Detective Old Time Radio Christmas | Christmas Radio Shows
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Detective Christmas Radio Shows

What happened to Christmas? Who kidnapped Santa? Don't worry, your favorite old-time radio detectives of are on the job.Joe Friday and Ben Romero, Johnny Dollar, and even Sherlock Holmes and many more were on the job at Christmas.


Jack WebbDragnet aired at least two Christmas Shows, ".22 Rifle for Christmas," which is probably the saddest Christmas show ever and "The Big Little Jesus". In ".22 Rifle for Christmas," a boy opens his Christmas present early, takes it outside to show his little friend and play with the rifle. In a tragic accident, the friend drops the rifle and accidently kills himself. The boy hides his friends body and is afraid to tell anyone. Finally, through detective work, Friday and Romero get the boy to confess. The dead boy's family forgave the kid and gave him all of the dead boy's Christmas presents. What's the moral of that story?

".22 Rifle for Christmas " from Dragnet (1949)
compliments of Old Time Radio

Broadway is My BeatBroadway is My Beat

This old-time radio show is billed as a crime drama. Detective Danny Clover, with help from Sergeant Gino Tartaglia, solved murders while interacting with the rich, the poor, and everyone in between. Often dealing with murder, the Christmas shows were much more light-hearted with light dialog but still focusing somewhat on the crime part of the genre. In the episode entitled "Nick Norman, Santa Claus," Clover is looking for the ex-con, Norman, who is playing "Santy Claws" for the youth auxiliary of the Police Athletic club. While looking for Norman, Clover talks to several ex-cons who have turned their lives around then gets beat up by some of Norman's mob friends who think he was lying about being a police officer. Even more happens in the episode and everything ends up OK in the end. A feel good story if ever there was one.

"Nick Norman " from Broadway is My Beat (1949)
compliments of Old Time Radio

Sherlock Holmes

Sherlock Holmes adventures continued long after Sir Arthur Conan Doyle stopped writing about the iconic detective and his partner in detection, Dr. Watson. Airing from 1939 to 1947, Mr. Holmes solved several Christmas cases including the "Adventure of the Christmas Bride". Holmes and Watson were invited to Pensdragon Castle by the father of the bride to make sure nobody stopped the wedding. Of course something goes awry requiring Holmes and Watson to set things right.

"Adventure of the Christmas Bride"
Sherlock Holmes (1949)
Compliments of Old Time Radio

Dick Powell

Richard Diamond

Richard Diamond's adaptation of "A Christmas Carol" starring Dick Powell is sure to get any hard-boiled detective in the Christmas Spirit.


"Christmas Carol" from Richard Diamond (1949)
compliments of Old Time Radio

Other Detectives

Many other christmas detective shows feature Christmas shows like Casey Crime Photographer and Yours Truly, Johnny Dollar. Many of these show were a variation on a theme like a person turning away from a life of crime, helping out a child, mercy and many more Christmas themes.  Check out Crime Christmas Collection and the Old Time Radio Christmas Collection.