The estate of radio pioneer Jean Shepherd has been settled, effectively releasing a trove of his classic comedy material.
In accord with the terms of Shepherd's will, Dalfie Entertainment, Inc., a New York Corporation, will own all of the intellectual property created by Shepherd.
The most enduring part of Shepherd's legacy is his wildly extemporaneous nightly 45-minute radio show on New Yorkk's WOR radio during the 1950's and 1960's and a series of live Saturday night broadcasts from The Limelight, a Greenwich Village nightclub.
His television resume includes Jean Shepherd's America, aired by PBS stations in the 1970's. These were later continued on the PBS New Jersey Network as Shepherd's Pie. A narrated film treatment of his satiric coming-of-age story, Wanda Hickey's Night of Golden Memories, also aired on PBS outlets.
His self-narrated Christmas Story has become a basic cable holiday season staple.
Several contemporary radio practioners owe a debt to Shepherd's genius at story-telling and character invention, including Garrison Keillor of Minnesota Public Radio's weekly Prairie Home Companion, and NBC radio and Tv personality Don Imus.
Shepherd's radio show had far reaching influence on other media. One of his favorite shticks was to instruct his radio listeners to open their windows and turn up the volume so that he could "hurl the invective." It was borrowed for a scene in the film Network when the Peter Finch character urges his listeners to open their windows and shout `I've had enough and I'm not going to take this any more.'
Shepherd wrote for the most diverse selection of publications imaginable including Mad Magazine, Playboy, Lampoon, The New York Times, Mademoiselle and Omni, and he was an early columnist for The Village Voice in New York.
- Richard Tedesco