Forgotten Heroes of Comedy

By Robert Ross

A Celebration of the Comedy underdog

Tuesday, 21 October 2014

It's Monsteriffic!

Those lovely people at Warner Archive have just released the fourth and final collection of Bowery Boys comedies onto DVD. This is a joyous occasion, meaning all 48 – yes, 48! – films in the series are now available to buy. Their relentless wheeling and dealing, crap-shooting and dame-chasing antics ran for well over a decade and benefited from a great ensemble cast and witty, fast-paced dialogue. It was the language of the streets and, in particular, the mean streets of New York. Suitably enough, the series sprang from the hard-hitting Broadway play ‘Dead End’. Lots of the subsequent Bowery Boys were originally cast in this and, indeed, moonlit in rival series of Dead End Kids films, as well as East Side Kids films. Chief among them were dopey Huntz Hall – who famously appeared on the cover of ‘Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band’ – and pugnacious Leo Gorcey – who famously threatened to sue unless he was removed from the same. This gang of wise-cracking urchins took on cops, robbers, cowboys, pirates and even ghosts. And not those ‘It was the janitor all along’ Scooby-Doo type ghosts. Well, not always anyway! One of the series regulars gets a special place in ‘Forgotten Heroes of Comedy’ and represents the whole series. I’m not saying which one though. It’s a surprise. You have to buy the book, tell your friends, buy them the book, and wait and see. In the meantime, here’s how the studio advertised it when the boys met the monsters. Well, it is Halloween, after all…

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