Who Spooks YOU?

Today’s episode, “Who Spooks YOU?” is on Apple Podcasts, SpotifyOvercast, Libsyn, Pocket CastStitcher, iHeartRadio, or anywhere you listen to podcasts.

With Halloween around the corner it’s likely many of you are lining up your favorite movies to get yourselves creeped out for the main event on October 31. With that in mind, we wanted to talk about popular villains associated with this time of year in our Who Spooks YOU? episode. And while most people know the big, BIG names of cinematic villain history, there’s really an entire universe out there from multiple genres to fill anyone’s needs. There are the classic villains like Dracula, Wolfman, the Blob and the Mummy. There’s the horror route with Freddy, Jason, Michael and Carrie. And let’s not forget Voldemort who actually made Harry Potter an orphan on Halloween night (please pause while Kris raises her wand in a moment of silence). For less horror and more wholesome-ish humor, Disney’s Sanderson Sisters, Kalabar, or Cruella de Vil are on tap (ummmm…did we say wholesome?). With so many to choose from we decided rather than talk a little bit about a whole bunch, we would instead delve deep into the dark closets of just two big time bad guys. Without knowing what the other one chose, we came up with two characters who couldn’t be more opposite in scope. Today we dig up the skeletons of none other than The Invisible Man and Oogie Boogie! So if you haven’t listened yet, head on over to your favorite podcast app and give it a go. Hopefully it will get you primed for your upcoming Netflix and chills.

H.G. Wells’ book, The Invisible Man. Public Domain, Wikipedia.
Poster for Universal Picture’s 1933 Invisible Man. Public Domain, Wikipedia.

Kris kicks off the episode discussing the classic H.G. Wells science fiction masterpiece The Invisible Man, written in 1897. Let that sink in. If you’ve seen the latest redux of the story in 2020 (Leigh Whanell’s The Invisible Man) you may be shocked the original story was written over 100 years ago. Or maybe it isn’t that shocking since horror greats such as Dracula and Frankenstein were also published in the 19th century (1897 and 1817 respectively). Thirty-six years after Wells’ book was published, the 1933 film starring Claude Rains was released to wild enthusiasm and became a part of the monster universe that had already found its way onto the early cinema screens with the 1913 silent film The Wolfman and Dracula in 1931 starring Bela Lugosi. If you’re interested in reading Wells’ original publication, you can do so with this Project Gutenberg eBook.

Kym’s Instagram photo of Oogie as he stands tall over the California Adventure entrance. Photo courtesy Kym Wagner.

Kym’s choice should surprise no one as it is one of Disney’s most iconic spooky villains of all time—the day-glo, bug-filled, zaftig, gamblin’ burlap sack Oogie Boogie! Kym delivers every line describing OB’s horrible character from Tim Burton’s The Nightmare Before Christmas (1993) with relish. Although Oogie was the most difficult to…um…flesh out (?) as a character, they hit vocal gold with Ken Page’s fantastic voiceover. Seriously. Can you imagine OB sounding like anyone else? No. No you cannot. Nightmare Before Christmas is the only movie we can think of that wholly encapsulates the HallowThanksMas holiday season, bridging the gap between what we believe are the two greatest holidays of the year…uh…Halloween and Christmas…DUHHHH. (That’s just our opinion and it’s totally ok if you disagree). It even has a passing nod to Thanksgiving in the forest portal to the holiday towns with a turkey carved into the door of the Thanksgiving town tree. As passholders, Kym and her family eagerly await the annual spooktacular overlay Disney does every year at the resorts, especially the “jacking up” of the Haunted Mansion with all the writhing, glowing Burtonesque deliciousness that is Nightmare. Best of all, it is infused throughout with Oogie’s particular brand of odious greatness.

It should not be a shocker that in our conversation about these two characters we had a whole slew of unanswered questions crop up! So to answer what seems to be more questions than we usually have, here are the links to the articles we cited in our discussion and links with answers to all the head-scratchers:

Article Citation

Things We Didn’t Know But Now We Do Thanks to the Interwebs

  • Oh THAT’S His Name. Sorry Mark STRONG. Kris unbelievably forgot your name and is forever shamed because Stardust is one of her favorite movies and you make drowned zombie Septimus a thing of wonder. Also, it’s John the Valet, not John the Butler in Cruella de Vil.
  • Saturday Morning Ghouls. The Groovie Goolies was a cool Saturday morning staple from 1970-1971 and even spawned a punk band later down the line. Who knew? We didn’t. But now? We all do.
  • Oh THAT’S His Name PART TWO. Sorry Rod TAYLOR who was an AUSTRALIAN actor, not English, and starred as H. George Wells in the 1960 film adaptation of H.G. Wells’ The Time Machine.
  • Wells Welles Well. Orson Welles was NOT related to H.G. Wells (note the difference in spelling as clue 1) BUT, Welles borrowed from Wells and produced one of the most historic radio broadcasts in the…um…history…of…well, of radio broadcasting. (Regrouping, stand by). If you’re not familiar with Orson Welles, you are definitely under the age of 20, dare we say even 30, which is just sad as he was one of the best writers/directors/actors of the golden age of Hollywood who spooked — nope…FREAKED THE EFF OUT — the entire country of the US of A. Yep, America got severely shooketh in 1938 when his “War of the Worlds” radio drama was broadcast as a series of news bulletins about a small town in New Jersey getting invaded by murderous Martians. People all over the country panicked, calling police, calling newspapers, packing their bags and booking tickets for off this planet thinking we were indeed under attack by visitors from outer space. Oh, yes, young millennial…your great grandparents believed in martians if only for one night. By the way, Orson? Only 23 years old when he created the biggest fake news in the history of fake news.
  • Read This We Dare You. Ok, so Kris knows NOTHING about refractive air index thingy, as Mr. H. G. Wells described in his book The Invisible Man, but here’s an article that you can read if you really want to be a smarty pants. Please send synopsis of Refractive Air Stuff for Dummies when you’re done. Just…comment down below.
  • OH THAT’S HER NAME. Because we needed a token woman in this list, the most lovely Constance Bennett played ghostly wife Marion Kirby to Cary Grant’s (if you don’t know who Cary Grant is…why..who are…wha??) George Kirby in the delightful 1937 movie Topper. Watch it. GO WATCH IT. You. Must. Watch. It. GO! Shooo…And then watch Topper Returns.
  • Wait! Don’t Watch it Just Yet, We’re Almost Done. Jenna Elfman is not an Elfman by blood, but by marriage. She is married to Danny Elfman’s nephew Bodhi. We’re not linking to Bodhi. We’re tired of linking things. Go Google him yourself. We’re going to bed.
  • But Wait THERE’S MORE. For the love of…well we can’t go to bed til we talk about Amy Bruni, of Ghost Hunters and Kindred Spirits fame, who is now the host of her own podcast called Haunted Road. There are 12 episodes in a season, and season 1 just ended, so don’t be like Kris and think your podcast app is broken because there are no more episodes even when all the other podcasts were updating just fine because NO there can’t not be more episodes AND WHEN IS SEASON TWO COMING OUT???!!??.
  • Nope Not Done Yet: Hotel Transylvania. If you want a cute yet hip animated monster fix this Halloween, go watch the Hotel Transylvania movies. The cast is incredible (Adam Sandler, Andy Samburg, Selena Gomez, David Spade, Fran Drescher…the list is vurrrrrry long) the scripts are well written and humorous and the animation is Disney level (Sorry Sony…) The stories are great for the family without being too adorable (but that little ginger baby is actually adorable…just sayin’).
  • Finally, We End With Frankenweenie. For information about Tim Burton’s Disney-period stop motion short go here.We think it answers the questions we had. Frankly-nweenie, right now we don’t even know our own names.

Thank you for visiting our blog! Don’t tell us you made it this far without hearing the episode!? Go on…go listen, you’ll not be disappointed! (We hope).

Check out The Mugly Truth Podcast’s episode “Who Spooks YOU?” on Apple Podcasts, SpotifyOvercast, Libsyn, Pocket CastStitcher, iHeartRadio, or (almost) anywhere you listen to podcasts. Then all you need to do is 1) subscribe 2) download and 3) listen! AND!!! 4) If you enjoy what you hear, please leave a rating and a review (pretty please?). The more subscribers and reviews we get, the more opportunities we get to grow this podcast!

Don’t forget to follow us here at themuglytruth.com (click that blue WordPress Follow button on the right side of your screen) so you get notifications every time we post an episode blog! You can also follow The Mugly Truth on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook. Please also follow Kym on Tiktok at kymtok.

© The Mugly Truth 2021 and © The Mugly Truth Podcast 2021. All rights reserved.
Intro and outro music,
Clever as a Fox by Espresso, Inc. through premiumbeats.com.
Outtake music
Big Top by Sir Cubfoot, courtesy YouTube Audio Library.
Featured photo of Ghostly Hand by Pedro Figueras on Pexels.com


Dog Days of August

Today’s episode “Dog Days of August” is on Apple Podcasts, SpotifyOvercast, Libsyn, Pocket CastStitcher, iHeartRadio, or anywhere you listen to podcasts.

Hai thar! Remember us? We sure hope so. After some health issues and a death in the family hit all at once, we decided it would be a great idea to step back from the podcast to catch our breath, and ended up taking most of June and all of July off to recharge. We’re back now with our latest episode number 99 (soooooo close to 100!) and lots of ideas for upcoming episodes which will include Shark Week, a Disneyland birthday discussion, and a life hack/recipes episode with our good friend Kim from Tennessee.

In today’s episode, we step into the world of unusual and fun days to celebrate in August. For the record, we’re pretty sure it’s fairly simple to start a “national day” since the lists we found for August (here and here) have some highly questionable topics. Want to celebrate your end-of-July hangover? You’ll have to catch that special day on August 1, 2021. Don’t know what to do with all those zucchinis from your garden? Why don’t you Sneak Some Zucchini Onto Your Neighbor’s Porch on August 8th? August is also the month to Admit You’re Happy, celebrate clowns (but why though), and be extra glad or extra sad with the mid-year Romance Awareness celebration just in case Valentine’s Day just wasn’t adorable enough.

Kym researched and discussed two particular days she found interesting: National Mahjong Day and National Mustard Day (both on August 1).

Piles and Piles of Lovely Tiles! Ah, elegant, graceful MAHJONG. We had no idea one of our favorite phone game apps was an illegal gambling game in China! Well, it was illegal from the 1940’s through to 1985. Amy Tan wrote about it in her book which was also made into a movie (The Joy Luck Club). And apparently collecting Mahjong tiles is quite the thing to do, which is unsurprising since they are often so exquisitely crafted. According to this website, the most expensive Mahjong set, made of silver, may set you back up to 35,000 Euros/$50,000 USD. You know, just in case you aren’t sure what to do with all that money currently laying about, being used as coasters, and bookmarks and hand-fans, and…uh…other banal stuff we can’t think of words for right now.

Pass That Humble Mustard. If you want to know about all the different kinds of mustards that are in the world, you can research it to your tummy’s delight with this article, A Guide To All the Different Kinds of Mustard. As for the religious significance of the mustard seed pendant such as the one Kris’s grandmother gave her and Kym’s mom used to have, the tiny mustard seed symbolizes faith, God’s Kingdom, humble beginnings, or change for Christians. This lovely blog post by Oh For the Love of Vintage! not only mentions the religious significance, but also has great photos of the different types of jewelry that has been made with a mustard seed encased in that little clear sphere we remember so fondly.

Pomp and Condiments. For an idea of what William Randolph Hearst’s dining room looks like with its dichotomy of ostentatious decor and humble ketchup and mustard bottles, check out kcet.org’s 2012 article by Ken Alpine called, Ketchup, Mustard, and All Things Egalitarian. Alpine deftly describes just how surreal it is to experience the Hearst Castle dining room in person. Pomp, grandeur, French’s mustard, Heinz ketchup…all together like bestest pals forever – D’AW!!! The dining room can be seen on the Grand Rooms Tour – and just to save you the headache of searching…the dining room is called “the Refectory”. Visit https://hearstcastle.org for allllll the details. It’s an 11 out of 10 on the Kym and Kris recommendation scale. Of course, the castle tours are temporarily suspended at the time of this writing, but we’re hoping that it, like the rest of the world, will open up safely once this Covid crap is finally BEATEN!

As for Kris’ topics, she chose to talk about the Perseids Meteor Shower, Vesuvius Day, and Frankenstein Day.

Pre-Dawn Delights. The Perseids Meteor Shower will be most visible in the post-midnight/pre-moonrise hours of August 11, 12, and 13. This article talks specifically about the meteors in 2020 and has some really good detailed information and tips for best viewing.

Silver Lining. Vesuvius Day is 24 August, the anniversary of the deadly eruption that destroyed Pompeii, Herculaneum and Stabiae in 79 AD. While talking about Italy and the site of Pompeii, Kris also mentioned Sicily, Mt. Etna, and “Argento” with all the Parthenon-like structure thingies. Oy. To use a much-hated term, let’s unpack this cringey verbal poo and make some necessary clarifications. Argento is rooted in the latin word “argentum” which means silver. Argento is also an Italian surname. Agrigento, on the other hand, is the to-die-for must-see UNESCO World Heritage site near the coast of southern Sicily, where you can visit the Valley of the Temples (you know, with all that Parthenon-y stuff). These things…Kris knows them, but the words. There are so many, and talking is so stumbly sometimes. Anyhoo, Agrigento AND Pompeii should be on any architecture/archeology/history nut’s bucket list.

NERDNOTE: In the movie Gladiator with Russell Crowe (rowr), his character Maximus explains to a curious boy the names of the horses on his breastplate: Argento and Scatto, which translate to silver and trigger. Which are the names of the horses ridden by fictitious American western folk hero The Lone Ranger (you know, “Hi-HOOOO SILVER AWAY!!! ) and real-life cowboy/actor Roy Rogers (Trigger’s hooman). Fascinate your friends at your next Zoom party with THAT dose of smarts (did we use that joke in a previous blog post? We think we did. Pretty sure quarantine is melting our brains).

Yep, Ok, Back to Mt. Vesuvius. So when that stratovolcano blows again, there is a 72-hour evacuation plan in place. 72 hours. Almost 2 million people to move many, many….we’re talking vurrrrrrry much of the miles away from the blast. Whew. HOW? How will that work? We hope we do not see that in our lifetime.

RANTNOTE: Dear 2020, HANDS OFF VESUVIUS! You’ve had your mitts all over the globe: burning down Australia, plague, murder hornets, mysterious Chinese seeds, gassing protesters, dead whales in the middle of the Amazon rain forest, The Great Mask Debate (wear your effing’ masks please for the love of God and country!), playing golf and shopping at Walmart is ok but kids attending school isn’t, a mysterious mass discovered at the center of the earth, a Saharan dust cloud crossing continents and oceans to reach America, Bernie dropped out of the race again, and we lost John Lewis, the last good man in Washington. YOU HAVE HAD YOUR TIME you big jerky 2020 jerk jerk, LEAVE VESUVIUS ALONE.

But Wait There’s More. By the way, America’s very own Yellowstone Caldera is classified as a supervolcano, which doesn’t sound as horrible as a stratovolcano, but will actually destroy much of our country, for sure way more effectively than the torturous disaster we’ve endured at the hands of those dipshits politicians in Washington, DC.

Hey, 2020. Add Yellowstone to your NOOOOOOPE list. Though we’ll not say no over a little shenaniganery in the capitol. That’s not treasonous. NOT (clap emoji) TREASONOUS (clap emoji).

Moving on to Frankenstein Day. Frankenstein Day is 30 August, which is creator Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley’s birthday (we’re not sure what the other Frankenstein Day is on the last Friday of October…but you won’t hear us argue about celebrating both days). Let’s take a look at some answers to the questions brought up while discussing the August 2018 mentalfloss.com article by Joy Lanzendorfer called, 10 Surprising Facts You Didn’t Know About Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein:

  • The dreary but obviously inspirational summer vacation the Shelley’s took with Lord Byron in Switzerland was during what is known as “The Year Without Summer” and, interestingly enough – Kris had no idea there was such a connection in her stories – that drab weather was due to an explosion of Mt. Tambora in Indonesia. Yes. Again, a volcano eruption is the cause of much monstrous history. First Pompeii, then Frankenstein. Ahem.
  • Mary Shelley’s husband, famed poet Percy Bysshe Shelley died by drowning on 8 July 1822, just shy of his 30th birthday, in a boating accident.
  • And yes, the heart-on-her-desk story was actually true, as detailed in this other mentalfloss.com article. Who knew. It also goes into why experts believe Percy’s heart may have calcified prior to his death.
  • Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley’s other works, including The Last Man (NOT Last Man Standing as stated in the episode), Mathilda, Valperga and others are available for sale at booksellers such as Barnes and Noble and Amazon for various prices. Kris was able to buy a digital version of The Collected Works of Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley for less than $5.00 USD on iBooks (surely Kindle also has a version) which includes Frankenstein, The Last Man, Mathilda, and Mary Shelley’s notes on the complete poetical works of husband Percy Shelley. These stories are also available on Audible. You can download a pdf of Lodore for free here (donations accepted on the website).
  • Here’s some more information on Mary Shelley’s mother (also named Mary). She sounds like she was a kickass woman in her day.

And finally, yes Virginia, Kym and Kris). There is a National Pizza Day. Merry Christmas in February.

Have you ever been to Hearst Castle? Want to go? Do you love or hate mustard? What’s your favorite game? Have you ever seen the Perseids Meteor Shower, visited Pompeii, Yellowstone, or read anything by Mary Shelley? Is there a day in August you’re looking forward to celebrating/observing? Let us know in the comments below! We’d love to hear from you!

Check out The Mugly Truth Podcast’s episode “Dog Days of August” on Apple Podcasts, SpotifyOvercast, Libsyn, Pocket CastStitcher, iHeartRadio, or (almost) anywhere you listen to podcasts. Then all you need to do is 1) subscribe 2) download and 3) listen! AND!!! 4) If you enjoy what you hear, please leave a rating and a review (pretty please?). The more subscribers and reviews we get, the more opportunities we get to grow this podcast and bring you richer content.

Don’t forget to follow us here at themuglytruth.com (click that blue WordPress Follow button on the right side of your screen) so you get notifications every time we post an episode blog! You can also follow The Mugly Truth on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook. Please also follow Kym on Tiktok at kymtok.

© The Mugly Truth 2020 and © The Mugly Truth Podcast 2020. All rights reserved.
Intro and outro music, “Clever as a Fox”  by Espresso, Inc. through premiumbeats.com.

Featured photo Universe by Raman deep on Pexels.com