Monday, November 13, 2017


Greetings Scared Silly fans! Hope you are all enjoying what’s left of 2017.

I wanted to share this episode of the TV show, My Little Margie, which comes to us courtesy of the public domain.

My Little Margie, originally a summer replacement series for I Love Lucy, was one of the sitcoms following in Lucy’s wake with the focus being on a female character. It, too proved successful and the cast (with Gale Storm in the title role) even performed in a concurrent radio show version.

For horror-comedy fans, My Little Margie is notable for a few reasons:

- It was produced by Hal Roach and filmed on the Hal Roach Studios lot... where so many classic horror-comedies starring Laurel & Hardy, Our Gang/The Little Rascals, Harold Lloyd, and more were filmed before.

- One of the regulars was Hillary Brooke, famous co-star for those other horror-comedy stalwarts, Abbott & Costello (whose TV show was also filmed on the Hal Roach Studios lot); and another was Willie Best (who figures prominently in several horror-comedy classics including Wheeler & Woolsey’s The Nitwits and Mummy’s Boys, The Ghost Breakers with Bob Hope, The Smiling Ghost, Milton Berle’s Whispering Ghosts, and Laurel & Hardy’s A-Haunting We Will Go);

- Guest stars included Zasu Pitts, another Hal Roach Studios regular who, when teamed with the luminous Thelma Todd, appeared in the horror-comedy short, Sealskin; Gil Lamb (a veteran of comedy shorts who appeared in two episodes of the show), Frank Ferguson - immortalized as MacDougal in Abbott & Costello Meet Frankenstein; and Andy Clyde, ever-popular star of decades’ worth of short subjects (for the likes of Mack Sennett, Columbia and others), including a number of horror-comedy efforts including Spook to Me.

What makes this episode, Corpus Delecti of particular interest:

- It was directed by Hal Yates, veteran short subject director whose horror-comedy entries include Host to a Ghost (starring Edgar Kennedy), Ghost Buster (featuring Gil Lamb), and a pair of Leon Errol horror-comedy shorts, The Spook Speaks and Spooky Wooky.

- This episode's guest-star is El Brendel, the Swedish-dialect comic who was a stalwart of Columbia short subjects including such horror-comedy efforts as Sweet Spirits of the Nighter and Boobs in the Night.

- The episode features the old “a pair of human eyes peeping through the eye holes cut out of a painting” gag. Notable here is that the painting is actually of the character Dean Williams from Laurel & Hardy’s A Chump at Oxford, which has an “horror-onable mention” spooky scene of its own.

The thing about the painting is that the eyes were intact for A Chump at Oxford, but were actually cut out for this particular gag to be used in the 1948 Hal Roach Jr./Robert F. McGowan feature, Who Killed Doc Robbin (an unsuccessful attempt to jumpstart a new series of “kid gang” comedies along the lines of Our Gang/The Little Rascals), and this 1955 My Little Margie episode.

(Incidentally, my friends Josh and Danny Bacher, very talented performers in their own right, actually own the painting in question and I’ve been privileged to see it, complete with its souless eyeholes, up close and personal-like).

So now, without further ado, please enjoy Corpus Delecti!

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