“Ask Dr. Hal! 3.0: Conversations with Dr. Hal!”
DARK ROOM THEATER
2263 Mission St. San Francisco, California
[Near Mission & 19th Sts.]
EAST BAY ASK DR. HAL! FANS TAKE NOTE: 2 BLOCKS SOUTH
OF THE 16th ST. B.A.R.T. STATION ON MISSION…
WEDNESDAY, August 5th!
THE FIRST WEDNESDAY IN AUGUST…
TEN P.M. SHARP!
==DOORS OPEN FOR THE SHOW AT 9:30 PM==
THE PRE-SHOW begins about Nine-Thirty. We will be starting as close to Ten PM as we can. Despite a long history of lagging audiences, we won’t hold the curtain as we have in the past–
WE CLOSE before Midnight, to give our East Bay friends the chance to catch the last train from the 16th St. BART Station, 2 blocks North of the DARK ROOM [departs about 12:20 AM]
Admission $10.00 or what you can… no one turned away…
S L I- I- I- I- I D I N G S C A L E !
The Dr. Hal Report
Vol. XI No. 1
Is a new beginning, a raid on the inarticulate
With shabby equipment always deteriorating
In the general mess of imprecision of feeling.
— T.S. Eliot
Four Quartets (1943), Burnt Norton
THIS WEEK’S SECRETLY FAMOUS ‘GUEST CHICKEN’
IN OUR ROTISSERIE OF HOSTS WILL BE…
The Dark Room’s own Sinister Svengali–
Lead Singer & Guitar Player for Rats of Unusual Size!
Chicken John came back from his European Adventure– but now he’s gone again! Or, you
could just classify him as still gone– we mean real gone, Daddy-O, dig? Rumor has it that
he’s in Cape Cod, perhaps hanging out with the Kennedys. (Hey, it worked for Arnold Alois
Schwarzenegger). Anyhoo, until we get going at his place once again (see NEWS, below),
our show will continue to be hosted by a rotating series of “Chickens,” or “Mock Chickens,”
if you will. And this week the coveted role of Chicken will be interpreted by the redoubtable Jim
Fourniadis, actor, performer, stage manager and impresario. He plays the banjo, too!
UNIQUE ANIMATED CARTOON PRESENTATION!
LONESOME LENNY (1946)
Another in our series of
the best American cartoons!
Lovingly selected–by KrOB…
One of the most obnoxious cartoon characters ever devised– and that’s saying a lot–
was MGM’s Screwy Squirrel. Ever heard of him? It’s not too surprising if you haven’t– he
wasn’t very popular with the public. Starting in Screwball Squirrel (1944), the squirrelly
little fellow starred in a series of cartoons (Happy-Go-Nutty, 1944, Big Heel-Watha, ’44,
Screwy Truant, ’45, etc.) directed by the legendary Tex Avery, who has been called (by
some) the King of Cartoons. An unpleasant, aggressive personality, a devotion to
mindless, sadistic mayhem and– that voice! An unbelievably irritating, adenoidal buzz–
oh, it suited him well, but is hard to take, we kid you not. Well, this is the very cartoon in
which Avery killed the little bastard off. That’s right (is this a “spoiler?”) he dies in the end.
And the agent of his demise is none other than the titular Lenny, a well-meaning, slow-witted canine who’s too strong for his own good. In fact, Lenny is a take-off on Lennie from John
Steinbeck’s Of Mice and Men– the role played in the (Hal Roach) movie by Lon Chaney Jr.,
who’s perhaps better known as the Wolf Man, Universal Pictures’ durable werewolf from
numerous monster rallies. This is all backstory and not really necessary to enjoy Lonesome
Lenny, a creative and at times brilliant cascade of gags and pratfalls in the best tradition of
the classic American theatrical cartoon. Featuring the hyperkinetic musical stylings of Scott
Bradley. As always, our show will start the very moment the cartoon concludes. Come in
time not to miss it, folks, or you’ll probably otherwise never, ever see it…
HORRIFYING KLASSIC KrOB MONSTER EDIT:
“Swift Vengeance of the Chelonians!”
From the depths of interstellar space they come– unearthly beings evolved under a remote
and alien sun. Down from the sky in star-spanning ships, masters of an unknown technology who
could release actinic energies far in advance of humanity’s primitive gunpowder and nuclear weapons,
these sapient creatures are completely non-terrestrial in provenance– of a different clay. Able to
deal severely, with terrifying ruthlessness, with any bumbling monkey-boy humanoids who unwisely
oppose them, the creatures from space are revealed as… turtles. Well, that’s a surprise. But, really,
should it be, when we note what evolutionary forces have brought about during the development of
life on our own planet? Actually, they’re the descendants of tortoise-like ancestors– it’s been aeons
since they resembled earthly terrapins. But you don’t want to mess with ’em. No way, no how.
These guys don’t just lie around under a plastic palm tree. Beware… beware! Yes, it’s another
caustic cautionary fable served up by krafty KrOB. Where does he get this footage? Sometimes it’s
better not to know. In dynamic, artistic stop-motion animation– the Divine Art. Scientific! Provoking!
Educational! View it all on our (somewhat) Giant Screen. It’s just one small fractal fragment of the
totality to be experienced at our unique and well-travelled night club show; once more we bring its
unusual brand of conviviality and information to an outré but receptive audience. Not for children
or those easily shocked.
CONSULTING DR. HOWLAND OWLL
“DR.” HAL: MOLDY MOUNTEBANK with DEBATABLE DOCTORATE or INSPIRING INNOVATOR
effortlessly ENTERTAINING with INORDINATE INTELLIGENCE? Questions answered, concerns
addressed– a personal Ministry. Come and see for yourself. Bardic Episodes remain an unavoidable
side effect. Private consultations available. No refunds.
Read the latest interview with Dr. Hal on Laughing Squid’s Blog:
[“Social Notes” will return in our next issue.]
ADH FORCED TO MOVE FROM S.P.A.C.E.
OUR LAST VENUE THE LATEST VICTIM IN “WAR ON FUN” IN NEWSOM‘S SAN FRANCISCO
San Francisco – Fanatical zealots at the ABC (Alcoholic Beverage Commission) struck again last month to
close down S.P.A.C.E., the locus of the much-loved room where the Ask Dr. Hal! show had so many enjoyable
recent performances. Throwing their weight around in the manner of all such petty tyrants, plainclothes ABC
goons seized equipment and dragged the sound man off to jail for merely inquiring, “Are you going to take my
gear?” the Dr. Hal Report has learned. Now S.P.A.C.E. and its beleaguered director Skot Kuiper face an
uncertain future, including a criminal record and disproportionately enormous fine from the bullying agency. The
crime? Attempting to host a fund-raiser and allowing alcohol sales on the premises.
Unwillingly exiled from S.P.A.C.E. and its J.R. “Bob” Dobbs Memorial Hall, the Ask Dr. Hal! show now moves
to San Francisco’s Dark Room Theater on colorful Mission Street near 19th. Meanwhile, S.P.A.C.E. joins the
many other sufferers of short-sighted, punitive and crypto-fascist bureaucratico-police overreaction, including
Bottom of the Hill, Cafe du Nord, DNA Lounge, Glas Kat, the Great American Music Hall, Slim’s and now
the Mission Hill Saloon, where Paul de Jong’s Kareoke Nights are the most recent victim. Read about it at
http://stopthewaronfun.org and visit the site to join, donate and learn whom to e-mail. Let your state and local
officials know that you want to protect live entertainment and that you want effective citizen oversight for the
This is no laughing matter if you think it at all important, as we do, to preserve and protect live music and
entertainment in California during a time of economic downturn and potential societal degradation. While small
businesses are failing left and right and Californians everywhere could use a lift, the ABC has decided to step up
harassment of bars, clubs, dance halls and live venues of all types. Remember, these clubs aren’t accused of
serving alcohol to minors. Nor are they accused of attracting crime or violence. They’ve simply been attempting to
present entertainment to all-ages audiences.
To donate to Skot Kuiper of S.P.A.C.E., who is confronting ruinously expensive legal proceedings, send your
contributions to 354 5th St., San Francisco 94107.
STUDIO SPACE AVAILABLE AT S.P.A.C.E.
The home of S.F.’s FCC Free Radio studio, S.P.A.C.E. has other studios currently available at reasonable
(bargain) rates. The building is conveniently located to BART and public transportation and offers a multitude of
advantages. Contact Skot if interested (and renting these two studios would help his financial challenges) at
The studios available are $395 and $495 monthly. “They are work-only creative spaces,” Skot tells us, “and open
to many interpretations of how that’s utilized.”
FALSE ASK DR. HAL! SHOW AT CHEZ POULET COMPETES, NIGHT OF AUGUST 5TH
CHICKEN’S TENANTS DEFY HIS WISHES, RUN GAME SHOW IN HIS ABSENCE
The same night the newest version of Ask Dr. Hal! debuts before the public, a rival question-and-answer show
will make its bows, at, ironically, our own Chez Poulet Gallery-Cabaret. As announced recently on Facebook, Mr.
Rick Abruzzo will present What’s Your Answer? in the former home of ADH. The irony lies in the fact that when
Chicken left he said he didn’t want us to do the show at its home venue while he was away because he didn’t
want an audience of “strangers” entering his house while he was away from home, soiling his linen and
pilfering his power tools. That’s why Ask Dr. Hal! has been, ever since then, a homeless orphan, wandering from
one ill-starred venue to another. Although we‘re pleased as punch to have landed this month at the very congenial
Dark Room Theater, it’s naturally vexing to be barred from our true home turf while an inauthentic rival presumes
to steal our basic concept and our audience. “Now that the Ask Dr. Hal! show has moved to the SOMA,” Abruzzo
has proclaimed, “there is a big, gaping hole in the entertainment division here at Chez Poulet. A hole I intend to
fill.” Meanwhile, we‘re banking on at least a few of our most constant attendees to join us at the Dark Room, although
less loyal thrill-seekers may well troop to 3359 Army (Cesar Chavez) St. to see how others, including popular favorites
Mike Spiegelman (from Spiegelmania) and Sean Kelly interpret our own patented question-answering specialty. Ah,
if it were only possible to attend both shows! Friends, we’re here to tell you: that possibility exists! Theirs runs from 8-11
PM; ours starts at 10 PM and runs to 11:30! Ergo, for the adventurous theatre-goer, show-hopping could be a reality.
See an hour and a half of their show, then scoot a few blocks up Mission to see the hour and a half of our show.
It can be done! Why, we’d go ourselves– if we weren’t occupied…
ADH TO RETURN TO CHEZ POULET GALLERY-CABARET FRIDAYS IN SEPTEMBER ’09
In a recent communication, Grand Ringmonster “Chicken” John Rinaldi has proposed that the Ask Dr. Hal! show
start again at Chez Poulet on Fridays, beginning September 11th, and continue to do Fridays until such time as he
decides to do something else. The returning show would start at 9:00, with 1/2 hour of “pre-show whatever” and the
main body of the show for the remaining hour, under this plan. Tyler, our once and future Technical Director, is to be
tapped to be the “sound guy” and to record and edit video. Those who prefer the show take place only at this venue
should be pleased– if, that is, mercurial Chicken refrains from changing his plans at the last minute once again…
VISIT “PUZZLING EVIDENCE TV on YOU TUBE for MANY, MANY VISITS to the ASK Dr. HAL! SHOW and Dr. Hal’s Pals n’ Gals!