Ask Dr. Hal! Postponed– Show begins 11/5/’08

October 28th, 2008


Long–Running Popular Show Delays Re-opening
at Avant Art Gallery Space Until Following Week

SAN FRANCISCO – October 28th – After frenzied preparations, the long-anticipated
re-birth of the cult favorite, the Ask Dr. Hal! Show has experienced a last-minute
postponement of a full week, this space has learned just today.

ADH Science expert Pete Goldie relayed the sad news piercingly early this morning, as
groggy minds struggled to make sense of this unexpected, unwelcome development.
After nearly half a year on hiatus, as financial institutions crumble worldwide, traditional
venues experience a wave of closings and a worried public looks to new sources of
entertainment, the award-winning (in the Bay Guardian) question-and-answer-science-night-club-show Ask Dr. Hal! had promised to resume its run, two days before the conclusion of the month-long festival of Halloween and in the shadow of a looming national election.
Unfortunately, Ringmonster and General Factotum “Chicken” John Rinaldi, preparing to return from a fact-finding junket to New York State, made an eleventh-hour decision to
suspend the resumption of Ask Dr. Hal! for one final week further, pleading exhaustion.
It was a bitter blow for those who have unceasingly labored to construct the all-new Ask
Dr. Hal!
stage and re-fit the exciting new venue for the show, the prestigious Jean Poulet Gallery at 3359 Cesar Chavez (Army) Street between Mission and South Van Ness.

KrOB “Crushed”

Ask Dr. Hal! Music and Video Director KrOB retreated to his Church Street adytum, clearly rocked by the news. This space has already previewed the inaugural “edit” the reclusive genius has prepared for the return of S.F.’s most recondite entertainment, the story of a friendless Venusian visitor to this planet, tormented by dogs, farmers and the U.S. Air Force in the Italian countryside. The lengthy clip with the “KrOB touch” was all ready to go, even incorporating a never-before-seen Dream Sequence featuring chickens, showgirls, rearing horses and other Freudian symbols. But this exciting video will still be shown next week in its entirety. For the time being, consolations can be sent to KrOB via his My Space page.

Chicken “Overwhelmed” by Marine Salvage Operation

Returning to the locale of “Swimming Cities of the Switchback Sea,” a.k.a. “Chicken’s Folly,” before heading to S.F. to resume the Ask Dr. Hal! Show, impresario Chicken John had intended to enact the concluding duties of that massive project, which earlier this year found him attempting to shepherd a flotilla of soi-dissant “Art Boats” down the length of the treacherous Hudson River from Troy, N.Y. to New York Harbor. Much has been related elsewhere of the adventures of that group, the collisions, swampings and sinkings, the unaccountable arrest, and even more unaccountable release, of Ben Burke and the attack by the New York Harbor Patrol on the valiant pioneers, not to mention the various and numerous physical injuries suffered by Chicken himself. But it seems the renowned showman found himself overwhelmed by the massive scale of the final phase of the project. “Do you know,” came the familiar, hoarse voice at the other end of the line, “that I gotta pull these !!@#&%?! boats outa the !!@#&%?! river all by myself, all covered with !!@#&%?! barnacles and slime? And now– it’s !!@#&%?! raining on me! No- wait, it’s actually !!@#&%?! hailing on me! !!@#&%?!”
Chicken had to cancel yesterday’s flight to S.F. and may be flying in tonight, though this
remains to be seen.

Dr. Hal Goes “Back to the Drawing Board”

ADH headliner Dr. Howland Owll has already begun work on re-formatting the show for its new opening date.
“We were preparing for a Halloween-oriented, pre-election presentation,” Dr. Hal relates.
“Now all that has to go by the board– no political humor, no skulls and other seasonal set
dressing– and of course, a completely different concluding poem. We have a week to get
it ready, though, and through the years in this business we’ve learned to roll with the
“Our main concern, though, is that some of our audience may go to 3359 Cesar Chavez on
this Wednesday hoping to see the show and be turned away. It’s important to get the word
out: Don’t go this week– come next Wednesday.”

All-New Stage

When that day arrives, visitors to the gallery will be surprised at its most recent re-configuration, including the massive new, high-tech Ask Dr. Hal! stage and seating area. Scientifically constructed by a crew which includes at least one top-flight scientist, the stage is built to survive earthquakes and other natural disasters. Among its features are such amenities as shag carpeting and a “cage” to contain the volatile KrOB.

Classic Cartoon will Open New Show

One thrilling new attraction to be offered by the newest iteration of Ask Dr. Hal! will be the pre-show screening of a different animated cartoon just before each performance begins, seven minutes of the best theatrical shorts ever committed to film. Part of our nation’s cultural heritage, these all-too-rarely seen featurettes deserve wide exposure, transcending as they do the limited horizons of Hanna-Barbera and the Cartoon Channel’s contemporary hack-work. KrOB and Dr. Hal have long believed that this material is ripe for a comeback. As fans of the great animation director Bob Clampett, they are proud to inaugurate this new Ask Dr. Hal! “teaser” with the showing of the Porky Pig masterpiece, Prehistoric Porky (1940). “Clampett keeps the action moving so that nearly
every scene is a hoot. I recommend it.” –Lee Eisenberg

Old Favorites Return

Long-time fans of the show will be pleased to learn that its time-tested format will be, to all intents and purposes, unchanged; astronomer Pete Goldie and computer whiz David “Yo-yo King” Capurro will still enact their usual parts. And, of course, KrOB will be on the job, presiding over the Synchtron 3000TM keyboard with his usual aplomb.

Multiple Monitor Screens

Among the newest technical innovations planned for this latest, ultra high-tech ultimate version of Ask Dr. Hal!, a number of screens are planned to expand the video projection element which has heretofore distinguished these improvisatory performances. Pre-show entertainment may include previews of future KrOB’s Film Farm outings, and much, much more. And of course, during the show, the beloved KrOB “edits” from obscure Monster Movies will shine as never before.

No Booze? B.Y.O.B. Recommended

A plethora of city codes and a mare’s nest of possible fines and zoning violations from a hyperactive, eager-beaver local government dictate our newest policy: where alcohol is concerned, audience members are encouraged to “bring their own.” Until certain pending legal issues are settled, no bar as such will be provided.

Every Wednesday, on into Futurity!

The most novel aspect of plans for the revived show is that there is not now any closing date planned or decreed. That’s right! Now that we can book the show ourselves, in its own performance space, no drug-addled rock club owner can “suddenly” remember that a show date is pre-empted by an Electric Rutabagas concert, benefit or other more profitable enterprise. It will play on Wednesdays at 9:00 PM, and that is that. Consideration will be given to those who must catch the last B.A.R.T. train at 12:17 AM
from the 24th St. Mission Station back to the wilds of the East Bay. Translation: we’ll be starting earlier.

How to Experience the Show Now

Ask Dr. Hal! will be available for the last time this week as a two-hour radio show on unaffiliated Pirate Cat Radio, 87.9 FM, Wednesday night from 10PM to Midnight. Usually present in the studio are Dr. Hal, Pete Goldie and KrOB. Multiple mystery guests have also appeared. An unlicensed, low-powered community radio station broadcasting on 87.9 megahertz to the San Francisco Bay Area, the Los Angeles Basin and Berlin, Germany, PCR will proudly present a live transmission of the stage show from November 5th onward. For now, tune in, or play any of six weeks of archived show on streaming audio by going to –and clicking on Ask Dr. Hal!
For an ultra-entertaining (Adult-themed) video clip from the radio show featuring Dr. Hal, KrOB, Pete Goldie and the appearance of special guests Presidential Candidate John McTaint and vivacious wife Sindi McTaint, go to:

        Senator John and Sindi McTaint on Ask Dr Hal 8/20/2008

See you next week!