Welcome to the eighth night of Monster-Month, a feature for the Countdown to Halloween, which we will be continuing all month long here at THE GOODS!
Tonight we shine the spotlight on “Frankie” of The Groovie Goolies. Frankie is a Frankenstein Monster who is easygoing and soft-spoken, a laid-back percussionist and head of the Muscle-leum Gymnasium. And, like all of the other Goolies, a cousin of Sabrina, a teenage witch.
Frankie was voiced by Howard Morris doing his best Boris Karloff impersonation.
Frankie had an alter-ego, who was an ineffective superhero by the name of Super Gool--quite a spiffy look for a Frankenstein hero.
The Groovie Goolies are a hip group of monsters, who make good pop-culture reference to the classic monsters created for horror movies in the 1930s and ‘40s.
GROOVIE GOOLIES was a spinoff of SABRINA THE TEENAGE WITCH (which, itself was a spinoff of THE ARCHIE SHOW) and ran from 1970 through 1972 on CBS. Filmation produced the formulaic show. Like many cartoons from this era, the series lead characters were in a band and would often perform songs a few times each episode.
The Goolies all live at Horrible Hall, a haunted boarding house for monsters. Horrible Hall sits on Horrible Drive. The other two main Goolies were Drac, a short-tempered vampire who was head of Horrible Hall and Wolfie, a hippie werewolf who was always up for fun, which usually meant running around, surfing, or driving the Wolfwagon. “Weirdo Wolfie” often annoyed “Dangerous Drac” with his antics.
Other characters in the series are Hagatha, a plump witch who is the Hall’s cook; Bella La Ghostly, a Vampiress phone operator; Dr. Jekyll and Hyde, the resident physician; Mummy, announcer of “The Mummy’s Wrap-Up” newscasts; Boneapart, a skeleton in a Napoleon hat who would often go to pieces; Ghoulihand, a giant, disembodied glove; Batso and Ratzo, two fanged brats who often planned pranks that often backfired; Hauntleroy, a portly, naughty and selfish sissy in a sailer suit and cousin to Hagatha; Icky and Goo, two gargoyle-like creatures that act as pets for the Hall; Tiny a small, long-haired mummy with a high-piched voice who was a parody of the popular Tiny Tim and cousin of the Mummy; Missy, Tiny’s wife who was a waifish ghost.
The format of the show was similar to LAUGH-IN which was popular at the time. A sketch comedy show with riddles and joke segments.
Every episode also featured two musical segments, one featuring the Goolies and the other focusing on one of the other resident bands and they were:
The Mummies and the Puppies (a parody of The Mamas and the Papas)
The Spirits of ’76 (a ghost trio of colonial soldiers)
The Rolling Gravestones (riffing on The Rolling Stones) who are visually moving headstones… hudson Rock, Captain Marble and General Granite.
And the Bare Boned Band, a trio of skeletons.
FIVE FRANKENSTEIN FUN FACTS:
1) Howard Morris, who voiced Frankie, also did the voice for Wolfie and many of the "extra" Goolies.
2) In a groundbreaking move, Filmation's Grovie Goolies crossed over with Warner Bros. Looney Tunes for an ABC Saturday Superstar Movie entitled "Daffy Duck and Porky Pig Meet The Groovie Goolies"--the one and only time WB had loaned out their characters.
3) Often, Frankie would get zapped by lightning, which showed his inner workings and after which he would simply say "I needed that!".
4) Frankie had a pet dinosaur named Rover.
5) The show's theme song "Goolie Get-Together" was covered by The Toadies for the 1995 tribute "Saturday Morning: Cartoon's Greatest Hits"
Useful links into the world of Filmation's Groovie Goolies:
And lest we forget
Little Lord Hauntleroy: