“Who knows what evil lurks in the hearts of men?” “The Shadow Knows!”
How many of you heard this as a child in some form or another? My father used to act silly and say it with a weird, crazy laugh after it…like…. “moo whoo hoo haha ha” –
I don’t know if that even makes any sense at all! I guess it was intended to be a scary thing! And then we always would ask “Who is the Shadow Anyways?”
I grew up thinking it was my dad and that he was the smartest man of all! That he could see everything and he knew EVERYTHING! As a matter of fact; when my children were little and my father tried it with them; they thought he was saying “The Shadow’s NOSE” all the while! And being as though my father had a Jimmy Durante shaped nose; (for those of you who don’t know Jimmy Durante – let’s just say he had a “big” nose);
So my kids thought that the Shadow’s NOSE was my father’s! Now how did my father do it? All kids thought somehow my dad was related in some magical way to the “Shadow”! And that he had ‘scary’ tendencies but KNEW ALL!
So – here’s the story
The Shadow is a collection of serialized dramas, originally in 1930s pulp novels, and then in a wide variety of media. Details of the title character have varied across various media, but he is generally depicted as a crime-fighting vigilante with psychic powers posing as a “wealthy, young man about town”. One of the most famous adventure heroes of the twentieth century, The Shadow has been featured on the radio, in a long-running pulp magazine series, in comic books, comic strips, television, serials, video games, and at least five motion pictures. The radio drama is well-remembered for those episodes voiced by Orson Welles.
Ah Ha! I see; said the blind man as he took his hammer and saw! (play on words) (another old saying)
Now I get it – my father obviously read the novels and heard the radio show to know so much about it and to use it the way he did with us.
The Shadow debuted on July 31, 1930, as the mysterious narrator of the Street and Smith radio program Detective Story Hour. After gaining popularity among the show’s listeners, the narrator became the star of The Shadow Magazine on April 1, 1931.
On September 26, 1937, The Shadow radio drama premiered with the story “The Deathhouse Rescue”, in which The Shadow was characterized as having “the power to cloud men’s minds so they cannot see him.” As in the magazine stories, The Shadow was not given the literal ability to become invisible.
All these years later; this explains a lot for me. My dad grew up in New York city and his room was right outside the fire escape of the apartment building. When it was lights out for him; he would sneak out to the fire escape and read from the street light – comic books usually – but somehow I can imagine him reading the Shadow’s magazine series; amongst all his science fiction comics too. Hence; why he became a creative writer; and especially a writer of science fiction novels!
But I’m still intrigued about “the Shadow”
The introduction from The Shadow radio program “Who knows what evil lurks in the hearts of men? The Shadow knows!”, has earned a place in the American idiom. These words were accompanied by an ominous laugh and a musical theme, . At the end of each episode The Shadow reminded listeners that, “The weed of crime bears bitter fruit. Crime does not pay… The Shadow knows!”
The character and look of The Shadow gradually evolved over his lengthy fictional existence:
As depicted in the pulps, The Shadow wore a wide brimmed black hat and a black, crimson-lined cloak with an upturned collar over a standard black business suit.
In the 1940s comic books, the later comic book series, both the cloak and scarf covered either a black double-breasted trench coat or a regular black suit. As seen in some of the later comics series, The Shadow would also wear his hat and scarf with either a black Inverness coat or Inverness cape.
I get the picture now; he comes off as being scary; spooky and SMART!
In the radio drama, which debuted in 1937, The Shadow was an invisible avenger who had learned, while “traveling through East Asia,” “the mysterious power to cloud men’s minds, so they could not see him.” This feature of the character was born out of necessity: time constraints of 1930s radio made it difficult to explain to listeners where The Shadow was hiding and how he was remaining concealed.
Catch a brief excerpt of the radio show
Thus, the character was given the power to escape human sight. Voice effects were added to suggest The Shadow’s seeming omnipresence. In order to explain this power, The Shadow was described as a master of hypnotism, as explicitly stated in several radio episodes.
The Shadow also faces a wide variety of enemies, ranging from kingpins and mad scientists to international spies and “super-villains,” many of whom were predecessors to the rogues galleries of comic super-heroes.
We love this stuff! Our world demands that there be law and order. Society must have rules to keep the bad guys in check. And at the end of the story the good guys live happily ever after. But who knows what the Shadow knows? Perhaps only he can see —
SIN UNDER THE SKIN
And now is where I dig a little deeper – because – this Shadow sounded like more of a majestic icon – and that it could’ve been derived from a more powerful being??
It’s actually somewhere in the Bible that there is nothing outside a person that by going into
him can defile him, but the things that come out of a person are what defile him.
SIN UNDER THE SKIN
It seems that in the Bible God turns the legalistic world upside down, revealing the danger and evil lurking in the hearts of man. He targets the invisible —
SIN UNDER THE SKIN
According to the Bible there are terrible side-effects that could erupt
without warning at any time? They are deadly, fatal, and come from the –
SIN UNDER THE SKIN
It is somewhat of a different twist — that I knew I had heard from somewhere other than “The Shadow’s Nose”!