Lost & Found: There’s Nothing Natural About This Cat and Mouse Playing Together
Imagine the following scenario: You wake up in the middle of the night. You can hear some sound coming from the television in the living room, but you don’t recognize what you’re hearing. Groggy and confused, you pad softly to the living room to find out what woke you up. You find on your TV an old black and white program featuring a man in his 50s singing ‘Jesus Loves Me’ in a scratchy voice full of feigned innocence while a cat and a hamster are being forced to play along on a drum and a toy piano. Now, the question here is: Do you think you’ll be able to go back to sleep — ever?
The above clip is part of ‘Andy’s Gang,’ a TV show for children and die-hard H.P. Lovecraft fans. The series ran from 1955-60, and featured plenty of evidence that dark lords are moving and plotting among us. Aside from Midnight the Cat and Squeeky the Mouse, who are “playing” the instruments in the video (we don’t want to know how they made Squeeky beat that drum), the show featured a bevy of strange characters.
The most devious of the show’s characters was probably Froggy the Gremlin. He appeared whenever show host Andy intoned the ritual incantation, “Plunk your magic twanger, Froggy!” Once Froggy appeared, he could control other characters’ actions, often making them humiliate themselves for the sake of a studio audience that wasn’t actually there.
That’s correct. There was no real live audience present for tapings of ‘Andy’s Gang.’ The audience “reactions” you see in the video were filmed separately and added later. That means that the stoic, silent faces were exactly what the producers of the show wanted. Why? Who can say? After reviewing the above clip, though, one thing is certain: The motive behind ‘Andy’s Gang’ was anything but wholesome.