It’s a full-on CineSavant Column weekend of Gary Teetzel links and research. First up is a link to a ‘Jerry Haendiges Productions’ encoding of an episode of Boris Karloff and his Treasure Chest. It’s a half-hour radio show for kiddies that Boris hosted while appearing on Broadway in Peter Pan. We don’t know if anything was performed live: Karloff says he’s playing his stellar lineup of guests ‘from a record.’ When Karloff tells the kiddies to get ready for bed, it’s not in the least bit creepy.
It’s from October 1, 1950. Boris talks about Baseball and ducks and goats, and introduces Burl Ives, who sings about a goat, and Danny Kaye, who sings about a Tuba. Boris tries to explain the differences between cricket and baseball, and gives an excellent, dynamic reading of Casey at the Bat. Even when performing for small fry Karloff is splendid; how inspired that he would later be tapped for the Grinch Christmas show. My ‘desperation’ image above does not come from this particular show.
Then we get one of Gary’s clippings features, in this case pulled from a Paramount Pictures in-house publication called Paramount World, which apparently collected international exhibition reports of the studio’s releases. It’s for diehard fans of the days when shows like The Blob were big business all around the world. Its co-feature I Married a Monster from Outer Space apparently followed from country to country.
Trinidad. Note the box on the floor is said to contain The Blob itself — keep that thing refrigerated!
British Guiana. I can’t quite make out what it says on the shirts other than ‘The Blob.’ Bottom word looks like it might be “Astor.” In the Trinidad photo above they say that ‘Astor’ is the name of the theater playing the film in Trinidad; did they perhaps mix up the photo captions, or did both locales playing The Blob have a theater called the Astor?
Buenos Aires. The Spanish title for The Blob was La Mancha Voraz, which Google translates as “The Ravenous Stain.” Since that doesn’t sound right, we investigated. A more accurate translation in Spanish might be ‘La Masa Amorfa,’ to wit ‘The Amorphous Mass.’ But ‘mancha’ can also be a (tiny) blob, as in a daub of paint or a bloop of ink. The publication uses the term Paramount – Plus, which makes us think of today’s streaming service Paramount +.
Meanwhile, back in the U.S.A , Variety reported on September 10 that the Fred Astaire Dance Studios (!) were developing a Blob dance to go with the song, and there would be a “Miss Blob.” Gary wants to know how the dancers learned to creep, leap, glide and slide across the floor.
On September 24, Variety commented on the 45rpm single song release by The Five Blobs. And to think we missed the swingin’ flip side of the platter, with The Five Blobs singing ‘Saturday Night in Tiajuana’ (sic).
The main takeaway from this is — I wish I had some of those posters! Thanks for reading! — Glenn Erickson