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Monster Hospital
Monster Hospital title card

Genre

Sitcom

Created by

Adam Charlson

Starring

Oscar Karmann, Susy Williams, Paul Perkins, Beverly Ann Prowen, Antonie Breck

Opening theme

Martin Carlotti

Country

Brunant

Language(s)

English

Seasons, episodes

2,
67

Running time

25 minutes

Production company(s)

Studio 5

Original channel, run

CBC,
September 24, 1964 - May 26, 1966

Monster Hospital is a Brunanter television sitcom created by Adam Charlson and based on the movie of the same name, which Charlson wrote, about a hospital run by and for monsters.

The series, consisting of 25-minute episodes, was produced by Studio 5. It was shot in black-and-white and aired in the evening once a week for two seasons on CBC from September 24, 1964, to May 19, 1966, totalling 67 episodes. It was canceled after ratings dropped to a low due to the premiere of several others shows in full color. Though ratings were low during its initial two-year run, Monster Hospital grew in popularity during decades of syndication. Many non-network owned BBN-stations ran marathon nights in the 1980s and the show is frequently shown on retro channels.

Cast and characters Edit

Regular Edit

The show starred the same cast from the 1963 film, with the addition of Beverly Ann Prowen as Mary Monstroe, one of the few human characters, and the exception of Annette Howards who played Helsa Schell, the romantic interest of the Frank N. Stein character in the movie. In her autobiography Howards expressed that she simply wished "to move on to other things"[1]. Therefore Helsa is merely mentioned in the series, even though she has become Frank's wife.

Role Image Actor Character description
Dr. Frank N. Stein Frank N. Stein Oscar Karmann A Jewish zombie-like creature resembling Frankenstein's monster who is incredibly strong and almost immovable. Regardless of his appearance and strength, Frank is very kind to everyone and also very naive. Although he's enormously old, Frank often behaves rather childishly. At the beginning of the series, Frank is not yet the Head Physician at Monster Hospital, though he was in the movie, which takes place before the show.
Dr. Demonica Fay Demonica Fay Susy Williams A cultivated, reserved and voluptuous vampire who appears to be in her middle age years but is actually hundreds of years old. Demonica is the voice of reason in the Monster Hospital, often relied upon to set problems right, and typically mediates when Frank and Phil squabble. She is a brilliant surgeon and great at devising potions and magic spells as well.
Dr. Phil Fanganova Phil Fanganova Paul Perkins An old, somewhat goofy, philandering vampire who constantly and irritably tries to court his female patients and colleagues, most notably Demonica, who's in fact older than he is. Phil can transform into any kind of animal, except a bat, much to his frustration. Accordingly, he doesn't always display the traits that are commonly associated with vampires. Phil is an amateur inventor, many of his inventions are less than successful, with the exception of Auto the robot, who stars in the series from episode 61 (Monster Help) onwards.
Mary Monstroe Mary Monstroe Beverly Ann Prowen A nymph[2] and probably the least developed main character in the show, although two storylines at the end of the second season focus on her character, her studies and newfound love, culminating in her wedding to the robot Auto in the very last episode. Mary is a fetching young blonde resembling Marilyn Monroe and one of the few characters in the series who is not ghoulish in appearance; by all monsters' but Phil's aesthetic standards, she is distressingly unattractive. Mary is a nurse and often very naive, which - according to the others - is why she and Frank get along so well.
Dester "D.K." Kristofferson DK Antonie Breck An ogre[3], but a shy and kind one who sometimes gets blue. D.K. is the incorrigible and exuberant mortician of the hospital with a deranged smile, most of the time regretting having so few 'patients', since so many of them are undead. D.K. is a fire-eater and an amateur but apt violin player (as evidenced in the episode Monster Music).

Recurring Edit

Auto the robot

Auto the robot (voiced by Nicolas Sharpe), who falls in love with Mary.

Frank's cousin, Bob the goblin, played by Philip Rennet (of Burmese Romance), was introduced in episode 20, Monster Favor. Frank was asked to find Bob a job, not an easy task, considering Bob's small size; he's only about one foot tall (approximately 30 centimeters). Eventually Bob was hired as a janitor and the character would reappear various times, the joke usually being that the others hardly noticed the little 'man' was around, helped only by the smoke from the pipe which he was always smoking. Bob would ask Frank for other favors, such as in Monster Cousins, the first episode of the second season.

Monster Pretend introduced Penny (B-movie actress Wilma Baker), D.K.'s somewhat strange but sweet pen pal and his true love. D.K. confessed his affection to Penny in Monster Letter. Though his love was unanswered at first, D.K. did not give up and tried to impress his crush by losing weight (Monster Diet) and even signing up for military duty (Monster Enroll). Finally, just before Mary and Auto married, D.K. announced that Penny and he were together, and the couple was present at the wedding.

During the second half of season two Phil creates a robot to help around the hospital in Monster Help. The robot, named Auto, accidentally destroys one of the building's towers (Monster Policy), but exhibits artificial intelligence with a distinct personality showing dry wit, and even a vast range of emotions. The latter made it possible for Auto to fall in love with Mary. She turns out to have the same feelings towards the robot (Monster Robotics), and the season closes with the celebration of their marriage, Monster Wedding. Auto was voiced by Lovian actor Nicolas Sharpe, later known for his portrayal as spy Victor Kaput in Intrepid[4].

Guest Edit

Then up-and-coming actor Oliver Hewton had a role in the two-part episode Monster Love of the second season, playing a handsome yet untrustworthy medical intern who tries to swoon Demonica.

Other notable guest stars include: Sara Benns Stanley (Monster Fatale), the Hoolahan cousins (Monster HalloweenMonster Space), Anatole Bircamp (Monster Music), Adrian Coleman (Monster Spy), Caroline Koch (Monster Romance), Prunella Stone (Monster Mother), Carl Stopanek (Monster Treasure Hunt), Herbert Walker (Monster Green), Anthony Swanson (Monster Chimp), Jelka van Bavel (Monster Halloween 2) and Henry Zielinski (Monster Policy).

Production notes Edit

Monster Hospital poster

Poster for the movie of the same name the show is based on.

Martin Carlotti

Martin Carlotti created the show's theme song.

The idea of a TV-show adaptation was pitched by writer Adam Charlson to production company Studio 5 even before the film had become a financial success. At first Charlson wanted to do a series of cartoons, to retain something of the movie's madcap approach, but the studio wanted to see it made using live-action. Finally, a pilot script was written by Charlson himself and a presentation was filmed for the Central Broadcasting Company, using live-action.

Much like its movie predecessor, the Monster Hospital show was a satire of both traditional monster movies and one of the era's rising genres, that of the medical/hospital drama. However, the TV-series was made less dark and edgy, in order to make it more suitable for the whole family to see.

While its humor was usually broad, the series was visually more sophisticated. The look of the hospital was far from clean and faceless like most of its modern equivalents, instead the Monsters Hospital was a crumbling Gothic building, riddled with smoke and filthy with dust and cobwebs. Shadowy photography echoed expressionistic horror films, emphasizing the hospital's ghoulishness. The costumes and appearances of the cast members other than Mary Monstroe were based on the classic movie monsters from the 1930s and 1940s.

The instrumental theme song was written by composer/arranger Martin Carlotti who had also been responsible for the music of the movie.

Episodes Edit

Oscar Karmann

Oscar Karmann, who plays Dr. Frank N. Stein.

Caroline Koch

Caroline Koch, the show's first genuine guest star (episode 3, Monster Romance).

Coleman

Adrian Coleman, playing an undercover agent in Monster Spy.

Anatole bircamp

Anatole Bircamp, who guest stars as a sly music producer in episode 25, Monster Music.

Season 1 Edit

1. 'Monster Hospital' (Sept. 24, 1964) Pilot

Pilot episode. The hospital building gets a life of its own, and doctors Frank N. Stein (Oscar Karmann), Demonica Fay (Susy Williams) and Phil Fanganova (Paul Perkins), nurse Mary Monstroe (Beverly Ann Prowen), and D.K. the mortician (Antonie Breck) have to deal with it.

2. 'Monster Fear' (Oct. 1, 1964)

The hospital staff is frightened when all of its patients become 'normal'.

3. 'Monster Romance' (Oct. 8, 1964)

Phil is always looking for love, but when a certain pharmaceutical saleslady comes knocking, he's not sure she's his type.
Caroline Koch guest stars as the saleslady.

4. 'Monster Politics' (Oct. 15, 1964)

The hospital's Board of Directors is looking for a new Head Physician, and Frank is getting very excited but doesn't want the others to know.

5. 'Monster Family' (Oct. 22, 1964)

Running for Head Physician prompts Frank to secretly trace his ancestry.

6. 'Monster Meeting' (Oct. 29, 1964)

Frank's meeting with the Board of Directors is discovered by Susy.

7. 'Monster Halloween' (Nov. 11, 1964)

The hospital is celebrating Halloween and the staff mistakes two Martians for trick-or-treaters.
The Hoolahan cousins portrayed the two Martians, in their very first roles.

8. 'Monster Green' (Nov. 12, 1964)

Phil begins to feel jealous when an old colleague of his pays a visit and makes a big impression on the others.
Herbert Walker guest stars as Phil's old colleague.

9. 'Monster Patients' (Nov. 19, 1964)

Because the 'normal' hospital is temporarily overcrowded, some frightened humans look for treatment at the Monster hospital.

10. 'Monster Leave of Absence' (Nov. 26, 1964)

Demonica decides to take some time off from work.

11. 'Monster VIPs' (Dec. 3, 1964)

The hospital receives a pair of royal patients from Transylvania.

12. 'Monster Match' (Dec. 10, 1964)

Mary tries to match up Phil with her recently divorced grandmother.

13. 'Monster Ball' (Dec. 17, 1964)

Frank and Demonica encourage D.K. to attend the anual hospital's ball and teach him how to dance in preparation.

14. 'Monster Art' (Dec. 24, 1964)

To impress a hospitalized painter, Phil takes up painting and asks D.K. to revive some famous dead painters.

15. 'Monster Motors' (Dec. 31, 1964)

The staff takes care of an injured motorcycling elf and attempts to reunite him with his disapproving father.

16. 'Monster Spy' (Jan. 7, 1965)

An undercover agent is convinced that the hospital is caught up in the illegal trade of organs and poses as a doctor.
Adrian Coleman guest stars as the undercover agent.

17. 'Monster Mother' (Jan. 14, 1965)

When D.K.'s mother comes to visit, the staff lets him pose as the Head Physician, and Demonica pretends to be his wife.
Prunella Stone guest stars as D.K.'s mother.

18. 'Monster Illness' (Jan. 21, 1965)

Phil loses his ability to transform into an animal.

19. 'Monster Splurge' (Jan. 28, 1965)

The staff wins the lottery and has a hard time agreeing on how to spend all the money.

20. 'Monster Favor' (Feb. 4, 1965)

Frank tries to get his cousin Bob (Philip Rennet), a goblin, a job at the hospital.

21. 'Monster Court' (Feb. 11, 1965)

D.K. is arrested for burying a mummy alive and soon the entire staff is being held in contempt of court.

22. 'Monster Amnesia' (Feb. 18, 1965)

Mary loses her memory and gets scared of all the monsters.

23. 'Monster Missing' (Feb. 25, 1965)

When Phil disappears after feeling unwanted, the staff believes he has been 'batnapped' (even though he can't transform into a bat) and hires dwarf detective Smallock Halves.

24. 'Monster Crisis' (March 4, 1965)

Much like in the movie - human authorities threaten to have the hospital closed down.

25. 'Monster Music' (March 11, 1965)

A sly music producer convinces D.K. to quit his job at the hospital and focus on his career as a violin player.
Anatole Bircamp guest stars as the music producer.

26. 'Monster Raise' (March 18, 1965)

Frank is finally hired as the hospital's new Head Physician, but everyone, including himself, has trouble adjusting to the idea of 'Frank the Boss'.

27. 'Monster Space' (March 25, 1965)

The Martians are back and are determined to take Mary with them to their home planet.

28. 'Monster Chimp' (April 1, 1965)

The hospital takes up a well-educated giant gorilla, who - in appearance - resembles King Kong, but smaller.

29. 'Monster Charity' (April 8, 1965)

The hospital is holding a fund raiser and Demonica wants everyone to get involved.

30. 'Monster Progress' (April 15, 1965)

Yet again human authorities try to close down Monster Hospital, this time by condemning the building to make way for a freeway.

31. 'Monster Pretend' (April 22, 1965)

D.K.'s female pen pal, Penny (Wilma Baker), drops by unexpectedly, so he must assume the false personality he has been pretending to be, namely that of Phil.

32. 'Monster Counsel' (April 29, 1965)

When Frank's marriage faces a crisis, Phil offers his services as a marriage counselor, claiming he has a certified degree, but in fact only making matters worse.

33. 'Monster Idol' (May 6, 1965)

Demonica's small part on the popular soap opera Days of Our Afterlives earns her legions of young male fans.

34. 'Monster Battle' (May 13, 1965)

Phil and D.K. devise schemes to start a battle between Frank and Demonica.

Season 2 Edit

Oliverhewton

Oliver Hewton guest stars in the two-part episode Monster Love.

Hzielinski

Henry Zielinski, the antagonist in episode 62, Monster Policy.

DK autographed

A signed 1965 photo of Antonie Breck as "D.K.".

1. (35) 'Monster Cousins' (Sept. 16, 1965)

The popular soap opera Days of Our Afterlives is shooting some scenes at the hospital, and goblin Bob wants Frank, his cousin, to get him an acting job on the show.

2. (36) 'Monster Love Part 1' (Sept. 23, 1965)

Demonica gradually falls in love with a handsome vampire intern named Christopher, but the others find out he's not to be trusted.
Oliver Hewton guest stars as Christopher, the intern.

3. (37) 'Monster Love Part 2' (Sept. 30, 1965)

When the others attempt to reveal Christopher (Oliver Hewton) and convince Demonica that he is a fraud, she gets angry with them, believing they stand in the way of her happiness.

4. (38) 'Monster Royalty' (Oct. 7, 1965)

When the pair of royals from Transylvania revisit the hospital, D.K. gets hit on the head and is convinced he's royalty as well.

5. (39) 'Monster Head' (Oct. 14, 1965)

Frank suffers from stress as the Head Physician of Monster Hospital.

6. (40) 'Monster Problem' (Oct. 21, 1965)

Terror strikes Phil as he begins to lose his hair.

7. (41) 'Monster Halloween 2' (Oct. 28, 1965)

The hospital celebrates Halloween once again and has to deal with a nasty witch.
Jelka van Bavel guest stars as the witch.

8. (42) 'Monster Tales' (Nov. 4, 1965)

Phil tells tales of his life as a young man.

9. (43) 'Monster Sculpting' (Nov. 11, 1965)

A depressed D.K. takes up sculpting, and Demonica, wanting him to believe he's good at it, pays an art collector to buy them. However, things get hairy when one of his sculptures accidentally turns into a golem[5].

10. (44) 'Monster Letter' (Nov. 18, 1965)

A smitten D.K. sends his pen pall crush Penny one of Frank's love letters (intended for his wife), resulting in Penny believing Frank sent the letter.

11. (45) 'Monster Feud' (Nov. 25, 1965)

Frank hasn't forgiven D.K. for using one of his love letters and the entire hospital gets caught up in their fight.

12. (46) 'Monster Pockets' (Dec. 9, 1965)

There's a pickpocket on the loose and all evidence leads to an invisible man with a broken leg.

13. (47) 'Monster Magazine' (Dec. 16, 1965)

The hospital gets a feature article in Undead magazine and the staff needs to get their photo taken, which is not easy for vampires Phil and Demonica.

14. (48) 'Monster Dilemma' (Dec. 23, 1965)

Mary's new boyfriend seems the man of her dreams, only he's not to keen on monsters and her current job.

15. (49) 'Monster X-Mas' (Dec. 30, 1965)

Santa Claus takes a bad fall and ends up in a hospital bed. Not wanting the children to be disappointed, Frank, Phil and D.K. each dress up as Santa Claus.

16. (50) 'Monster Tycoon' (Jan. 6, 1966)

Business tycoon I.B. Odium takes an interest in the hospital.

17. (51) 'Monster vs. Monster' (Jan. 13, 1966)

Monster Hospital becomes a battlefield when Phil and Frank admit to Mary and Demonica that they believe women to be lesser doctors, because they generally "care too much".

18. (52) 'Monster Diet' (Jan. 20, 1966)

When D.K. vows to get in shape for a visit of Penny, his crush, the others try to help a hand.

19. (53) 'Monster Treasure Hunt' (Jan. 28, 1966)

A hospitalized pirate captain has the staff hooked on the promise of a buried treasure.
Carl Stopanek guest stars as the pirate captain.

20. (54) 'Monster Beauty' (Feb. 3, 1966)

D.K. seriously contemplates having plastic surgery to drastically improve his looks.

21. (55) 'Monster Job' (Feb. 10, 1966)

Mary shocks the others when she announces that she wants to find another job.

22. (56) 'Monster B-Day' (Feb. 17, 1966)

Phil mistakenly believes the hospital is retiring him after his upcoming birthday, while in fact the staff is organizing a huge party.

23. (57) 'Monster Redecorating' (Feb. 24, 1966)

Mary takes it upon herself to get the hospital a major make-over.

24. (58) 'Monster Enroll' (March 3, 1966)

To impress Penny, D.K. wants to join the War Corps, but the others won't let him.

25. (59) 'Monster Take-Over' (March 10, 1966)

When Frank gets sick, Demonica temporarily takes over management of the hospital.

26. (60) 'Monster Kitty' (March 17, 1966)

The hospital staff is forced to treat a lion.

27. (61) 'Monster Help' (March 24, 1966)

Phil builds a robot named Auto (voiced by Nicolas Sharpe) to help around the hospital.

28. (62) 'Monster Policy' (March 31, 1966)

After Auto the robot (Nicholas Sharpe) accidentally destroys a tower of the hospital, a snake-headed insurance executive tries to weasel out of the policy.
Henry Zielinski guest stars as the insurance executive.

29. (63) 'Monster Fatale' (April 7, 1966)

Phil suffers from more unrequited love over the beautiful Siren[6] Rita, who's only interested in a big music career.
Sara Benns Stanley guest stars as Rita.

30. (64) 'Monster Career' (April 14, 1966)

Mary once again gets tired of her job as a nurse and is looking to climb up the hospital's career ladder.

31. (65) 'Monster Robotics' (April 21, 1966)

Mary, studying to become a doctor, gets aided by Auto the robot (Nicolas Sharpe), and the two fall in love, much against Phil's advice, who feels cheated.

32. (66) 'Monster Contest' (May 12, 1966)

Out to win the love of Mary once and for all, Phil builds her a fancy automobile, which turns out to be a piece of junk. His actions seemingly push Mary further into the arms of his invention, Auto.

33. (67) 'Monster Wedding' (May 26, 1966)

Mary, who has become an intern, and Auto the robot plan their wedding, which is held at Monster Hospital, at the end of the episode.

Home media releases Edit

  • Monster Hospital: Volume One (DVD, released October 8, 2006)
    • All 34 episodes from season one.
    • Audio commentary for the pilot episode by creator Adam Charlson and cast member Beverly Ann Prowen (Mary Monstroe).
    • Bringing Out the Undead featurette.
    • Stretching the Hippocratic Oath featurette.
  • Monster Hospital: Volume Two (DVD, released February 3, 2007)
    • All 33 episodes from season two.
    • Audio commentary for the episodes 'Monster Love Part 1' by creator Adam Charlson and guest star Oliver Hewton (Christopher, the intern), and 'The Wedding' by Charlson and cast member Beverly Ann Prowen (Mary Monstroe).
    • Grave Tales interactive featurette.
    • Trick or Treatments? trivia game.
  • Monster Hospital: The Complete Series (DVD, released November 13, 2007)
    • Both previous volumes combined in a special "sterilized" package.

References and notes Edit

  1. Annette Howards (1996). Onwards. Watson Publishing.
  2. In Greek mythology a nymph is a female nature-spirit.
  3. An ogre is usually a large, hideous, humanoid monsters, comparable to a troll.
  4. 'Intrepid' article on Wikination.
  5. In Jewish folklore a golem is an animated anthropomorphic being, created entirely from inanimate matter, such as clay.
  6. In Greek mythology a Siren was a dangerous creature, portrayed as a femme fatale who lured nearby sailors with her enchanting music and voice to shipwreck on the rocky coast of her island.