You'll Die Laughing Once Again! (Topps Creature Feature Trading Cards Pt. II)
Last year during the Countdown to Halloween, I posted a remembrance of an old series called Topps Creature Feature Trading Cards, but that most people just call You'll Die Laughing, because those words are pasted across the backs of each card in the set directly above the joke section. If you did not see it, click here to play catch up, as this is Part II of the piece.
This is a posting of the next thirteen cards in my You'll Die Laughing collection. I do not have a full set, which has always bothered me considering how much I love the cards, but the opportunity to grab a full set has just never presented itself to me. I know that I can find them online, but just haven't done it. In the meantime, I am still fully appreciative of that which I have.
Because the series was released in 1973, some of the jokes reflect the mores and politics of that time. As an example, card #26 features the mummy Kharis carrying a woman (whose face, as I mentioned in Pt. I, is one of those that has likely had the face of a Topps employee superimposed (rather badly) onto it; cards #23 above and #29 below are other examples). The joke reads "You're not going to that Women's Lib meeting and that's final!"
As 1973 was a big year in the Women's Lib movement with the passing of Roe v. Wade and Billie Jean King defeating Bobby Riggs in a highly publicized "Battle of the Sexes" tennis match, the card certainly reflects the battle going on in the public eye at that time. But it plays the same today considering how much the news has been filled in recent months with rape trials with ridiculous outcomes, the ongoing fight over abortion rights, squabbling over public breastfeeding, attempts to defund Planned Parenthood, women still not getting equal pay for equal work, and a presidential nominee talking brazenly and proudly about molesting women, but also seems in constant forward motion in his ongoing reign of terror by demeaning any women that cross his path.
Some of the cards (like the ones above) featured wisecracks that became stock jokes in our household, at least while my brothers and I were kids and were still being directly influenced by regular readings of these cards. I have always been fond of the one featuring the Creature from the Black Lagoon as an opera-singing gondolier, or the one where Frankenstein's Monster gets upset with the Wolf Man over saying his mother has a mustache. (Mother jokes are always funny... always...)
The card with Lon Chaney's Phantom of the Opera dressed as the Red Death above, where he proclaims "My girdle is killing me!" was probably one of the earliest drag jokes that I enjoyed as a kid. Yes, I know men can wear girdles as well, but the selection of the shot with the Phantom having a "clutch the pearls" moment has always read more feminine to me, thereby making the Phantom's action into a drag-style joke. Another fave is the image of Kharis (above, with Lon Chaney, Jr. under this particular makeup) where he asks "Who fooled around with my butane lighter?," looking for all the world like he had just lit himself on fire.
|AIP Example #1|
|AIP Example #2|
|AIP Example #3|
[As before, all of the images of cards in this article were scanned from my personal collection. Feel free to copy and use as you wish, but if you repost on your website, please credit The Cinema 4 Pylon. Otherwise, please share in the silliness.]