Tuesday, October 09, 2012

Countdown to Halloween: Geek TV: The Groovie Goolies!

goolies3Concept: The Munsters meets Rowan & Martin's Laugh-In

Total Episodes: 16

Original Air Dates: September 12, 1970 – September 4, 1971

Original Network: CBS

Geek Factor: 8


Drac (Voice of Larry Storch): Short-tempered vampire, head of Horrible Hall. Often, his first appearance in a show was flying in bat form towards a window, which would move out of his way (causing him to remark, “This place is driving me batty!”). Plays the keyboards in the band.

Frankie (Voice of Howard Morris): Mellow Frankenstein's Monster, often zapped by lightning (which would show mechanical innards, and cause him to remark, “I needed that.” Maybe it's just me, but Frankie appears to be drawn as a caricature of Lou Scheimer! Plays the drum/xylophone in the band.

goolies4Wolfie (Voice of Howard Morris): Hippie werewolf who enjoy surfing and driving his Wolfwagon. Plays a sort of hybrid guitar/harp.

Hagatha (Voice of Jane Webb): A fat witch, known for her cooking. Her enchanted broom is named Broomhilda.

Bella La Ghostly (Voice of Jane Webb): Vampiress switchboard operator and advice columnist.

Dr. Jekyll and Hyde (Voices of Howard Morris and Larry D. Mann): Two headed resident doctor.

goolies5Mummy (Voice of Howard Morris): Good-natured mummy who tends to get (literally) unravelled.

Boneapart (Voice of Larry D. Mann): Skeleton in a Napoleon hat who goes to pieces.

Ghoulihand (voice of Howard Morris): Giant disembodied glove

Batso and Ratso (voiced by Larry D. Mann and Larry Storch): Fanged brats with a penchant for practical jokes that often backfire.

Hauntleroy (Voice of Howard Morris): Fat, selfish sissy kid, often the target of Batso and Ratso's pranks.

Sabrina Spellman (voice of Jane WEbb): Occasional guest-star, because the Goolies were a spin-off of her show. Best known for being a teenage witch.

Geek Guest-Stars: Not applicable.
Geek Pedigree:

All the usual Filmation stuff aside... I've covered Howard Morris' career before, but as a reminder, some of his role included the title character and others on Beetle Bailey (1963), Ernest T. Bass and others on The Andy Griffith Show, and Gopher on Winnie the Pooh. I just covered Larry Storch in the Ghost Busters installment, so you can look him up there. Jane Webb, on the other hand, I haven't covered before... she voiced Cindy Lindenbrook in Journey to the Center of the Earth, Erica Lane on Fantastic Voyage, Betty, Veronica, Big Ethel, Miss Grundy and others on The Archie Show and the various permutations of that, Batgirl and Catwoman in The Batman/Superman Hour, Wanda Kay Breckenridge and Aunt Gertrude on The Hardy Boys (1969), Geraldine Lewis and Rhonda on Will The Real Jerry Lewis Please Sit Down, Aunt Hilda and Aunt Zelda on Sabrina, The Teenage Witch and other shows, Ping and Pong the Pandas as well as Babs on The Brady Kids, Laura Turner on Lassie's Rescue Rangers, Katy O'Hara and Lorelei Brown (and others) on My Favorite Martians, and Ginger Grant on The New Adventures of Gilligan. She was continuing to do the Archie voices through the last of the Filmation Archie programs in 1978.

Writers on the show included Bill Danch, who wrote episodes of Mister Magoo, The Alvin Show, The Super 6, Spider-Man (1967-1968), Will the Real Jerry Lewis Please Sit Down, Archie's TV Funnies, My Favorite Martians, The US of Archie, Fat Albert and the Cosby Kids (as well as several Fat Albert specials), Ark II, and The New Adventures of Batman, as well as the movie Monster From the Ocean Floor; Len Janson also wrote episodes of Cattanooga Cats, Will the Real Jerry Lewis Please Sit Down, Fat Albert and the Cosby Kids, The Flintstone Comedy Hour, Speed Buggy, Lassie's Rescue Rangers, Hong Kong Phooey, Wqheelie and the Chopper Bunch, Star Trek (animated series), Uncle Croc's Block, Shazam!, Isis, Ark II, The New Adventures of Batman, The Space Sentinels, Tarzan (1976-1978), Jason of Star Command, Yogi's Space Race, and many others, and he wrote the Saturday Superstar Movie of “Daffy Duck and Porky Pig Meet the Groovie Goolies”; Jack Mendelsohn wrote the screenplay to Yellow Submarine, as well as episodes of Beetle Bailey (1963), Krazy Kat (1963), The Beatles, George of the Jungle, Abbott and Costello, Rowan & Martin's Laugh-In, Will the Real Jerry Lewis Please Sit Down, The Funky Phantom, The Roman Holidays, The New Scooby-Doo Movies, The Addams Family (1973), Shazam!, The Great Grape Ape Show, Wonderbug, and many others.
Other writers included Chuck Menville, who wrote episodes of Cattanooga Cats, Fat Albert and the Cosby Kids, Shazam!, Star Trek (animated), Isis, Ark II, The New Adventures of Batman, Tarzan, Lord of the Jungle, Space Stars, and many others, most recently an episode of Batman (1993); Jim Mulligan, who had written episodes of Will The Real Jerry Lewis Please Sit Down, Rowan & Martin's Laugh-In, When Things Were Rotten; Bob Ogle, who had written episodes of Mister Magoo, The Dick Tracy Show, The Archie Show, Archie's Fun House, Yogi's Gang, The Dogfather, Scooby's Laugh-A-Lympics, and many others; and Jim Ryan, who'd written episodes of The Super 6, The Pink Panther Show, Archie's TV Funnies, My Favorite Martians, The New Adventures of Gilligan, Ark II, The New Adventures of Batman, Yogi's Space Race, and many others.

goolies1DVD Release: BCI/Eclipse put out a great complete series set a few years ago, with some wonderful special features, but of course, “The Saturday Mourning Collection” is now out of print, and will run you around $44 from Amazon. There's a single-disc set also available for much cheaper, but I don't know who put that out, and it's probably not complete. There's also two sets out called The Frightfully Funny Collection that have episodes of this plus the animated Ghost Busters, but again, there are no special features on those.

Website: http://www.groovie-goolies.com/ is worth checking out, although there's not much there other than Larry Storch reprising Drac's voice for an introduction.

Notes: This was another series that I was very happy to be a part of the special features for the BCI/Eclipse release, because my siblings and I LOVED this show! I did not realize that so many writers of this show were also Laugh-In writers, but given that it used a very similar format, I guess it's not surprising!

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