The 1966 Universal comedy feature was directed by veteran television director Alan Rafkin. Veteran television writers Jim Fritzell and Everett Greenbaum wrote the screenplay for “The Ghost and Mr. Chicken.”
The source orchestral music for Rafkin’s film was composed by veteran music composer Vic Mizzy, who also composed the source score for William Castle’s Universal thriller, “The Night Walker” (1964, with Barbara Stanwyck and Robert Taylor). Mizzy was also famous for his original source music score of the hit TV series adaptation of “The Addams Family” (1964-66).
This will mark Sven’s sixth broadcast of “The Ghost and Mr. Chicken” (1966) on Me-TV. He had previously featured Rafkin’s spook comedy on his coast-to-coast showcase back in Nov. 2011, July 2012, Nov. 2014, April 2015 and Oct. 2017.
Who was in “The Ghost and Mr. Chicken” (1966)?
The players who appeared in “The Ghost and Mr. Chicken” (1966) were Don Knotts (as Luther Heggs, this would be Knotts’ first feature after leaving “The Andy Griffith Show” in 1965; Knotts played Deputy Barney Fife on Griffith’s series from 1960-65), Joan Staley (as Alma Parker), Dick Sargent (as George Beckett, Sargent would later play the second “Darrin Stephens” on “Bewitched” from 1969 until the conclusion of the series in 1972), Reta Shaw (as Mrs. Halcyon Maxwell), Hal Smith (in an uncredited role as Calver Weems; Smith played the role of Mayberry town drunk Otis Campbell on “The Andy Griffith Show” from 1960-66), Dick Wilson (in an uncredited role as a bandleader/bandmaster, Wilson was also known for his role of “Mr. Whipple” in TV commercials for Procter & Gamble’s “Charmin” toilet paper line from 1964-1985), Skip Homeier (as Ollie Weaver), Liam Redmond (as Kelsey) and Philip Ober (as Nicholas Simmons).
Universal and Mr. Knotts
According to John M. Miller’s article on “The Ghost and Mr. Chicken” (1966) for Turner Classic Movies, Don Knotts was signed to a five-year picture contract with Universal Studios in 1965 to make family oriented features. He had met with Universal/MCA head honcho Lew Wasserman; who felt that Knotts’ earlier feature film for rival studio Warner Bros., “The Incredible Mr. Limpet” (1964) did not receive proper promotion by Warners.
Knotts’ four other Universal features were “The Reluctant Astronaut” (1967, with Leslie Nielsen, Joan Freeman and Jesse White), “The Shakiest Gun in the West” (1968, with Pat Morita, Barbara Rhoades and Jackie Coogan), “The Love God?” (1969, with Anne Francis, James Gregory and Edmond O’Brien) and “How to Frame a Figg” (1971, with Yvonne Craig, Joe Flynn and Frank Welker).
Be sure to watch or record Svengoolie and his showcase of “The Ghost and Mr. Chicken” (1966), this Sat. Me-TV! “Attaboy, Luther!”
If this is your sixth time seeing Sven’s showcase of “The Ghost and Mr. Chicken” (1966) on Me-TV or if this is your first time seeing Sven’s presentation of Don Knotts’ first Universal feature, you will not be disappointed! With several familiar faces from film and television along with Sven’s extended fun facts, maestro Doug Graves’ evening parody song and Kerwyn’s “mail call,” this will be a perfect summer treat for all fellow SvenPals! Highly recommended and fun for the whole family!
In the Frederick, Maryland/Washington, D.C. area: WTTG-5.3/Cable 196/Fios 489/Antietam Cable 194 (also on QAM digital 68.6 for Antietam cable subscribers)
In the Baltimore, Maryland area: WBAL-TV 11.2/Cable 208
In the Hanover/Gettysburg/York, Pennsylvania area: WGAL-TV 8.2/Cable 248
Join in on the fun by live-tweeting with all fellow SvenPals during #Svengoolie’s Sat. big Me-TV broadcast of “The Ghost and Mr. Chicken” (1966) via Twitter!
For our fellow Chicago/Berwyn SvenPals:
Play Ball! Svengoolie will be making an upcoming appearance for the Windy City Thunderbolts’ upcoming first annual “Fri. the 13th Fright Night” fest on Fri., July 13 where the Thunderbolts will play opposite the Joliet Slammers! Sven will also be signing autographs!The customized “Fright Night” jerseys for the Thunderbolts team will be auctioned off to benefit a good cause, the Make-A-Wish foundation of Illinois! Presented in conjunction with Highline Auto Sales, the event will begin with a children’s costume parade at 6:15 p.m. (local time) and will conclude with a fireworks show! The Fri., July 13 Thunderbolts “Fright Night” game event will be taking place at Standard Bank Stadium, 14011 South Kenton, Crestwood, Illinois 60418. Get your tickets now!
Sven’s upcoming Arcada appearance with a familiar legend of Rock-and-Roll! Sven recently announced on his monthly e-mail newsletter that Rock-And-Roll legend Freddy “Boom Boom” Cannon will be inviting Sven on stage for a live performance of their hit Sept. 2016 song, “The Svengoolie Stomp!” This is part of an upcoming “Arcada Doo-Wop” Show with Freddy “Boom Boom” Cannon w/ a cameo appearance by Sven, Jay Siegel and the Tokens, Larry Chance and the Earls and Ladd Vance (son of Kenny Vance and the Planotones), which will be taking place on the afternoon of Sun., July 15 at 5 p.m. (local time) at the Arcada Theatre in St. Charles, Illinois (105 E. Main St., St. Charles, Illinois 60174).
“What, me worry?” Well worth the wait! During a recent outing (for errands) to my local Weis Markets supermarket in Frederick, I purchased a copy of of the Aug. edition of the re-vamped version of “Mad” Magazine (No. 2, “Hollywood Goes Mad”)! The Aug. edition of “Mad” featured a cameo photo of Sven holding the first issue of the re-vamped “Mad” in the “Incoming!” section and a cameo drawing of Sven and his rubber chicken in cartoonist Sergio Aragones‘ “A Mad Look at Hollywood” strip! Several fellow coast-to-coast SvenPals have also confirmed that they also purchased copies of the Aug. “Mad” issue! Sven also mentioned his “Mad” magazine appearance by featuring the Sergio Aragones cartoon Sven cameo drawing during the June 2 “Werewolf of London” mail call segment with Kerwyn on Me-TV!
Congratulations, Sven from all of us fellow SvenPals for making it into “Mad” magazine! -C.H.
A 1977 ad from future Me-TV affiliate WTTG Channel 5 in Washington, D.C. (from the Metromedia/”Setting the Pace of the City” station campaign of the era) and their weeknight syndicated re-runs of “The Andy Griffith Show” at the time, using Don Knotts’ and Andy Griffith’s song about Barney Fife (from the 1961 “Andy Griffith Show” episode, “Crime-Free Mayberry”)! Note: The audio is warbled due to tape deterioration.
In relation to “The Ghost and Mr. Chicken” (1966):
“The Ghost and Mr. Chicken” is also available from Universal Studios Home Entertainment on Blu-Ray disc and DVD. The feature is also available in Universal’s multi-film DVD compilation, “Don Knotts: Reluctant Hero Pack” and the complete collection of Don Knotts’ Universal features on DVD, “Universal Presents: Don Knotts Comedy Collection.”