Wednesday, March 22, 2006
Milton The Monster
One of my favourite cartoon shows is Hal Seeger's Milton the Monster, a half-hour anthology series that first appeared on October 9th, 1965 on ABC, and continued as re-runs of the same 34 episodes until 1968. It is often erroneously reported that Mr. Seeger was cashing in on the hot 1964 horror-comedy TV fad that included The Munsters and The Addams Family, but Milton the Monster had in fact been in production long before those two series aired and it was actually slated to debut in fall 1964 until various production delays pushed it back to October 1965. Milton was a Frankensteinish monster, created by Professor Weirdo and his strange friend Count Kook. As recounted each week in the theme song, Weirdo spoons in liberal doses of essence of terror and sinister sauce and is supposed to put in just a wee drop of tincture of tenderness so the monster doesn't turn right around and destroy him. But, OOP!-- his arm is bumped by Kook and too much goes in... Milton comes to life with gentle manners and a kind heart. Because of his goodness, Weirdo and Kook repeatedly try to kick him out of the mansion on Horrible Hill where all three reside along with fellow monsters Heebie (a skull-faced ghoul) and Jeebie (a shaggy, green cyclops). Milton and his friends definitely fell into the goofy rather than scary category, with some clever scripts by the team of Jack Mercer and Kin Platt, as well as Woody Kling. Bob McFadden provided the Gomer Pyle-esque voice for Milton, an 'Aw, Shucks' country bumpkin approach (McFadden was also the Karloffy voice behind Frankenberry!). Other than the wonderful Fearless Fly segments, none of the other backup cartoon shorts were very memorable... Milton being the best of the bunch. He even got a one-shot Dell comic book in 1966, excerpted here...
Labels: Comic Book Creeps, Spooky Cartoons