Hey guys — I’ve got a Name That Trauma just in time for Halloween…
I remember watching an HBO variety special, featuring a live audience, in the late ’70s or early ’80s. Only two acts still stick in my head: One was a ventriloquist whose dummy was a plant name Phil O’Dendron. (Sample dialogue between man and dummy: “O’Dendron. Is that Irish?” Dummy: “Well, I’m wearing green!”)
The other act was this elaborate set of a scientist’s lab, a la Dr. Frankenstein. A scientist in a white lab coat, mop-top hair, and sunglasses (?) brings a Frankenstein-like monster to life from the operating table. The monster’s dressed in all black, green skin, but a normal-shaped head (no square noggin). Via remote control, the scientist makes the monster do all kinds of body movements, including a forward lean a la MICHAEL JACKSON in the “Smooth Criminal” video. Audience applauds.
Satisfied with what he’s done, the scientist puts down the remote and turns his back to work on something else. Suddenly, the monster becomes self-aware, shoots a look at the scientist and starts walking towards him. He stops directly behind the scientist, the scientist turns around, and the monster grabs both sides of the scientist’s head and twists it off his body.
The audience gasps as the doctor’s headless body falls to the ground. The monster then raises the head to his face, turns to the camera and, in a close-up, smirks. Turns out the monster was the performer and the scientist was the “monster.”
Pretty cool, yes, but as a kid I was not ready for that whole head-tearing-off thing.
Anybody else remember this show, or if there’s a clip online somewhere?
AUNT JOHN SEZ: FilmFather, this sounds so familiar but all of my searches are coming up empty handed.