May 23rd, 2011

 The Dr. Hal Report
XIV                                                                                                                                                                                          No. 3

“The very last Dr. Hal show is always my favorite, and the visuals of a show by an
underground comics artist is a key component, so just listening on the radio is
not enough.”
–Eric Diesel (Personal communication)

“A good old man, sir; he will be talking: as they say, When the age is in the wit is out.”

–William Shakespeare (baptized 26 April, 1564; died 23 April, 1616)
Much Ado about Nothing. ACT III Scene 5

Friends, Ladies and Gentlemen, and fellow-travelers, Ask Dr. Hal! is doing one last show.
And– with apologies for any confusion, we are moving the date to Wednesday night.
As in former days, it will happen– one final time –mid-week once again. On…
Wednesday, May 25th…
But… why?
Well, you see, Showman Chicken John made a financially-prompted decision– to rent out the house on Tues., May 24th to the well-heeled master cuisinier Chef Fleur-de-lis of SF’s ultra-trendique eatery Le Restaurant Grasse-Chère-Coûteuse.
So, for one more time, join us Wednesday night at Chez Poulet for the ever-evolving Ask Dr. Hal! show!

We like to start the show with a bang– and we do. Just before every performance begins, we screen a great animated cartoon, lovingly selected by KrOB– eight minutes of the best theatrical  shorts ever committed to film This last week, we’re back with Warner Bros. Cartoons and our all-time favorite cartoon director, the late Bob Clampett, whom Dr. Hal and his sister Martha were privileged to know personally. And this is a stand-out, a great cartoon among a track record of great cartoons. It might even be Clampett’s best work, and that’s saying a lot. It’s Kitty Cornered (1946) featuring Porky Pig vs. an army of fractious cats, including, for the first time ever in a Looney Tunes cartoon, Sylvester the cat. It’s the only time Sylvester ever appeared in a Clampett-directed cartoon.
Kitty Kornered is Clampett’s final cartoon starring his longtime star Porky Pig (if you don’t count the cameo in Clampett’s next cartoon, The Great Piggy Bank Robbery where Porky appears for a few seconds as a (poorly) disguised trolley driver).
Kitty Kornered’s an astonishing little film, like all Clampett’s work. It moves like lightning and is packed with ten times as many gags, on all different levels, as were found in most Warner Bros. cartoons.
And, wouldn’t you know it  (is there a pattern emerging here?)– like so many of the cartoons KrOB’s been showing, the censors have cut it in the past. What could those infernal Nervous Nellies find censorable in Kitty Cornered? Incredibly, it’s a scene where, after Porky tries to throw the cats out but they throw him out,
the cats drink alcohol, read comics, and smoke cigars –ooh, civilization would just fall if that were allowed to be shown– before Porky bursts in and… well, we won’t give any more away.
But we guarantee, as always, that no censorship will be in evidence at the Chez Poulet Gallery-Cabaret– we’re taking pains to give you, as almost never seen these days, 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. Which is to say:
If you don’t come early enough you may miss Krob’s Kartune.


ADH Science solon Pete Goldie will present more of the newest discoveries made in the endless
reaches of the unfathomable void. The Learn’d Astronomer and Boffo Boffin will bring us tidings, as
always, of newly discovered aspects of the cosmos.
Perhaps– who knows? –he will dilate upon recent revelations concerning so-called free-range planets!
Say, remember where Ming the Merciless (Flash Gordon’s implacable enemy) hung his hat? It was the Planet Mongo. A planet that entered our Solar System from Deep Space, beyond the heliopause. Mere fiction, you say? What about the scenario in the movie When Worlds Collide?
Remember that one? Two wandering planets, at first only noted by astronomers with the best
equipment, come into the System, heading for the Sun. By the end of the picture, one of them has
squarely hit– and obliterated –the Earth. Nonsense, you say? Science-Fiction clap-trap? Not so
For, as Pete just might describe, a team of astronomers has revealed that hundreds of billions of
“rogue” planets have escaped from their solar systems and are indeed roving freely in space,
secluded and far from any host star.
The researchers led by Professor Dr.Takahiro Sumi of Osaka University in Japan, using New
Zealand-based Mount John University Observatory’s 5.9-foot telescope, have reported that they
observed 10 Jupiter-sized planets, each around 10,000 to 20,000 light-years away from Earth.
There were no stars within a range of a billion miles or so of those planets. Researchers concluded
that our Milky Way Galaxy is littered with free-range planets of all sizes, wandering silently and
desolately in the spaces between the stars…
It is suggested that the orphan planets somehow escaped from their formative solar systems soon after
they condensed from the interstellar dust that also created their long-abandoned solar parents.
So check out Pete’s presentation. As scientific and educational as all-get-out.
Pete, a student of the evolution, physics, chemistry, meteorology, and motion of celestial objects,
as well as the formation and future development of the universe itself, fills us in with intricate detail,
even while Chicken, totally uninterested, writhes in ill-concealed impatience.
The original of the Cassini spacecraft, whose 3-D likeness in miniature, constructed by avid aviation
and space enthusiast “Paul Pot,” dangles over our ADH stage, continues its mission to the outer planets in an excellent state of health, we’re happy to report, with all systems “Go” –and all
subsystems operating normally.
And, with computer-jockey David Capurro’s able assistance, Pete‘ll illustrate his presentation– with
a hum-dinger of a Slide Show to display his rare pictures of strange worlds and distant suns.
And in addition to all of this, he still takes pains in his presentation to “razz” Chicken John.
Don’t miss this challenging and unique portion of our show.
A Dr. Hal Show Extra-Special Featurette.


In rip-roaring stop-motion animation– of course!
KrOB’s krafted this klip from the Czech film classic Vynález zkázy (1959), which explores themes
tangental but still somewhat similar to those in Ukradená vzducholo (or The Stolen Airship) –creations
both of Karel Zeman, Czech animator and filmmaker. He is considered the co-founder of the Czech
animated film.  Zeman used hand-made sets painted in the style of Victorian illustrations (mainly
engravings by Gustave Doré), and then had live actors wandering through animated settings. The great
success of these science fiction and fantasy features is a tribute to Zeman’s sense of humor and
storytelling abilities, as well as his technique and originality.
So– the octopus strikes!  Zeman’s films possess a sophisticated wit and visual style that enchants– even
in the portrayal of this bulbous, sucker-studded primordial horror.
Octopuses are in fact venomous– the bite of some small Pacific species is instantly fatal. But once this
deep-sea Titan grasps you in its undulating, ropy arms, the venom problem is not really centrally
significant any more, as we shall see.
And we’ll throw in at this point that giant octopuses do indeed exist in the oozy darkness of the benthic
Symbologists tell us that the octopus generally signifies the unconscious mind– arms radiating from a
centrally located head.
Heh, heh, heh…


Rain, rain… we were sure it would wash away any chance we could get good attendance– but, despite
the prevailing meteorological inclemency our attendees found their way to attend just the same… so our
Grand Opening pitch went off with hardly a hitch… now comes the Grand Closing, our last production 
in this briefest of cycles. A run really not long enough? Ooh! We think so, too… So forward all of those
complaints, gripes & objections to cheerful Chicken John, Showman at
–& see where that gets you… We’ll (probably) be back after (too) many months more… Meanwhile, come
on in
for this, our last Barbaric Yawp– we offer our refined brand of entertainment for a recondite few–
izzat you? It won’t be raining this time, if last time that’s why we missed noting your phiz in the peanut
gallery… Now, though rain’s no longer a drain on our reign, another woolly problem stands athwart our course— & scheduling’s the source… The whole shebang leapfrogs to Wednesday , just after we got ’em
all used to a weekly Tuesday night flight. That’s because conniving Chicken‘s going to rent out the house
on Tues., May 24th to the well-heeled master cuisinier Chef Fleur-de-Lis from SF’s latest “hip” trendique eatery Le Restaurant Grasse-Chere-Couteuse, who made Chicken a (financial) offer he couldn’t refuse…

As we pointed out in this space last week, after selling us all out, he’ll cry for the
show– all the way to the bank. Ach, du Lieber & Stoller… Still, we have one final opportunity to
deliver the goods with full immunity. That’s this Wednesday, May 25th. Join us then again for one
final fruitful interval… Be a part of it as we make history at the old Chez Poulet… So– last wk.,
who-all was there? Quite a variety of S.F.’s boho high sassiety. Among others, f’rinstance, marmoreal
Mable Syrup, who’s a perpetually indulgent Sister to our band of brothers, enchanting Emma Henley who
faced the dread KrOB Moment at first hand, lovely Leslie whom we remember so fetchingly (& toplessly)
adorned the Burning Man Opera a few seasons back, jubilant Jeanette and juniper-fresh Julie Holabird,
lovely, long-term, long-stemmed ADH devotee, so welcome to see… Photog Puzzling Evidence documented the doings for
You Tube, as always– you might want to scroll down and click on some of those, we suppose… Another
from the past joined the cast– gregarious Gabe, our Sound Man from the the haze of the late, great 12
days, when our host with the most was redoubtable Robert Levy… Enjoy it, gadabout Gabe? Say,
we could use another one of those– a Sound Man, we mean… A Sound Man is Hard to Find, eh? Ahem!
We’re looking for a Lost Passport— seen it, sport? It belongs to anxious Amas Valeika… Kingly
Ken laid on his distinctive laff –we also know him as philosophical Phineas T. Smokepott, & wotta laff he’s
got… Radio Valencia performance keystone Kiko A., whom you know as Nose Hair Lint Gland’s demented
Dr. Fiasco, was pleasantly present, especially accompanied by appealingly jocund Jenn Alexander, his
Better Half– we were pleased to have wedded them, in a ceremony earlier this year– did you hear? Try to
keep up… Manly Mongoloid, a.k.a. leonine Lloyd Mongoloid of supergroup Cookie Mongoloid, was among
us as well… At the door, steely-eyed Skippy was in charge of vetting the incoming crowd and collecting the
admission, an ADH tradition… We also noted jocose Joe, remarkable Rob Srinivasan, a mathematically
au courant savant, timely Timothy, & curvaceous Catalina Eckhardt… Cheerful Chicken, meanwhile, tried
valiantly to vend, sell, & even absolutely give away numerous packages, left over from his recent Dolores
agitprop session, of plastic fake vomit… Said artificial upchuck brings to mind that we also hosted
old-timer Oops, (how’s that for a segue, folks?) not in our gaze since the old Odeon daze, who’s back– with
an incomprehensible tale of intrigue, kidnapping and legal complication, one of the strangest in Creation…
but c’mon, obliging Oops kept us afloat with a tempting tip of a C-note in the question hopper, challenging
us to top the topper. No kidding, you never know who’ll show up up at the show, so… go! Your last
May we have this dance?

Dear Dr. Hal,
have received email threats from the President of the Dominion of Melchizedek that
my hands will be cut off, so I cannot post on the Internet. I have forwarded these to the federal prosecutor
investigating P_______ G_____ and R_____ R____, and just after I got the emails, I recieved a call to meet with
Secret Service Agent “N__” of the Electronic Crimes Unit just after I got the electronic mail physical threat.
 If you need proof of this, please let me know.
Yours, E. Diesel

Dark Room Theatre, 2263 Mission St., San Francisco – 8:00 PM
Our friend, fine artist Spy Emerson, is fighting an unscrupulous and ruinously expensive legal attack
by the father of her six-year-old son Lucky and his Midwest-based family acting in concert.
Those who closely know Spy are aware she is an exemplary mother, now overwhelmed by a malicious,
unexpected and fully financed, secretly well-planned, ruthless maneuver. We are in Spy’s corner on this one.
Any contribution is welcome to help oppose the financial/legal tsunami facing this brave and determined
Local performers, including Ask Dr. Hal!’s own Dr. Hal are to appear in the line-up of an evening variety show at San Francisco’s Dark Room Theatre, 2263 Mission St.  Show time will be 8:00 PM.
A unique roster of contributing talents will make it a night to remember.
Eyenoise Projections by KrOB.
Look for the three Doggie Diner Heads outside the theater, where hot dogs will be grilled and sold, before and during the performance.
Watch this space for developing details, or go to

Call (415) 401-7987.

Some of Our Favorite Questions
“Dr. Hal, is there a ready-made substitute for blood plasma?
Why, yes. If you happen to be on a tropical island, remember that the liquid inside young coconuts can be used as a substitute.
“Dr. Hal, is there anything that kills more people than plane crashes every year?”
Lots of things, if we go world-wide. Donkeys, for example. I’m not kidding– don’t ever stand behind one.
“What are the three biggest brand names on Earth? ”
Marlboro, Coca-Cola and Budweiser, in that order.
“Is there any sound that doesn’t echo?”
Yes, since you ask, the quack of a duck. No one knows why.
“How come every time they show those floods on TV they always show a cow on
some roof?”
Well, cows can easily be persuaded to look after their own best interests, even by perfidious humans. The major problem comes along after the flood. You see, a cow will let you lead her upstairs, but not downstairs.
“Hey, Dr. Hal, are there any creatures who can breathe through their anuses?”
The answer– sigh… is yes. The talented animal in question: the common mud-turtle. And you can’t.

If you have a question for me, I, Dr. Howland Owll, have an answer for you! 

Hear classic episodes on Radio Valencia!
The Ask Dr. Hal! Radio Show has been running Friday nights 9PM to Midnight on S.F.’s newest Pirate Radio sensation– 87.9 FM
Live shows have been simulcast! And if you’ve missed them, they’re still on the radio!
Now, the Ask Dr. Hal! Show, a beloved San Francisco Institution, also
continues as an innovative Pirate Radio Program on RadioValencia.FM
broadcast –and podcast (keep watching these announcements) even
during the current run
of the show!
Dr. Hal Live on Radio– Friday nights, 10 PM – Midnight.

–at the innovative & avant
Chez Poulet Gallery-Cabaret
3359 Cesar Chavez St.
(Army) Street between Mission and South Van Ness. Just on the
edge of Bernal Heights. The old Odeon Neighborhood.
Watch Ask Dr. Hal! Shows– the very latest, and those of days gone by!
Visit the Puzzling Evidence Channel on You Tube! Just type in “search words” Ask Dr. Hal!