Media Law Prof Blog

Editor: Christine A. Corcos
Louisiana State Univ.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Let's Go To the Videotape

Da dum DA DUM! Da dum DA DUM DUM! What was the name of that Perry Mason episode that neither Senator Franken nor Judge Sotomayor could remember? According to the blogosphere, and Perry Mason addicts, it's possibly The Case of the Terrified Typist, from season one of the legendary series, first aired September 21, 1957. The case actually ends in a mistrial when everybody discovers that Perry's client has been using someone else's name. Want to see it for yourself? Check out a broadcast here from CBS. You can also purchase the original episodes, which are now becoming available on DVD.

But according to Barbara Hale, who played Della Street in the original series and in the made for television movies, Perry NEVER lost a case. What heresy. Listen to an interview with All Things Considered from July 15th.

According to Raymond Burr (Perry Mason) himself, he did lose some cases, just not on Saturday, the day the show aired.

For more about Perry Mason and his enduring influence, see

J. Dennis Bounds, Perry Mason: The Authorship and Reproduction of a Popular Hero (Greenwood Press, 1996)

Thomas Leitch, Perry Mason (Wayne State University Press, 2005).

Anita Sokolsky, The Case of the Juridical Junkie: Perry Mason and the Dilemma of Confession, 2 Yale Journal of Law & the Humanities 189-199 (Winter 1990).

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