It wasn’t quite a Christmas miracle, but it was totally unexpected. Take one radio humorist with Playboy credentials, pair him with a film director who made a crown jewel of the slasher movie, and then watch as the end result becomes . . . one of the most beloved family holiday films ever made? Sit back with your Ovaltine and Little Orphan Annie Secret Society Decoder Pin as we tell the tale of A Christmas Story.
It all started with Jean Shepherd. Shepherd grew up in Hammond, Indiana, earned his amateur radio license by age 16, and took classes at Indiana University. During World War II, he served in the U.S. Army Signal Corps; after his service, he began to work in radio in 1945. After bouncing around for various gigs in the Midwest for several years, he took a job at New York City’s WOR in 1955. Shepherd began to use his overnight slot in innovative ways, ranging from reading stories and poems to telling his own stories and executing comedic stunts that involved the listening audience.
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