Prolific horror and fantasy author and Hollywood screenwriter Richard C. Matheson joined Richard Syrett (Twitter) in the first hour to discuss his work in the entertainment industry, as well as the legacy of his late father, Twilight Zone writer Richard Matheson.
At the age of 18, Matheson became the youngest writer to ever sign with Universal Studios; by the age of 21, he was the head writer on the hit TV show Quincy. It was an exciting time to be in the industry, he remembers, with legendary writers like Stephen J. Cannell, Richard Levinson, and William Link doing some of their best work in television then. Matheson said that although he found the studio environment to be somewhat daunting, it was a good education in the politics and personalities of Hollywood. He related a number of high points in his career, including writing for Steven Spielberg on different projects.
Matheson indicated that, given the impression his father and his writer friends made on him growing up, there was little doubt about whether he would become interested in writing himself. Although he was too young to remember much of the Twilight Zone when it originally aired, he does have memories of visiting other Hollywood television and movie sets, and felt his father's influence through the encouraging feedback he gave him on his early writing.
In response to Richard's invitation to share their ideas for inventions, several listeners called during Open Lines. While Mark in Baltimore had the practical ideas of keeping kitchen sinks and toilet plungers clean with his inventions, Cary in Winnipeg sought to head off disasters with his, describing devices he said would keep people safe during avalanches or inside the railings on cruise ship decks. Rick in Olympia claimed that he had developed a form of crushed crystal mineral complexes that, when applied to permanently numb areas of the body, would bring feeling back to the tissue within seconds.
Other callers reported strange encounters they've had, a few involving fast-moving orbs of light. Jorge in New Orleans recounted a time he and another man found themselves walking behind a mysterious woman in a flowing white dress on the street in Guatemala. When they realized the woman was crying, the men tried to catch up to her to offer help—but the harder they tried to close the distance between them, the heavier their legs felt, making it impossible to reach the woman. When they followed her around a corner, they discovered that the woman had disappeared.