Show Credits

Billy Van
Billy Van
Billy Van
etc, etc.
Vincent Price
Fishka Rais
Prof. Julius Sumner Miller
Guy Big

A CHCH-TV Production
© 1971

Produced by
"The Markowitz Corp"

Written, Produced, & Directed by
Rafael Markowitz

Associate Producer
Mitch Markowitz

Creative Team
Errol John
Ian Anderson
Bob Hackett
Ross Perigoe
Harvey Graff
Paul Willis
Michael Boncour
Glen Griffith
Allen Tobias
Paul Langer
Fishka Rais
Al Guest
BILLY VAN

Educational Consultant
June Tvack

Assistant to Producer
Nancy Pruss

Make-up
Bob Laden
Hilda Healey

Set Design
Geoff Holmes

Technical Directors
Reg & Dan McGuire

Floor Directors
Jerry Appleton
Tom Knight

Lighting
Larry DeNardis
Ken Smith
Gary Bishop

Audio
Bill Baker
Fred Van Nest

Cameras
Doug Franks
Howard McIntee
Jim Borecki
Wayne Clarke
Paul Webb
Dave Cremasco

Videotape
Bruce Swanson
Wilf Venne
Roger Ivey
Ted Rogers
Dean Blackadar
John Bradford

Video
Dan Gough
Gerry Pietrzvk

Properties
Roger Greco
Dani Podetz

Production Assistants
Bill Burnham
Rod Johnston
Terry Graves
Jim Cooney
Bronko Tesla
Brook Weslak

Wig Styles By
Van Fike

Fangs
Dr. E.C. Cooperman DDS

Some Puppies & Stuff
Hartz Mountain
Lionel's Pony Farm
Ontario Herpetological Society

Cast and Crew

BILLY VAN

Played characters: Count Frightenstein, Bwana Clyde, Gorilla, Grizelda, Librarian, Maharishi, Oracle, Pet Vet, Singing Soldier, Wolfman

Billy Van (top left) with cast of The Party Game - Photo by Dave Cremasco

Billy Van (top left) with cast of The Party Game. Photo: Dave Cremasco

Billy’s bio from the liner notes of “Canada Observed”, 1967

One of Canada’s top all-round performers, and the son of a vaudeville family, Billy started regular television appearances on the CBC network, on such shows as The Barris Beat and Hit Parade, and then went on to form his own group, the highly successful Billy Van Four. They performed on several TV shows including Hit Parade, Parade, etc. He and the group appeared in Canada, the United States, and Europe. He is also known as a talented comedian through his exposure on Nightcap and through his appearances on the show he was asked to do the Colt 45 commercials, which are seen both in Canada and the United States. He also MC’d the C.N.E. Grandstand show in 1966. Billy has been the mainstay comic on "Nightcap" since its inception four years ago, and he has played such roles as The Flying Evangelist, The Patient, Doctor Carson of Flemington Park, Batman’s Robin and nearly every politician in Parliament! He has had many offers from South of the Border, but prefers to remain in Canada. This is his first comedy recording.

Billy’s bio from “CBC Alternative Canadian Walk of Fame Inductee: Billy Van” by Andrew Clark, March 23, 2005

Born Billy Van Evera in Toronto in 1934, by age 12, "Billy Van" and his four brothers were touring North America as a singing act, and by the 1960s he was on his way to becoming one of Canada’s best-loved comedians. Van first gained national attention as a fixture on the 1960s CBC TV series Nightcap, a late-night show known for its irreverent satire, low budget and puerile humour. A chameleon who flipped effortlessly from character to character, he was the show’s comedic fulcrum. While Wayne and Shuster’s "literate slapstick" was restrained, Van’s parodies were wild and brash. He set the prototype for Canadian sketch comedy in the 1970s — broad, over-the-top and painfully accurate.

While Van beefed up such Yankee Doodle series as The Sonny and Cher Comedy Hour and The Hudson Brothers Razzle Dazzle Show, and starred with Jack Duffy and Dinah Christie on the CHCH series Party Game, he never found the big fame that subsequent Canadian comedians such as John Candy and Dan Aykroyd won. In part, this was a result of timing. Billy Van’s comedy was ahead of the curve. Nightcap’s satire and spontaneity were precursors to Saturday Night Live. His work on Frightenstein lampooning pop culture (hippies, horror movies and music) foreshadowed the parody that made SCTV a hit. When Mike Myers was inducted into that other Canadian Walk of Fame, he credited Van, among others, for helping shape his comedy.

Billy Van died in 2003, in Toronto, after a year-long battle with lung cancer. He was 68. Van’s last screen performance was as "Les" the trainer in the 1995 hockey movie Net Worth. A fitting final role for an actor who performed comedy the way the great ones play hockey — with heart, passion and a hell of a lot of talent.

See also:


FISHKA RAIS

Played character: Igor

There is very little information about Fishka, as he passed away shortly after the show was finished. Here are some tidbits:

  • “He drove a Volkswagon Beetle! The clutch was so destroyed, he had a rope attached to it in order to pull the pedal back up.” — John Bradford, 1998
  • “My boss at my first summer job was picked up by Igor while hitchhiking to Toronto. In a Volkswagen Beetle, no less.” — David A. Smith, 1999
  • Deceased, 1974, shortly after an unsuccessful surgical operation to help his obesity problem.

Vincent Price by Christie Shin

Vincent Price painting by Christie Shinn

VINCENT PRICE

Played character: Himself

There is tons of information about Vincent Price on the internet. Check out:

  • Vincent's listing on Wikipedia
  • Vincent's listing at the IMDB
  • Deceased, 1993


PROFESSOR JULIUS SUMNER MILLER

Played character: Himself

The professor had a good deal of fame and there is lots of information about him. Start with:

  • Julius Sumner Miller's listing on Wikipedia
  • Julius Sumner Miller's listing at the IMDB
  • Search for JSM on YouTube for tons of great videos
  • Died of Leukemia 14th April 1987

JOE TORBAY

Stacey Case with Joe Torbay

Frightenstein Puppeteer Joe Torbay (left) with superfan Stacey Case.

Played characters: Gronk, Harvey Wallbanger, Grammer Slammer Bammer

Other Information:

  • Puppeteer and broadcaster.
  • Deceased, October 10, 2009.

GUY BIG

Played character: Mini-Count

Other Information:

  • Played Tiny Russell on the sitcom The King of Kensington, CBC, 1977.
  • Briefly seen in the early John Candy movie “Find the Lady (1976)” — he appears near the end of the film, walks out of a door in a funhouse, kicks a man in the shin, and goes back into the funhouse.

RIFF MARKOWITZ

Producer

Other Information:

  • Numerous credits, in radio, television, and theatre
  • Presently producing and starring in the nostalgic musical and dance theatre revue The Fabulous Palm Springs Follies.
  • Search for Riff on YouTube for some videos.

MITCH MARKOWITZ

Played characters: Superhippy, Mosquito

Other Information:

  • Is now a successful real estate marketing executive in Toronto.

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