January 11th, 2009
The Dr. Hal Report
Vol. IX                                                                      No. 11
“Now the New Year reviving old desires,
The thoughtful soul to Solitude retires,
Where the white hand of Moses on the bough
Puts out, and Jesus from the ground suspires.”
                        –Edward Fitzgerald’s translation of  The Rubaiyat of Omar Khayam
A S we tread with farther footsteps into the new-fledged year year, the Ask Dr. Hal!
show girds up its loins for the coming struggle with the Philistines. We’ve got memorable ancillary
acts for you this time, and more surprises than usual. Particularly surprising, indeed never before
seen on Ask Dr. Hal’s Giant Screen will be KrOB’s Monster Mythology Moment– that unrivaled
moment… when…
         KrOB, San Francisco, Presents:
(A Medieval Matchup with a Towering Two-Headed Terror )
–Another unforgettable KrOB “Edit!”
 View it all on our Giant Screen (or, if you care to, on our “size-challenged” screen). But, before that…
Just before every performance begins, we screen a great animated cartoon– each one seven minutes
of the best theatrical shorts ever committed to film. Last week we brought you, as promised, an absolutely
incredible Bob Clampett cartoon, Book Revue (1945). If you missed this one, you should hate yourself.
But even if you did, you could make up (somewhat) for the psychic damage so inflicted (at least a little) by
coming this week and taking in KrOB’s Kartoon Klassic for January 14th:: One of our personal favorites–
The Old Man of the Mountain (1933), featuring perennially popular Betty Boop, eternal starlet of the
Fleischer Cartoon Studio. The third and final of the Fleischer cartoons pairing Betty Boop and Cab
Calloway, who provides the voices of all the characters save for Betty herself (voiced, as ever, by the
immortal Mae Questel), the music-driven film soars on the talents of Calloway and his Orchestra.
Calloway performs all of the music you’ll hear, including three of his own songs. This cartoon is its own
reason for being, and it would be superfluous to say much more. It will leave you walking out of our show
humming and singing the catchy, zippy titular tune. Now in the public domain, this film is not particularly
hard to see, if you care to make the effort to catch up with it, but it is our pleasure to provide it for our
audience on our Big Screen, since we are adamant in our belief that it should be seen. As is frequently
the case with these selections, when it was first shown it attracted the unwelcome attention of would-be
censors. According to film historian Christopher Lehman, the sexually suggestive nature of this film
caused “some Americans at the time, especially Catholics” to complain to exhibitors, who subsequently
pressured Paramount Studios (which distributed the Betty Boop series) and Fleischer Studios to “tone
down” (e.g. de-sexualize) the Betty Boop character. According to Lehman, “In dispensing with the African
American entertainers and their music after limiting the ‘Betty Boop’ series’ sexual references, [Max]
Fleischer thus acknowledged the widely assumed connection between raciness and Blackness.” After
1934, African American jazz music would no longer appear in Betty Boop cartoons, and she
metamporphosed into a more conservative, mature, domestic character who often played a supporting
role in her own cartoons. But we guarantee that no censorship will be in evidence at the Chez Poulet
Gallery-Cabaret– we are, as always, taking pains to give you the whole thing, complete and uncut. So join
us this Wednesday night, won’t you? –in time to catch up with yet another treasure of your Nation’s once-
flourishing but now (that the Conspiracy has dumbed it all down) mostly vanished popular culture.
Remember, our show will start right up at the very moment the cartoon ends. So be on time!
” This is one of the “Big Three” Betty Boop films featuring the singing of Cab Calloway and rotoscoped
animation based on his movements. (A)nd this is the one that begins with actual footage of Calloway
and his band in the title sequence…  (It’s) a weird study in lechery as Betty works her way through a
landscape of horny characters ogling her gartered gams on her way to visit the Old Man, who drools
and slavers all over her (Keep R. Crumb and his… Comix cohorts in mind as you watch).  BIZARRE
cartooning – just as we like it.”
                                                                      –Albert Steg, The Big Cartoon Database
This is an understatement: KrOB decided to come up with… an unusual monster this time. We’ve had
dinosaurs, giant dragons, satyr-like giants, 10-ton fish, mile-long serpents, monstrously enlarged spiders and
centipedes and even flying brains (but not recently, come to think of it– perhaps it’s time to bring those guys
back for another go), outsized octopuses– you name it. But you’ve never seen any creature on screen to compare
in flat-out bizarre biological strangeness than the towering Ebersisk. We swear, you’re not going to know what
you’re looking at. Technically a type of two-headed dragon, this stop (and go)-motion creation (animated by Ray
Harryhausen school maestro Dr. Phil Tippett) beats all the rules and standards in the weird department. It just
doesn’t resemble anything you’ve ever seen.The life-cycle of Ebersisk(s) is not clear, though the Hairy Troll, a
haunter of ruined castles and fortifications, bears the complete template for the monster, potentially, within its ichor,
or magic blood. When abruptly slain (by a metal sword) the Troll’s corpse immediately issues forth an Ebersisk
(sometimes called an Eborsisk) in its entirety. Drawing from outside the universe the magical energy known as
mana, the bifurcated dragon grows in a matter of mere seconds to a huge and unmanageable size. In the
Bestiary, the Ebersisk is said by some to represent the dual (e.g. Satanic) nature of Evil, which maliciously
proclaims the Two (God and Satan) over the One (the Almighty Spirit). Thus representative of Manichaeanism,
the creature is born from the body of a Troll, representing its origin from Error. It is also said that the creature’s
name derived from two ancient critics, Roger de Ebertius and Eugenius Siskelius, whose two heads rarely agreed
on anything. But these are hair-splittings for scholars and schoolmen– all you need to do is hold on to your seats
for one Hell of a KrOB “Monster Clip.” Narrated, as always, by Dr. Hal.
We’re fortunate in having this week, for your delectation and edification, the estimable Benjamin Burke (Stars & Garters,
Apocalypse Stagecoach, Curse of the Goddamned Ship, etc., etc.) Mr. Burke may entertain the house with one of his
rousing sea-chanteys, or declaim verse of his own composition. Whatever he plans to do for us, the multi-talented Mr.
Burke is sure to be a crowd-pleaser. Be sure to give him lots of room– he takes big steps.
“The ukulele is a symbol of innocent merriment.”
                                                                               –Paradise of the Pacific, 1917.
The ukulele has found its way into the hearts of American music lovers for over 80 years, since it was first seen on the
U.S. mainland at the 1915 Pan-Pacific International Exposition in San Francisco. We all know “ukulele” is a Hawaiian
word (the usual way haoles, or mainlanders, say the word is “you-ka-LAY-lee.” The correct pronunciation is actually
“oo-koo-LEH-leh”). So there. Some people have been known to shorten this word to “uke,” but purists naturally frown on
this impertinent abbreviation, and who are we to disagree? Anyway, just imagine the plaintive plunking of the “jumping
flea” on a warm, flowery island shore, among the soothing susurrus of phosphorescent waves rolling up the shingle of a
white-sand beach, as the sweet-scented air of a Pacific evening offshore breeze o’erwhelms the senses ‘neath the
rhythmic swaying of tropic palms. OK, imagine that and then transport the whole megilla to Chicken John’s Jean
Poulet Gallery-Cabaret. There, a breathtaking beauty (we’ve just found out as we go to press she goes by Megan
Fenske), ideally (barely) clad in a traditional grass skirt, will serenade our lucky, lucky audience. By the shade of the late
Arthur Godfrey! Only the best at Ask Dr. Hal!
The Po’Bucket Family are authentic mountain people who Chicken’s been renting living space to in his cavernous domain.
They (no one in fact has been able to determine just how many there are) reside, appropriately to the stereotype, in the
ridiculously small trailer located just above our Ask Dr. Hal! stage, behind KrOB’s station. Quite often, however, the sound of
an ongoing show brings them out of their lair like a swarm of backwoods bees or hayseed hornets. When this happens, the
show may suffer a momentary interruption. Chicken squeezes every penny out of that property, by the way. Just about
every viable space there has at least one tenant– and some not-so-viable spaces as well. We can’t tell you just to “ignore
them,” as that is beyond anyone’s powers, when the family suddenly erupts in mid-show. Just proffer a big Howdy-do! to
Family Units Moses, Spy and (of course) li’l Lucky.
Yes, Frank is back! And we’ve got him! At least that’s how we keep advertising it. Truth is, the easily distracted
Mr. Chu has been a no-show (a no-no) at our last couple o’ shows. But we still have confidence that at some time
during our next show, and indeed during (nearly) every future show, by special arrangement, the perennial
protester/holy man, protest sign grasped firmly in hand, the living institution after whose oracular rantings the late,
great 12 Galaxies night club was named, will ascend the stage once again– and deliver a rapid-fire, impassioned,
incomprehensible bromide. Believe us, no one can figure out what he’s talking about. It’s kind of an Invocation,
we guess, wherein we request the blessings of and endorse the presence of Chicken John’s favorite deities,
Randomness and Chaos. You may rely on it (as the Talking 8-Ball says).  Go, Frank, go! Often, when he bothers
to show up, we’ve even got him answering questions! At least, we once did.
David “Yo-Yo Pro” Capurro provides a running visual commentary as the show progresses. We mention a topic,
and almost instantly there’s a related image up on the screen. To see what that means, you’ve got to watch the guy
in action. IJ (Internet Jockey) Capurro, also known for his alter-identity Yo-Yo Pro, one of the original Monsters of Yo-Yo
and Master Yo-Yo Manipulator extraordinaire, brings his own fan club with him, thus swelling our attendance– just one
of the reasons we love him. “Cappy” keeps the show connected to the digital world, though all the while scheming to
bilk Chicken of as many free shots as his inserted questions can receive, as they are rewarded in this curious fashion for
their excellence and entertainment value. Sometimes he shows pictures of us. Who knows? Maybe he’ll suddenly put
up one of you, one you never knew existed. What a sense of humor the guy has. But we guess you really have to be
there to appreciate this. So, be there!
ADH Science expert Pete Goldie will lead attendees through the endless reaches of the universe in his continuing
segment, “Waste of Space.” Pete will be on hand this week too, to present more of the newest discoveries made in
the eternal realms of the unfathomable void. Now astronomers looking at the spectacular supersonic plumes of gas
and dust shooting from Saturn’s shepherd moon Enceladus say there are strong hints of liquid water, a key building
block of  life. These plumes, which travel at an estimated speed of more than 1,360 mph, just might be ice particles, not
liquid. But such velocities strongly indicate the presence of liquid in the eruption of the mysterious moon, one of 60
circling the giant gas planet. In all likelihood, both ice particles and water vapor shoot from the South Pole of
Enceladus. Of course, Europa, a moon of Jupiter, may have a liquid ocean beneath its frozen surface. But Enceladus’s
considered more accessible. You know, it really is an exciting time in Planetary Exploration, and Pete’s got a  nifty little
model of the Cassini-Huygens Probe, too, that you’ll see at the show, the amazing, far-travelling spacecraft that our pal
Paul Pot perpetually toils over, refining its intricacies. Yes, something’s always happening in Space these days– and
sure as Entropy, Pete (when not interrupted by a rogue gorilla, a giant, dancing megalo-chicken or an unseemly
eructation of roof-dwelling hillbillies) is going to be telling each and every one of us al-l-l-l about it.
“Hey, everybody– come see the Ask Dr. Hal! show in a brand new location: my living room. It’s
4 guys doing improv on 4 different levels. It can be amazing.”
So there won’t be any booze for sale, OK? We don’t do the show in a bar any more, so, it’s OK to
drink, but BRING YOUR OWN. We encourage you to. Of course, good questions will still be rewarded
in the traditional manner– with that old standby, Fernet Branca, TM –the “Miracle Liquor.” That’s how
Paul Pot and David “Cappy” Capurro do it– and that’s the one way you can still get a drink at Ask
Dr. Hal!
“It’ll never happen again,” vowed Ringmonster Chicken John when he heard about our latest imbroglio.
Small comfort to those who made their way to ADH to find… they couldn’t get in. The door was closed– &
locked. Mistreated Madeline Boyne reports that she could hear the show going on, hear music & laughter,
but the massive portals of the Chez Poulet Gallery-Cabaret remained shut. Other would be attendees,
thirsting for answers to questions they never got to ask, included disenfranchised Dan Pamemue &
put-upon Perch Sunsoon, who we heard (the next day) had waited in the cold for 20 minutes, banging on the
massive metal of the unresponsive entryway without being heard over the ruckus inside the famed venue.
Speculation was rife that some “helpful” person, leaving the building (& just how helpful is that in the middle
of one of our shows?) had “considerately” pulled the ponderous postern all the way to the fastened position,
whereupon it clicked & locked, as it does… Roars of laughter from our (then) unaccountably diminished
crowd drowned out the comparatively feeble blows falling on the outer surface of the entryway (which musta
been highly frustrating)… Inside, though attendance was markedly meager, Chicken boasted that we’d do the
show even for four people if that’s all there were (true), or even no people at all (we’d hate to have to put that
one to the test). Well, we apologize to the accidentally ostracized. You see, our newly hired door girl had
wandered in to watch the show and couldn’t hear their despairing cries… But, fortunately, some folks did
get in, before the access was so untimely barred. And it was a…
For those who weren’t prevented from getting in, the show seemed to satisfy. Righteous Rev. Chip got in a
literary query of the kind we love, viz., “Did Lovecraft write Horror or Sci-Fi?” Gone are the daze, by the by,
when there was widespread objection to this latter term, a neologism coined (back in the days of hi-fi, natch–
that was a precursor of stereo, kids) by the late friendly Forrest J. Ackerman (see the Dr. Hal Report, Vol. IX,
No. 6 for his obit.)– now only hot-headed Harlan Ellison maintains his lonely vigil ‘gainst the term… Anyhoo, we
answered our chum Chip that H.P.L. was a genre-buster, getting horror effects from a materialist, scientific (&
thus science-fictional) perspective. And there were more like that, rising unusually above the (too-) usual litany
of fart, poop & penis jokes, causing a frustrated Chicken to throw the switch to illume the “stupid question”
light… Yes, cultivated Chip, this surely is a “strange eon,” & we can only prophesy that we’re all about to see
it get a lot stranger. F’rinstance, wottabout that giant Chicken (not our harried host, but an enlarged specimen
of the barnyard variety) which stalked out during pugnacious Pete Goldie’s sizzlin’ Science segment to lay
(literally) the sponsor’s product (not mentioned here on account of certain unresolved legal issues) on our ADH
stage? Never before did we see such realistic motion from the outsized capering capon– and we’ll let you in
on the skinny right abt. now– ’twas voluptuous vixen Junoesque Justin Credible (taking over from delectable Dawn
Stott, who was probably among the inadvertently excluded chillun chillin’ outside)– inside the tight-fitting outfit.
Her (jocund Justin’s) clucking, bobbing & scratching set a new record for barnyard verisimilitude, & should win
the pullets-er prize… We’re always grateful when she employs her considerable talents in the service of our
enterprise… Dashing Don Bruce & tempestuous Tracy Feldstein made th’ cross-Bay journey to see us; so did 4
the 1st time in too long a while none other than kaptivating Kelek Stevenson, fabulous Flag Girl of the exotic Extra
Action Marching Band & an inspiration to us all, particularly to this writer. We hope she’ll return 4 another helping,
& that she made her train, since her lingering afterwards made her rendez-vous with beleaguered BART a bit of a
Near Thing… Other fab femmes at the pageant of pulchritude included the East Bay’s ravishing Rusty Blazenhoff,
tempting Ty Mckenzie & elegant Elwyn Crawford, milliner extraordinaire. Hats off to enchanting Elwyn’s hodiernal
hat-biz, which has really taken off lately… She’ll design, fabricate & select the right headpiece for the fashion-
conscious– are you listening, girls? If seeking engaging Elwyn’s handsome haberdashery, get in touch at… We really have the creme de la creme at these affairs, & there’s no error. Our shows
are known for science, the arts, poetry– we try to maintain a high standard. Of course, that’s not to say we don’t
endure more than our share of…
There was, of course, the usual goofing, japing & Fernet finagling… Trust persistent Paul Pot to extract the free
shots time & again, from an increasingly choleric Chicken… Crafty Capurro also played the game… Putting up with all
this we shd. really commend charitable Cherry, nonpareil Neurite & glamour-puss Glenda… Princely Puzzling
Evidence recorded it all for posterity (C his vids, below)… The cynosure of every male eye (& in truth, some female
peepers– we caught you looking!) was our divine door girl, the vivacious Valerie. Wotta stunner… concupiscent
Chicken hired her to take the admission, & soon the sexual predators were circling. Hard to blame them… She
needed a lift at the end of it all, as it turned out, but– frustrating the panting libidinous lounge-lizard lotharios
(f’rinstance, vehicularly empowered determined D. Woodman Atwell was hovering over her– & he did succeed in getting
her email & phone no.) & other slavering satyrs, just as the letch patrol was closing in, timely Tracy & devoted Don
scooped her up– and in the nick of time (whew!) provided the much-needed conveyance. (Actually, they could have
helped out kurvaceous Kelek get back to the Yeast Bay too, had we thought on’t). And away they went, heroes (or
busybodies, depending on your point of view), leaving the stymied horn-dog villains twirling their mustaches in
frustration… Well, better luck next time, Gents– after all, you’ll get plenty of chances to attain Valhalla with our vital
Valerie. According to crafty Chicken, she’ll be there at our door from now on… And in closing, a shout-out to Anon
Salon’s dizzy dynamic damozel Dee Dee Russell– that nite was her birthday. That’s it– see you in the funny pages…
Did you know you can watch some of the show right this minute? Well, thanx to Puzzling Evidence, you can!
Go ahead– scope out a few of the hi-lites from previous episodes of Ask Dr. Hal! –on You Tube! It’s easy! It’s fun! It’s
time-consuming! And it’s technologically au courant, and absolutely the next best thing to being there in person! How?
How, you say? You do? Why are you talking to your computer? Go ahead– just click, clickety-click, on these handy URLs.
Look & wonder as you observe pivotal occurrences from our last show of the year (New Year’s
Eve) December 31st (Pt. 1):
The second half of PUZZ-EV’s hard-hitting slice of our New Year’s omnivorous omnibus (Pt. 2):
Gaze now at this exceptional edit, excerpted from our recent exhilarating December 24th
performance (Pt. 1):
Behold the second half of the exciting “extreme” excerpt of the show on December 24th
(Pt. 2):
Scope out outré out-takes from our December 17th serendipitous show:
Take in tantalizing tid-bits from our December 10th show. Try clicking on this:
Peer at picturesque portions picked from our December 3rd show. Click on this, or, if that doesn’t work, just cut and
paste it into your browser:
Audit choice fragments from our November 26th show on You Tube, courtesy of Puzzling Evidence. SEE Chicken
unfairly berate KrOB. HEAR Dr. Hal as he wanders farther afield even than usual in his meandering “answers” to
several questions.
Just go to:
See selected clips from November 19th’s show. Warning to Parents:
Chicken really ladles out those cuss-words.
Go to:
The endless-seeming Election Period is now, at last, behind us. For those who would like to indulge themselves in one
final wallow, check out this ultra-entertaining (Adult-themed) Puzzling Evidence video clip from the ADH Pirate
Cat radio show featuring Dr. Hal, KrOB, Pete “Savant” Goldie and the additional appearance of special guests
Presidential Candidate John McTaint and vivacious wife Sindi McTaint.
Go to:
See you Wednesday night!