To Be or Not To Be- Dead?! Favorite Horror Stars Face the Dastardly Decision in the "Comedy of Terrors"- Tonight!

Posted on March 16, 2024

Tonight on Svengoolie-it’s an all-star cast of horror legends- a mix of humor and horror with mirthful morticians who decide to take it upon themselves to create new customers -and a corpse that just won’t stay dead! It’s the scream team of Vincent Price, Peter Lorre, Boris Karloff and Basil Rathbone-making the curtain rise-and bodies fall- in the “Comedy of Terrors”!

This 1963 America International chiller with chuckles begins with mortician Trumbull and his partner Gillie trying to keep their funereal parlor afloat by reusing a coffin over and over! Trumble has plenty to deal with- impending bankruptcy, the lovely wife he continually berates, and her aging father, who he keeps trying to poison in hopes of getting an inheritance.

Things get especially tense when his landlord, Mr. Black, appears with an ultimatum- pay the overdue rent or get evicted! Trumbull decides the only way out is a new scheme- why not kill off wealthy businessmen, and then offer his services to provide the funeral?

The plan doesn’t quite work out, and when Black makes a final demand for the money owed, Trumbull has a new way out- why not murder Black?! Before he and Gillie can pull off the foul deed, the Shakespear-quoting Black has a heart attack -doing the job for them…they think! It seems no one is aware that Black suffers from catalepsy- a condition that makes him only appear to have died!

The dastardly duo deal with Black’s constant demises and resurrections- while Trumbull’s set-upon wife Amaryllis decides to act on Gillie’s infatuation with her – with everyone from her dotty father to her pet cat complicating the situation- leading to everyone out to kill everyone else!

This film, written by Richard Matheson, was planned as a follow-up to the Price/Lorre/Karloff comedy-horror story “The Raven”- with some changes in casting that we will tell you about. We’ll talk about the cast, which also includes a visitor to Mayberry and a classic comedian- be bedeviled again by the Imp and Gwengoolie- bedevil YOU with another round of our drawing game “Too Drawn Out”—and present not one but TWO songs -including a seasonal duet with a legendary little person.

“Comedy of Terrors” begins tonight at 8 pm eastern/pacific, 7 central time tonight. You can join in on the live-Tweeting during the show on Twitter/X – make sure you add the hashtag #svengoolie to your Tweet! This morning, our Chicago area viewers will find us back on the usual channel, CW26, for our Saturday encore of “13 Ghosts” at 11 am.

On a personal note: Rich Koz thanks you for all the kind birthday greetings earlier here I the blog comments this week! He appreciates all your good wishes- but was unable to blow all the candles out by using a rubber chicken as a bellows…

We wish all those who celebrate a happy St. Patrick’s Day (we know many of you are already wearing green in honor of Godzilla’s Oscar win)-and join us tonight for funerial fun with four famous fright fixtures on MeTV!

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 during show

Carl_N_Brown 3 months ago
Carl_N_Brown 3 months ago

(Distract them with adorable pet pix mwah hahaha!)
Carl_N_Brown Carl_N_Brown 3 months ago
Dang nabbit it didn't work.
Drang 3 months ago
Slight delay getting out of work tonight, good luck to everyone in the hose race!
abc123 Drang 3 months ago
daleuhlmann 3 months ago
As we prepare to depart for Transylvania tomorrow night, here's one more observation about THE COMEDY OF TERRORS. Rathbone and Lorre had earlier been cast (in separate segments), along with Price, in TALES OF TERROR, before having appeared together in last week's movie.

Ironically, still earlier, Lorre had come close to having played the character Rathbone would later play in SON OF FRANKENSTEIN, Wolf von Frankenstein. Lorre was Universal's first choice, but the Hungarian actor, who was under contract to 20th Century Fox and enjoying great popularity as Japanese detective Mr. Moto over there, turned down the part.

Lorre claimed that, following his starring role in the 1935 MGM horror film MAD LOVE, he had decided not to appear in another "meanie" ever again if he had any say-so in the matter. Universal then briefly considered Claude Rains for the role before finally deciding on Rathbone, which, of course, turned out to be the right decision after all.
Svenboy 3 months ago
Watched dr x tonight with fay wray. I like that one. Seen it a few times
daleuhlmann Svenboy 3 months ago
Good movie, similar to MYSTERY OF THE WAX MUSEUM.
deadringer42 3 months ago
Need good vibes for a good friend and fellow Sven fan who lost his sister yesterday to a long battle with cancer.
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Katink PARANORMA 3 months ago
From me as well💕
Mikeyyy deadringer42 3 months ago
Good vibes sent out!
TheKodakKid deadringer42 3 months ago
Would send good vibes, even if your friend wasn’t a Sven fan. Grace and peace to those that mourn.
gabste deadringer42 3 months ago
I send prayers.

Klaatu 3 months ago
Cartoondave 3 months ago
Hi group I need some good vibes my brother-in-law is back in the hospital it might be a stroke but hoping not I will keep you updated if I hear anything different thank you for all your hopes and prayers in advance
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Mamootsa Klaatu 3 months ago
Aww thank you Klaatu ☺️ I will keep you and all us Svengooliacs in my prayers.
deadringer42 Cartoondave 3 months ago
Bill_K Cartoondave 3 months ago
I'll say a prayer for your brother-in-law as well!
TheKodakKid Cartoondave 3 months ago
Sorry to hear. Hopefully things aren’t as bad as they might seem.
daleuhlmann 3 months ago
I had mentioned last week that Richard Matheson's script for THE COMEDY OF TERRORS not only spoofed the mortuary and funeral business, but also the real-life crimes of two nineteenth-century Scotsmen named William Burke and William Hare. Despite popular belief to the contrary, they were not graverobbers, but worse, murders, who sold their victims' bodies to the medical school operated by Edinburgh's Dr. Robert Knox. Robert Louis Stevenson's short story "The Body Snatcher" was based on the Burke and Hare crimes. Of course, RKO Radio's Val Lewton adapted the story for the big screen, under the same title. It provided both Boris Karloff and Henry Daniel with two of the best roles of the career, as well as a small, but solid supporting role for Bela Lugosi. Just as good, in its own way, was Britain's 1960 account of the Burke and Hare story called THE FLESH AND THE FIENDS (AKA MANIA and THE PSYCHO-KILLERS), with Peter Cushing as Dr. Knox, Donald Pleasence as Hare, and George Rose as Burke. The great British actress Billie Whitelaw had an important supporting role as one of their victims, a prostitute whom Knox's assistant had fallen in love with. Be sure you watch the full British version under that title, NOT the shorter and re-edited American versions called MANIA, THE PSYCHO-KILLERS, and, especially, THE FIENDISH GHOULS.

For more on Burke and Hare, you can download this aricle, or check out Wikipedia's page on the subject.
VanGooliac daleuhlmann 3 months ago
Could Burke and Hare have been the inspiration for Karl and Ludwig, Dr. Praetorius’ henchmen in BRIDE OF FRANKENSTEIN who collected the body parts for the bride, including a “fresh” heart?
daleuhlmann VanGooliac 3 months ago
I think it's very likely, Van Gooliac!
MrsG daleuhlmann 3 months ago
Is that like Talking Heads’ Psycho Killer , qu’est-ce c’est ? 🎶 *_* 🎶
ProfessorDale MrsG 3 months ago
I wish they were, Mrs. G.
Jack MrsG 3 months ago
Fa-fa-fa-fa, fa-fa-fa-fa-fa-fa! 🎶
Jack daleuhlmann 3 months ago
Being the home of the Royal College of Surgeons, Edinburgh, the Royal College of Physicians, Edinburgh, and the University of Edinburgh Medical School, Edinburgh has long been a center of medical education. Among the illustrious faculty have been Joseph Lister (began sterilizing surgical instruments with carbolic acid, _Listeria_ and Listerine® are named for him) and Alexander Fleming (discoverer of penicillin). Well-known students and graduates include geologist James Hutton, Richard Owen (who coined _Dinosauria_) and both of the Darwin brothers, Erasmus and Charles.
CountCurt 3 months ago
Speaking of Shakespearean training,
many Canadian actors had their early beginnings at the Shakespeare Festival in Stratford, Ontario.
Christopher Plummer - Hamlet
Lauren Greene - Merchant Of Venice
William Shatner - Henry V
Leslie Nielsen - Julius Caesar
Eric McCormack - A Midsummer Nights Dream
CountCurt 3 months ago
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DrSerizawa CountCurt 3 months ago
I attended the Stratford Festival over 20 years ago. Beautiful setting.
CountCurt DrSerizawa 3 months ago
That sounds nice. I have never been. I have been to the Shakespeare festival in Ashland, OR. The performance was outdoors in an amphitheatre. It was a magical setting.
Aceman2 3 months ago
M. Emmet Walsh, a paunchy and prolific character actor who was called “the poet of sleaze” by the critic Roger Ebert for his naturalistic portrayals of repellent lowlifes and miscreants, died on Tuesday. He was 88. The most enduring praise Mr. Walsh received also came from Mr. Ebert: He coined the Stanton-Walsh Rule, which asserted that “no movie featuring either Harry Dean Stanton or M. Emmet Walsh in a supporting role can be altogether bad.”
RobBarnes Aceman2 3 months ago
Ebert had it at least half right as Brett ruled in Alien and many. many roles. Right!
MrsG Aceman2 3 months ago
Versatile actor ~ Loved Him in CLEAN AND SOBER with Michael Keaton ~_~
1MikeM Aceman2 3 months ago
Harry Dean Stanton was in THE AVENGERS (2012) He was in a scene with Mark Ruffalo (Dr. Bruce Banner)
CountCurt Aceman2 3 months ago
Think of the often mediocre movies that were saved by actors. Robin Williams performance often saved some mediocre movies.
Bill_K Aceman2 3 months ago
I first saw him in the Coen Brother's first big film: "Blood Simple".
NoPersonalChicks 3 months ago
HBD Captain Kirk, 204 years in advance, though some sources claim the blessed celestial event will be five years later. Either way, phasers are always set to fun after Sven.
Very forward thinking estate planning.
NoPersonalChicks 3 months ago
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daleuhlmann 3 months ago
The title of last night's movie, "The Comedy of Terrors," is, as Sven had explained, a pun on the title of one of Shakespeare's plays, "The Comedy of Errors." Well, in that same light, FAMOUS MONSTERS OF FILMLAND editor and sci-fi/horror collector Forrest Ackerman would often refer to Vincent Price as "The Merchant of Menace," which was, of course, a pun on the title of another Shakesperean play, "The Merchant of Venice."
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CountCurt daleuhlmann 3 months ago
It was nice to hear Basil Rathbone recite Macbeth. I am sure he knew it from memory from a previous perfomers.
CountCurt CountCurt 3 months ago
RobBarnes daleuhlmann 3 months ago
Jet Lag? Well that changes everything. Oh Stewardess, do you have any bigger bottles of these Jack Daniels?
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Klaatu 3 months ago
My head is spinning😳
RobBarnes Klaatu 3 months ago
I have or had every Mad magazine (regular and special edition) from late 60s on. I lost all my vintage classic ones when our basement flooded :(, but I still have everything from my subscriptions (starting circa 1990), Nowadays they are basically collections of different MAD magazines throughout the years, but nothing earlier than the late 60s.
RobBarnes RobBarnes 3 months ago
BTW Klaatu, you will be happy to know that I include you in the 'Usual Gang of Idiots" :).
Klaatu RobBarnes 3 months ago
I resemble that!🤣🤣
Aceman2 RobBarnes 3 months ago
Can I join?
CountCurt RobBarnes 3 months ago
Too bad. You could have been on Collectors Call with Lisa.
RobBarnes Klaatu 3 months ago
You and about 10 others LOL!
RobBarnes Aceman2 3 months ago
Space Ace Ur-in
daleuhlmann 3 months ago
"Kiss Me, Cat," with Marc Anthony and Pussyfoot!
daleuhlmann daleuhlmann 3 months ago
I'm sorry, "Marc Antony."
Jack daleuhlmann 3 months ago
In reference to the reference to Shakespeare above, the title of the cartoon is a play on _Kiss Me, Kate_, a sort of musical adaptation of _The Taming of the Shrew_.
CountCurt daleuhlmann 3 months ago
Speaking of musicals, the Pajama Game has a song Touch Up On Your Shakespeare. The premise is that you know Shakespeare that you will impress women.
PatS CountCurt 3 months ago
Actually it's "Brush up your Shakespeare" and it's from Cole Porter's riff on "Taming of the Shrew" (aw shucks forgot the name). Few others could do such rhymes!!
PatS 3 months ago
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Drang 3 months ago
Marc Antony and Pussyfoot!
See also
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