Perry Mason reportedly inspired people to enter the law. Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor said as much during her confirmation hearing. The show also received citations in real-life judicial opinions. Not one judicial opinion or two, but two hundred and fifty different ones!
Beyond that, almost a thousand law review articles and five hundred legal briefs mention the show. Who was it, again, that said real life doesn’t work like television? Here’s proof. We rest our case.
Perry Mason Audiobooks?
In 1988, one of the first audio versions of the Perry Mason novels came out. When we say audiobook, we use the term loosely. It was actually a cassette containing an abridged version of "The Case of the Beautiful Beggar."
Actor Perry King does a marvelous job of reading, infusing energy and character throughout. Publishing houses continued the abridged cassettes. Today, Audible features a few greats: "The Curious Bride," "The Howling Dog," and "The Sulky Girl."
Why Did Ozzy Osbourne Write a Song called "Perry Mason"?
Nobody knows! One day, Ozzy Osbourne, keyboard player John Sinclair, and guitarist Zakk Wylde wrote a song called "Perry Mason."
During an interview, Wylde described how the song came about. "John was just jamming on it so I started playing along with him. We started with that, and then Ozzy was like, 'Oh, cool, man, let me sing something on that.'” The world is none the wiser! But we have a theory. The song is about dystopia, and Ozzy wants only one man on the case. Perry Mason – the person who fixes everything!
A Glaring Lack of Diversity
A universal critique of Perry Mason is the show’s lack of diversity. In that regard, the show had little to no impact. It’s surprising for a series that ran during the socio-political upheaval of the ‘60s when considerations of race took center stage.
Perry Mason has zero depictions of diversity. Representations of African-Americans, if any, are relegated to the background. Like most of us in real life, Perry Mason chose to remain oblivious.
The 80s Remake
Fans today know and even expect remakes of shows. But during the ‘80s, it wasn’t common for old shows to make comebacks. Perry Mason did return, and with a bang – expectedly. Twenty years after the show stopped airing, NBC created a series of Perry Mason films made for TV. The concept was similar to how "The Incredible Hulk" ran on television during the time.
Original stars Raymond Burr and Barbara Hale picked up where they left off decades ago. William Hopper had died by then, but the show grew with a new cast – William Katt (Barbara Hale’s son) among them.