One of the least heralded but most enjoyable series that arose during the TV monster boom of the mid-'60s (which included The Addams Family
and The Munsters
), The Milton the Monster Show
was the brainchild of Hal Seeger, a former Fleischer Studios animator and comic book illustrator who also created the Batfink
cartoon. The program, which ran on Saturday mornings from 1965-66, offered a rotating series of short cartoons, with the adventures of mild-mannered, Frankenstein-like creature Milton and his friends serving as the hub of the show. The other segments concerned "Fearless Fly," a costumed superhero adventure about a mild-mannered pest and his mighty alter-ego; "Flukey Luke," a timid cowpoke who ran a detective agency; "Stuffy Durma," a hobo who refuses to give up his wandering ways, despite having inherited a fortune; "Muggy Doo," a fast-talking fox (who, like Stuffy, first saw life in Seeger's comics); and "Penny Penguin," a cute girl penguin with abominable manners. What set Milton
apart from most of the kid-TV fare of the period was the quality of the production; scripts were clever, the animation bright and expressive, and the voice talent (which included veterans Bob McFadden, Dayton Allen, and Seeger's own spouse, Beverly Arnold) top-notch. And if some of the premises seem dated by today's standards ("Muggy Doo" and "Penny Penguin," in particular, have not aged well), new viewers should still be able to appreciate the gusto with which the stories are delivered. Shout! Factory's four-disc set includes Milton
's entire network run, as well as some terrific archival supplements that should delight longtime fans. The never-aired segment "Wilbur the Wanted" (a sort of Fugitive
for kids, with a falsely accused dog in pursuit of a scurrilous rabbit) is chief among the extras, as is an unusual live-action version of "Flukey Luke" shot by Seeger that utilized actors in oversized costumes a la Sid and Marty Krofft. Test footage for the live-action "Luke" is also included, as is a short, silent bit of footage featuring actors in Milton and Fearless Fly costume accompanying Seeger himself to the 1965 Toy Fair in New York. The sight of the life-size Milton waving to downtown crowds from the wagon of a horse-drawn hearse as it makes its way through the Big Apple streets should be, for many, worth the price of the set alone. -- Paul Gaita
In a secret laboratory on top of Old Horror Hill, Professor Weirdo and Count Kook created the most loveable creature known to mankind, Milton the Monster, using only the finest of ingredients: Essence of Terror, Sinister Sauce, and of course a full Tincture of Tenderness!
During the 1965-1966 season, Saturday morning audiences young and old tuned into ABC to watch Hal Seeger s new frighteningly funny creation and his misfit family of ghouls. In addition, the series also included cartoons featuring equally unforgettable characters Stuffy Durma, Flukey Luke, Penny the Penguin, and the most memorable of all, Fearless Fly.
Seeger s distinctive animation style, clever writing and a terrific voice cast make all 26 episodes of The Milton The Monster Show a pop culture treasure for the ages.
* Hal Seeger Home Movies: Milton & Fearless Fly At The N.Y.C. Toy Fair
* Sheriff For A Day A Live-Action Short Starring Flukey Luke
* Test Footage For The Live-Action Short Sheriff For A Day
* Bonus Cartoon: Wilbur The Wanted