Johnny Whitaker/ Sigmund and the Sea Monsters

Johnny Whitaker’s Birthday … also the birthday of my book-sister Rebecca McFarland Kyle. We’Ve been in Two anthologies together, or is it three nw? Happy Birthday, Becky, ad happy writing!

(Travalanche)

December 13 is the birthday of former child star Johnny Whitaker (b. 1959). The red-haired freckled Whitaker was memorable as young Jody on Family Affair(1966-1971), which we wrote about here, and was memorable as the title character in the musical film Tom Sawyer in (1973). He was also in one Steven Spielberg’s first films, Something Evil (1972) with Darren McGavin and Sandy Dennis which we wrote about here.

But having already written about just about all of Sid and Marty Krofft’s shows, I thought I’d give a little attention today to Sigmund and the Sea Monsters (1973-1974).

In conception, Sigmund and the Sea Monsters represents a slight “sea change”, if you will, from the earlier Krofft shows, H.R. Pufnstuf, The Bugaloos and Lidsville. It was less “psychedelic” than those previous ones, though it still had lots of humor. It was very much similar in conception to…

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Oh, fer cryin’ out loud… how do you keep screwing this up?!?

Once upon a time, Stan Lee was upset that he was a comic book scribbler, not a novelist (ie., a real writer) and he was thinking of quitting comic books. His wife Joan told him to do a comic book he was really proud of. The result was the Fantastic Four.

Steven Lyle Jordan

Fantastic Four 2015 movieWell, Hollywood has treated us once again to a movie about the Fantastic Four.  And once again, it has bombed.  And I mean bombedHiroshima-level bombed.  In a time when superhero movies are almost impervious to box-office failure—when special effects can give us realistic-looking monsters, other-worldly cities of the gods and flying aircraft carriers—when even obscure characters like Ant-Man and the Guardians of the Galaxy can print box-office tickets at will—the FF drop like a lead balloon dumped down one of the Mole Man’s subterranean tunnels.

And my mind has just rolled out through my ear canal and flopped onto the desk.  (Actually, I bet Reed Richards could do that.)  Because I simply can’t comprehend how anyone could manage to ruin this idea.  Multiple times.  As if no one in the movie industry has the vaguest clue as to what they have here.

And I keep saying: Oh…

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