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The Man Who Asked for Yesterday


A man is murdered by his wife. After death, he wishes to be granted the chance to live the finale of his life over again



Air Dates

  • First Run - January 31, 1974
  • Repeat - April 7, 1974
  • Repeat - February 1, 1979





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26 Responses to Episode 0026

He should have gone back further in time and never taken up gambling. There was really nothing he could do to change his fate in 24 hours; the die was long cast by then. But then I suppose the individual who offered him the opportunity--guess who--already knew that. Time travel; deal with the devil.


Very solid deal-with-the-devil story, made all the better by our detailed look into the events our protagonist is given the chance to fix. Which elements will he change and how? Nicely done.


You won't find three bigger losers than these in a story involving a guy who is a pathetic horseplayer who has bet himself into poverty; his bookie, who is playing the guy for a sucker; and his wife, who is fooling around with the bookie and both of them are setting him up for the kill. Who do you root for here? So wife and bookie set idiot husband up and murder him. Except they don't finish the job and he's in surgery for a bullet in the brain. An outerworldly individual (think more south than north) comes to his brain while it's being poked by knives and offers him a chance to go back to yesterday and make it all different. He takes the deal and actually, not a bad story unfolds. There is nobody to like here, except perhaps, E.G. Marshall, but it beats some of the CBS-RMTs I've listened to all January.


How wonderful! We get to listen to these classics again, and we get to respond to them.


Very cool and twisting plot involving a diamond heist, time travel, and an unfaithful spouse. Good episode.


One of my favorite tales of old time radio time travel!


A deal with devil always runs sour as a shot up criminal is tempted on his deathbed. Good stuff.

Denise Remo

A man is gunned down by his wife. When he arrives in the afterlife, he begs to be allowed to live the last part of his life over.

Martha Salcedo

Intriguing tale. Even though you can predict the ending, you keep rooting for the guy.

Aya E.

After being murdered by a bookie who turns a dirty trick on him with the help of his wife, a gamblig addict is given a chance to relive the previous day. Knowing what he knows now, he has a unique opportunity to change the outcome. Then again, there are many paths that lead to the same destination.


A guy is given an attempt to escape his fate and instead seals it. If he really thought about it (which he obviously didn't) he would've given up gambling and skipped town to start anew elsewhere and would've gotten some revenge by doing so.


It is wonderful to hear E. G. Marshall and the queeking door open. It has been almost 35 years. This program got me through some hard times in school and helping to image and dream. Thank!


Very much enjoying this personal time travel back to 1974 listening to Mystery Theater and old adds...Lovin' It!

Mys Mandy

I rate this episode ★★★★☆ for GOOD. Here's what I liked the most about this CBSRMT episode. First, the cast: Mandel Kramer (as Mort Herman), Paul Hecht (as Herb Gordan & the Doctor), Evie Juster (as Sherry Herman & Airport Attendant), Ralph Bell (as the Man & the Hackie/Cabdriver), and Gilbert Mack (as the Police Sergeant). I believe these 5 played their parts terrifically, especially Mandel Kramer who usually plays the guy who's filled with tension and stresses about future events. My favorite part, coming from him, was at the 40-minute 26-second mark when he said, "It was a nightmare. The bad dream to end all bad dreams. You know the kind? Where you have to escape...but you can only move in slow motion? Your feet are buried in mud like glue? You're caught. You're trapped. You're helpless. You know there's no way out." Now, how many of us CBSRMT fans have had that feeling before? The sound effects, I liked as well. The sounds of the ambulance, the crowd forming, elevator dinging, alarm clock going off, rotary phone, clinking of the tableware, paper slip, footsteps, the safe cracking (22-Right, 8-Left, 31-Right), the engine running, the boat by the docks, airplane soaring, gunshots, cab driving through traffic, phone ringing, and the water by the pier were all wonderful for this mysterious tale. The music, I enjoyed the most. Even though there were chilling tunes in ACT-1, devious music in ACT-2, and shocking tracks in ACT-3, the best music piece of all was the gloomy & dreary music from the 6-minute 54-second mark that played every time our main character was narrating his deadly situations. Brilliant piece. To our Host, E.G. Marshall, I give him props for quoting a poem by Elizabeth Chase Akers Allen. In ACT-1, he quotes the poem, "Backward, turn backward oh time in thy flight..." and he rephrases it in the Epilogue by switching "thy" with "your". It does work, in a sense, for it allows us listeners to ponder on how we wish to go back and do it all over again. And if we could go back for a second chance, would our lives turn out just the same? The only thing that bugged me, was at the end of ACT-3 when our host described our main character as "a weak little man, a scared little man, and a stupid little man." I disagree because he was more of a troubled man, a paranoid man, and a fluke of a man. And finally, the script. Ian Martin wrote an entertaining story, something that people can relate to when it comes to getting a second chance and wishing for things we should've done in the past. But why would our main character, Mort Herman, go back to yesterday? Why not go back further to the day he met Sherry and/or Herb Gordon and just avoid them? Also, who or what was Ralph Bell's character? In the CBSRMT Guide Book, his role is "The Man". But was he really the Grim Reaper or just the Devil making a deal? It's a good story, with a few mysteries unknown. Another way to title this episode would be "Agent Of Fate." Check this episode out, everyone. Not only you should tune in for this mysterious tale, but also tune in for its commercials of Himan Brown (and the address to Mystery Theater, Box 5152, Radio City Station, New York, 10019), Suburban Savings, Budweiser, Shop Right, Kellogg's Special-K cereal, Agent X39, Jon Winget for the Winget News Digest, a sneak preview & synopsis of Ep. #0027-DEAD RINGER, and radio announcement by Patricia McCann. Enjoy!


Yes. "The Man Who Asked For Yesterday" is one of my top 10 favorite CBSMT's too! Mandel and Ralph have such great character voices, and the story is such a spellbinder! It's similar to "Yesterday's Murder", in which Mercedes McCambridge (Dotty), agrees with an offer from a Mr. Carpenter (fantastic voice work by Leon Janney) to go back in time to correct an error in judgement. These all play off the Oedipal story of fate, that no matter what you do to prevent it, the end result will play out as told. (Which is why knowing your fate is not so helpful!). I was under the impression that the writer of the episode also wrote the Acts Intros and Epilogue. Is that not true?


I Liked this one very much! The whole subject of changing ones fate by going back and making different choices is a compelling notion! It has been the subject of so many movies over the years and no doubt stories written and portrayed on stage and screen. Stories that play on this to some degree like "heaven can wait" , "the butterfly effect", and of Course "Ground Hog Day"... there are so many others that play on this idea. This story shows that the end fate is not all that different and that basically the self centeredness of the characters is the same in both scenario's leads to there demise! Check this one out it s very good!


One of my all time favorite episodes of CBSRMT! I agree with a lot of the things Russell said about why he liked the episode. Faustian dramas have been done time and time again, but this one stands out as unique, well-acted and suspenseful. I really loved the idea of someone going back in time to try and fix his mistakes. It was very interesting to hear how it all played out and Mort ended up right back where he started. All of the actors were great here, especially Ralph Bell, who was most excellent and played both a cabbie and "The Man" (who I think was actually supposed to be the Devil). He gives me chills at the end where he says to Mort, "I'll take care of all your tomorrows." Then the music plays a horrific note as the listener realizes the implications of what that means. The ending was actually the very best part of the whole episode and even though I've heard it before, I always wait for it and it is always thrilling, (and very chilling), to hear Raplh Bell's scary, but subtle, evil voice, lol! Totally perfect end to a totally perfect episode!


The Man Who Asked For Yesterday is pretty scary and demon/devil-related.


Ralph Bell made "The Man who asked for yesterday" one of my all-time favorites. I saw some other favorites in there as well.


Ralph Bell made "The Man who asked for yesterday" one of my all-time favorites.


Commercials (!!!) - always a sweet surprise for me when they're included. Living near Oconomowoc, Wisconsin for much of my life, I was especially intrigued by the one for "Agent X 39," but can find nothing online about it. If anyone knows what it was, I'd love to learn. The announcer's pronunciation of the town was pretty entertaining, as well. It's actually Oh-CON-uh-moe-WALK. :) Good sound quality ln this one. Found the alarm clock annoying, but thankfully it only sounded twice. (I drift off to sleep to these episodes.)


A guy walks into a marriage counselor's office. "I have a gambling problem," he says. "I see," says the counselor. "What have you done? Gambled away the mortgage payment or your kids' college money?" "Oh, heck no," the guy says. "I've been winning like crazy, but my wife found out and now she wants the money. That's my problem!"


Ralph Bell made "The Man who asked for yesterday" one of my all-time favorites. I saw some other favorites in there as well.


Oh how many have said, "If I could only go back i would do things differently"? But can you really, our is it destiny? Loved the performances of the actors and actresses, great job! This is one of my favorites!


Great script, excellent acting, well executed in every way. A real winner.

Big Jer

Good one! A little to drawn out for me but the twists were great.


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