what writer doesn't dream of exacting revenge. Well, here it is, just as it once was, and ever shall be, the rejected writer's revenge:

Rejection Slip Theater © aired on WHO 1040 NewsRadio from 1993 to 2003. It's now podcast at: where you can download and listen to all 80 or so of the archived--and severely copyrighted--"mind movie" episodes absolutely free, provided you promise (put your hand on the computer) to tell your friends. Rejection Slip Theater © (aka RST) is radio drama, comedy, adventure, romance, sci-fi, westerns, crime-fighting nuns and a whole lot more as produced by Joseph Pundzak, Paul Berge and Michael Meacham. </FONT>

Based on the silly notion that literary works rejected by publishers needed a place to be aired, RST solicited rejected manuscripts from listeners and unrejected many of them. Soon the rejected writers were able to "hear their names in lights."
All unrejected stories were adapted for radio--not as skits, fer cryin' out loud (we're not Prairie Home Companion)--and performed by professional radio actors known as The Rejection Players ©. Included in the cast were: Morgan Halgren, Michael Cornelison, Rob Dillard, Linda Blakely, Richard and Patty dozens more actors reviving the lost art of radio theater.

Rejection Slip Theater © was created by Paul Berge and Joseph Pundzak in 1993 when Joey said to Pauly: "Hey, Pauly, wanna have a radio drama show with radio actors, sound effects, music and everything?" And, Pauly, being easily led into dubious theatrical adventures said, "Swell, Joey! Can I write and host it?" To which Joey said, "That'd be swell!" And they spit and shook hands to seal the deal. Recognizing that spit wouldn't be enough Joey and Pauly teamed with Mikey Meacham (now of Radio Garage in Urbandale, Iowa) to produce what, frankly, is some of the best and the weirdest radio theater ever recorded, so weird that the NBC Today Show did a story about the troupe in the spring of 1994. The early shows were aired on Sundays at midnight on an FM station in Des Moines, Iowa. Joe paid for the air time. It's said that Joe Pundzak and Paul Berge were the only ones listening that first night. Eventually, insomniacs, prison inmates and all-night, stop-n'-rob clerks joined the audience. By early 1994, Van Harden at WHO Newsradio 1040 AM invited RST into the big time. Armed with 50,000 watts and a 9 PM Sunday night slot, RST took off like a North Korean scud missile.

Bonus: Each RST episode usually includes a chapter of Paul Berge's "The Adventures of Artie Azzetti and Me" © about growing up in Westwood, New Jersey 07675.

This blog is new and under development--meaning, I'm just trying to figure out how it works. So, while I bumble about, please visit the RST official podcast site:
Or our home website at

Enjoy and until next time, "Good night or good morning...whatever works." (Official trade phrase of RST; must be said in a deep radio voice as though you really really mean it even if you don't quite understand it.)

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