Halloween Havoc! Extra: The Horrific Humor of Gahan Wilson

For over half a century, Gahan Wilson’s macabre cartoons have been sending shivers of laughter down the reader’s spines in magazines like Playboy, National Lampoon, The New Yorker, and The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction. Here is a gallery of ten ghastly giggles from the wonderfully warped mind of Gahan Wilson:

Lepre-Cartoon: THE WEE MEN (Paramount 1947) Complete Cartoon

THE WEE MEN is a wee bit o’blarney about Leprechauns, one of Paramount Picture’s Noveltoons series. It’s the story of Paddy, just turned 121 years old, and entrusted with the important task of leaving new shoes on doorsteps for St. Patrick’s Day… until the Greediest Man Alive captures him and demands to be taken to that fabled pot o’gold! Directed by former Disney animator Bill Tytla, enjoy THE WEE MEN (and yes, it’s in the Public Domain!):

Happy Friday the 13th!: THE STUPIDSTITIOUS CAT (Complete 1946 Cartoon)

October is usually reserved for all things Halloween, but today just happens to be Friday the 13th! Originally considered a day to avoid bad luck, the superstition has been superceded by Jason Vorhees and the FRIDAY THE 13TH series of slasher films. ‘Triskaidiskaphobia’ runs rampant in the 1946 cartoon THE STUPIDSTITIOUS CAT, a Paramount entry starring Buzzy the Crow, voiced by Jackson Beck as an Eddie ‘Rochester’ Anderson parody and directed by Seymour Kneitel. Toss some salt over your shoulder and enjoy THE STUPIDSTITIOUS CAT!:

  What do you think of that, Jason?

 

 

Halloween TV Havoc!: THE MILTON THE MONSTER SHOW

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The Monster Boom of the 1960’s saw kids of all ages craving their horror fix, and television supplied us with a steady stream of Monstermania. There were creepy comedies (THE MUNSTERS, THE ADDAMS FAMILY), anthologies (THRILLER, THE OUTER LIMITS), and monsters galore lurking on LOST IN SPACE and VOYAGE TO THE BOTTOM OF THE SEA. Even Saturday mornings cartoons weren’t safe, as ABC-TV began running THE MILTON THE MONSTER SHOW in 1965.

MILTON THE MONSTER was a limited-animation series about a man-made monster (ala Frankenstein) created in vat by Professor Weirdo and his sidekick Count Kook. Weirdo accidentally spills too much “tincture of tenderness” into the mix, resulting in a too-gentle monster who sounded a lot like Gomer Pyle. Milton’s fellow monsters were Heebie & Jeebie, the former a top-hatted skeleton who talked like Peter Lorre, the latter a hairy, one-eyed, snaggle-toothed goofball. Professor Fruitcake was their rival, the mad scientist next door always at odds with Weirdo and company.

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The show featured two other cartoon segments.  “Fearless Fly” was an insect superhero, and “Fluky Luke” a clumsy cowboy sleuth who got by on sheer luck. All the voices were done by talented Bob McFadden, who also voiced the cartoon spy spoof COOL MCCOOL, and was the Snarf in THUNDERCATS, as well as the original voice in the ads for the monstrous breakfast cereal Frankenberry.

And now it’s cartoon time, with Milton the Monster and friends in “Zelda the Zombie”:

And just for kicks, here’s an episode of Fearless Fly as he battles arch-enemy Dr. Goo-Fee and his invisible assistant Gung-Ho:

 

Happy 82nd Birthday Donald Duck!

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It’s hard to believe, but that wild-tempered waterfowl Donald Duck made his first appearance 82 years ago in the 1934 Disney short THE WISE LITTLE HEN, part of the ‘Silly Symphonies’ series. Donald’s next film ORPHAN’S BENEFIT teamed him for the first time with frenemy Mickey Mouse, beginning a comic rivalry that lasts to this day. The immoderate mallard began starring in his own cartoons in 1937, begetting a cast of characters such as girlfriend Daisy Duck, nephews Huey, Dewey, and Louie, and uncles Ludwig Von Drake and Scrooge McDuck.

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Donald’s flying-off-the-handle personality and riotous fits of anger caused fits of laughter for generations of moviegoers. He made the perfect foil for straight-mouse Mickey, and carried the brunt of their comedic load. The quacking voice of Clarence “Ducky” Nash went a long way towards putting Donald’s over-the-top antics over the top. Every kid tried to imitate that unique duck-like voice (admit it, you did too!). Nash voiced Donald for fifty years until his death in 1985, when animator Tony Anselmo assumed the mantle.

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The ballistic bird also found fame on television, video games, Big Little Books, and most memorably in a comic book series by legendary illustrator Carl Barks that are worth big money to comic collectors today. Donald even won an Oscar for 1943’s DER FUEHER’S FACE. In fact, he made many a patriotic propaganda film during the World War II era, including THE SPIRIT OF ’43, where the question is posed to pay your taxes or support the Axis:

So happy birthday to my second favorite animated duck (sorry, but Daffy’s #1 in my book!). Long may you rant and rave!

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Halloween Havoc!: TO BOO OR NOT TO BOO (1951) Complete Casper Cartoon!

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Casper The Friendly Dead Boy (errr, Ghost) made his film debut in 1945, and has been going strong ever since, with movies, comic books, television, and even a feature film. The concept has always struck me as pretty bizarre for kid-friendly fare, but audiences everywhere love the little perished poltergeist. Here’s one of Casper’s earliest apparitions, TO BOO OR NOT TO BOO:

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