Saturday, December 19, 2009

Peter Potamus in “Kooky Spook”. (1964)

To get us in the mood for my upcoming “Looong Review” of the DVD set “Saturday Morning Cartoons 1960s Volume 2”, here’s a cartoon that is not on the DVD but should, hopefully, be included in a future set.

Kooky Spook” finds our balloon-traveling buddies, Peter Potamus and So-So, having to spend the night in a haunted castle to break a curse and rid the castle of its resident ghost.

During the same TV season, Hanna-Barbera would do a different variation on this theme with The FlintstonesA Haunted House is Not a Home”. And, five or so years later, Scooby Doo and the Gang would take a turn at the “spend-a-night-in-a- haunted-structure-bit” with “A Night of Fright is No Delight”.

I can recall, but cannot identify the specific episode, that even The Simpsons did the “night in a haunted house” as an episode-starting throwaway bit. They just cheerfully walked out the next morning, with nothing having happened, and collect their reward… or something that gets the main story going. Clearly, this was inspired by the above-mentioned H-B shows.

So, let’s enjoy Daws Butler as Peter Potamus and the ghost of “Anguish MacGruesome” and Don Messick as So-So and the old English gentlemen.

The uncredited story has both Warren Foster and Michael Maltese stamped all over it. Elements of each of these two great cartoon writers are evident in this short. So, take your pick, writer-wise.



joecab said...

Just for the record, the SImpsons epsiode was "Bart the Fink," otherwise known as the one where Krusty gets caught keeping money in the Caymans and [SPOILER ALERT] fakes his own death to get out of this legal jam.

Joe Torcivia said...


Ask and you shall receive! From one Joe to another – Thanks!

Sure enough, on my SIMPSONS Season 7 DVD set, was “Bart the Fink”! And, just as I remember it, the “Haunted House Bit” was nothing more than a quick set up that could have been used to get a quick amount of money into the hands of the Simpson family in just about ANY episode that required a modest “Simpson Stimulus Package”!

In this case, of course – and at the risk of even more spoilers – to establish a checking account for Bart, which led to a series of check-writing and check-cashing gags, before finally getting to the main plot about Krusty.

One marvelous (and mildly frustrating) thing about THE SIMPSONS is that it’s been around SO LONG that, unless it’s from a recently viewed episode – or one that is special to you and, thus, burned into your memory – you can no longer recall where many of these throwaway bits occur.

“Bart the Fink” also had another favorite bit of mine, where a Sydney Greenstreet character continued to inadvertently give up information on Krusty and his secret (and “illegal”) bank accounts and, each time he does, he says “Oh, crap!” in response to his gaffe! Imagine Sydney Greenstreet continually saying “Oh, crap!” Gotta love it!

Again, thanks for the info. Comment again any time!