Friday, October 16, 2009

31 Days of Halloween: It's The Groovie Goolies!

This Cafe special was written by Gilby37.

Everybody shout!
Come on now, sing out!
It's time for the Goolies get-together ….

Those were the first three lines of the theme song to The Groovie Goolies. This cartoon was one of many produced by Filmation in the 1970's. In fact, it was the spin-off of another Filmation production Sabrina, the Teenage Witch. Strangely enough, Sabrina, the Teenage Witch was a spin-off of the popular Filmation cartoon series based the Archie comic books. Initially, Sabrina, the Teenage Witch and The Groovie Goolies were packaged together as one show. Later, the shows were separated, primarily for syndication purposes.

Now, if you were never a visitor to Horrible Hall then you may not know the premise of the show. Essentially, the cartoon gathered together a variety of monsters. They were introduced as cousins of Sabrina and she would guest star on their show. The three lead characters of The Groovie Goolies were: Frankie, Wolfie, and Drac. Frankie was a Herman Munster type version of Frankenstein’s monster. Wolfie (voiced by Howard Morris) was a werewolf who bore a striking resemblance to the popular DJ of that era, Wolfman Jack. Drac (voiced by Larry Storch) was a vampire and the leader of the group.

Who were some of the other residents of Horrible Hall? The cook was a witch named Hagatha. I always saw her as cross between Hazel and Broom Hilda. You could also find Bella La Ghostly, a Lily Munster lookalike, working at the switchboard. There was Boneapart, a skeleton who wore a Napoleon hat and “went to pieces” when he got scared. You could also find Ratso and Batso, twins who bore striking resemblances to Eddie Munster. This pair of imps often played practical jokes on the other residents. In fact, they especially enjoyed targeting Hauntleroy, a Baby Huey type of character dressed ala Lord Fauntleroy, who they perceived to be easy prey.

I still find this cartoon to be very clever. It is a true 70’s variety show with a twist. Instead of a human cast, these ghouls perform the skits and play the music. The show featured a segment called "Weird Windows Time" where various characters would open windows and ask each other jokes. This was reminiscent of Laugh-in’s "Joke Wall." Then, there was the musical part of the show. Sometimes, the band was Frankie, Wolfie, and Drac. Other times, they had guest bands like The Mummies and The Puppies and The Rolling Gravestones. As an adult, I must admit that I admire not only the absolute cleverness of the names, but the fact that the monster groups even played the same genre of music that the band it was spoofing. By the way, I should mention that the popular 70’s song "Chick-a-Boom" was actually introduced on The Groovie Goolies.

I have always thought this was a truly unique and fun show. Taking creatures such as vampires and werewolves and making them comics and musicians was a terrific idea. It introduced young kids to classic monsters in a non-threatening manner. And, for the parents who might have been watching with their kids, I’ll bet it was more entertaining than the standard Saturday morning cartoon. So ask yourself, why not stopover at Horrible Hall for a few days? You might enjoy it!


  1. Excellent write-up, Gilby! I haven't seen this show, but your review made me look it up on Netflix. The series is on DVD as THE SATURDAY MOURNING COLLECTION. I added to my Netflix queue. Gilby, you're a terrific writer, and I thank you for sharing your talent and love of movies.

  2. Gilby, I don't remember this show, but thoroughly enjoyed your write-up...which sent me to YouTube to watch some clips. I posted a "minisode" on the Corner in the Cafe so others could sample the GG's (link to the Corner in the Cafe is in the green sidebar to the right). Gilby, have you seen the 1960s Saturday morning carton MILTON THE MONSTER?

  3. Gilby, i have not seen this show.. any thing that is GROOVIE count me in.

  4. Gilby, I hadn't seen the GGs before but truly enjoy your enthusiasm!