The appeal of “Quiet Please” is impossible to describe to anyone’s satisfaction. It’s, uh, oddly creepy! Unlike those shows that are normally creepy? That won’t do. “Creepy” means different things to different people, too. Most of the “supernatural” suspense and mystery shows are tiresome things with stock plots and cliched characters goosed up by an overacting organ.
Then there’s this. Just a man at a microphone, talking to you. To you. But not to you, really; he’s almost talking to himself, trying to make sense of things.
The most extraordinary things. The things that became normal quite quickly. That’s how it happens.
“Quiet Please” was cheap to produce: one guy, one mike. Sometimes another character, but the star was Ernest Chapell, the self-described “man who speaks to you.” He was an announcer, not an actor - something that might account for his unique style of narration. The writer / producer / director was Wyllis Cooper, who understood some things about the medium.
"Quiet, please!" The voice is Ernest Chappell's, subdued
and full of portent. Every Sunday at 5:30 p.m., wherever the vast network of the American Broadcasting Company reaches, loyal fans settle down to their favorite half-hour in radio, resolved to answer neither telephone nor doorbell, while they listen to Quiet, Please!
How long did it take you to read the above paragraph? Perhaps seven seconds? That's exactly how much time elapses
on the air between Chappell's first, "Quiet, please!" and his second repetition of the phrase. Seven seconds of dead air in the introduction of a radio show is one of writer Wyllis Cooper's innovations in the field.
Cooper had written “Lights Out,” which also began with a command. But that was a spooky show for the adolescent mind. This would be something else.