Wednesday, December 4, 2019

K.A.C. 2019 - T - 21 ...

     Good morning and welcome back! Our next tale in our Christmas For Your Ears collection comes from Christmas Day, 1947, and is a more traditional Christmas radio episode ... with one exception. It's from the musical variety show The Kraft Music Hall, a long running radio (and later TV) show. This episode is hosted by Al Jolson, with Oscar Levant as his accompanist and comedy relief. The reason the show is featured here is the long-running sketch where Al meets Santa Claus ... played by none other than Boris Karloff! Give it a listen here:


     I love that Boris name-checks fellow terror icons Bela Lugosi and Peter Lorre in the sketch. Forrest J Ackerman, editor of Famous Monsters of Filmland, used to call Peter, "The Lord High Minister of All Things Sinister" - the man had a way with a phrase! :)

     And speaking of sinister men, we've got an even MORE horrible followup to yesterday's lesser-known companions of Saint Nicholas. We told you about 'Old Man Whipper' and the reason for his penance. Well, it get WORSE in the Alsace and Lorraine regions of France.  Prepare yourself for ... Hans Trapp. As the wildly appropriate Scary For Kids website reveals:






     So here's where it gets interesting ... I know, you're reading this and saying, "HERE'S where it gets interesting?" :) Turns out the legend of Hans Trapp is based on a real person, a German knight named Hans von Trotha, who went up against the Church, was a robber baron, deliberately flooded a town and was excommunicated ... but aside from that, was a nice guy! 

      To read his whole sordid tale, click here:

      He eventually morphed into a cautionary tale by the Church into the 'Hans Trapp' character, who, when he wasn't roaming with St. Nicholas, hung out with the Christ Child (pictured here, more of a Teenage Christ, but still) ... and he even has a cautionary poem!

"Look, there comes Hans Trapp.
He has a nice pointed hat
And a beard white like a roan.
He comes from the beautiful starry sky
And brings children a rod
Who do not do singing and praying.
Look, Hans Trapp, we are so small
And good and obedient at home.
Shouldn't come with your stick
Because we can sing and pray too."


You know what? Between yesterday and today. maybe you should just AVOID France for the holidays!

      Come on back tomorrow - we'll TRY to be a bit less bloodthirsty!

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