I think any Canadian musician who grew up in the 1970s has wanted to make a video like this, and now The Sadies have finally done it. For you non-Canadians, this clip will undoubtedly be disturbing, but keep in mind that this was what a lot of us watched every morning before we went to school.
The Hilarious House of Frightenstein was an hour-long children’s show produced at Hamilton, Ontario independent TV station CHCH between 1971-72. It featured a cast of odd characters, most played by comedian Billy Van, and while the skits were quick and the humour was often corny in a Hee Haw sort of way, the overall feel of the show–set in Count Frightenstein’s castle, with the requisite amount of echo permeating everything–instilled an ominous tone to each day.
The show did make an attempt to educate as well, with Dr. Pet Vet regularly arriving with his coterie of animals, and the eminent Dr. Julius Sumner Miller (a real-life student of Einstein) there to explain the laws of physics. The producers even managed to get Vincent Price involved as the show’s de facto host.
But the climax of each episode occurred when the Wolfman (Van’s take on famed DJ Wolfman Jack), took a request to spin the latest hit, and proceeded to dance with Igor. The psychedelic effects used during these segments left an indelible impression on young Canadian minds, and the image of Igor (played by gentle giant Fishka Rais) in his sweater emblazoned with a huge “I” was equally unforgettable. It was also the first time most of us heard The Rolling Stones, Jefferson Airplane, and Sly & The Family Stone.
Kudos to The Sadies for reminding us again of what an incredible show The Hilarious House of Frightenstein was.