Posts filed under ‘Slam Bang Theatre’
Just in time for Halloween! The late night live action/horror movie thriller Nightmare was KTVT Channel 11’s (Dallas-Ft. Worth, TX) contribution towards frightening kids and adults alike. Bill Camfield, of Slam Bang Theatre fame, starred as Gorgon, the master of an evil black & white celluloid domain. As the show began, the camera would zoom down a forbidding corridor while Gorgon would introduce the premise of the film with a related live action sub-plot. Whether it was pretty girls being threatened by a swinging pendulum, killing vampires, or just general mayhem, Gorgon set the mood!
Captain Kangaroo, Mr. Rogers, Mr. Peppermint, Icky Twerp…screech!!! Icky Twerp? Icky was different. Slam Bang Theatre was different. Not better, not worse just…different! Gone was the candy sweetness which
typified the live kid shows of the era. Instead, SBT portrayed an almost Vaudvillian brand of slap stick reminiscent of the Three Stooges. Slam Bang Theatre aired mornings & afternoons in all if its live black & white glory on KTVT-TV Channel 11 (“Live-ly 11” from Ft. Worth, Texas) from the late 50’s until the early 70’s. The name and theme music lived on until much later but there was no live action “drama”, just cartoons.
Icky Twerp experiences fine dining at the “Toemain Palace”, years ahead of Anthony Bourdain!
With him in his run-down television abode were his ape-faced pals Ajax, Delphinium and Arkadelphia who were always fighting over some trivial matter or getting into some kind of trouble. Fortunately Icky would always straighten them out in time for the next cartoon.
Sometimes he and his pals would be civil enough to play together in the Slam Bang Theatre Orchestra which was usually organized mayhem with “Nairobi Trio” undertones. As sidekicks go, these guys were more readily identified with than the “cutesy” sidekicks of other kid shows.
Cartoon favorites on SBT included Felix the Cat, the original Hercules and Popeye The Sailor (the original high quality 50’s version and the cheaper, but patio, Al Brodax version).
Slam Bang Theatre also introduced my generation to the Three Stooges which luckily has been perserved via the small screen. Produced during the 30’s and 40’s as theater short, the Three Stooges was revived by television and are still going strong today. Politically incorrect as the stooges were, they seemed to fit in with the overall SBT theme. One writer fondly remembered that at an early age he thought the Three Stooges were actually Icky Twerp’s home movies! I would take that as a compliment.