Frightenstein

18 Dec

I’m just starting to realize how much Hilarious House of Frightenstein, and the work of Billy Van specifically, shaped my childhood.

Frightenstein.com lists Billy Van as Count Frightenstein, Bwana Clyde, Gorilla, Grizelda, Librarian, Maharishi, Oracle, Pet Vet, Singing Soldier, and the Wolfman – and yet he sells each one. The site also mentions that he was the child of a vaudeville family, which certainly comes through in the gags – the non sequitur jokes, the two man setups, the character work. Was Hilarious House of Frightenstein the last gasp of the classic vaudeville formula [for children, in a low budget broadcast, on an educational station]?

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