The legendary Berwyn/Chicago-based monster film host will present his big broadcast showcase of the classic Universal monster farce, “Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein” (1948); this Sat., May 18 at 8 p.m. Eastern/7 p.m. Central on Me-TV (part of Sven’s “Monstrous May” festival showcase of classic Universal “Frankenstein” monster films).
The final feature in Sven’s Sat. “Monstrous May” tribute to classic Universal “Frankenstein” monster films on Me-TV will be “The Ghost of Frankenstein” (1942, on May 25).
The 1948 classic Universal Monster-Abbott & Costello farce was directed by veteran Abbott & Costello feature film director Charles T. Barton. Barton’s other films with Bud and Lou were “The Time of their Lives” (1946), “Buck Privates Come Home” (1947), “The Wistful Widow of Wagon Gap” (1947, w/ Marjorie Main of “Ma and Pa Kettle” fame) and “The Noose Hangs High” (1948, one of the duo’s few non-Universal comedies).
This will mark Sven’s eighth big broadcast showcase presentation of “Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein” (1948) on Me-TV’s airlanes. He had previously shown the celebrated Universal monster/Abbott & Costello classic comedy from coast-to-coast back in Oct. 2011*, Nov. 2013, Oct. 2014, April 2015, Oct. 2016, Nov. 2017 and Oct. 2018.
“Who’s on first?” Who was in “Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein” (1948)?
The actors who appeared in “Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein” (1948) were Bud Abbott (as Chick Young), Lou Costello (as Wilbur Grey), Glenn Strange (in his third Universal screen feature appearance as Frankenstein’s monster; he previously played the role of Frankenstein’s monster in Erle C. Kenton‘s “House of Frankenstein” in 1944 and Kenton’s “House of Dracula” in 1945), Bela Lugosi (in his second and final Universal feature screen appearance as Count Dracula in a Universal feature; he previously played Count Dracula in Tod Browning’s landmark Universal screen monster adaptation of “Dracula” in 1931), Lon Chaney Jr. (in his fifth Universal screen monster feature appearance as Lawrence/Larry “Wolf Man” Talbot; he previously played the role in George Waggner‘s “The Wolf Man” in 1941, Roy William Neil‘s “Frankenstein Meets the Wolf Man” in 1943, 1944’s “House of Frankenstein” and 1945’s “House of Dracula”), Lenore Aubert (as Dr. Sandra Mornay), a non-credited vocal cameo by a young Vincent Price (as a “surprise” Universal monster) Jane Randolph (as Joan Raymond), Bobby Barber (in an uncredited role as a waiter), Charles Bradstreet (as Dr. Stevens), Frank Ferguson (as Mr. McDougal) and Harry Brown (in an non-credited role as a photographer).
Lou Costello’s amusement for Glenn Strange
According to IMDB’s trivia section on Barton’s 1948 Universal monster-comedy masterpiece with Abbott and Costello, Lou Costello’s improvisations would amuse Glenn Strange during the filming of “Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein.” This occurred during the moment where Costello was sitting on Strange’s leg.
Bud Westmore and Jack Kevan’s Universal monster make-up techniques for “Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein” (1948)
According to Jeff Stafford’s article for Turner Classic Movies on “Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein” (1948), the make-up designs for Glenn Strange’s portrayal of Frankenstein’s monster and the junior Lon Chaney’s portrayal of the “Wolf Man” were designed by veteran make-up artists Bud Westmore and Jack Kevan. Both Westmore and Kevan developed foam rubber sponge material-based masks of Frankenstein’s monster and the “Wolf Man.”
According to details from the 2000 Universal DVD documentary featurette, “Bud Abbott and Lou Costello Meet the Monsters!;” Glenn Strange preferred Westmore and Kevan’s “Frankenstein” monster make-up design due to the fact that the two make-up artists’ method was not time-consuming. Westmore studied the make-up designs for the monsters by watching previous Universal monster features, according to a 1948 studio publicity article. Most of the classic Universal “monster” make-up designs were created by veteran studio make-up artist Jack Pierce.
A gimmick for cinema exhibitors during the original theatrical release of “Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein”
According to an original 1948 Universal Studios press segment for “Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein,” the studio’s publicity department encouraged theatrical exhibitors who booked the Universal monster comedy to print an enlarged publicity still of Glenn Strange as Frankenstein’s monster; only without the head of Frankenstein’s monster. This was done to encourage theatergoers to have their pictures taken with the “Frankenstein monster” suit cutout.
“Hey, Abbott!” Be sure to watch/record Svengoolie’s big broadcast showcase of “Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein” (1948, part of Sven’s “Monstrous May” salute to classic Universal “Frankenstein” monster films), this Sat. on Me-TV!
With Bud Abbott, Lou Costello, Glenn Strange, Bela Lugosi, Lon Chaney Jr., Vincent Price’s surprise Universal monster “cameo,” Lenore Aubert, Jane Randolph, Bobby Barber, Frank Ferguson, Charles Bradstreet and Harry Brown; along with Walter Lantz’s famed opening title sequence and “Dracula” transformation animated effects, you will not be disappointed in Sven’s upcoming big broadcast of “Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein” (1948), this Sat. on Me-TV! A perfect cinematic treat for all fellow super SvenPals everywhere with Sven’s extended fun facts, Doug Graves’ parody tune and Kerwyn’s “mail call” segment! Don’t miss out on the fun and excitement of Sven and “Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein” (1948)! Highly recommended to all fellow super SvenPals everywhere!
*Before Me-TV came into the Washington/Frederick area (Me-TV came into the Washington/Frederick broadcast region in early 2013; originally on WJLA-TV and then moved to Fox O&O WTTG-5 in March 2017). -C.H.
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/FiOS 460
In the Hanover/Gettysburg/York, Pennsylvania area: WGAL-TV 8.2/Cable 248/FiOS 460
Live-tweet with all fellow #Svengoolie SvenPals from coast-to-coast during his big broadcast of “Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein” (1948), this Sat. on Me-TV!
Flashback ”Silver Screen Reflections” posts on the 2015 Halloween cinema revival showing of “Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein” at the Weinberg Center in Frederick, Svengoolie’s Oct. 2016 big Me-TV broadcast of “Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein,” Svengoolie’s Nov. 2017 big Me-TV broadcast of “Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein” and Sven’s Oct. 2018 big Me-TV broadcast of “Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein!”
Fellow super Svengoolie SvenPals of Chicago/Berwyn/Antioch and beyond! Extra! Extra! Extra! Fellow super Svengoolie SvenPal Jamie Lee will be appearing with the PM&L ensemble for the new and upcoming PM&L Theatre stage rendition of Christopher Durang’s Tony Award-winning comedy play, “Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike!” Directed for by Mark Badtke for the PM&L players, Jamie will be reprising her role of Nina in the upcoming PM&L edition of Durang’s comedy play!
According to the official PM&L Theatre website, the upcoming rendition(s) of “Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike” will take place from Fri., May 31 to Sun., June 16 (Fri. evenings/May 31, June 7 and June 14 at 8 p.m., local time; Sat. evenings/June 1, June 8 and June 15 at 8 p.m., local time and Sun. afternoons/June 2, June 9 and June 16 at 2:30 p.m., local time) at the PM&L Theatre venue (877 N. Main St., Antioch, Illinois 60002)! Online ticket orders are available for purchase and ticket orders at the PM&L Theatre box office will open on Mon., May 20 (according to the official site for the PM&L Theatre, ticket prices are $15 and $18).
The entire crowd of fellow coast-to-coast super Svengoolie SvenPals are cheering and applauding for Jamie and the entire PM&L players on their upcoming stage editions of “Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike!” Three cheers and we’re all proud of you! -C.H.
In relation to “Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein” (1948):
“Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein” (1948) is also available on Blu-Ray and DVD from Universal Studios Home Entertainment (the film is also available in Universal’s “Abbott and Costello Meet the Monsters” multi-film DVD anthology set, “The Best of Abbott and Costello: Vol. 3” multi-film DVD compilation set and Universal’s “Frankenstein: The Complete Legacy Collection” Blu-Ray and DVD film compilation sets). The film is also available through participating streaming/video-on-demand providers.
Questions/comments about “Svengoolie,” “Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein” (1948) and/or Sven’s “Monstrous May” tribute to classic Universal “Frankenstein” monster features? Drop a line in the comments section!