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The TV That Time Forgot: Milton the Monster

In 1957, a package of the old, classic monster movies (Frankenstein, Dracula, etc.) was released to local TV stations, touching off a craze for movie monsters that continued strongly through most of the 1960s. Of course, as we grew older, the monsters were played more for laughs than screams. The Addams Family and The Munsters had made their prime-time debuts in 1964.

So, it wasn’t surprising when, just one year later, Saturday mornings got their very own lovable creature feature, Milton the Monster. Milton was the product of the lab of mad scientist, Professor Weirdo, high atop his gloomy mansion on Horror Hill. His clumsy assistant, Count Kook, caused the Professor to add too much of “the tincture of tenderness” to his formula. The result was a totally ineffectual monster who blew clouds of smoke out his sawed-off skull and spoke like Gomer Pyle.

Created and directed by a guy named Hal Seeger, the show followed the format most kiddie cartoons used back in the day – 3 different short cartoons, each starring a different lead character. Unlike most other shows, the line-up of other cartoons rotated between 5 characters. Most episodes featured Fearless Fly (a silly Superman knock-off) as the second feature, but during the show’s run, there were also cartoons featuring Muggy-Doo Boy Fox, Stuffy Durma (a hobo who became a millionaire overnight), Flukey Luke (a detective in an urban setting who was still somehow a cowboy), and Penny Penguin (a young girl mammal with the cuteness factor turned to overload).

Most of the voices for all these features were provided by versatile voice guy, Bob McFadden with the sole exception being Stuffy Durma, where the voice work was handled by Dayton Allen (who also provided the voices for both Heckle & Jeckle among other cartoon characters).

Milton the Monster proved popular enough to remain a part of ABC’s Saturday morning line-up through 1968. The entire series was released on home video by Shout! Factory back in 2007, but has since gone out of print and now commands stiff prices in the second-hand market. There is also a book about the series, Milton the Monster: Horror Hill Epitaph by Kevin Scott Collier, which is still in print.

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