Tonight on MeTV- we bring back what has proven to be one of the most requested, most watched movies in our Sven library- featuring a favorite comedy actor, lots of familiar TV faces, and a fairly chilling atmosphere to offset the hilarity! A night in a supposedly haunted house where a murder was committed sends a would-be newspaper reporter to great heights- and possibly an even greater fall- with both ghost troubles and legal problems- in the tale of "The Ghost and Mr. Chicken"!
We meet good-hearted newspaper type-setter Luther Heggs -who dreams of being promoted to a newspaper reporter. When we first encounter him, he believes he's stumbled on a murder scene, and thinks he’s finally got the scoop that will get him his dream job- until we see that things aren't what he thinks they are! His embarrassment in front of the townsfolk and his paper’s star reporter brings him down to earth and feeling terrible. It doesn’t help that the star reporter, Ollie, not only has the job Luther desires- but also the pretty young woman he’s stuck on, Alma. One day, the paper needs a filler item to round out a page- and the supposedly inconsequential job of providing it falls to Luther. He’s encouraged to write about the town's most infamous murder/suicide- that took place in a local mansion- and is spiced up by the legend that the ghost of the killer still haunts the place- and is heard playing a pipe organ there at midnight!
With the 20th anniversary of the murder coming up, Luther's boss, after reading the filler, decides it could lead to a great publicity stunt for the paper- have someone spend the night in the allegedly haunted mansion! And who better to do that, than the author of the filler- Luther!? The intrepid type-setter balks at this mission- but goaded on by Ollie, he braces himself to indeed spend the night there- in hopes it will lead to his big break as a reporter- and impress the lovely Alma. Luther heads into the mansion in the dead of night, and has a terrifying experience, complete with secret passages, unexplained phenomena- and the ghostly late-night playing of the blood-stained organ!
Needless to say, the story is a sensation-and the townsfolk honor him as him as a real hero and brave reporter- but just as he seems to have a bright future ahead of him, things take a nasty turn. The wealthy and influential last remaining family member of the murder victims, who still owns the mansion, calls the story an out and out lie- and plans to sue the newspaper, as well as Luther, for libel! Unless Luther and his boss print a retraction- the paper will end up ruined, and Luther will have lost his journalism career and his budding romance with Alma. Will they give in and give up- or will Luther stand by his principles, and stick to his belief in what he saw? It takes an embarrassing day in court and one final frightening visit to the haunted house in an attempt to prove his story, clear his name- and possibly reveal the truth about the legendary murder!
Favorite comedic actor Don Knotts transfers the characteristics of his beloved Mayberry character Barney Fife to his portrayal of Luther- and brings along a gallery of many familiar faces from TV shows and commercials- including some of his townsfolk from Mayberry! We'll mention them, provide some background on the movie, talk about one of its most famous lines ( NOT the one about Bon Ami)- which ISN’T shouted by any visible cast member- and add in some Sven shtick!
“The Ghost and Mr. Chicken” manifest itself on MeTV tonight at 8 pm eastern/pacific, 7 central- if you’re not sure of time and channel where you live, just check your local listings, or go to www.metv.com ! MeTV invites you to live-Tweet along with the many viewers who do so during the show on Twitter- just use the hashtag #svengoolie – and watch us trend nationally! This morning on WCIU, the U, locally in the Chicago area, you can again catch the epic “Medusa Against the Son of Hercules”!
Don’t forget- tomorrow, Sunday, at the Arcada Theatre in St. Charles. IL – there’s a big doo wop show, headlined by our friend Freddy “Boom Boom” Cannon – who has asked me to make a cameo appearance on stage with him to sing his ode to yours truly-the “Svengoolie Stomp”! It will be a great show, featuring such rock legends as the original singer from the Tokens, who hit the high notes on “The Lion Sleeps Tonight”! You’ll find more info under the “appearances” tab here on our site. And- you can hear me chat about the event with Dave Plier on WGN radio late night tonight (or early morning tomorrow) after 2 am on 720 AM!
Tomorrow we sing about rubber chicken- but tonight- we sing the praises of MISTER Chicken on MeTV!