'The Hilarious House of Frightenstein' was a fantastic and bizarre Canadian 'kids' show from the early 70's. A dark gothic castle (which, as a child i assumed really existed) full of strange characters. The best part of the show was how, in each episode, the characters would essentially do the same thing over and over and over again with slight variations, after awhile you came to anticipate and crave each new episode. Characters I remember include...

  • The Count and Igor. The two main characters hung out in the laboratory. Every episode the Count had a new plan to bring the corpse of frightenstein on the table to life and every episode he would fail and insult Igor his humongous good natured assistent. I seem to remember a midget vampire that lived in a coffin off in the corner of the lab that would come out and bite the Count on the leg now and then.
  • The Librarian This strange old coot would creep into this ancient cobwebby library to spooky music and flump down into a dusty chair with an old book under his arm and proclaim he was going to frighten us to death with a really scary story. He would then read something incredibly dull or sappy, become confused and irritated when the story inevitably failed to spook us, then promptly fall asleep.
  • Griselda the Witch Cooking up horrific concoctions in her giant cauldron, the hideous Griselda always thought she was the most beautiful woman around and every episode would bonk her head on a pot hanging from above and cackle maniacally.
  • Dr.Pet Vet Would visit Igor with a differant animal every show (sort of like that guy on David Letterman that brings animals) We would get some info on the animal, Igor would think its really cool, want to keep it, then go over and ask this monster that lived in a cage if he could keep it (i could never figure out why the monster had the final say). The monster would always growl no. This bit always drove me nuts as a kid. After the 30th time of the monster growling no, i wished Igor would just take a shotgun to the cage monster.

Other characters included...a longhaired meditating fortune teller that would get his hand stuck in a crystal ball every episode.
A mosquito that would land on some guys foot, tell a joke, then say "lunch time!" and plunge his probiscus into the foot.
A truly bizarre 'minimalist' sketch that lasted about 10 seconds where a gorilla would come out of the jungle, look around then get bonked in the head with a golf ball. Sometimes he'd come out with a baseball bat or a shield or something but always get bonked on the head. It probably sounds dumb and it was sort of, but the pure absurdity of it, show after show after show watching a gorilla get clocked in the head by a golfball seems somehow brilliantly silly. As a kid i always asked, why why does the gorilla continue to come out and stand in the same spot if it KNOWS that damn golfball is going to come. Maybe it hits on some kind of fear of the inevitablity of predetermined fate. I also seem to remember a strange creature that would just yell 'Grammer Slammer' and the episodes were often brilliantly introduced by a rhyming Vincent Price.

The other interesting factiod is that almost all the characters were actually one man, Billy Van. He could also be seen on the quirky Canadian game show, Definition.

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