The Old Gold Comedy Theater aired over NBC for one season, from October 29, 1944 to June 10, 1945. The Lennen and Mitchell ad agency wanted to produce a comedy series for Old Gold cigarettes, a brand of the Lorillard Tobacco Company.
The show was patterned after the successful format used by the Lux Radio Theatre and Cecil B. DeMille. Preston Sturges, an up and coming director, was originally tapped to host the show, but was already committed elsewhere, and so suggested Harold Lloyd, a silent film star, with whom he had worked in the past. As this was his first radio program, Lloyd worked for many months to get over his fear of the microphone. Critics believed he was improving as the season progressed, and would have eventually mastered the art had the series lasted more than one season.
Though the adapted scripts and the actors were top-notch, the show eventually suffered from its 30 minute format, as too much had to be cut from the original movie scripts. Lennen and Mitchell pulled the plug on the show on May 28, 1945 when they announced Meet Me at Parky's would air in its place.
Currently, there are 30 of the 32 episodes still in circulation -- 29 come from the estate of Harold Lloyd, in the original un-cut version, and one from the Armed Forces Radio Service.