A long-sought-after treasure of Careyana has been found! It’s Timothy’s Halloween commercial for Sambo’s restaurants, first aired on NBC-TV on October 29, 1980. Who is that at the very beginning, appearing from behind a newspaper as Frankenstein’s monster? I think we all know who! Happy Halloween, everybody!
The Timothy Carey Experience wishes all you guys and ghouls out there a fantastic Halloween! Apparently this time of year was quite the production at the Carey household. There were spooky decorations everywhere, scary sounds on the stereo, and Timothy handing out candy and delightfully scaring the neighborhood kids. Probably not dressed like this, however.
This great picture is all we have right now of one of the most highly sought-after pieces of Careyabilia there is – the commercial he did for Sambo’s Restaurant sometime in the early 1980s, advertising their new late-night hours. I would give my eye teeth to see it. Have a wonderful Halloween, everybody!
All of Carey’s collected stories to this point are borne of the humility of working class underdogs who dream of artistic expression. There’s Menudo, the 52-year-old Mexican singing cowboy from his teleplay, My Casa Is Yours, who still wants to become a pro soccer player. There’s the title character in Fiore – written with his wife, Doris – a car wash attendant who plays detective in a local murder/necrophilia case to win the reward money for a girl’s art school tuition. In Commercials, another teleplay written with his wife, an ad exec teams up with an anti-establishment, dog-loving street entertainer. Then there’s songwriter Cass Matthews from Greenwood, who finances his 25,000 acres of alligator sanctuary by recording hit pop records in Memphis.
All of these characters constitute a clear autobiography, embarking on impossible schemes, risking public ridicule and physical injury in pursuit of their personal ideals, and none more so than Carey’s alter-ego, The Insect Trainer‘s main character, Guasti Q. Guasti. Guasti represents all of Carey’s loneliness throughout his career, directly tied to the rejection he repeatedly faced amongst those whose art he shared. The booting off of location sets, the months spent developing a character only to be whittled down to a few moments by the time it hit the big screen, doing a screen test and not getting called because someone easier to work with would come in and use Carey’s test as a primer, having idea after idea shot down…these are the elements that went into creating Guasti.
– Ara Corbett, “Rebels With a Cause: The Timothy Carey – John Cassavetes Partnership,” Filmfax magazine #56 (May/June 1996)
Halloween greetings to one and all! I’ve posted both of these before, but they’re the scariest ones I could come up with for today. First up is the trailer for Francis in the Haunted House (1956), the closest thing to a horror film that Timothy ever appeared in (unless you count Chesty Anderson U.S. Navy, heh heh). Tim can briefly be glimpsed here as Hugo, hulking castle minion. Narration by the great Frank Nelson of “Yyyyyeeeeeessssss???” fame; the voice of Francis and of the ghost by the equally great, if not legendary, Paul Frees, who would go on to provide the voice of The Snake in The World’s Greatest Sinner (1962).
Next we have the infamous “Atta boy Mike” scene from Head (1968). It’s weird, it’s creepy, it’s ridiculous, it makes absolutely no sense whatsoever! Enjoy!
Tim as Frankenstein’s monster, from the long-lost Sambo’s commercial of the early 1980s
It occurred to me that people who “like” Leo Gordon are probably aware of the late, great, totally bat crazy actor, Timothy Carey. In the 80’s I used to run into Carey all over town. One night he rushed up to me in a restaurant and said, “Did you know your father and I did a deodorant commercial together? It was great…ahead of its time. They never aired it.” He went on to describe the commercial. Seems he and Dad were two nasty, dirty, sweaty bad guys holed up in a swamp shack, shooting it out with a large group of lawmen outside. Totally out-gunned, the bad guys throw down their weapons and exit the shack….arms held high. The stench is so great that the lawmen all pass out cold. Later, I reported the story back to Dad who confirmed it, adding that “Carey is such a method actor I nearly passed out in the shack.” Weeks later, I reported his comment back to Carey who gave it his big “har har har” laugh. This brings me to the topic of this post: missing film footage. While film historians are busy trolling the tundra for London After Midnight or an extra 40 hours of Greed, some of us want to find the Gordon/Carey deodorant commercial. I mean, c’mon, this stuff is great.