Comic Adaptations of Frankenstein
As early as 1933, the Whale-Karloff production
(1931) had transmuted into such cartoon derivatives as "Betty Boop's
Penthouse" (1933), "Mickey's Gala Premiere" (Disney), and and "Bosko's
Mechanical Man," a six-minute Looney Tunes release from Warner Brothers.
Warner Brothers produced a steady stream of adaptations of and allusions
to Frankenstein, including "Porky's Road Race" (1937, with an
animated Borax Karoff), "Porky's Movie Mystery" (1939), "Sniffles and the
Bookworm" (1939), "Hollywood Steps Out" (1941, in which the Monster dances
a conga), Bugs Bunny in "What's Cookin' Doc" (1944), "Hare Conditioned"
(1945), and "Hare Tonic" (1945), and "The Great Piggy Bank Robbery"
(1946). Other animated works include "Magoo Meets Frankenstein" (1960),
in which the Monster has a chicken's brain; Mr. Magoo, Man of
Mystery (1967); and the feature-length Man Called Flintstone
In 1934 The Inventors (directed by Al Christie) portrayed Colonel
Lemuel Q. Stoopnagle's creation of Stoopenstein, who later goes out of
control. The Monster makes an appearance in the musical comedy
Joseph Kesselring made Karloff's distinctive appearance a central part of
his Broadway version of Arsenic and Old Lace, although Frank
Capra was unable to convince Karloff to take the role in the 1941 film
version (released 1944).
In 1948, Bud Abbott and Lou Costello took on the Wolfman, Dracula, the
Invisible Man, and Frankenstein's Monster in Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein,
featuring Glenn Strange as the Creature. (Karloff, by this time seeking
to escape the role that made him famous, agreed to pose for publicity
photos "as long as I don't have to see the movie.")
Other comic adaptations include:
- The Bowery Boys Meet the Monsters (1954).
- Young Frankenstein (1974).
- The Rocky Horror Picture Show (1975)
features Tim Curry as the alien transvestite, Doctor Frank N. Furter, who
creates the Arian Rocky.
- Tim Burton's Frankenweenie (1984)
- The black comedy Frankenhooker (1990), directed by Frank