Lon Chaney Jr: Fun Times on Live TV
Lon Chaney Jr is without a doubt, one of the most iconic actors in horror history. Apparently he also had a raging alcohol problem as well. "Tales of Tomorrow" was an anthology science fiction series that was performed and broadcasted live on television from 1951 to 1953. The series covered such famous stories as 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea, Black Planet, The Last Man on Earth, and Frankenstein, which starred none other than Mr. Chaney Jr. himself. It was his live television performance as The Monster on "Tales of Tomorrow" that earned him a spot on The Smoking Jacket's Eight Legendary Drinking Binges that Only Celebrities Could Have Gotten Away With. What an honor.
Apparently, leading up to his live performance, Lon Chaney Jr was so drunk during rehearsals, that they actually had to be stopped completely. According to Chaney biographer Don Smith, the actor was drinking during rehearsals of the show and damaged props which had to be replaced. When the show was actually shot, an inebriated Chaney was under the impression that it was a dress rehearsal and gingerly laid the furniture down instead of throwing it as he should. He could also be heard muttering to himself, saying such things as "save for later" and "break later" as he was placing the props back down. I suppose this was lucky for the child actor, with whom he shared a scene with in the above clip, but maybe not so lucky for the audience. What?! That kid was annoying. Anyway, here are some more clips of the performance:
What other celebrities made the list, you ask? The complete list can be viewed at The Smoking Jacket's Website