Radio became widespread. Listening was free and grew into a national pastime that linked people through popular programs that stimulated hours of conversation about what was heard. Little Orphan Annie, Buck Rogers, and Dick Tracy were the popular comic strip characters who found a second home on the air waves. The Lone Ranger and Jack Armstrong were created specifically for radio and later found their way into comic forms. Eddie Cantor, Ed Wynn, Charlie McCarthy and Edgar Bergen evolved from stage personalities to great radio personalities.. Radio broadcasting its wide range of live music, comedy, variety shows, and dramatic programming served as a welcome escape from those troubled times. Even though many people couldn’t afford payments on their washing machines, vacuum cleaners, or Model A Fords, they desperately struggled to keep up payments on their radios of that era weren’t just small devices in plastic cases; they were built into large wooden boxes.