Saturday, July 14, 2018
Saturday Morning Cult-TV Blogging: Sigmund and the Sea Monsters: "Monster Rock Festival" (1973)
In "Monster Rock Festival," Sigmund listens regularly to a popular radio show and decides to participate in a new contest to win prize money. The sea monster writes and performs his own song for the show, as "Swinging Sigmund," and to his surprise, wins the contest.
This victory creates two problems for Sigmund, Johnny (Johnny Whittaker) and Scott (Scott Kolden).
The first problem is that the radio disc jockey wants to meet Sigmund in person, so he can record him singing his song live. Of course, if the D.J. meets him, that would reveal Sigmund's identity as a sea monster.
Secondly, Sigmund's villainous family wants in on the action, and decides to put on its own (bad) musical show.
This episode of Sigmund and the Sea Monsters (1973 - 1975) feels like a call-back -- or perhaps a left-over teleplay -- from an earlier Sid and Marty Krofft live-action Saturday morning series: The Bugaloos (1970 - 1972).
As you may recall (hopefully from my blog posts), that cult-TV program involved teenage rock singer/insect people living peacefully in "Tranquility Forest," and facing constant jealousy from Benita Bizarre (Martha Raye). Benita wanted to be a musical star, but didn't have the chops to succeed. Most episodes involved her stealing the songs or talents of the Bugaloos so she could become famous.
In "Monster Rock Festival," the same dynamic exists. Sigmund writes and performs a song that wins a contest, and faces jealousy from the villains of this series: his family. In fact, this story was actually the plot of The Bugaloos episode "Our Home is Our Hassle," in which the firefly Sparky (Billy Barty) won a radio song-contest sponsored by the Tranquility Forest D.J., Peter Platter.
So if this story feels familiar, there's a good reason. Still, at least this week's plot is a little different from the repetitive Sigmund and the Sea Monsters fare of late, even if it seems ported in from another show.
Next week: "Ghoul School Days."