Anonymous – Barnabas Collins in a Funny Vein (1969)

Review by Justin Tate

Ever aware of the show’s campy tone, this novelty joke book first appeared in February 1969. Apparently it exceeded expectations, as there there at least five additional printings in only ten months. This impressive accomplishment is more indicative of the national frenzy for Dark Shadows anything, I believe, than the book’s content.

The jokes are, generally, of the Laffy Taffy variety. Many forced puns and poorly constructed riddles fill its 88 pages. At best the jokes are worthy of a brief chuckle, at worst they are so cringe-worthy that it’s hard to imagine any editorial eye gave the publication a passing glance. If there were jokes of such low caliber that they didn’t make the cut, they must’ve been uniquely horrendous indeed.

Nevertheless, it should be recognized that filling up nearly 100 pages with vampire jokes is not an easy task. And, despite its fangs—I mean, flaws—the book remains a jolly good time for those who can’t get enough of Barnabas Collins, “America’s favorite pain in the neck.” More generally, if you’re looking for some vintage Halloween puns, this might be a decent source for material.

To give you a taste, I’ve compiled a brief list of my favorite jokes featured in the book, and some noteworthy for being exceptionally awful. Enjoy!

Who is Barnabas’ favorite cowboy?
Gene Artery.

What did Barnabas tell his guests about Joan of Arc?
He told them she was the first French fry.

Did Barnabas tell you about the sexy ghost?
She wore a mini-sheet.

How is Barnabas like a cosmetic?
His lips stick.

How do vampires order hotdogs and beer?
They ask for a frank and stein.

What book is Barnabas reading?
In Cold Blood. But he always reads in cold blood.

What does Barnabas call two pounds of blood?
A Killogram

Who did Barnabas vote for in the 1964 election?
Bury Ghoulwater.

Why do vampires live so long?
They watch what they eat.

What kind of protest button does Barnabas wear?
His button says “Blood Power.”

Where is home for Barnabas?
Anywhere he hangs his bat.

And here are some really bad ones…

What does Barnabas call insects which develop into butterflies?

Does Barnabas eat oranges?
No, but he’s very fond of necktarines.

Who is Barnabas’ favorite banker?
J.P. Organ.

Is Barnabas interested in investments?
No, but he likes to play the shock market.

What city in California does Barnabas like to visit?
He likes to drop in on San Fangcisco.

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