Thursday, December 12, 2013

K.A.C. 2013 - T - 13 ...

           Given that we only have 13 days to go, I thought today would be an EXCELLENT time to explore the more macabre side of Christmas, courtesy of Charles Addams. One of my favorite holiday cartoons he did can be seen at left ... maybe that's why you see so few carolers nowadays! 

     The characters he created (who would become known as "The Addams Family") ran for many years in The New Yorker magazine and eventually had their own TV series, which ran for two years (from 1964 to 1966). Interestingly, until the advent of the show, none of them had names! Addams was approached by producer David Levy about turning his cartoons into a TV show and asked him to give them all names and a brief character sketch so the writers would have something to go on. A number of his cartoons were adapted as sight gags for the series (and later films). Case in point - this very cartoon was how the Addams Family movie opened in 1991 - take a look!  



      Let's turn now to a more traditional Christmas celebration. When I think of this time of the year, I think of trees, tinsel, snow and ... Vincent Price??? OK, scrap that. Here's a recent find that will make you squirm - a 1949 TV production of Charles Dickens' The Christmas Carol, narrated by The Goateed One himself! There's a LOT missing from this piece (it's only a half-hour long) and has a non-existent budget (the three ghosts get particularly hurried along), but is a fascinating Christmas curio nonetheless. Two bits of casting to take note of: the part of Fred, Scrooge's nephew, was played by Robert Clarke, who would go on to minor SF fame in such films as THE MAN FROM PLANET X, BEYOND THE TIME BARRIER and arguably his best-known role, THE HIDEOUS SUN DEMON. And Missie Cratchit is played (in her TV debut) by little Jill Oppenheim ... who would grow up (and out) and change her name to Jill St. John! It's rather a shame Vincent didn't play Scrooge in this ... but with his narration I kept expecting the story to be rewritten and all of the Cratchits come to a bad end! 

     Take a look for yourself -


     Back with more tomorrow!

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