Monday, June 30, 2008

Bash Memories

I had a great time at the Monster Bash a little over a week ago. Thanks to everyone who puts this show together, they do an excellent job. Some of the highlights for me were --

  • The Q & A session with Felix Silla (Cousin Itt), Lisa Loring (Wednesday Addams) and Pat Priest (Marilyn Munster). It was great hearing them tell stories from back in the day.

  • The Vincent Price Museum.

  • Dodging cars to eat lunch at the Burger King across the street.

  • Roaming the dealer room, looking at all of the cool stuff I can't afford to buy. I did buy a few little monster toys though.

  • The mini Universal Monster Army get-together and photo in front of the Drag-U-La.

  • Eating leftovers for dinner in the hotel room of Max The Drunken Severed Head and his VooDoo Queen (thanks Max and Jane, I really appreciate it).

  • Of course most of my cash went for autographs. I got signed photos from --
  • Donnie Dunagan (Son of Frankenstein and the voice of Disney's Bambi)

    Lisa Loring (Wednesday Addams on The Addams Family)

    Donna Douglas (Elly May on The Beverly Hillbillies)

  • Staying in a yurt at a campground (It's cheaper than a hotel).

  • You can see all of my photos on my Flickr page here.

    Hope to see everyone next year at The Bash.

    Monday, June 23, 2008

    George Carlin, RIP

    I'm devastated. I love George Carlin. My mom had his records and 8-track tapes in the early 70's. My brother and I used to sneak them and listen to them. He's a big part of why I have such a warped sense of humor. I'll try to post a compilation of some of my favorite routines of his later in the week. RIP George. Here's the article from the International Herald Tribune --

    By Mel Watkins

    George Carlin, the Grammy-Award winning standup comedian and actor who was hailed for his irreverent social commentary, poignant observations of the absurdities of everyday life and language, and groundbreaking routines like "Seven Words You Can Never Use on Television," died in Los Angeles on Sunday, according to his publicist, Jeff Abraham. He was 71.

    The cause of death was heart failure, according to Abraham.

    Carlin began his standup comedy act in the late 1950s and made his first television solo guest appearance on "The Merv Griffin Show" in 1965. At that time, he was primarily known for his clever wordplay and reminiscences of his Irish working-class upbringing in New York.

    But from the outset their were indications of an anti-establishment edge to his comedy. Initially, it surfaced in the witty patter of a host of offbeat characters like the wacky sportscaster Biff Barf and the hippy-dippy weatherman Al Sleet. "The weather was dominated by a large Canadian low, which is not to be confused with a Mexican high. Tonight's forecast . . . dark, continued mostly dark tonight turning to widely scattered light in the morning."

    Carlin released his first comedy album, "Take-Offs and Put-Ons," to rave reviews in 1967. He also dabbled in acting, winning a recurring part as Marlo Thomas' theatrical agent in the sitcom "That Girl" (1966-67) and a supporting role in the movie "With Six You Get Egg-Roll," released in 1968.

    By the end of the decade, he was one of America's best known comedians. He made more than 80 major TV appearances during that time, including the Ed Sullivan Show and Johnny Carson's Tonight Show; he was also regularly featured at major nightclubs in New York and Las Vegas.

    That early success and celebrity, however, was as dinky and hollow as a gratuitous pratfall to Carlin. "I was entertaining the fathers and the mothers of the people I sympathized with, and in some cases associated with, and whose point of view I shared," he recalled later, as quoted in the book "Going Too Far" by Tony Hendra, which was published in 1987. "I was a traitor, in so many words. I was living a lie."

    In 1970, Carlin discarded his suit, tie, and clean-cut image as well as the relatively conventional material that had catapulted him to the top. Carlin reinvented himself, emerging with a beard, long hair, jeans and a routine that, according to one critic, was steeped in "drugs and bawdy language." There was an immediate backlash. The Frontier Hotel in Las Vegas terminated his three-year contract, and, months later, he was advised to leave town when an angry mob threatened him at the Lake Geneva Playboy Club. Afterward, he temporarily abandoned the nightclub circuit and began appearing at coffee houses, folk clubs and colleges where he found a younger, hipper audience that was more attuned to both his new image and his material.

    By 1972, when he released his second album, "FM & AM," his star was again on the rise. The album, which won a Grammy Award as best comedy recording, combined older material on the "AM" side with bolder, more acerbic routines on the "FM" side. Among the more controversial cuts was a routine euphemistically entitled "Shoot," in which Carlin explored the etymology and common usage of the popular idiom for excrement. The bit was part of the comic's longer routine "Seven Words That Can Never Be Said on Television," which appeared on his third album "Class Clown," also released in 1972.

    "There are some words you can say part of the time. Most of the time 'ass' is all right on television," Carlin noted in his introduction to the then controversial monologue. "You can say, well, 'You've made a perfect ass of yourself tonight.' You can use ass in a religious sense, if you happen to be the redeemer riding into town on one — perfectly all right."

    The material seems innocuous by today's standards, but it caused an uproar when broadcast on the New York radio station WBAI in the early seventies. The station was censured and fined by the FCC. And in 1978, their ruling was supported by the Supreme Court, which Time magazine reported, "upheld an FCC ban on 'offensive material' during hours when children are in the audience." Carlin, refused to drop the bit and was arrested several times after reciting it on stage.

    Carlin released a half dozen comedy albums during the '70s, including the million-record sellers "Class Clown," "Occupation: Foole" (1973) and "An Evening With Wally Lando" (1975). He was chosen to host the first episode of the late-night comedy show "Saturday Night Live" in 1975. And two years later, he found the perfect platform for his brand of acerbic, cerebral, sometimes off-color standup humor in the fledgling, less restricted world of cable television. By 1977, when his first HBO comedy special, "George Carlin at USC" was aired, he was recognized as one of the era's most influential comedians. In the years following his 1977 cable debut, Carlin was nominated for a half dozen Grammy awards and received CableAces awards for best stand-up comedy special for "George Carlin: Doin' It Again (1990) and "George Carlin: Jammin'" (1992). He also won his second Grammy for the album "Jammin'" in 1994.

    During the course of his career, Carlin overcame numerous personal trials. His early arrests for obscenity (all of which were dismissed) and struggle to overcome his self-described "heavy drug use" were the most publicized. But in the '80s he also weathered serious tax problems, a heart attack and two open heart surgeries. His greatest setback was the loss of his wife, Brenda Hosbrook, who died in 1997. They had been married for 36 years. Carlin is survived by wife, Sally Wade; daughter Kelly Carlin McCall; son-in-law, Bob McCall; older brother, Patrick Carlin; sister-in-law, Marlene Carlin and long time manager, business partner and best friend Jerold Hamza.

    Wednesday, June 18, 2008

    Monster Bash On Haunted Hill 2008

    Classic TV Stars Invade Butler County
    "Monster Bash" Expo & Film Festival 2008

    The Beverly Hillbillies, The Twilight Zone, The Munsters, The Addams Family, The Andy Griffith Show, Mannix, Mission Impossible -- actors from these shows and many more will be appearing in Butler at The Monster Bash Expo & Film Festival, June 20-22, 2008. "Ready, set, action" at the Days Inn Conference Center, Route 8, in Butler, PA.

    The county seat of Butler County will become "Little Hollywood" with dozens of actors, directors, and movie producers for Monster Bash. It's a 3-Day film festival and autograph signing show that also includes classic TV, horror movie, science fiction movie, and mystery movie collectible vendors. Over 100 vendors, from across the country, will be bringing rare movie merchandise -- kids toys, original movie posters, movie magazines, and DVDs.

    TV Stars that will be signing autographs for all three days include: Pat Priest (Marilyn Munster), Lisa Loring (Wednesday on the Addams Family & As The World Turns actress), Donna Douglas (Ellie Mae from The Beverly Hillbillies), Susan Gordon (The Twilight Zone), Jackie Joseph (The Doris Day Show & The Andy Griffith Show), and many more. Plus, our local star of Chiller Theatre and Night of the Living Dead - "Chilly Billy" Cardille will be at Monster Bash on Saturday.

    Movie stars signing autographs will include Donnie Dunagan (Actor from 1939's Son of Frankenstein and the voice of Disney's Bambi), Charles Herbert (star of The Fly & the original 13 Ghosts), Elizabeth Shepherd (Vincent Price leading lady), Don Sullivan (The Giant Gila Monster & The Rebel Set), Robert Dix (star in Forbidden Planet), Jonathan Haze (star of The Little Shop of Horrors), Conrad Brooks (Plan 9 From Outer Space), Bert I. Gordon (Director of Beginning of the End & Earth Vs. The Spider) and many more!

    Special features include an appearance all weekend long of the giant "puppet-prop" plant from the Broadway show of The Little Shop of Horrors, with Jim Hensen Studios puppeteer Bill Diamond. There's a planned live teleconference with Forrest J Ackerman and Ray Bradbury live from Hollywood on a big screen.

    Films will be showing in one of the Days Inn Conference Center Ballrooms all weekend. Classic Horror and Science Fiction films, as well as many Vincent Price Films. Plus: David "The ROCK" Nelson will host the classic 1959 movie, "Monster of Piedras Blancas"!

    The show is dedicated to the memory of actor Vincent Price. This from Vincent Price's son, Vincent Barrett Price: "I'm sure my dad would have been delighted with the conference and your highlighting his career. I wish you all the best and offer you much gratitude on behalf on my dad."

    The events get under way Friday at 10AM until 2AM, Saturday from 10AM until 2AM, and Sunday from 10AM-4PM. The star signing and vendor ballroom hours are Friday from 3PM-9PM, Saturday 10AM-6PM, and Sunday 10AM-3PM. Please note that events are subject to last minute cancellation or change - but, at this time, all stars are confirmed.

    Admission for The Monster Bash Expo & Film Fest at the Days Inn Conference Center, Route 8, Butler is $15 per day at the door. Kids 12 and under are free with an adult. For details, call (724) 238-4317, e-mail, see the web site at:, or call the Days Inn at (724) 287-6761.

    ********* ********* *********

    I'm going to the Bash this year. We're staying in a "yurt" at a campground. On Saturday, all of the members (who are going) of The Universal Monster Army message board are getting together for a group photo. It should be a blast.

    As I did last year, I've put together a compilation of creepy music based on this year's guests plus some short stories read by Vincent Price that, I believe, originally came from Scar Stuff. For more classic horror music, I suggest you visit Music From The Monster Movies 1950-69 and Universal Horror Sounds. These are two excellent blogs that I have stolen borrowed some tunes from.

    Track List

    1. 13 Ghosts (Opening Credits)
    2. The Addams Family
    3. The Amazing Colossal Man (Movie Trailer)
    4. Beginning Of The End (Natural,Natural Baby)
    5. The Blob (Beware Of The Blob)
    6. Blood Of Dracula's Castle (The Next Train Out)
    7. The Broomstick Train (Vincent Price)
    8. Chiller Theatre
    9. The Day The World Ended (Theme)
    10. Earth vs The Spider (Theme)
    11. First Men Into Space (Title & Truck Death)
    12. The Fly (Main Theme)
    13. Forbidden Planet (Main Titles - Overture)
    14. Frankenstein Meets The Wolfman (Festival Of The New Wine Song)
    15. Frankenstein's Daughter (Special Date)
    16. Giant Gila Monster (The Mushroom Song - Laugh, Children, Laugh)
    17. Hand Of Glory (Vincent Price)
    18. The Haunted Strangler (Movie Trailer)
    19. House On Haunted Hill (Theme)
    20. The Little Shop Of Horrors (Main Title)
    21. The Monster Mash (Vincent Price)
    22. The Munsters
    23. Not Of This Earth! (Main Title)
    24. One Step Beyond
    25. Plan 9 From Outer Space (Main Title)
    26. Prayer (Vincent Price)
    27. Son Of Frankenstein (main Title)
    28. Teenage Zombies (Main Theme)
    29. To Raise The Dead (Vincent Price)
    30. Tormented (Theme)
    31. Twilight Zone (Season 1 - Rod Serling Intro)
    32. Twilight Zone (Season 1 - Alt. Main)
    33. Witches On The Heath (Vincent Price)

    Click the link below to download --

    --> Monster Bash On Haunted Hill <--

    Sunday, June 08, 2008

    Mego Star Trek Mission To Gamma VI Playset

    I've decided to sell my Star Trek Mission To Gamma VI playset. This vintage toy was manufactured by Mego in 1975 and only had limited release. It is kind of rare. One still in the box recently sold on eBay for $1,051.99. I doubt mine will sell for that much. Mine is loose and missing some pieces, but I think it will still display nicely. You can read more about it at the Mego Museum.

    To see all of my auctions (including this one), click the link below --

    eBay My World: monsterama2000.

    Here's a vintage commercial for the playset on YouTube, originally uploaded by daftmahatma. Enjoy.