Harlow Hickenlooper: One Man, a Striped Jacket, a Straw Hat, Three Stooges, Hundreds of Pies, and Thousands of Adoring Fans

2008 documentary

Rating: n/r

Plot: A look at the life and work of Indianapolis independent children's entertainer Hal Fryar, better known as Harlow Hickenlooper. Includes lengthy stories from Fryar and a ton of old clips.

From what I can gather, a Hickenlooper fan named Steve Pyatte put this together and gave it to Fryar as a gift. It's not exactly a professional work, so I didn't feel like giving it a rating, but I'm sure glad I watched it as a Hoosier. I'm only marginally familiar with Hickenlooper, but it was great watching the 80-something year old Fryar talk about his work and his colleagues with such enthusiasm. Even though his stories were all over the place and at times almost like jokes that only he would get, the guy is so likable and excited that you want to listen to him for hours. From how he got his first television gig (a guy who played a cowboy character quit and at 6'2", Fryar fit in the costume) to working with William Shatner and Shari Lewis (both using the show as a platform to peddle their own work) to behind-the-scenes footage of his work with the Stooges in The Outlaws Is Coming! this is a wonderful look at a time and television genre that won't exist again. As Fryar says, without whining, kids living in a world where everything is automated just wouldn't appreciate this sort of thing. As an Indianapolis guy, I enjoyed seeing crackly footage of Fryar flying a kite at Brookside Park (I've disc golfed there) and walking through a haunted house at the Indianapolis Children's Museum. My favorite moment: Hal Fryar talking about how excited he was when he showed up on the set of the Three Stooges movie and seeing a chair with his name on the back of it.

As a bonus, there was some stuff about another local television personality named Sammy Terry who I remember very fondly. That guy was great! He showed terrible horror flicks and had a terrific creepy laugh.

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