Sunday, July 25, 2010

May 13, 2009: Things That Scare Me: Case Study #5

In spite of (or, perhaps, because of) my adult infatuation with all things horrifying and horrific, I was scared of absolutely everything when I was a kid. A television commercial for a horror movie was enough to send me racing from the den in a sweaty palm panic. As an ongoing series here on Psychobabble, I'm going to be reviewing some of the things that most traumatized me as a child and evaluating whether or not I was rightfully frightened or just a wiener.

Case Study #5: Madame

As I detailed in my earlier post about the film Magic, puppets can be very, very scary. And anyone who suffered nightmares after witnessing the cackling, hook-nosed, hook-chinned witch in Snow White and the Seven Dwarves knows all too well that hags can be equally traumatizing. Combine the two, and you’re talking about an Evil pulsating with the power of a zillion red-hot pokers.

Actually I’m talking about Madame.

Madame was the muse and instrument of one Wayland P. Flowers Jr. Flowers developed his act around the wise-cracking, sexually suggestive shtick of a puppet that apparently oversaw a brothel. Madame also oversaw my nightmares. I can still recall the one where she skulked out of the shadows behind the bookcase in my bedroom and… I don’t know… did something terrifying, I guess. Maybe I can’t recall very well, but I can recall.

In 1982, Madame starred in her very own syndicated sitcom called “Madame’s Place” in which she traded quips with the likes of Corey Feldman and Judy Landers’s boobs. Despite Madame’s terror-inducing visage, I’d still tune in every week. Call me a glutton.

Here’s the catchy theme song that kicked off each weekly installment of “Madame’s Place”:

The Verdict: Look upon… THIS!!!!!!

In other words, I was justified in my terror. Lordy, was I justified.
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