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The Monkey and The Night Tripper

Having kids is like entering the Twilight Zone…  Turns out there’s this whole other parallel universe populated with fuzzy puppets and animated characters with strange voices.

Occasionally, we witness a cross-over between the normal world and this bizarre kid’s world (like Marty McFly hopping in the DeLorean and meeting his younger self).  Exhibit A: the case of the Man in the Yellow Hat and his mischievous pet.

Have you ever noticed that the theme song to Curious George carries a whiff of New Orleans funk? 

That’s no accident. It sounds like a brass band on a second line parade: “Get curious (curious!) And that’s marvelous (marvelous!)” 

The first time I heard it, I said: that sounds like The Doctor...

...As in New Orleans jazz/funk piano legend Dr. John.  But here’s where it starts to get creepy.  While The Good Doctor has had some pop hits, he is way up into that Louisiana hoodoo.

Back in the 60's, he adopted the persona of The Night Tripper – just your garden variety bayou Witch Doctor.  Blame the black magic, or other substances, but Dr. John is the definition of altered states – and I don't mean Elmo’s World. 

Don't even think about listening to his first album, Gris-Gris, with the lights out.  Choice cuts include: “Gris Gris Gumbo Ya Ya” and “I Walk on Gilded Splinters.”  (It’s like the soundtrack to True Detective.) 

So, next time you’re with your boy or girl, humming along to the opening of Curious George, say a Voodoo protection spell, and picture The Night Tripper:

September 09, 2014 by Ted Flanagan
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