The Boris Karloff Blogathon started a few days ago, bringing forth throngs of scholarly and well-written tributes - I especially like what John McElwee posted on his exceptional Greenbriar Picture Shows blog, both on November 23 and in his 2006 Karloff tribute - to the icon of Universal and AIP terror.
Here's Boris, in his element as host of the early 1960's Gothic horror-suspense-spook story-noir anthology series, Thriller. Imagine, in 1961 one could watch Alfred Hitchcock Presents and Thriller back-to-back on freakin' network television!
A tribute that Boris' daughter, Sara, presented at the Balboa Theatre a few years back included a splendid home movie clip of the horror movie icon making funny faces in full Frankenstein makeup; this, to me, capsulized just why we like this guy so much - and was also the funniest thing I had seen along these lines since Karloff's classic Butter-Nut Coffee commercial and the episode of The Jack Benny Program in which Peter Lorre sings "I Want A Gal Just Like The Gal That Buried Dear Old Dad".
Those glimpses of wry humor were, with his willingness to tackle varied genres and mediums (radio, film, recordings, voice-overs for animation, television shows and ads) among the reasons why Boris pulled off that rarity in show biz, a lengthy and rewarding career, while both embracing and transcending the inevitable typecasting that comes with scary movie stardom.