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WGN Channel 9 - Creature Features - "The Raven" (Opening & Bumper Excerpts, 1978)

Question: When did WGN's Creature Features program end? If you said 1976, then here's another FuzzyMemories discovery that will rewrite history! (read more about it in the latest edition of Fuzzy's News & Views)

Two years after its supposed end, here's the opening and bumper excerpts from the Creature Features presentation of the 1935 Boris Karloff / Bela Lugosi version of "The Raven" on WGN Channel 9.

The Chicago Tribune schedule for the date this movie aired can be found here, and we can cross-reference that with a schedule from, of all places, Chariton, Iowa, which listed in the Chariton Herald-Patriot its cable TV listings, including WGN-TV - and identifies the airing correctly as a Creature Features!

This clip includes:

Opening bumper slide for Creature Features, with voiceover (by Jerry Golden) followed by the slide introducing "The Raven" (notice the show title slide has some "texture" added to the Creature's coat, while the movie title slide does not - was the effect on the show title slide intentional?)

Includes Henry Mancini and his Orchestra's "Experiment in Terror" theme as the famous CF theme music)

(Unfortunately, the laugh is cut off)

The film's opening credits

Brief Creature Features bumper

Brief lower-third station ID ("WGN-TV CHICAGO - TELEVISION 9"), set in Helvetica Medium and News Gothic Bold uppercase fonts that made up original Chyron II character generator system used by Channel 9 through about 1979)

"The Raven" Creature Features bumper

Brief, incomplete commercial for World of Recreation [RV Sales, they were located at 280 West North Avenue in Addison, IL] - "See the World..." (cut out midway through ad)

"The Raven" Creature Features bumper (seen two more times in-between film excerpts)

Ending moments of film, which sees the recording cut out just as the ending bumper starts to show "A Universal Picture"

And now...dim the lights...bolt the door..."

Rest in Peace: WGN-TV Creature Features (1970-1980)

This aired on local Chicago TV early Friday, September 15th 1978 during the 1:23am to 2:46am timeframe.

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This clip aired on Friday, September 15th 1978, and is included in the following categories:

Viewer Comments

Whoa, great find! I didn't even know that Creature Features aired beyond 1976.
Comment posted by ChitownTVFan on Tuesday, October 28th 2014 at 4:08am.

Awesome!
Comment posted by 4thtroika on Tuesday, October 28th 2014 at 5:10pm.

Great sluething job!
Comment posted by Smctopia on Tuesday, October 28th 2014 at 9:34pm.

Somehow, I always knew back in my mind that CF aired well after 1976. Now, if someone has recordings of the short-lived live host airings of CF, that would be a 24 karat platinum find! But, from what I understand, that would be as likely as finding a recording of the first ever Tonight Show With Johnny Carson. With this clip, however, I would have to say that in all of the years of visiting vintage TV sites, you have the best research team ever! A job well done would not even begin to cover it! Epic!
Comment posted by ArmitageNLowell on Thursday, October 30th 2014 at 12:21am.

Very cool find.

As "Bob Hope" used to say whenever he was called on the Johnny B Radio Showgram....

"Isn't that sumpthin?"

Comment posted by GHilbrich on Friday, October 31st 2014 at 3:16pm.

Wow, great find! Got chills watching it. The announcer here is Jerry Golden, who I believe typically worked the late weeknight shift around this time. This was most likely a live announcement, as opposed to the pre-recorded ones used in earlier years.

I distinctly recall a Creature Features presentation on Halloween night (8:00 or so) possibly 1978 or '79. No idea what movie was shown, although Abbott & Costello Meet Frankenstein seems to be coming through the haze of this memory. I believe that the movie clip montage was used that night, although I wouldn't bet too heavily on that, either. Regardless, that was the very last time I ever saw any incarnation of Creature Features.

I'm sure glad someone stayed up late to man their VCR on Sept. 14/15 1978! Too bad they were more concerned about the movie than preserving history, but thankfully at least we have this much.

Comment posted by RLaPorte on Saturday, November 8th 2014 at 7:22pm.

RLaPorte - Rick, thanks for the info and comments. I had a suspicion it might be Jerry Golden, thanks for confirming it. On Dan Siciliano's Creature Features Tribute website, in the multimedia section, there is an audio recording of a CF opening for Godzilla, in the same style as this one, with the same announcer - so I guess that's Jerry Golden too! (also, he was unsure of the airdate, but based on the updated episode guide, it seems August 3rd 1978 is correct)

Great memory on the CF Halloween presentation! Whether or not the monster movie clip montage was used, that's still additional evidence that the showcase was airing in some form as late as possibly 1979. Hopefully Chris Tufts can do some research to see what movies played on 10/31/78 and 10/31/79 so we can nail it down for sure and add the airing to the Creature Features episode guide!

Had you begun your epic audio taping off TV at that point, or did that not start until later? I'm sure if you had an audio recording of the CF Halloween airing you mentioned you would have said so. ;-)

Comment posted by FuzzyMemories on Saturday, November 8th 2014 at 7:40pm.

Funny you mention the Godzilla opening, because I just listened to that one along with several others while I was writing a comment for your other major Creature Features video. I have them saved locally and couldn't recall where I got them. Anyway, yes, that was also Jerry Golden, and on there we get to hear his version of "the laugh!"

Unfortunately the audio taping project didn't officially start until around February of 1980, although I did do some recording intermittently in late '79. I think the Halloween appearance of Creature Features caught me by surprise while I was busy sorting through my big bag of candy, so no audio recording. The reason I remember it was because it had been at least a few years since the last time I'd seen Creature Features, and I thought it was quite cool that they resurrected it for Halloween!

At that point I think the only thing I was recording regularly was the Flintstones (I was only about 12 at the time), and most of those recordings were taped-over in favor of non-microphone versions which also started around 1980. If I knew then what I know now....!

Comment posted by RLaPorte on Saturday, November 8th 2014 at 9:15pm.

Well, the good news is WGN did indeed show "Abbott & Costello Meet Frankenstein" at 8pm on 10/31/78. Unfortunately, they also showed it on 10/31/79 at 8pm. And 10/31/80 at 7pm. And no TV listings (even the obscure ones) list it as Creature Features (as a matter of fact it is actually listed as The 8:00 Movie in the 10/31/78 Chariton paper). So I guess it will remain but a dim memory - until the tape is found. ;-)
Comment posted by FuzzyMemories on Sunday, November 9th 2014 at 9:03am.

I have a TV Guide ad clipped from the 1980 Halloween Night airing of ABBOTT & COSTELLO MEET FRANKENSTEIN on WGN. It's just the 7:00 Movie at this point. I think this was the last Halloween appearance of this film...it might have run again in '81...can't recall. I've saved this ad cut out from the TV Guide because it was actually slipped in the VHS case of an actual off-air recording of the film from that night. Sadly, that tape is long gone. It was replaced by the commercially released videotape. An off-air recording from Halloween night is one of my holy grails...how I wish we kept the tapes we got rid of...Family Classics, Stooges-Rascals Hour, etc...

FYI, INVASION OF THE BODY SNATCHERS with Kevin McCarthy was the 11:00 Movie that night on WGN.

Comment posted by GHilbrich on Sunday, November 9th 2014 at 11:05am.

I'm so glad this footage has turned up--I remembered seeing Creature Features in the late '70s and early '80s, but every historical reference I could find on the Interwebs told me that it ended in May 1976, so I assumed my memory was just wrong...until now! I also remember the simple opening with the blue slide. I must have been up late during summer vacation to see it, and I don't know which movie I saw (Kronos, maybe, since I remember seeing that on CF, though it only aired once in the "classic" era...when I was 9), but I remember being shocked (and thrilled!) to see it still on the air. I still have dreams about the show, too--usually that somebody has at least briefly revived it and I've stumbled across it on cable. (You listening Antenna TV? Cozi? This?)
Comment posted by AdoreSixtyFour on Monday, November 17th 2014 at 1:59pm.

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This clip has been viewed 9881 times.
This clip debuted on FuzzyMemories.TV on Monday, October 27th 2014.
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WGN Channel 9 - Creature Features - "The Raven" (Opening & Bumper Excerpts, 1978)

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https://youtu.be/bFx5jngtTes?t=2125 is an updated link to the episode.


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He will be missed.


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