The Doctor Is In

Starring in your own episode of The Radio Adventures of Dr. Floyd is fun for grown-ups and kids alike.

Standing in front of the microphone, script in hand, I manage to read my lines in an Italian accent so bad it sounds like I’m channeling  Father Guido Sarducci.  More impressive is the fact that I’ve managed to get through my part in this radio drama at all in the face of all the snickering going on in the background.

While I’m no stranger to microphones and recording studios, this scene stands out in my memory because it’s not every day an ordinary guy like me gets to rub shoulders with an evil mastermind, a brilliant scientist, and a talking robot.  But, then again, The Radio Adventures of Dr. Floyd occupies a highly-imaginative alternate universe where just about anything is possible.

The award-winning show, put out as a weekly podcast by Los Angeles-based new media producers Grant Baciocco and Doug Price, falls somewhere on the entertainment spectrum between old-time radio dramas and the latest Pixar animated feature films.  In other words, it’s every bit as much fun for grown-ups as it is for kids.

While the quasi-historical show has earned rave reviews and developed a dedicated following over the past several years, one little-known fact is that anybody can sign up to sponsor—and, yes, even star in—their own Dr. Floyd episode.  Which makes these customized radio plays an extraordinary way to mark an important birthday, anniversary, or other special occasion.

Having been married on February 29th— better known as leap day—my wife and I look for unusual ways to celebrate our anniversary when it comes around every four years.  After spending several months enjoying the Dr. Floyd podcast series alongside our nine-year-old son we thought, “Hey, why not renew our wedding vows in cyberspace?”

We gave Grant (better known as the voice of Dr. Floyd’s villainous arch-nemesis Dr. Steve) the basics elements of a plot line—a leap day wedding—and asked him to find a part in the episode for both of us and our son.  A couple of weeks later, we received our script and made an appointment to meet him (and his cast of puppets, including the world’s greatest scientist Dr. Floyd and Dr. Steve’s sock-shaped sidekick Fidgert) to record our lines.

A couple of weeks later our fully produced 12-minute episode arrived via email and was posted to the show’s website for all the world to enjoy.  To hear it for yourself, click on the link below.

Looking back on the experience, I can tell you all three of us came away from our first radio play convinced that we had way more fun than we would have had on a typical anniversary getaway.  The fact that we helped Dr. Floyd and his crew foil another of Dr. Steve’s diabolical plots, well, that was just the icing on our anniversary cake.

Xtrordinary Xtra
Show creators Baciocco and Price met as college students while working on Disneyland’s Jungle Cruise ride.

The Facts
Name: The Radio Adventures of Dr. Floyd
Location: Burbank, CA
Phone: 818-332-3053

My Advice

  • While there are limitations, the creative minds behind The Radio Adventures of Dr. Floyd are usually able to work a sponsor’s character(s) or plot ideas into a show script.  Understand going in, however, that the more flexible you are in terms of your requests and expectations, the better the final result is likely to be.
  • While it was convenient for us to record our lines in person, the show’s producers can arrange to do your recording session via the internet if that’s more convenient or cost-effective for you.
  • While starring in your own radio drama isn’t exactly inexpensive, we found it compared favorably to what we would have spent on a long weekend at your average resort hotel.  Add in the lasting quality of the experience and the bag of goodies we took home (including a complete set of Dr. Floyd CDs and a secret decoder ring for our son) and we felt it added up to a good overall value.
  • Fans of the show on tighter budgets can opt for customized (and very funny) answering machine messages recorded by their favorite Dr. Floyd characters.