April 24, 2009

Billy Barty, Billy Barty, SEE Billy Barty!

(Above title should be sung to the 'Circus Vargas' theme.)

When I was really little (much like Mr. Barty) I saw something on the T.V. that scared the crap out of me! It's one of those visual memories that are permanently burned into your mind, never to be erased by the passing of time. It would have been in the early 1970s because I'm pretty sure that I was just a toddler. And I'm not certain if it was in a movie or on a T.V. show, although my feeling is that it was probably a movie.

O.K., here's the scene: Mr. Barty was playing some kind of deranged scientist or something, in a white lab coat, holding a big syringe menacingly. Before him sat either one or two young girls (I think) that were his victims. The room around them was all dark and it seemed like they were underneath a very bright light. His victim/s were very upset and crying because they didn't want to be injected. Needless to say, it was a VERY intense moment. I can see all of this so clearly in my head that I want to know how accurate it actually is. And if it would still creep me out, today.

I've only just begun to do research in the hopes of finding this "little" gem. No luck, so far... If anyone reading this KNOWS what that scene is from, please, tell me!

Recapturing things like this from my childhood is important to me. Just as meaningful to me are toys that I remember playing with, as well. I have several ongoing missions to acquire such fond nuggets of my past.

He looks ready to conduct my circus.

Another less scary memory of Mr. Barty is his role as Hugo on the Krofft Superstars' T.V. show 'Dr. Shrinker'. Hugo was the Dr.'s evil sidekick, if memory serves, and he assisted in trying to capture the 3 "shrinkee" teenagers that had already been shrunken and since escaped. The show had a catchy theme song, too! But don't ask me to sing it.

The titular Dr. Shrinker!

"Little" Hugo


  1. Hee hee, you said "titular"!

    I've no idea if your memory is a real movie, but I bet someone out there does. I have memories like that, too, where I wonder if I dreamed it or if it's a real memory.

  2. I don't recognize that movie scene! But I'm scared of it anyway. You know, I NEVER watched Dr. Shrinker, and had never even heard of it until YOU told me about it. And I was a Krofft fan. I loved Electra Woman & Dynagirl, and Wonder Bug, and wasn't there one called "Isis?" She was an Egyptian goddess or something.

  3. Yes, Tommy, there was a Saturday morning T.V. show by the name of 'Isis'. BUT, it was not a Sid & Marty Krofft production! It ran on CBS while the Krofft stuff was shown on ABC. Do you also remember that originally 'Isis' was part of a 'Shazam!/Isis' hour-long show?

  4. Oh! I think I totally loved the Shazam/Isis hour!!!

  5. Ooh! I wanna comment on Billy Barty! He was in this Roger Corman movie called "The Undead" where he played (wow, what a surprise) a scary evil imp. Way to think outside the box, Corman. It was an episode of MST3K in their 8th season, and as I was watching it I remember thinking, "holy crap, Billy Barty is the most talented person in this flick!"

    The Wikipedia page doesn't mention an interesting trivial item about that movie, in that it was supposedly initially written all in iambic pentameter, but Roger Corman found it too distracting during filming. Like Corman is the arbiter of taste. Feh.

    "Billy BARty Billy BARty..." Now I have that stuck in my head. Thanks.

  6. Wow, Matt! Thanks for telling me about "The Undead", it sounds interesting! But probably not even HALF as interesting as it would have been if done all in iambic pentameter. I wonder if Netflix has that one...?


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