Halloween TV: Hollywood, the Munsters and Alice Cooper

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Back in the mid-to-late ’70s, Alice Cooper was semi-famously a “member” of the Hollywood Vampires, a hard-drinking club that closed the Rainbow Bar and Grill on Sunset Blvd. nightly, alongside Harry Nilsson, Ringo Starr, Keith Moon, Micky Dolenz, and a couple of times John Lennon as an honorary member.

Cooper had in that time performed a song on the Muppet Show (see vid below), appeared on Hollywood Squares, made starry-eyed cameos, and created his TV special Welcome to My Nightmare. Cooper once got a pass out of rehab — he was still pretty shaky — to appear in the ill-advised Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band remake debacle. He dated Raquel Welch at her hottest. ...

Point is, the Detroit-born Coop was very “Hollywood” — rehab stints, TV, drive-in movies (ever see Roadie?), comely movie stars, all alongside Top 10 songs and gold albums — before it was cool for rock ’n’ roll stars go anywhere near Tinseltown. But Cooper’s irony was as thick as backstabber breath in L.A., and hardcore Alice fans the world over howled “sellout” as his inside jokes soared straight over their heads.

Having said all that, and considering Cooper’s contribution to theatrical scares, it makes sense then that he spend Halloween hosting The Monstrous Munster Mash on WGN, from 10 a.m. – 7 p.m. What’s attractive about this isn’t the 18 actual episodes of the Munsters that’ll be screened as much as Coop’s commentary between each, which promises to be anecdotally rich. The half-hour ’60s show based on a family rooted in Dracula and Frankenstein creations was a popular launchpad (or graveyard) for classic guest-star oddballs including Paul LyndeLeo DurocherCharlie CallasDom DeLuise, Jane Withers, Harvey Korman, Bonnie Franklin, Ken Osmond, many of whom crossed paths with the Coop over the years. And what of the fetching, raven-headed Yvonne De Carlo?


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