It's entirely possible this post is just an excuse to stare at the vivacious Elvira. The Scream Queen Elvira first popped out in the early 80's as yet one more horror show hostess, but there was something about this dark beauty, something many others lack...charm. Aside from her obvious attractions, Cassandra Peterson imbued her portrayal of Elvira with wit and self-deprecating humor and actual comic timing. She was great to watch and entertaining to listen to. She quickly became an 80's icon.
In both the 80's and the 90's she'd get her own comic, like Elvira herself, more thoroughly entertaining packages than you might at first imagine. Elvira projects always seemed to not stop at exploitation but go on to be actually rather decent otherwise.
But there are exceptions. CHiPs is one of those late 70's early 80's TV shows that today looks downright bizarre, and I look at it and wonder how I was ever entertained by it. Now truth told, I don't ever remember seeing the episode I'm about to discuss, so maybe I wasn't as entertained as I imagine. (There was never a CHiPs comic book as far as I can remember, and frankly there should have been given the juice of the show at the start.) I caught this episode on METV the other day while in the waiting room of a local doctor. (That's how bored I have to be to watch CHiPs, but I'm glad I caught this one.)
"Things that Go Bump In the Night" was the next to last episode of CHiPs and aired in 1983. The show was on its way out the TV door, and apparently the producers were grabbing at anything to knock up a ratings point here and there. They chanced upon Elvira who had appeared in the previous year in a Halloween episode. That's not the show I'm talking about.
This one has a young girl running from some unknown threat which appears to be a sea monster clutching in her hand a galley proof of a comic book cover titled "Sea Thing". (You can see why this got my attention.) She is rescued but the investigation takes Ponch (Erik Estrada) and his partner to Elvira's comic shop where she gives them valuable clues about the piece of art. The comics on the racks in this shop seem right for the era and I could make out clearly a Thor and a Ghost Rider comic. The clues take them to an eccentric and possibly dangerous magician played weirdly by Rich Little (this show is like an 80's time capsule for gosh sakes) and eventually they find out what it's all about. There are holograms, life-size ventriloquist dummies, and more in this bizzaro show. For a more thorough review of this show check this out.
I love shows that feature comics, at least from this era since it happened relatively rarely. And trying to identify the comics is always fun, as almost always the comics are not appropriate to the time and place. This time however they seemed to be and that was neat.
As for Elvira, I never get tired of looking at her.