Burger Chef and Jeff - Drinking Glass

Retro Records: Burger Chef and Jeff Meet Cackleburger

Burger Chef and Jeff, does that name ring a bell? For those of us that grew up in the 70s of course it brings to mind the Funmeal. A boxed kids meal that provided puzzles and stories. Focusing on the adventures of Burger Chef and Jeff of course. The Funmeal also generally contained a toy or small collectible as well.
Burger Chef and Jeff - Funmeal Theatre

These were the mascots of the Burger Chef chain of fast food restaurants. Obviously. It bears pointing out that in addition to beating McDonald’s to the idea of the Happy Meal. Burger Chef was also quick to land the licensing for a little 1977 movie called Star Wars!
Burger Chef and Jeff - Star Wars

I will get to the subject of our Retro Records for this week in just a second. However I felt I should share a little more information about Burger Chef first. The restaurant got it’s start back in 1957, opening in Indianapolis, Indiana.
Burger Chef and Jeff - Fast Food

Thanks in no small part to focusing on smaller cities, for example my neck of the woods, they quickly expanded their reach. Furthermore in 1968 the chain was scooped up by General Mills which of course faciliated the expansion. By 1972 in fact they had 1,200 restaurants across the United States. It is important to realize that in that same year McDonald’s only had 400 more locations at the time.

I guess what I’m getting at is that it wasn’t a small operation. Now Burger Chef and Jeff were more than mascots, at least that was the case for me. I have mentioned before that growing up my Father and I didn’t have much. So generally once a month when I was taken to Burger Chef it was certainly a treat. One of those reasons I said they were more than mascots to myself is thanks in part to the TV commercials.

[Via] Eye 8h NBC

Burger Chef and Jeff - Mascots
I believe I have stated on more than one occasion that I was in fact a monster kid growing up. The kooky characters that Burger Chef and Jeff came into contact with like Wolfburger as well as Count Fangburger, the talking ape Burgerilla, and Cackleburger the Witch! I feel confident in saying these characters were certainly right up my alley!

You might want to listen to my first introduction to The Wolf Man in episode 53 of the Saturday Frights Podcast

Which indeed means I was very excited when Burger Chef was offering on of their 33 1/3 records. For this installment of Retro Records we are sharing Cackleburger Casts A Spell. I have hard a rather hard time tracking down the exact date but a few sources online point to 1976. You might also notice that the spelling on the record is different than the spelling for the character.
Burger Chef and Jeff - Cackelburger

Also of interest is that Burger Chef is voiced by the late and great Paul Winchell. Whose voice I think you might recognize from the massive animated series he was affiliated with. Paul provided the voice of Gargamel in the Smurfs, was Fleegle Beagle in The Banana Splits, as well as Dick Dastardly for many of the Hanna-Barbera shows.

So please join us on Retro Records as we listen to the adventures of Burger Chef and Jeff!

[Via] James Will

Creature Feature

1980’s Topps Creature Feature Cards

#GhoulMourningManiacs!

Let’s look at some trading cards. 1980 brought us the wonderful trading card series known as Creature Feature or You’ll Die Laughing and there’s one card in particular that holds a special meaning and moment for me. This series was first produced in the early seventies and Topps decided to resurrect the series with some packaging, design and content changes.
Creature Feature

What was better than riding a bike to the corner store to get milk and cigarettes for your stepmother and maybe using some of the change on candy or comics? (Yes it’s true, she wrote me a note in case of any trouble. I’m certain I wasn’t the only kid to have that as a chore?) Anyway, while at the store, getting a pack of Creature Feature cards was worth the effort!

The cards had great still photography of movie monsters in black and white, from the thirties on up to the modern era. Giant radioactive creatures, human monsters, aliens, oh my! The photos (let’s pick the Mummy carrying a damsel) had goofy captions, like “Gee kid, you weigh a ton!” Each pack of cards came with a sticker. The backs of those stickers each had a section of a larger photo. Once you assembled them, they made a photo of a movie monster. On the back of the cards, were jokes and rhymes.
Creature Feature - The Mummy

Which card , even now, has a hold on me and is one of many influences on my writing as the Man of a Thousand Bad Monster Jokes? Any guesses? How about you, the freaky thing lurking in the corner? Ok, I’ll let the black cat out of the bag. It’s number 79. It Came From Outer Space.
Creature Feature - It Came From Outer Space

I’m not a huge fan of the alien on the front, but the rhyme on the back still has me! I can recite it without looking , even now.

“A thought inside my cranium.
This prophecy that I make-
If a monster eats uranium.
He’ll get atomic ache.”

It’s weirdly wonderful and I thought, if I were ever to write a poem, I’d try to write something like that. I understood the mix of monsters and humor from Mad Magazine and Famous Monsters and these cards, but I didn’t have the writing bug or the mechanics of it. Not a lot of eleven year old boys did. Little did I know that I’d have a writing assignment for school that year, that required poetry.
Creature Feature

I chose a limerick for my style and I had card number 79 as my guide or template. I tried to fuse the words with the imagery and I didn’t have it. I wrote the card’s rhyme on a sheet of paper and left it in my desk. I was out sick for a few days and when I got back, the paper was gone. I thought I had to makeup the work, as my limerick was nowhere near complete. But, nothing was said until a month or two later. I was told that my poem was selected for a school anthology of poetry. I was a little confused because I couldn’t recall what I submitted. When I saw what was in my copy of the anthology, I wanted to barf! It was the contents of my sheet of paper- the copied limerick from the card!

When I got home, I tried to explain what happened to my parents and maybe I was so intimidated by them that it didn’t come out right, maybe it would, but it didn’t. They thought I willfully turned in that paper. I got so verbally chastised that I felt like a monster, myself! Oh, I was told that as a plagiarizer,(yeah they jumped that far) I could go to juvenile hall or get fined by the government. Add to that, they let it be known that I couldn’t have possibly come up something so well done as that! My eleven year old brain, writing and vocabulary were simply that of a filthy chimpanzee. Well, that was a fun month. I knew that one day, I would write something of equal value. Ok, it took awhile, but I think I have. In fact, one of my books, “Ha-Ha! Horror,” won an award for humor. A gold medal.

My next book, “Bride of Ha-Ha! Horror,” was nominated for a Rondo Classic Horror award. I’m working on the upcoming book, “Son of Ha-Ha! Horror.” Each book has over 500 Bad Monster Jokes, rhymes, cartoons, song parody lyrics, etc.

Rhymes and jokes like…

Why was Wolfman mad at his health care provider?

They won’t pay for his FLEA DIPS!

What’s the Phantom of the Opera’s favorite coffee drink?

“La-la-la-la-la-la-la-la-LATTE!”

It’s raining, it’s pouring.

The old Vampire Bat is soaring,

Across the lake to flee the stakes,

That Van Helsing is carving and scoring.

After all of that, do I love or loathe the Creature Feature cards? LOVE! It’s the only answer. The cards are a form of monster fun and entertainment as well as a reminder of what it’s like to see a path and follow it, no matter how long it takes . To get there and take those steps. Knowing in your heart, that you have what it takes to do it.

If you’re interested in hunting down these cards, they are relatively easy to find, not too expensive. They are a blast! If you need a note from your stepmother for cigarettes, you’re on your own.

Werewolf - Power Records

Retro Records: The Curse of The Werewolf!

I’m not sure when you were first introduced to the concept of the Werewolf. But as in fact I’ve mentioned before – I learned all about it thanks to this 1975 poster. One that at the tender age of three years old I pulled from a box of Sugar Crisp!

Images courtesy of the Classic Movie Monsters Blog.

Now I didn’t really get bit with the Werewolf bug until seeing 1941’s The Wolf Man. Starring some rather legendary actors. Like Bela Lugosi, Claude Rains, Ralph Bellamy, and of course Lon Chaney, Jr.

After catching that film on TV during the Late, Late Show I was hooked. While I was a Universal Monster fan from an early age. It would be not just The Wolf Man but anything Werewolf related that would demand my attention. Which is probably how I ended up watching 1981’s An American Werewolf in London at only nine years old!

Which naturally bring us around to our Retro Records offering for today. A 1974 Power Records 45 rpm entitled “The Curse of the Werewolf!”. In addition it features artwork by Mike Ploog and even Gene Colan. I should add that it at the very least looks like Gene Colan provided the artwork for the scenes involving Dracula.

Furthermore – this is a record that could only have come from the 70s! Like some of the others we have shared such as Kojak as well as Man-Thing. The story is rather dark to say the very least.
Werewolf

So without further ado join us on Retro Records as we listen to The Curse of the Werewolf!

[Via] Mister GrayMan

Universal Monsters: Old Maid

Back in 1964 Milton Bradley added creepy to Old Maid by releasing a set of cards featuring the Universal Monsters. The age range for the game is children 5 to 10.

Nineteen monster-themed cards are included in the set with an additional instruction card. Characters in the set include Dracula, Frankenstein, The Wolf Man, a werewolf, The Phantom of the Opera, The Mummy, Dracula’s Daughter, The Hunchback of Notre Dame and a teenage werewolf. The cards measured 3-1/2″x5-6/8″. The backs all had a spider web with the word “MONSTER” written horizontally across it.

One would think the Bride of Frankenstein would be the Old Maid but she isn’t. She’s included in the set but it’s Dracula’s Daughter who is the featured star of the game There are 2 cards of each monster in the set except for the Dracula’s Daughter who has only one.

This makes a great collectible and isn’t too expensive on eBay if you can find one. If you have children it’s a great game to play with them on a Saturday afternoon in October.