Tuesday, August 15, 2017
The Hilarious House Of Frightenstein
In an attempt to get viewers going with lively comment interactions, Pitchfork recently asked which television show old or new has the best music. Naturally I jumped right in and tagged The Hilarious House of Frightenstein enforcing my belief on several readers who may or may not have heard of such a show. Here's why I'm still obsessed with my favorite tv show, that I relentlessly watched as a kid, all these years later.
Billy Van. Toronto born, quadruple threat and mastermind behind one of the greatest children's television programs of all fucking time. The Hilarious House Of Frightenstein operated in uncharted territory for its time and lured in countless Canadian children like myself with its multidimensional spook show spectacles.
Van himself played six characters and forever had me entranced as the silly yet sweet 'Grizelda, The Ghastly Gourmet' (nutrition), 'The Librarian' who actually terrified me (literature), 'The Oracle' (astrology) who I always wanted to write a letter to so they'd read it on air and shout me out. Then there was 'Wolfman Jack' (music/arts) the resident castle DJ who inspires me to this very day with his quintessential 60's & 70's playlists and his super psychedelic dancing backdrops he shared with Igor, the massive sidekick to 'The Count', (the star). The opening intro is still unmatched today thanks to Vincent Price, and each character added their own distinct flavor to the mix. Billy Van and THHOF crew made television history.
So whenever someone asks me which tv show I think has the best music I immediately think of Igor and The Wolfman dancing to Midnight Confessions from The Grass Roots, or Strawberry Alarm Clock's Incense and Peppermints. I'm forever grateful Billy Van and the team included rock and roll as part of a healthy child's brain development. It's made my world what it is today. I hope you check out THHOF and journey back to a time when tv was made by eccentric music lovers and passionate creators who fearlessly worked their magic on small budgets and limited transmitters.