FRANK NELSON: Comedy’s Original Yeeeesssss Man

This piece was originally published October 5th, 2009

Harpo IconWelcome to a new column feature that I will be often revisiting here at The Mystery BoxGreat Comedians Of The Past.

With this feature, I look forward to paying tribute to the many wonderful actors and actresses of comedy who have helped me to laugh throughout my life, with the hopes that you may find a particular one that you may have not known of before and will add to your own list of favorites.

Warning: Obscure and yet, not so obscure, comedic character actor alert!
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SKY SAXON AND THE SEEDS: A Tribute.

June 25th, 2009 will doubtlessly go down in popular culture as a momentous day of loss.

This piece was originally published July 13th, 2009

Flower Girl IconJune 25th, 2009 will doubtlessly go down in popular culture as a momentous day of loss.

For the majority of the world’s citizens, it was a day that meant the end of the life for one of the world’s singular, biggest record selling— and to put it mildly—more eccentric entertainers of recent times, Michael Jackson.

Concurrently, it was a day of losing another talent. An actress with charisma, beauty and an affable demeanor, not forgetting an impressive body of acting work, Farrah Fawcett.

An actress whose best known role—while only appearing for one season—boosted a show into a multi season iconic smash hit series that was never as good after she quit. Her pin up poster is still the biggest selling ever, and the profits from sales of the posters were far greater than any salary she made from acting, regardless of how huge the series.

Coming in third on this day of loss, and understandably, relegated to a much smaller mention on that day’s gargantuan news headlines, was another entertainer. Perhaps an unknown to most, or a low level blip on the radar of the stars, but for others, myself included, just as important and as colorful a character as anyone who ever chose the arts as a means of self expression.

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A Tribute to Allan Melvin: Character Actor Extraordinaire and the Voices of Magilla Gorilla and a Banana Split!

This piece was originally published on May 25th, 2009

Greg Brady IconOn January 17th of 2008, Allan Melvin passed away and television lost one of the great and perhaps more unsung character actors to ever traverse the world of sitcoms, animation and commercials; he was always working, always memorable.

Who else could have a list of credits that includes boyfriend to the Brady Bunch’s housekeeper, best pal to both Sgt. Bilko and Archie Bunker, and the voices of none other than a Banana Split and that very large Gorilla for sale in the window ?

Lately, here at Mystery Box Manor, we’ve been watching episodes of The Brady Bunch on DVD. A big green fuzzy shag rug of a box set for the entire series run. These days this is my preferred way of viewing any television show—chronologically, in back to back chunks—which is made easier now that more and more entire shows are available in this way.

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R.I.P. Lux Interior: Inimitable frontman for The Cramps

 

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This piece was originally published February 4th, 2009

Goo Goo Muck IconLux Interior, singer for The Cramps, died today.

The Cramps were formed in 1976 by Lux along with his wife, guitarist Poison Ivy, and together they made some of the coolest green slime Z movie sounds ever heard. 

 

The Cramps merged rockabilly, shlock horror, drive-in trash and underground punk rock into a voodoo stew that few others could even hope to attempt with such singularly perfect results.

Simply put, he was among the most greatest of all frontmen to have ever appeared on a stage.