Tuesday, March 22, 2011
Archie as a fish? Well, this is a blog about horror-comedy!
Greetings Scared Silly fans! I thought I'd emerge to just say "hello" and thank you for your patience. I'm in one of those super-busy periods right now where my paying gigs have me jumping through hoops. It's been tough to complete reviews and I don't want to post any that may be sub-par so I hope you'll bear with me just a bit longer. I do have some time coming off this spring that should enable me to make some headway, so there's something to look forward to.
Until then, I'm putting up the "Gone Fishin'" sign... even though I'm busy working and not fishing!
Now enjoy Bing Crosby usually seen cavorting with Bob Hope but here marking time with the legendary Louis Armstrong.
Sunday, March 6, 2011
Last week I noted the anniversary of Stan Laurel’s passing 46 years ago on February 23, 1965.
I must say I am remiss to not have done the same for Lou Costello this past week. We lost Lou 52 years ago on March 3rd, 1959.
Thankfully history... and the calendar... allow me to make quick amends and pay tribute to Lou as well as it was 105 years ago today that Costello was born, on March 6, 1906.
While Stan Laurel is my favorite movie comedian of all time (and Laurel & Hardy my all-time favorite comedy team), within the realm of the "horror-comedy" genre, Abbott & Costello are the undisputed champs. A big reason for that is few comics could wring as much laughter out of being scared as Lou Costello.
Of course, Costello had the very good fortune to perfect his "scared routine" at the best possible studio: under contract to the "House of Horror" Universal Pictures, Lou got to cavort with such monster legends as Dracula, the Wolf Man, the Frankenstein Monster and the Mummy, plus a spin-off of the Invisible Man that was more mystery than horror, but still a nice nod to James Whales’ classic. As was "Hold That Ghost" with its "old dark house" (a la Whales’ "The Old Dark House"), phony ghosts and secret passageways.
Additional horror paces the studio put Costello through included nods to movie history in the form of the studio’s chief boogeyman Boris Karloff playing Dr. Jeckyl and Mr. Hyde as well as a mysterious "swami" character in "Abbott & Costello Meet the Killer, Boris Karloff" that resembled some of Karloff’s sinister mad doctor roles; and Margaret Hamilton matching wits with Costello as she played... what else?... a witch in "Comin’ ‘Round the Mountain!"
Here’s Lou at work in some hysterical outtakes from "Abbott & Costello Meet Frankenstein." Pay particular attention to the sequence wherein Costello’s antics crack up cowboy-star-turned-monster Glenn Strange, made up as the Frankenstein Monster but unable to contain himself... and revealing his deep southern drawl of a laugh in the process! Here’s to you, Lou!