Professor Montgomery Weirdo (Dayton Allen), with the aid of his assistant, Count Kook (Larry Best), created his own monster by pouring various sinister liquids into a mold. Fearing his creation may become so terrifying as to turn against him, Weirdo added some “tincture of tenderness” into the mix. Unfortunately for the not-so-good doctor, Kook caused him to mix in a bit too much and out came Milton (Bob McFadden, using a Gomer Pyle-inspired voice): a good-natured and clumsy monster whose hollow head would emit various amounts of white steam or smoke depending on his mood.
Created by Hal Seeger and produced by his production company--the first of theirs to be broadcast on television--the series was intended to be a parody of old-time horror films. Weirdo lived in a castle on a hill in Transylvania and was always in competition with another mad scientist, Professor Fruitcake, who lived in another castle on top of another hill. Also in residence in the castle was a skull-faced ghoul in a top hat named Heebie (McFadden, impersonating Peter Lorre) and a slow-witted cyclops named Jeebie (also McFadden) whose single sharp tooth was used to open soda cans. When not competing with Fruitcake directly, Weirdo could always be found trying to profit off of his monsters by selling them out to the highest bidder or by concocting a scheme to banish Milton permanently from the castle (which always failed). Little did Weirdo know that Kook wanted to get rid of Weirdo as well in order to take over the castle and hatch his own plans.
|Muggy-Doo (top) in trouble as usual, and Stuffy Durma resisting Brinkley's influence.|
However, Milton was only in one of three segments in the program, and usually the last one each episode. For most of the run, the first segment featured the adventures of Fearless Fly (Allen); an ordinary housefly named Hirem who ducked into a matchbox to don a red sweater and high-powered glasses that “provided millions of mega-tons of energy through the sensitive muscles in his head.” His primary foes were the Fu Manchu-like Dr. Goo Fee and his sidekick, Gung Ho (both McFadden, and before racial stereotypes became taboo in cartoons). Professor Weirdo also went up against Fearless Fly a few times. In “Fearless Fly Meets the Monsters,” their first encounter also served as a pilot to the overall series as it featured Milton’s creation. Except in that instance, his name was George, he had a deeper voice, Frankenstein monster-styled hair, and a forehead scar. Heebie and Jeebie also exchanged voices. When not battling evil, Hirem hung out at the Sugar Bowl bistro with his girlfriend, Flory (Bev Arnold), while dealing with bully Horsey the Horsefly (McFadden again).
|Flukey Luke and Two Feathers (top) and Penny Pengin up to no good.|
The second segment had a rotating line-up of characters and their own adventures. One featured Flukey Luke (Allen), an inept cowboy detective who had a Native American sidekick, Two Feathers (Best, using an Irish accent), that brought their skills to the big city. Luke’s name came from the fact that it was only dumb luck that allowed him to apprehend any criminals. Another feature starred Stuffy Durma, a hobo who inherited ten million dollars and resisted attempts to be made civilized by his valet, Bradley Brinkley (both Allen). The next feature starred Muggy-Doo (Best), a sly box fox who often tried to strike it rich with a variety of schemes that often failed. The final feature starred Penny Penguin (Arnold), a bratty teenager who often caused problems for her parents Chester (Allen) and Beulah (Hetty Galen) ala Dennis the Menace.
Both Muggy-Doo and Stuffy Durma appeared prior to Milton. Seeger originally created them for the comic Muggy-Doo, Boy Cat from Stanhall Publishing in 1953. Muggy was a blue cat whose yellow t-shirt always had a message that changed to match his situation ala The Yellow Kid, and worked as a junkman (er, cat). Stuffy Durma also appeared in his own feature in the comic, but was depicted as an actual pig named Stuffy DERMA. The comic only ran for four issues, two of which were reprinted in 1963 by I.W. Enterprises. Muggy was later adapted for the screen in the theatrical short, Boy Pest with Osh, which featured the fez-wearing hound from the comic. Both characters were redesigned for the show, with Muggy becoming a fox and Stuffy a human.
|Milton, Heebie and Jeebie hitting the road.|
Milton the Monster was co-produced by ABC, where it also aired for its sole season beginning October 9, 1965. Even after its run ended, ABC kept it on its schedule until 1968 where it then entered into syndication. Despite the series’ name, the breakout character of the show was Fearless Fly, who became incredibly popular with viewers. While the format remained the same for most of the run, for a few episodes Milton segments were doubled up and Fearless Fly was moved to the rotating second segment roster. The series was written by Beverly Arnold, Kin Platt and Heywood Kling with music was by Winston Sharples.
|The sole issue of Milton's comic.|
Despite its long stay on ABC, there was very little in the way of Milton merchandise. In 1966, Gold Key released a single issue of Milton the Monster and Fearless Fly, but without any of the other featured segments represented. That same year, Milton Bradley produced a board game inspired by the show. In 2007, Shout! Factory released the complete series to DVD.
Originally posted in 2015. Updated in 2021.