It wouldn’t seem like the Halloween season if we didn’t get the chance to bring you one of the most requested films in our library- the one film that boasts a macabre mash-up of the top three Universal monsters- Dracula, the Wolf Man, and the Frankenstein Monster- and the studio’s best-loved comedy duo-Bud and Lou- in a perfect blend of chills and chuckles! Some call it the favorite horror comedy of all time- we just call it "Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein" – and we have it for you tonight on MeTV!
Chick and Wilbur are two over-worked railroad baggage clerks, struggling to unload their latest shipments, while causing most of their own problems. Wilbur finds himself further distracted when his latest girlfriend, a knockout named Sandra, drops by- astounding Chick, who knows this beauty is way out of Wilbur’s league. The phone never seems to stop ringing- this time with a long distance call from London! On the line is someone the boys don’t know yet, but we certainly do- it’s Larry Talbot, the man cursed to become a werewolf when the moon is full- which it is at the moment, transforming Talbot before he can deliver his dire warning to the boys.Mr. McDougal, an abrasive customer who actually might have benefitted if Talbot had completed his warning, arrives to harass the boys, demanding that they drop everything to deliver a couple boxes from the latest shipment to his “house of horrors” exhibition. He plans to make a main attraction of the items- what he swears is the authentic coffin of Count Dracula, and –the body of the REAL Frankenstein Monster!
Daytime defers to a dark and stormy night, and the boys work late to make the delivery to McDougal’s “House of Horrors”- the perfect setting for the nervous Wilbur to learn that the display pieces are definitely authentic! He can’t convince Chick that they are dealing with the real deals- Chick thinks it’s all in Wilbur’s limited and superstitious mind. Dracula , meanwhile, spirits the Monster away from the museum- leaving Wilbur in a trance, Chick aggravated, and McDougal without his new attractions! The furious McDougal thinks the baggage handlers have stolen his valuable exhibits and wants them put in jail!
Then next stop for Dracula and the Monster is an island castle sanctuary, in which the laboratory notes of the original Dr. Frankenstein are in the hands of a renowned surgeon. Amazingly, that surgeon is none other than Wilbur’s beautiful girlfriend- Sandra! This finally explains her interest in the chubby fellow- she has great plans for him; she will transplant his easily- manipulated brain into the Monster- thus making the powerful creature easier to command, and the perfect pawn for Count Dracula!
Back on the mainland, we find Wilbur and Chick have been bailed out of jail by a woman. They assume it was Sandra- until a pretty blonde stranger named Joan shows up, and reveals that it was she. Little do the boys realize that Joan is working undercover with McDougal’s insurance company, investigating the supposed theft of his property, in hopes of recovering the missing items. By coincidence, the boys run into Larry Talbot , who has just arrived from England, and wants to enlist the boys to help him find the two evil creatures of legend, before Dracula carries out his scheme to use the powerful Monster to carry out his plans!
Wilbur, convinced he’s quite the ladies’ man, since he has two lovelies wanting to spend time with him, decides to have Joan join him -and Sandra- for a big masquerade ball, with Chick hoping to make time with at least one of the ladies. They head to the island castle to pick up Sandra- and while waiting for the girls to finish powdering their noses, answer the castle phone- only to find it’s Talbot, claiming the Monster and Dracula must be in the castle. Finally taking Talbot’s warning seriously, the boys search the place, stumbling onto a hidden lower chamber where Wilbur again encounters the monsters- and , once again, just like in McDougal’s, can't convince Chick that he's actually found them! When they return upstairs, the girls are ready to go- and Sandra introduces them to her associate, Dr. Leighos- who appears to be the spitting (or biting?) image of Count Dracula! He encourages his visitors and co-workers to go have a good time at the masquerade ball- using his powers to convince the reluctant Sandra to continue their plan, even though she spotted Joan snooping around the Frankenstein papers .
The ball is a must-attend destination for everyone in the area- including nasty Mr. McDougal, Doctor Leighos dressed in a letter-perfect Dracula “costume”, and the less than festive Larry Talbot. The party degenerates into a frantic catastrophe that puts Chick and Wilbur in peril- leading the group back to the island castle, where Wilbur is prepared for the brain transplant- while the Frankenstein Monster is restored to full and dangerous power – and the rising full moon has the usual effect on Talbot , pitting the Wolf Man against the vampire- and the Monster on the loose in pursuit of Wilbur and Chick!
This classic Universal picture revived both the careers of Bud and Lou AND the studio's monster roster, resulting in a few more films with the boys meeting other Universal horrors. As usual, we'll give you some background on the production, run down the cast- and fill your trick-or-treat bag with some pre-Halloween Sven fun!
"Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein" runs tonight on MeTV at 8 pm eastern/pacific, 7 central- and, if you're unsure of the channel or time of the broadcast where you are, please consult your local listings or www.metv.com . Remember to join the Tweeters who live-Tweet along with the show on Twitter- using the hashtag #svengoolie. In Chicago, viewers get another look at "Cry of the Werewolf" at 11 am on WCIU, the U.
For those in the area of Elgin, IL, tonight is the big “Nightmare on Chicago Street” event- this year, themed as a zombie outbreak during Homecoming! I’ll be signing autographs, then taking to the stage to crown the Zombie Prom King and Queen- and- joining our very special guest, Freddy “Boom Boom” Cannon to perform the “Svengoolie Stomp” live! You can find more info under the “appearances” tab on this site.
We are now on Instagram- @ RealSvengoolie - and more Halloween appearances and fun are on the way- including a special radio event we will reveal shortly (that’s BESIDES the WGN hosting gig coming up)! The Sven costume shirts are selling briskly- if you order immediately, you may still get it before Halloween, but that’s cutting it close! Again, info is on this site under “store” (I have a store?!)
The Halloween fun continues tonight with Bud and Lou- and the monsters too!
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