Monday, May 24, 2010

Top 5 Characters on "The Hilarious House of Frightenstein"

"The Hilarious House of Frightenstein" was one of my absolute, must watch TV shows I was addicted to as a kid! A rare mix of slapstick comedy, educational segments and wonderfully campy characters, "Frightenstein" ran for 130 episodes, starting in 1971 and continuing well into the 1980's. The episodes had no over-arching storyline, but were linked through the buffoonish antics of Count Frightenstein (Billy Van) and Igor (Fishka Rais), his bumbling, incompetent lab assistant. They even had Vincent Price, the Godfather of schlocky horror movies, introduce each segment, as well as open and close each episode. The producers of the show created a treasure trove of lovable characters and puppets that was only rivalled by 'Sesame Street'. I loved them all, but I liked some more than the rest. And here they are!

#5) The Wolfman - The werewolf disc jockey of radio station EECH, who was a parody of legendary broadcaster Wolfman Jack. The Wolfman would rock out to music and dance in front of a trippy psychadelic background and was often joined in this by Igor.

#4) The Grammar Slammer Bammer - A large and gruff purple puppet who would routinely threaten to pound on Igor if  he got a word wrong during the educational segment where the disembodied voice of the Grammer Slammer would test Igor's  spelling ability.

#3) Gronk - A purple sea serpent that would chat with Count Frightenstein while he was reading a book. Gronk would answer questions incorrectly, interrupt at the oddest times and generally drive the Count completely loony.

#2) Grizelda, the Ghastly Gourmet - Grizelda was a witch who hosted a cooking show that was broadcast from Castle Frightenstein. It didn't matter what  ghastly recipe she concocted, they all ended the same way: she cracks her head on a pot hanging over her cauldron, then declares the recipe a failure after it causes a small explosion. 

#1) Count Frightenstein - The 13th son of Dracula, Count Frightenstein had been exiled to Frankenstone, Canada (!) some years before because of his failing to awaken Brucie J. Monster, the ever present 'Frankenstein' on the slab in his laboratory. Assisted by Igor, his clumsy and incompetent manservant, the Count never stopped looking for a way to revive Brucie, when he wasn't collecting rent from the various tenants (Grizelda, the Wolfman) or creating goofy get-rick-quick schemes.

God, I loved this stuff when I was a kid and I still do to this day! And the best part is, the show is still broadcast on a regular basis on Space - The Imagination Station, TV Land Canada, Drive-In Classics and MTV2. I think I`m gonna`go dig out my `Frightenstein` DVDs and watch them again right now! Later days! OR, as Mr. Vincent Price would say.....

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