Saturday, September 22, 2012

FRACTURED FLICKERS - Fred Steiner (1963-64)

"Fractured Flickers" was one of our favourite half hour comedy shows that ran for 26 episodes in 1963-64 that pre-dated The Firesign Theatre and MST by years!

If I recall correctly, it would usually be on at about 6 PM, because it seemed like it was always about at dinner time, so we'd have to wolf down our food real fast in order tobe  able to watch it! The concept was simple, take an olde silent film, and add shameless dialogue by some of the most fantastic voice-over artistes of that or any era, and turn the whole thing into a laugh fest!

Hosted by the incredible actor Hans Conried, "Fractured Flickers" was nearly ineffable in it's ability to make us laugh, and was an inspiration for years!

The writing by Chris Hayward, Bill Scott, George Atkins, Jim Critchfield, Lloyd Turner, and Alan Burns had a no holds barred approach that would pick up your brain and body slam it to the floor, and leave you dazed and confused for days!!

Hans Conried will always be remembered for his roles In "The Twonky," and "The 5,000 Fingers Of Dr. T," and some of his cartoon voices are more than classic, such as Dr. Hook in Disney's "Peter Pan," Wally Walrus on "The Woody Woodpecker Show," or Snidely Whiplash on "Rocky And His Friends," and "The Dudley Do-Right Show!"

Every show also always had a guest interview spot that included some of the best of the day like the fabulous actress and comedienne Rose Marie, who believe it or not is still active today!

Otto Elmo Linkenheltin in the very first version of "Tarzan" that was ever made, was a made-to-order subject for this type of harpooning and lampooning!

Elmo was krazy enough looking without all the added dialogue! Would you look at the girth on that guy!

The theme music for "Fractured Flickers" was written by the super talented Fred Steiner, a man with some truly unbelievable credits for some TV shows you just might have heard of like "Twilight Zone," "Lost In Space," or "Star Trek!"

"Fractured Flickers" was so cool that even Fabian appeared in the hot seat on one episode!

"Fractured Flickers" is about as close as you'll ever get to seeing  a cartoon show that wasn't exactly animated!

Another killer guest was super funny guy, producer, writer, "My Son, The Folk Singer," "My Son, The Vampire," and one of my Mom's favourite comedians, Allen Sherman!!

"Fractured Flickers" was produced by the guys who knew what funny was really all about, Ponsonby (George Of The Jungle) Britt, Bill (The Bullwinkle Show) Scott, and ..........

.....Of course, none other than Jay Troplong Ward who brought us some of the best laughs of our life with "Crusader Rabbit," "Rocky And His Friends," "The Bullwinkle Show," "Hoppity Hooper," "Super Chicken," "George Of The Jungle," and "The Dudley Do-Right Show!"

Besides Hans Conried, the other voices were all done by a superlative cast that included Paul Frees, June Foray, and Bill Scott! Paul Frees has so many credits, it will make your head spin like Linda Blair in "The Exorcist! Here's just a short list, Barney Bear, Francis The Talking Mule, Go Go Gomez, Boris Badenov, Capt. Peachfuzz, Barney Google, and Ignatz Mouse! Paul also did voice-over in movies we love like "Deadly Mantis," "Beginning Of The End," "The Monolith Monsters," and "Spacemaster X-7!" What an incredible talent!!! Not to be outdone, June Foray was not only the voice of Rocket J. Squirrel and Natasha Fatale, she was also the voice of Betty Rubble, tons of Granny, Grandma, Grandmother, and other characters over the years! She was also the voice of the talking doll Talky Tina, in the "Twilight Zone" episode titled "Living Doll!" June Foray is still working today!! Last but never least, Bill Scott was the voice of Bullwinkle the Moose and Mr. Peabody, Dudley Do-Right, George of the Jungle, Tom Slick, and Super Chicken! What an incredible crew of talent! Simply amazing!!

The interview with Edward Everett Horton is one of my favourites! These two guys had more talent than half of Hollywood combined today!!

The whole series is available on disc from Netflix! "Fractured Flickers" was made to be seen once a week, and it's pretty hard to watch a bunch of them in a row because it beats you up so bad! A small price to pay, but it's really too bad it's not streaming!


Exeter said...


Gotta get some!

Anonymous said...

I'm sitting here holding the DVD set of the entire series. :-)

Eegah!! and Tabonga! said...

Sweet!! Maybe you can loan it to Exeter!!

A Moose said...

Being a huge Jay Ward fan (duh, what moose isn't??) I squeeed like a teenybopper at a Big Time Rush concert when I learned that Fractured Flickers was going to be released on DVD. Pre-ordered it actually and love the show.

So many great stars on the shows and if you need more proof how awesome Hans Conried is, just look at these!

Eegah!! and Tabonga! said...

Thanx Moose! Not kidding, I used to know a girl named Squirrel!!

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