Thursday, December 15, 2016

The clown that haunts my dreams

In the past I've spilled quite a lot of ink on Milky. Well, not literally, or his suit would be all splotchy. The Milkster was the creature who haunted my childhood from his roost on Detroit TV during the early 1960s. Everyone was supposed to love Milky, and the thing is, we did, no matter how freakish he looked. Clowns weren't viewed as creepy then, nor were dolls or puppets, which explains a lot about children's Christmas programming back then.

I hesitated on doing one of these giffer things about Milky, because all my photos of him were so shitty. Some of them were about the size of a postage stamp, but that's all I had.  A few were gi-normous scans of ads that look like they appeared in newspapers, since they have that yellowed, crumbling look. So I had to try to scale those down to fit.

Everything IN this montage is yellowed, when it isn't red, the waxy red of Twin Pines milk cartons. The stylized cartoon version of Milky is even more nightmarish than the original. Then there is the Milky merchandizing, which makes up most of this tribute because it's all I have. God, but it was awful. Those tshirts look like they're rotten, the wall clock is the color of a bad urine sample, that game is a shitty piece of plastic - but none of them can hold a candle to the ultimate piece of Milky memorabilia:

Yes. It's the Milky the Clown ash tray. 

BONUS FIND!  Who knows how I get into these nightmarish things. I just found an ad for a complete set of brand new, unopened, unused, pristine drinking glasses WITH MILKY ON THEM. You heard me. God knows how much they want for these things, because they are up for auction somewhere in the States. Compared to the plastic tumbler, they're pretty impressive:

One wonders, however, who would buy a set of these and just put them away somewhere. A time traveller, perhaps. Someone from the future who could see how valuable these were going to be. But I have never understood time travel. What if you met yourself? What if you gave yourself all sorts of advice about things NOT to do, so you would end up not having any of the learning experiences of your life and would end up a complete idiot? How could there be two of you at one time? But there would have to be, wouldn't there? Yet, my Einsteinian husband says time travel is theoretically possible. The whole thing makes me want to go to bed and stay there.

My cat Bentley: moods

The Lost Harold Lloyd

I am always wildly excited to find "new" photos from the lost Harold Lloyd movie, Professor Beware. I call it lost because it's. . . lost. Nobody knows where it is. I have even consulted with people who knew Harold personally, and they don't know either, and don't want to talk about it. Is something going on here?

I've found a lot of promotional stills, "lobby cards" and posters for Professor Beware, but nobody knows if it still exists anywhere. There is a rumour that it was shown - once - on American Movie Channel, or perhaps Turner Classics. But what happened to it after that?

There are big handsome movie posters like this one, and such-like, but no MOVIE. This is odd. It is said Harold didn't like the movie very much, having done not-so-well with his first couple of talkies. Did he decide to withdraw it, to destroy the negative? But Harold was the kind of person who kept everything.

This is a scene where he gets very wet, and we get to see, at last, how curly his hair really was. It was always slicked back, like men's hair was back then. He looks so painfully cute here, I honestly can't bear it.

I like his pained, bewildered, baffled expression here. Though I know almost nothing about this movie, the stills seem to portray him as slapping himself on the forehead with dismay. Dismay was always one of his better modes of existence.

I mean, how provocative can it get: "Egyptologist in Strip Tease". An unlikely headline. Here Harold looks uncannily like Clark Kent, which is funny because Clark Kent was originally modelled on Harold Lloyd.

This is what I mean about the forehead-slapping. God! he is adorable.

Another underwear shot.

Don't ask me to explain these! Perhaps we are meant just to look upon them, like the Burning Bush, and not ask questions about them.

Note the right hand, which isn't really a hand. It's a prosthetic glove, fashioned after Harold lost his thumb and forefinger in an explosion. This one looks much more lifelike than the primitive ones he first wore in 1919.

But unless someone finds a copy moldering away in some Paramount vault, I'll never get to see this movie. Its very rarity, scarcity, impossibility, is what makes it so utterly irresistible.