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Life of Riley Old Time Radio Program

Life of Riley

½ hour comedy


Free Samples of this Old Time Radio Program:
Life of Riley: Riley Switched as a Baby
Life of Riley: Riley the Bookie

Known for its tag line "What a revoltin’ development this is", The Life of Riley, starring William Bendix, first aired in January of 1944. The show was originally conceived as a vehicle for Groucho Marx, but it was reworked and recast with the assistance of co-developer Milton "Gummo" Marx, the non-performing Marx brother. It eventually emerged as a situation comedy about the life and struggles of blue-collar, salt-of-the-earth Chester A. Riley. Riley, a husband, father, and riveter at a California aircraft plant brought comedy to the common man’s struggle to make ends meet and finesse the challenges of everyday life. Riley invariably addressed a problem or pursued a scheme with a "full steam ahead" attitude that inflated even the most innocuous situation into a full-blown disaster.

The ironic title, suggesting a life of ease and comfort, probably had its origins in the 19th century. Some suggest the phrase "the life of Riley" referred to the 19th century clan Riley of County Cavan in Ireland, who consolidated power and wealth to such an extent that they minted their own money. Others claim the phrase is a reference to Hoosier poet, James Whitcomb Riley. Whatever the origin, "the life of Riley" became a catch phrase in the popular culture of the 1940s that has lasted to the present day, and is tied irrevocably to the character of Chester A. Riley.

In addition to Bendix’ Riley, the show featured immensely popular supporting characters, including Digby "Digger" O’Dell, the ghoulish "friendly undertaker" voiced by John Brown (who also played Thorny on Ozzie and Harriet, Al on My Friend Irma, and Broadway on The Damon Runyan Theatre). Riley’s annoying co-worker, Gillis, was also voiced by Brown. Uncle Baxter, Riley’s unwelcome permanent houseguest, was played by Hans Conreid.

Like a few other radio shows, The Life of Riley made a successful transition to television in 1949, winning television’s first Emmy for its first season. Due to Bendix’ contractual obligations, the role of Riley was played by Jackie Gleason until 1950, when he left the show and it went on hiatus.
In 1951, The Life of Riley left radio. The television show was revived in 1953, when Bendix joined the cast, and it ran until 1958.

 

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All of our Old Time Radio Programs are in MP3 format. You can play them on your computer, you can transfer them to MP3 players (like the IPod), but, by and large, you cannot play them on stereos, walkmen, or car radios.

The sound quality of Old Time Radio Programs can vary greatly. Some episodes are excellent, others you have to turn up the volume a little and ignore the static. All of the episodes can be listened to and enjoyed. You can listen to our free samples to get a feel for how the programs sound.
You can purchase these episodes on CD or you can download them.
To purchase on CD: To download:

Click on the Buy on CD button. A few dollars will be added for shipping depending on your zip code and how many CDs you order. Pay with Paypal (you can use a credit card even if you do not have a Paypal account). You will receive a receipt from Paypal. We will mail you the CD(s) within a few days. Usually we get the CDs in the mail the next day. Shipping usually takes 2-3 days via USPS. The episodes will be in mp3 format.

 

 

  • You save money on the cost of the episodes and you don't pay any shipping.
  • Click on the Download button. Pay with Paypal (you can use a credit card even if you do not have a Paypal account).
  • After you pay you will be returned to our site to a page with a series of links to zip files. Click on the links to download the zip files. These episodes are downloadable in large zip files.
  • To open a zip file you need software to "unzip" it. Your computer may already have unzip software, if this is the case, just click on the file and your software will automatically open up and you can unzip the files. If your computer doesn't have an unzip program, you can get one from the internet. The most popular is probably winzip (www.winzip.com), however, we use Zip Wizard by Coffeecup Software because its pretty good, easy to use, and free. (http://www.coffeecup.com/zip-wizard/)
  • The files are large - it will take you a few minutes to download each file. Each zip file is around 40MBs. A full CD worth of episodes takes about 14 large files. if you are on a dial-up connection, we highly recommend you buy a CD.
  • You will receive an e-mail receipt from Paypal, and we will send you an additional e-mail with the links.

 

Buy CD 1: $4.50
Buy CD 2: $4.50
Buy CD Set (1-2): $7.00

Download Set 1: $3.50
Download Set 2: $3.50
Download Complete Set (1-2) : $6.00

Life of Riley CD 1: 98 Episodes
LifeOfRiley___LeakingRoof.mp3
LifeOfRiley___Lecture.mp3
LifeOfRiley_1943-07-25__NewHousePlans_Audition.mp3
LifeOfRiley_1944-01-16_0001_RileyPlansToBuildAHouse.mp3
LifeOfRiley_1944-04-09_0013_RileyIsBestDressedMan.mp3
LifeOfRiley_1944-04-30_0016_BaxterGoesToNewYork.mp3
LifeOfRiley_1944-10-29_0042_HalloweenHauntedHouse.mp3
LifeOfRiley_1944-11-05_0043_PianoLessonsForJunior.mp3
LifeOfRiley_1944-11-12_0044_BigFootballBet.mp3
LifeOfRiley_1944-11-19_0045_TurkeyHunt.mp3
LifeOfRiley_1944-12-03_0047_MostPopularBoy.mp3
LifeOfRiley_1944-12-10_0048_RileysMashNoteAtNightSc.mp3
LifeOfRiley_1944-12-17_0049_TheChristmasPresent.mp3
LifeOfRiley_1944-12-24_0050_RoswellsAGuestForChristm.mp3
LifeOfRiley_1945-01-07_0052_SilverGlovesBoxingTourney.mp3
LifeOfRiley_1945-01-14_0053_TheWeddingAnniversary.mp3
LifeOfRiley_1945-01-21_0054_RileysConscienceBothersHi.mp3
LifeOfRiley_1945-02-25_0059_RileyHelpsLuigiPassEnglis.mp3
LifeOfRiley_1945-03-04_0060_ExpectantFathers.mp3
LifeOfRiley_1945-03-11_0061_JuniorRunsAway.mp3
LifeOfRiley_1945-03-18_0062_RileyTriesToBecomeAPalT.mp3
LifeOfRiley_1945-03-25_0063_MissingFiveDollars.mp3
LifeOfRiley_1945-05-13_0069_RileysMother-in-lawVisits.mp3
LifeOfRiley_1945-09-08_0077_LayOffs.mp3
LifeOfRiley_1945-09-15_0078_FeudWithNeighborNewNeighb.mp3
LifeOfRiley_1945-10-20_0083_PegsOldBoyfriendSydney.mp3
LifeOfRiley_1945-11-24_0088_BabsAndSimon-Married.mp3
LifeOfRiley_1945-12-01_0089_BPLALodgeElection-Phonogr.mp3
LifeOfRiley_1945-12-08_0090_RileyTakesJobPromotionExa.mp3
LifeOfRiley_1945-12-15_0091_GrandmasBoyFriend.mp3
LifeOfRiley_1946-02-02_0098_SchoolPlay.mp3
LifeOfRiley_1946-03-09_0103_BabsMusicScholarship.mp3
LifeOfRiley_1946-03-16_0104_RileyBuysAnInsurancePolic.mp3
LifeOfRiley_1946-04-13_0108_RileyThinksJuniorIsAShop.mp3
LifeOfRiley_1946-04-27_0110_GamblingDoesntPay.mp3
LifeOfRiley_1946-05-18_0113_PlayingHookey.mp3
LifeOfRiley_1946-05-25_0114_JuniorSellsPeanutsAtTheC.mp3
LifeOfRiley_1946-06-01_0115_TheRileyFamilyOfActors.mp3
LifeOfRiley_1946-06-08_0116_TheBreadShortageAndTheBl.mp3
LifeOfRiley_1946-06-15_0117_ANewSuitForFathersDay.mp3
LifeOfRiley_1946-06-29_0119_PaperRouteSubscriptionCont.mp3
LifeOfRiley_1946-09-07_0121_ThePaperRouteContest.mp3
LifeOfRiley_1946-09-14_0122_RileyDoesntWantPegToWor.mp3
LifeOfRiley_1946-09-21_0123_RileyHidesOnBoatToCatch.mp3
LifeOfRiley_1946-09-28_0124_RileyBribesJuniorToWinFo.mp3
LifeOfRiley_1946-10-05_0125_GoodNeighborWeek.mp3
LifeOfRiley_1946-10-19_0127_RileySuesTheBusCompany.mp3
LifeOfRiley_1946-10-26_0128_RileyGetsAJobInSouthAme.mp3
LifeOfRiley_1946-11-02_0129_PegAndRileyBothRunForPa.mp3
LifeOfRiley_1946-11-09_0130_EgbertAndJuniorGoToBoyS.mp3
LifeOfRiley_1946-11-23_0132_RileyFootballHeroForThe.mp3
LifeOfRiley_1946-11-30_0133_RileyGetsFreeMedicalAdvic.mp3
LifeOfRiley_1946-12-28_0137_NewYearsEve10DatesFor.mp3
LifeOfRiley_1947-01-11_0139_EfficiencyExpert.mp3
LifeOfRiley_1947-01-18_0140_RileyAndSimonBusinessPar.mp3
LifeOfRiley_1947-01-25_0141_RileysHoneymoon.mp3
LifeOfRiley_1947-02-01_0142_MrXRileySwitchedAsABa.mp3
LifeOfRiley_1947-02-08_0143_RileysBirthdayForgotten.mp3
LifeOfRiley_1947-03-15_0148_SimonIsAdviceToTheLovelorne.mp3
LifeOfRiley_1947-03-22_0149_RileyTheMilkman.mp3
LifeOfRiley_1947-03-29_0150_RileyTheGentlemanNewCha.mp3
LifeOfRiley_1947-04-05_0151_RileyTheChildBeater.mp3
LifeOfRiley_1947-04-12_0152_RealLifeSoapOpera`marria.mp3
LifeOfRiley_1947-04-19_0153_RileyTheBoxerJuniorTh.mp3
LifeOfRiley_1947-04-26_0154_SimonTheWaiterBlackmails.mp3
LifeOfRiley_1947-05-03_0155_LaunchingBabsInSociety.mp3
LifeOfRiley_1947-05-10_0156_ModelSonTheMothersDayS.mp3
LifeOfRiley_1947-05-31_0159_TheAccidentInsurancePolicy.mp3
LifeOfRiley_1947-06-07_0160_RileyCourtsPegAtSummerCa.mp3
LifeOfRiley_1947-06-14_0161_JuniorWinsTheSoapBoxDerb.mp3
LifeOfRiley_1947-06-28_0163_RileyAndGillisSpendAWeek.mp3
LifeOfRiley_1947-07-05_0164_RileyThinksPegIsLeavingH.mp3
LifeOfRiley_1947-09-06_0165_RileyEnrollsAtInsteadOf.mp3
LifeOfRiley_1947-09-13_0166_BabsHasTwoDates.mp3
LifeOfRiley_1947-09-20_0167_JuniorWantsToRunAwayFrom.mp3
LifeOfRiley_1947-09-27_0168_VenusWithARadioInHerSto.mp3
LifeOfRiley_1947-10-04_0169_RileyGetsAPromotion.mp3
LifeOfRiley_1947-10-11_0170_RileyTheCop.mp3
LifeOfRiley_1947-10-18_0171_TheCommunityChestDrive.mp3
LifeOfRiley_1947-10-25_0172_TheRagamuffinBall.mp3
LifeOfRiley_1947-11-01_0173_TheFootballPoolCard.mp3
LifeOfRiley_1947-11-08_0174_JuniorAndBabsPutOnAnnive.mp3
LifeOfRiley_1947-11-15_0175_RileyInSchoolPlay.mp3
LifeOfRiley_1947-11-22_0176_WinABuickContest.mp3
LifeOfRiley_1947-11-29_0177_ThanksgivingWithTheGillise.mp3
LifeOfRiley_1947-12-06_0178_TheGreatestManIKnow.mp3
LifeOfRiley_1947-12-13_0179_BabsIsBlackBalledAtTheSo.mp3
LifeOfRiley_1947-12-27_0181_FamilyChristmasPresent.mp3
LifeOfRiley_1948-01-03_0182_RileyGetsJuniorTwoDatesF.mp3
LifeOfRiley_1948-01-10_0183_WomensEqualRights.mp3
LifeOfRiley_1948-01-17_0184_TheTelephoneIsRationed-W.mp3
LifeOfRiley_1948-01-24_0185_BabsQuitsSchool.mp3
LifeOfRiley_1948-01-31_0186_UncleBaxterReturns.mp3
LifeOfRiley_1948-02-07_0187_FatherAndSonBanquet.mp3
LifeOfRiley_1948-02-14_0188_RileySendsPegAComicValen.mp3
LifeOfRiley_1948-02-21_0189_RileyLiesToPegAboutGoing.mp3
LifeOfRiley_1948-02-28_0190_BabsSweetSixteenBirthdayP.mp3
LifeOfRiley_1948-03-13_0192_TheMonkey.mp3


Life of Riley CD 2, 84 episodes
LifeOfRiley_1948-03-20_0193_TheSuggestionContest.mp3
LifeOfRiley_1948-03-27_0194_TheGiantEasterBunny.mp3
LifeOfRiley_1948-04-03_0195_RileyTheCrimeBuster.mp3
LifeOfRiley_1948-04-10_0196_PegStudiesFrench.mp3
LifeOfRiley_1948-04-24_0198_SpringFever.mp3
LifeOfRiley_1948-05-01_0199_JuniorsBaseballUniform.mp3
LifeOfRiley_1948-05-08_0200_RileysMothersDayGiftIs.mp3
LifeOfRiley_1948-05-15_0201_RileyManOfDistinction.mp3
LifeOfRiley_1948-05-22_0202_MonahanSpendsWeekendWithT.mp3
LifeOfRiley_1948-05-29_0203_CooperationPicnic.mp3
LifeOfRiley_1948-06-12_0205_BabsGraduation.mp3
LifeOfRiley_1948-06-19_0206_FathersDay-Bathrobes.mp3
LifeOfRiley_1948-09-03_0209_RileyMeetsClemKadiddlehopp.mp3
LifeOfRiley_1948-09-10_0210_TheHoseholdDrudge.mp3
LifeOfRiley_1948-10-08_0214_HowToPickAMate.mp3
LifeOfRiley_1948-10-15_0216_RileyCampaigns.mp3
LifeOfRiley_1948-10-22_0215_TheProblemChild.mp3
LifeOfRiley_1948-10-29_0217_RileyAndTheAardvark.mp3
LifeOfRiley_1948-11-19_0220_Father-in-lawTrouble.mp3
LifeOfRiley_1948-11-26_0221_BabsElderlyBoyfriend.mp3
LifeOfRiley_1948-12-03_0222_RileyTriesToGetFootballT.mp3
LifeOfRiley_1948-12-10_0223_RileysJiltedSisterVisits.mp3
LifeOfRiley_1948-12-17_0224_RileyAndMrsMorrisBuysA.mp3
LifeOfRiley_1948-12-24_0225_ChristmasBonusesFromMrSte.mp3
LifeOfRiley_1949-01-07_0227_RileyCoachesJuniorsBasket.mp3
LifeOfRiley_1949-01-14_0228_RileyGetsAJobInArabia.mp3
LifeOfRiley_1949-01-21_0229_RileysOldFlameBertha.mp3
LifeOfRiley_1949-01-28_0230_AQuietEveningByTheFiresi.mp3
LifeOfRiley_1949-02-04_0231_RileyTalksInHisSleepAbou.mp3
LifeOfRiley_1949-02-11_0232_BabsElopesSellsCardsWith.mp3
LifeOfRiley_1949-02-18_0233_AValentineLocketFromMonah.mp3
LifeOfRiley_1949-03-04_0235_TheRileysAreGuestsOfUni.mp3
LifeOfRiley_1949-03-11_0236_WeddingPhotograph.mp3
LifeOfRiley_1949-03-25_0238_BabsRunsForUclaPresident.mp3
LifeOfRiley_1949-04-01_0239_RileyWontLetPegHelpJuni.mp3
LifeOfRiley_1949-04-08_0240_RileyIsHeldUp.mp3
LifeOfRiley_1949-04-22_0242_RileyBreaksAVaseWithHis.mp3
LifeOfRiley_1949-04-29_0243_RileyGoesToWarAfterReadi.mp3
LifeOfRiley_1949-05-06_0244_BabsLeavesHome-3rdRiley.mp3
LifeOfRiley_1949-05-13_0245_GillisAndRileyAreLownsome.mp3
LifeOfRiley_1949-05-20_0246_JuniorHasHisOwnDeliveryB.mp3
LifeOfRiley_1949-05-27_0247_JuniorAndEgbertLeaveForC.mp3
LifeOfRiley_1949-10-14_0249_TheGeigerCounter.mp3
LifeOfRiley_1949-10-21_0250_ThePolicemanBoarder.mp3
LifeOfRiley_1949-10-28_0251_ATelevisionSetOnA10Day.mp3
LifeOfRiley_1949-11-04_0252_TheExpectantFather.mp3
LifeOfRiley_1949-11-11_0253_TheCommunityChestDrive.MP3
LifeOfRiley_1949-11-18_0254_TheEscortBureau.mp3
LifeOfRiley_1949-12-02_0256_RileyTheBookie.mp3
LifeOfRiley_1949-12-09_0257_BabsAndTheStevensonsNeph.mp3
LifeOfRiley_1949-12-30_0260_RileyDrivesACabForBabs.mp3
LifeOfRiley_1950-03-24_0272_CissiesMarriage.mp3
LifeOfRiley_1950-04-07_0274_MiracleOfTheBells.mp3
LifeOfRiley_1950-04-28_0277_RileyTheHamburgerKing.mp3
LifeOfRiley_1950-05-12_0279_ItsMothersDay.mp3
LifeOfRiley_1950-10-06_0287_SurprisePartyShow.mp3
LifeOfRiley_1950-10-20_0289_CollectionAgency.mp3
LifeOfRiley_1950-10-27_0290_RileyWantsANewStoveForA.mp3
LifeOfRiley_1950-11-03_0291_BabsElopement.mp3
LifeOfRiley_1950-11-10_0292_RileyWinsAHudsonGuessing.mp3
LifeOfRiley_1950-11-17_0293_TheRileysFirstDate.mp3
LifeOfRiley_1950-11-24_0294_RileyLocksUpBabsAfterStu.mp3
LifeOfRiley_1950-12-01_0295_RileysTroublesWithNewFor.mp3
LifeOfRiley_1950-12-08_0296_JuniorsLawnMowingCompany.mp3
LifeOfRiley_1950-12-15_0297_RileyTheCoward-PegGoesT.mp3
LifeOfRiley_1950-12-22_0298_TheRileysFirstBaby.mp3
LifeOfRiley_1951-01-05_0300_PegsFatherComesToVisit.mp3
LifeOfRiley_1951-01-12_0301_AnniversaryTiff-RileyPays.mp3
LifeOfRiley_1951-01-19_0302_ScoutmasterRiley-Housekeep.mp3
LifeOfRiley_1951-01-26_0303_TillieBoomer-RileyBecomes.mp3
LifeOfRiley_1951-02-02_0304_BabsBlackballedAtTheSoror.mp3
LifeOfRiley_1951-02-09_0305_CharlestonDanceLessonsWith.mp3
LifeOfRiley_1951-02-16_0306_RileysCaseOfNerves.mp3
LifeOfRiley_1951-02-23_0307_RileyHasTonsilitis.mp3
LifeOfRiley_1951-03-02_0308_LouellaStaysWithTheRileys.mp3
LifeOfRiley_1951-03-16_0309_RileyInstallsATimeClock.mp3
LifeOfRiley_1951-03-23_0310_BasketballGame-Bribe.mp3
LifeOfRiley_1951-03-30_0311_RileyTheRentCollector.mp3
LifeOfRiley_1951-04-06_0312_OldManRiley.mp3
LifeOfRiley_1951-04-13_0313_RileyTakesACivilServiceExam.mp3
LifeOfRiley_1951-04-20_0314_DidLouelaKissRileyInTheDark.mp3
LifeOfRiley_1951-04-27_0315_BabsWantsPrivacy.mp3
LifeOfRiley_1951-05-11_0317_RileyAndTheBlackChiffonN.mp3
LifeOfRiley_1951-05-18_0318_JuniorWinsTheSoapBoxDerb.mp3


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