Last week’s news of the death of Morgus the Magnificent raises a question: Is it indeed possible for Morgus to have died? He spent so much of his life working on inventions to better the world we would have thought that he would have created a longevity pill. His life was due to a former radio personality named Sid Noel (Rideau), who sadly did die. But I think Noel would agree that Morgus lives on.
During the ‘60s Morgus was the rage in local television when, on each Saturday night, he would introduce horror movies on television. Between segments he would have skits featuring his towering hooded executioner servant, Chopsley, and a skeleton-headed computer named Eric (Eon Research Infinity Computer). Morgus wore a tattered white lab coat and always looked a little ghoulish. Some thought him to be a spoof, others recognized him as the genius he claimed to be. After all, only he had the intellect to write a scientific book entitled, “Molecules I Have Known.”
Several years ago, I had the opportunity to interview Morgus from which I wrote an article. Here are insights rescued from my tattered notes:
“Dr. Momus Alexander Morgus still claimed to live in his laboratory located atop the ‘old city icehouse’ in the Quarter and Chopsley was still by his side obeying his commands. In 1962 a movie about him was made called, ‘The Wacky World of Dr. Morgus.’ To this day, the Doctor scoffs at the word “Wacky” in the title and claimed that he did not know the film was being made, even as cameras and bright lights followed him around for a couple of months.”
(Note: Some students of cinema think the film should have won the Academy Award for best movie, instead the Academy caved in and gave the Oscar to “West Side Story.”)
“It is time for us to start respecting Morgus for the scientific star that he is,” my notes continue. “After all, it was he who many years ago installed his own personal turbine at he bottom of the river to generate the electricity for his icehouse home. ‘I never have to pay Entergy,’ Morgus gloated. And it was he who dared to experiment with an ‘Instant People Machine’ with the ability to turn people into sand and sand into people.”
Humbled to be making a suggestion in the aura of someone else’s creativity, I nevertheless offer this idea: The old city icehouse should be converted into a museum dedicated to genius. Eric, the talking skeleton head, could greet all visitors, ask for a contribution and remind them of social distancing. It could be an attraction to rival the Cabildo. Granted, no one is exactly sure where the icehouse is located, but nowadays the search should be easier with the use of drones, which, of course, Morgus also invented.
Just leave a room in the cellar for Chopsley.
BOOK ANNOUNCEMENT: Errol’s Laborde’s books, “New Orleans: The First 300 Years” and “Mardi Gras: Chronicles of the New Orleans Carnival” (Pelican Publishing Company, 2017 and 2013), are available at local bookstores and at book websites.
WATCH INFORMED SOURCES, FRIDAYS AT 7 P.M., REPEATED AT 9:30 A.M. SUNDAYS.WYES-TV, CH. 12.