An interview with

In the sizzling summer of 1984 I was hired as a special effects technician on a Trans-World film then known as Titan Find, which was later retitled Creature, starring Klaus Kinski and Stan Ivar. My main job was to operate and maintain the Creature, which was designed and built by special effects wizard Doug Bewick.

One especially hot day, I was repairing the Creature (who we nicknamed "Stinky" the Hose Monster) when in walked a guy with a fog machine. He asked me if Bill Malone was around, to which I replied that I thought Bill would be back shortly. I looked up from my toil, and immediately recognized the man standing in front of me as the legendary Bob Burns. I say legendary, because Bob is one of the greats in monster fandom, spanning the golden age of the monster boom. I had followed his exploits in monster magazines beginning in 1960 with photos of himself and his wife Kathy in Famous Monsters of Filmland Issue 13. I was enthralled by the feature article two years later in Horror Monsters Issue #4 that featured photos of his house, which contained his collection of monster masks, posters, 6x10 glossies, and bric-a-brac that kids my age would have died for in that day and age.

I attempted a clumsy introduction by mumbling my name, and without missing a beat, Bob said to me, "I know who you are, Don Glut has told me all about you." I swallowed hard and replied, "I hope not everything about me." Bob laughed, and that was the beginning of our two decade plus friendship.

That afternoon, I asked him what must have been a million questions about his adventures with Paul and Jackie Blaisdell, Jeepers Creepers, Fantastic Monsters Magazine, Kogar the gorilla, his tenure at CBS TV, David Sharpe, Glenn Strange, Kenni Duncan, Roy Barcroft, and a host of others that I can't recall at this writing. What to me seemed like minutes, turned out to be hours of conversation.

Bill Malone finally arrived, and Bob and I bid one another adieu, and I went back to work on the Creature.

Over the years, Bob and his wife Kathy have become wonderful and trusted friends, and we have spent what I call golden times with them, and had many adventures.

Today, Bob and Kathy are still active on the convention circuit, and are tremendous fan favorites. In 2005, Bob and Kathy made a cameo appearance in Peter Jackson's King Kong remake.

It is with great pleasure that presents this interview with our friend Bob Burns.

BURNS I spent my first five years in Muskogee, Oklahoma. I came out to Burbank, California, when I was six years old. The reason we came out here was that my dad went to work for Lockheed Aircraft during World War II. I was kind of a loner kid in the early part of my life. I became interested in superheroes when my grandfather got me two wooden Superman figures back in Oklahoma when I was 5 years old. Superman, Buck Rogers, and Flash Gordon I also remember from the newspapers before I was able to read. I loved the art work; I was fascinated by the pictures of outer space and men that flew. I was a radio baby, and to hear Superman, Buck Rogers and Flash Gordon drew me into collecting radio premiums, most of which I still have. I also collected Big Little Books, along with some comics. I loved number one issues of things. I had the Number One Superman that my mom gave away when I was in the Army. Parents were like that in those days. They didn't think that after you got out of the Army you'd have any interest in comics or Big Little Books.

JAH Did you attend Saturday matinees as a kid?

BURNS I started going to those when I was back in Oklahoma, because my folks loved movies - any kind of movies. In the 30's and 40's, movies were somewhere to go, and they were air conditioned, or refrigerated as they called them in those days, in the summer. I saw all kinds of films, and just before I left Oklahoma, I saw the serial Spysmasher starring Kane Richmond (Republic 1942).

JAH You visited a Republic serial set when you were a kid, didn't you?

BURNS That's a wild story. It was just kind of coincidental. The people that lived next door to us in Burbank, their daughter named Joyce was Roy Barcroft's secretary over at Republic. At that time I had seen Roy Barcroft in the westerns and knew his face, but I didn't associate the face with the name - just like all those guys in the westerns until you become more familiar with them. One day I was out in my parents' yard, and Roy drives up, gets out of his car, and goes up to our neighbor's front door. I was ten years old, and awe-struck. I said to myself, "Wait a minute - that's the guy who plays all the bad guys in the westerns." So when he left, I saw Joyce, and I asked her if that guy was the heavy in the westerns. And she said yes, and I said, "Oh, my god, I've seen all his films".

So she said, "Would you like to meet him?" She told me that he was going to come back over to their house because she had a script he had to pick up. So after he paid her a visit and picked up the script, he came over and knocked on my parents' door, and that's where I first met him - in my parents' house. I had died and gone to heaven after that I always liked the character people much more than the actors who played the heroes. The character guys were always much more interesting. Their characters had depth, while the heroes tended to be more one-dimensional, with certain exceptions.

One day during the shooting of The Purple Monster Strikes, Roy invited me to the set to see them work, and that was the first movie set I was ever on.

JAH That must have been an amazing experience.

BURNS It was - for a ten year old kid on a Hollywood movie set I was so excited that I probably didn't sleep for three or four nights before I visited the set. What ended up happening was that Roy came and picked me up, and I was on the set the whole day. They were shooting an office scene, one of the ones where they ended up having a big fight. I didn't know about stunt people in those days - I was just a kid. They shot the fight scene with three cameras. They choreographed a fight scene between Roy and Dennis Moore. Roy comes out in his Purple Monster suit, and then out walks another actor in a Purple Monster suit, and it was Fred Graham, the guy who doubled Roy in almost every picture he did. He looked like Roy - his nose was broken like Roy. And I remember thinking to myself - What's this? There's two Purple Monsters?

And then Roy explained it to me - how the stunt men were used in the more rigorous and physically dangerous scenes. Dale Van Sickle doubled Dennis Moore. So with three cameras, they shot the stunt men fighting, who completely destroyed the set. I had no idea what was going on. While the stunt men were smashing the whole place to bits, Roy and Dennis just stood by and watched. And after the fight concluded, we went to lunch.

We came back after lunch; they had redressed the set, put duplicates of all the things that were broken back in place, and Roy and Dennis shot the fight scene again, with them fighting instead of the stunt men, but skipping some of the dangerous stunts. These things were choreographed down to the last movement. The idea of choreographing these fights at Republic came from their ace serial director, Bill Whitney. There was not an ounce of wasted motion. They shot these fights in little bits and pieces. This was absolutely fascinating for me to watch - it was the first movie fight scene I had seen in person.

I couldn't wait for the serial to come out. I remember going to see it right down the street at the Magnolia Theater. When I saw that fight, my heart was pounding. I was there, and I saw this scene shot, and I was on Cloud Nine graduating to Cloud Ten That's how I first met Roy. We kept in touch on and off over the years. At one time, I lost contact with him, but we re-established contact.

JAH Roy introduced you to Kenne Duncan, didn't he?

BURNS Yes, it was Roy who introduced me to Kenne, after we hooked up again. I remember one night in the mid-60s - I think Don Glut was there as well. I had Kirk Alyn, Glenn Strange, Kenne Duncan, and Roy Barcroft over to the house. We sat up most of the night and talked about their days at Republic. It was a magical evening - to hear these guys spin these old stories, always trying to outdo each other, and just breaking up at each other. It was an amazing evening.

Kenne and Roy were really good pals. They hung out together all the time. Usually when Roy would stop by the house, Kenne was with him - at least half the time. They were fun guys, and Don and I talked them into doing his film, Superman and the Gorilla Gang, which we had a lot of fun shooting.

JAH Kenne Duncan committed suicide in 1972, didn't he?

BURNS It was such a shock when I heard about it. It was like, wow, because I had talked to him about a month before that and he seemed fine. But he was bored - he wasn't working any more, nobody would hire him for anything.

My wife, Kathy, was responsible for getting Roy Barcroft his last job. He played a doctor, and this was just before he came down with cancer of the leg. He was thrilled to be working again. My wife Kathy had taken a picture of him, after Roy started wearing his full beard. He hadn't worked in quite a while.

JAH You were quite friendly with Glenn Strange

BURNS I met Glenn through another neighbor. Glenn lived in Glendale, California, which is adjacent to Burbank. I met him through a neighbor of mine who knew him. At the same time, my wife Kathy met Jeanine, his daughter, and they became best friends. They still are, but she and her husband live back in Louisiana now. I think I met Glenn and his family somewhere between 1950 and 1952. Once again, I lost contact with him, which I later re-established through Forrest J. Ackerman and Famous Monsters magazine. Through Forry I re-established contact with him. We were doing an article for Famous Monsters #17, where I shot the photos of Glenn holding all these Frankenstein heads. I have a beautiful painting of Glenn that Rick Baker's father Ralph did for me, two weeks after Glenn passed away. It was painted on felt, and is an amazing piece of work.

JAH How did you meet Paul Blaisdell?

BURNS I met Paul at a science fiction club in the early 50's, it could have been around '54 or '55. The reason Kathy and I went to it, was because Ray Bradbury was a guest speaker. He had just written the screenplay for Moby Dick and was going to be discussing it. Paul and Jackie Blaisdell were there. Somehow, during a break, we started talking. Paul was a real hermit. Neither of them mixed with people really well. In spite of this, we got to talking - it was just one of those things that's meant to be. We just clicked. The four of us just clicked. This was just before Beast With 1,000 Eyes, with the Hercules puppet - Little Herc was his nickname. So he said to us, we live in Topanga Canyon, and why don't you come up to see us sometime. He and Jackie had that house in Topanga Canyon way before they became involved in movie making. Up to this point, he had been doing illustrations for pulp magazines. Right after they wrapped shooting on Beast With 1,000 Eyes, we went up to see him and Jackie. After that first visit, Paul and Jackie's house became our weekend retreat - it was a different world up there. It was wide open wilderness, and Paul had 100 foot suspension bridge you had to cross to get to his place. We would visit Paul and Jackie every other weekend. And then he started getting work in things like Day the World Ended and It Conquered the World.

JAH Did Paul ever discuss Roger Corman with you during this period?

BURNS Sure. If there were any problems, Paul never mentioned them to me. He always thought Roger was a pretty straight-up guy - a cheap guy, but he thought he was honest because Roger would tell you straight away that he didn't want to pay for anything. The only disagreement Paul and Roger ever had was bringing Beulah out of the cave in It Conquered the World. Paul would have built Beulah a lot different had he known she was to emerge from her cave, which was Bronson Caves. We went to see the press preview on that, and the audience was buying the film pretty much up to the conclusion. As soon as Beulah emerged from Bronson Caves, everyone started to laugh. And Paul just said, "Let's get out of here. I knew this was going to happen." And out we went. I didn't see the end of the film until I saw it again later. Other than that, he liked Roger a lot.

JAH Paul worked with other directors, such as Edward L. Cahn. Did Paul have any stories about him?

BURNS Ed was an old-time western director. He was an Englishman, and he could do thirty set-ups a day if need be. Cahn did his homework - he knew the script, and Paul liked him. You must understand, I was around Paul when he was doing Day the World Ended, but I didn't do any work on it at all. People get the misconception, I've even been quoted wrong as saying I helped him build these props. I never helped him build these things. It was him and Jackie who built those things. What I did was work with him on the set, help him in and out of the suits, help repair stuff that tore. He and Jackie were the artistic team. What he couldn't do, she could. Both of them had natural talent. Paul and Jackie were both self-taught, especially the monster things. The head piece for Marty the Mutant was built over a helmet liner. It was all done by the seat of their pants - it was out of pure imagination and spit and vinegar. Paul and Jackie got it on the screen for about 12 bucks. I get a little PO'd when I hear people trying to compare the She Creature to Creature From the Black Lagoon. It's apples and oranges.

Paul enjoyed creating stuff and wearing stuff. He was very much like Don Post, Sr., in that way. He loved playing a monster. For him, it was the ultimate fun. I've got footage of things we did together - little bits and pieces of things that we just threw together on the weekends. Paul had a great sense of humor that most people didn't know about. When you met him the first time, he was a very stand-offish type of guy. He was sort of shy, and just didn't trust people in general. We had the same philosophies, and Kathy and I just seemed to fit in with him and Jackie.

Whenever Paul got an idea, he'd start to whistle - not a tune or anything like that, he would just start to whistle, and I'd always know he was onto something at that point - an idea, or a germ of idea, but on to something. We just had nothing but fun.

JAH Your first film was entitled The Alien, many years before the popular movie.

BURNS The way all that came about was, my folks were in a camera club in 1952. The club was a group of people who would get together and come up with a story, and film the story as a group, and then have a big screening of everyone's version of it. Everyone would cut their print slightly different. The first film they did was called The Secret of Deadpan Dan. I used to know the serial actor Jack Ingram, and he had a ranch which was a movie ranch where they used to shoot the exteriors of the Lone Ranger TV series. He let us go up there one time and shoot Deadpan Dan on his ranch. It later became the Lone Ranger Ranch, which was a popular tourist attraction. I met Jack through Roy and Kenne and all those guys. While Roy and Kenne worked at Republic, Jack worked at Columbia. I still have his script from Atom Man vs. Superman. Since I knew him, I called him - I must have been about 18 at the time. On Sundays he would open the ranch to the public, and it was a quarter to get in. He said, Yeah, come on up. You may have to shoot around some people, but I'll try to keep most of the people away. My dad played Deadpan Dan.

After Deadpan Dan, I came up with this idea called The Alien, a comedy thing about a guy Doctor Ecks who is working in his lab, and he has a teleporter. He takes a ladder and transports it into the fourth dimension, and it disappears. He tries to get the ladder back and instead of the ladder, gets an alien named Om. So Om was there, in a suit my aunt helped me make which was reminiscent of the suits from Destination Moon. So the Doctor asked him what he's doing on Planet Earth, and he said he was going to an intergalactic ball game, and your transmission hit me and brought me here. So Doctor Ecks says, "Well, until I figure out a way to get you back where you belong, how would you like a guided tour of our civilization?" So he gives Om the appropriate earth clothes. So instead of Om changing clothes, he popped them on and off, and made the clothes grow to fit him. These were special effects that we did and cut in the camera.

As we were travelling through the city, Om seemed to know what was going on. We walk by this one house, and the guy is evidently coming out to put his car in the garage. But he has forgotten his keys, he has to get back and he can't back into the house, and Om seems to know what is going on with these people. So he just goes and touches the car and it starts by itself, goes into the garage and the garage door closes automatically. By now the guy is out with his keys, going, What happened?

We used my mom in one scene where she's walking down this path, and Dr. Ecks and Om are walking, so the alien decides to pull a trick on the doctor. She can't see the alien - he's invisible all of a sudden. The doctor introduces her to the invisible Om, and she thinks he's looney.

Once back to the lab, Om is teleported back to his own dimension, and the doctor looks at the notes he has been writing, and they've all disappeared, so he has no proof of Om's visitation at all. And that's the way the picture ends.

We made up our own poster art for The Alien, but that's what you did in those days. We were just having fun.

JAH You followed this up with a film called The Monster.

BURNS Well, it was the Frankenstein thing, that's all it was. My poor old friend Lionel Comport, again was my guinea pig. We created the lab set, and I made his Frankenstein monster face out of lettuce and it worked really well I didn't have anything else to use It's a short film about the creation of the monster, and he ends up wrecking the place. But the whole makeup was lettuce on his face, and there was a fake eye made out of wax. Once again, it was shot in a friend's garage in Burbank. We had the total Ghost of Frankenstein ending, where the monster was slammed into an electrical panel, and the whole place caves in on him.

JAH You started doing the character Major Mars live on stage in a local theater called the Fox Venice around this time, didn't you?

BURNS I was doing a thing on stage at the Fox Venice Theater in Venice, California. This was the original Major Mars. We used a Destination Moon type space suit, and a Space Patrol type helmet. This was in 1954. Then I got this F-14 helmet, which was better. I believe my uncle got that for me. I appeared on a bill as Major Mars just before the Saturday matinees went out of style. I hosted a program which included a double bill, serial chapters, cartoons, and the whole shebang. This was before television took hold. I had known the theater manager, and I had the idea of doing a show like this, and he was receptive and said let's try it out. It became quite popular, and I did it every Saturday for two years. Between shows I would do about 10 or 12 minutes and tell space stories. I would tell these stories about conquering other galaxies and so forth. I really believed in audience participation - it's really important, especially with kids, so I would get all the kids to do the sound effects. "So when I say fire the ray gun, go 'bzzzzzz' or when the space ship takes off go 'whoosh'." I'd say, "Fire the ray gun at Zantar," and the whole audience would buzz. They had a great time I changed helmets because I knew the young kids weren't going to identify an 18 year old kid as a major, an authority figure. The element of mystery comes into play here - you don't know who he is or where he comes from.

JAH Wasn't there some sort of promotional deal for Revell Toys?

BURNS Yes. One of the executives had taken his kids to a show at the Fox Venice, and talked to us and said, Would you like to tie in to Revell Model Kits, and give kits away during the show? It would be a great tie-in for us. You could hold contests and give kits away. I was such a klutzy kid all my life, I was terrible in sports and at contests and never won anything, so I wanted things that would be so easy - we'd do real simple things like put crackers in your mouth and try to whistle. Things that were really simple that any kids could do - I didn't want any kids out there thinking I can't do it 'cause I'm not good enough.

We even had a promotional card with my picture on it, which was a well-known promotional gimmick from the vintage years of Saturday matinees. The kids would go to 11 Saturday matinees, and on the 12th they would be admitted free, and be eligible for prizes, which of course were these Revell model kits. Major Mars did the shows for about two years.

JAH You also made appearances in Paul's She Creature costume, didn't you?

BURNS I made two appearances in Paul's costume. One was Gene Norman's Campus Club, and the other was Louis Quinn's Corner. Paul and I were almost identical in size. It fit me just the same as it did Paul. I worked at KNXT as a film editor, and we shared a building at 1313 North Vine with KHJ at the time. American International set the gig up. They contacted Paul, who by then didn't want to get back into the sunit, but they had these promos lined up. He was tired of it, so he called me up and said, Bob, you work there, you know the studio. Do you want to do it? And I said, Oh, god, yeah I'd love to get in the suit.

JAH Didn't the audience get a little curious about the She Creature costume on Gene Norman's Campus Corner?

BURNS Oh, boy, did they ever! I found myself in a situation being in that suit, where from my point of view it looked like an angry mob from a Frankenstein picture was coming after me. The Campus Club members had a case of hyper-curiosity, and were hell bent on seeing what made the She Creature tick. Needless to say, the She Creature was a little scared that day. She was worried about a bunch of kids!

We did a contest thing with a string and a marshmallow, and the funny part is - even in that cumbersome suit, I won! The She Creature devours the marshmallow - through the mask. How I ever got it curled around my tongue, I'll never know! Seeing as the She Creature won, the tickets were given away, which just happened to be tickets to the She Creature, which was currently in release. The show was an American Bandstand type of thing, and the show was live.

JAH Quinn's Corner was an interview show, wasn't it, similar to today's talk shows?

BURNS Quinn's Corner was strictly an interview show, with a focus on show business. Quinn being the comic he was, called the She Creature "Cuddles," so we did the interview as Cuddles. My entrance was me smashing through a window and giving a She Creature type growl. Then I sat there for an entire interview segment with Louis. Louis was constantly baiting me, saying things like, "Aw, come over here, Cuddles. I know you !" And then he got down to brass tacks and interviewed me about the film.

Around this time, Paul tried to teach me how to make masks. The first mask I made, really under Paul's supervision, was the Werewolf mask. He was always teaching me stuff - trying to teach me stuff, I can't say I learned much Through no fault of his He was trying to get me into makeup stuff, because I was so shy and had no confidence. He said, "Bob, you got to start doing some things." So he made these blanks off his own head. Things like the She Creature and other things he would build off these blanks. So he gave me a blank of himself, because our heads were almost the same size, and said, "Now, I want you to build a werewolf out of foam." So I said to him, "Paul, I can't do this kind of stuff like you do." He said, "Yes, you can. I want you to do it." So I ended up doing this werewolf mask - it looks more like a pig man to me - but anyway, that's how it ended up. I still have that mask. In fact, we did a film with it where I attacked Paul - a 16mm thing. This was a project that Paul gave me to do to prove to me that I could do a mask if I wanted to. I ended up using it for my appearances on Shock Theater later on.

JAH Tell us about your work on Shock Theater.

BURNS I was in the Army at that time, which I hated. This was around 1959 or 60 that I did these Shock Theater shows. When I was stationed in San Antonio, Texas, I used to watch Shock Theater. Everybody had a Shock Theater in every state, because the package was in wide release through Screen Gems. I used to watch the show in San Antonio, and there was a host, and he called himself just the host, and he just sat in a chair with a little castle set background, sort of introduced the movies, and did a couple of wrap arounds, and that was about it - but nothing happened, at all. Then they'd show the movie, and it was pretty boring. Kathy and I were watching one night, and I suddenly turned to her and said, "If we could go down there one night and talk to these people," 'cause the Army was driving me crazy and I had to have a diversion - I was almost court martialed three times - "if we could do monsters for them, if they would just pay for the materials only, we could do a monster for them every week." So we went down there and pitched it to them, and they said, "Well, jeez, why not? Let's try it." And we did, and I wound up doing it the whole year.

That's where the Mad Mummy was born. He was different then. We had a prototype of the Mad Mummy, so it was the Mad Mummy before the Mad Mummy. The Mad Mummy head was built over a blank of me. In the Army, I used to do simulated casualty makeup for the Army training films. We had a thing called Operation Blowup that we did every month. I would have to create realistic wounds on these guys out of rubber, wax, or whatever; and so the young interns could dress these things. I had to train 40 people to do these makeups, and we sculpted our own pieces and made them up. We had to make them very realistic - they had to bleed, we had to have arteries, the squeeze bag for the simulated blood spurting - we knew it had worked when we'd see some of the interns actually start to get sick! It meant they'd worked! So I had made a cast of my head, and we made one of the first CPR dummies, and we used my head for it. And I had a blank of my face, and I made the Mummy's head over it. Like Paul did with his creations. The Mummy's face was sculpted on the blank of my face. The rest it was made out of rubber, cotton, and cloth, and my wife Kathy made the actual suit. This version of it was painted with liquid clay; the problem was, it came off on everything. With the later version, we used the same cloths and did it in shades of browns, and I just repainted the head.

JAH What happened to the host of Shock Theater?

BURNS Well, he remained, and I would come out as the Werewolf or the Mad Mummy, and do some gags with him. When we had a generic type horror film, I came out and did an Igor type character. The ratings went through the roof. We wanted to put some life into it, and the ratings went way up.

There's a gag that we did on the show, where I appeared with the host as me, and we used some footage that Paul and I did where I turned into the Werewolf. I was just sitting talking to the host for a while, and all of a sudden the full moon comes up, and I turn into the Werewolf at the very end. Then we go to a commercial and come back, and I'm sitting in the host's chair with his Homberg on, and the host is gone, (because the inference is I 'et him), and I bid the audience "Good night and pleasant dreams" in my best werewolf voice.

JAH You introduced the split face characters on Shock Theater, didn't you?

BURNS We did that when we showed The Black Sleep. That makeup was also featured in Famous Monsters #13. I used this makeup on a character called Miss Shock. Again, this was made on one of my blanks. I should say it was done on half a blank, which had the fake teeth, the fake lips, and the eyeball, and with makeup we just blended this appliance into our subject's normal face. We did a thing with Miss Shock where we wentt out and met William Castle at the airport. He was promoting The Tingler at the time, and we were hired to meet him, and I did the Wolfman makeup on myself, Kathy was Miss Shock, I did an Igor makeup on a neighbor of mine; and we met Castle at the plane, and I presented him with a skeleton key to the city. There was a camera crew that shot the whole event for the local TV news.

I wanted to do something really unique, seeing as this was Bill Castle that I was presenting the key to the city to, so I made the skeleton key out of real skeleton bones, because I used to have to repair the skeletons for the Army medical unit. The guys in the Army used to rip off these bones and put them in each other's beds, and pull pranks like that, so I always had to keep a box of spare parts, as it were, around. In fact, I had several boxes of spare parts. I used a hipbone for the main part of the key, and some finger bones to make the ring of the key.

After I got out of the Army and came back to the West Coast, I began experimenting with a 3-eyed Vampire makeup. I experimented on my old buddy Lionel Comport. The makeup consisted of mixed-up latex with pieces of tissue paper that I tore up into little teeny bits and mixed into the rubber, so it had a real texture - almost mummified. I built his nose out and added the eye. We never used it for anything, just did it for fun. We had a hell of a time trying to get it off him, which we almost couldn't do! We called that makeup the "Vampire From Space."

JAH You also did a guest spot on Panorama Pacific.

BURNSP Panorama Pacific was a show that was on CBS, originally broadcast from the Pan Pacific Auditorium on Beverly Boulevard in Los Angeles. Finally, it was moved to the KNXT Studio on Sunset Boulevard. Since I worked there, every Halloween I would be on the show doing something.

I had worked as a film editor at KNXT since 1953, way before I did my hitch in the Army andShock Theater. So when I returned from the service, I returned to work there and did similar types of appearances on Panorama Pacific to the ones I did on Shock Theater, only Panorama Pacific was an early morning talk show. On June 13, 1961, I did an appearance with the first prototype of the Mummy head; Kathy and I guested on the show. The host was Red Rowe and Geri Anderson was the co-host. Red Rowe was very knowledgeable and a great guy; very popular in Los Angeles at the time. We were on there in conjunction with the photo spread on Kathy and me in Famous Monsters #13. The interview focused on the Famous Monsters piece, and I showed the masks and how they were made, and we showed the article.

I did a Halloween show with Arch Obler, creator of the classic radio show Lights Out. I had the Mummy face on, and I had a real skeleton hand and arm. This was at the time Arch was promoting his album, Drop Dead, which was sold by Captain Company in the back of Famous Monsters, on Capitol Records. On the show, they played the record. It had his spoken introduction, like he used to do for the Lights Out radio program. So what Arch didn't know, was there was a point in the narration where he said something like, "Something's coming up behind you, reaching out, touching your neck." They had me sneaking up behind him, and he didn't know this, he had no idea. Now, Red Rowe had this little dog that he used to bring on the show. It was part of his comedic shtick. So I'm dressed in the Mummy mask and a wig and an old torn coat, sneaking up on Arch Obler, and Red's little dog is watching me. And I had this real skeleton hand, which I brought back from the Army, and all the while I'm sneaking up on him and this little dog is checking me out. And Arch is listening to his monologue, and when it gets to the point of "I'm reaching out, I'm touching your neck," and I touched his neck with the skeleton hand - he jumped clear out of his seat, and upon his return, the dog peed all over him! The dog just unloaded all over him! Arch recovered, and Red said something to me like, "Well, Bob, you really did it to him!" And Arch said to me, "Bobby, I remember you well, I'll never forget you!" And he finished the whole interview, in spite of the indignity. Arch Obler is a trouper extra ordinaire - there's no doubt about it.

To Be Continued...