X3: What Does Barnabas Use in His Coffee?

“Barnabas’ sheets are made of…”

I’m away this week, but I don’t want you to think that I’m dead, so I’ve prepared some posts in advance. Please do not bury me alive. Or if you do, at least put me in an open casket with a little doorbell next to my hand, just in case I want something.

But honestly, I would prefer it if you just didn’t think I was dead at all. Is that really too much to ask?

xtra barnabas collins in a funny vein

Instead of regular posts this week, I’m paying tribute to Barnabas Collins In a Funny Vein, a novelty joke book published by Paperback Library in February 1969.

It’s 91 pages of jokes about Barnabas, which was apparently 90 pages beyond their ability to cope. Personally, I’ve written almost 500 pages of jokes about Barnabas, but I have modern conveniences like DVDs, and if I run out of things to say I can just copy stuff out of Wikipedia. Paperback Library had to do it by hand.

So they followed the same route that Dark Shadows did, moving from a vampire focus to ghosts, werewolves, and things that go bump in the night.

Barnabas likes to fly from New York City to Los Angeles. He says it’s a way to travel ghost-to-ghost.

How does Barnabas keep up with laws affecting vampires and monsters?
Every morning he reads “The Washington Ghost”.

Do his ghost friends have any children?
Sure they do. The kids wear rubber sheets.

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

673 dark shadows barnabas werewolf cane

The book refers to werewolves as Wolfman, which is kind of adorable, although these jokes are particularly head-scratching.

Wolfman is a friend of mine. Saw him the other day and he thought he was watching himself turn into a werewolf. But he was looking into a hairbrush.

What happened when Barnabas crossed a man-eating tree with Wolfman?
His bark was worse than his bite.

What did Barnabas say when he saw Wolfman chasing a blond down Fifth Avenue?
I’ve heard of five o’clock shadow, but this is ridiculous.

665 dark shadows barnabas speech

They also try to spread out in kind of a general Halloween area:

What’s Barnabas’ favorite song?
Ghoul of My Dreams, I Love You.

Why wouldn’t Barnabas borrow a cigarette from the invisible man?
He just couldn’t see it.

How does Barnabas open the door to his house?
He uses a skeleton key.

Is Barnabas a scientist?
Not really. But he sure made Jekyll hide.

Why does Barnabas like to hear sailors talk?
He likes curses.

480 dark shadows effect barnabas

Desperate for puns, they reach out for anything that seems death-related:

What films does Barnabas like?
His favorite films are noose reels.

What does Barnabas use in his coffee?
He uses crematorium.

Is Barnabas fond of crowds?
You know what he always says. The morgue the merrier.

Does Barnabas know Mort?
Yes. He has a good friend named Mort U. Ary.

How does Barnabas describe things?
He uses descryptions.

Why does Barnabas like theater people?
Because they are always rehearsing.

Barnabas went into a restaurant and ordered corn on the sob.

His favorite coffee is decap coffee.

535 dark shadows barnabas poem

And then, just when you think they’ve completely run out of things to say, they come up with this:

Barnabas’ sheets are made of Satan.

Tomorrow: Does Barnabas Ever Drink Milk?


The photo at the top is from the March 1969 issue of Flip Magazine, one of the teen magazines obsessed with Dark Shadows. Barnabas’ victims are musician Brian Carrigan from The New York Rock & Roll Ensemble, and model Judy Nugent.

The Collinsport Historical Society has a scan of the cover and the three-page article called “Frid Flips Out!” It’s especially interesting if you keep in mind that two years ago, Jonathan Frid was doing Shakespeare. This is his life now.

Tomorrow: Does Barnabas Ever Drink Milk?

628 dark shadows diabolos angelique hell

Dark Shadows episode guide

— Danny Horn

10 thoughts on “X3: What Does Barnabas Use in His Coffee?

    1. Oh, I forgot to add the footnote — that’s from a teen mag called Flip Magazine. The Collinsport Historical Society has a scan of the whole thing, I put the link above.

  1. We know you’re not dead, but merely chained up in a coffin and kept in a secret room in the home of a former editor of Paperback Library, who is holding you prisoner until you agree to help him write volume 2 of In A Funny Vein, so that he can make his publishing comeback.

    It’s like when Jonathan Frid was away during the parallel time 1970 storyline filming HODS and all we’d see for days and weeks was a view or hear a mention of the chained coffin in which he was being held prisoner by Will Loomis. So we know you’ll be back and that Julia is on her way to PT to let you out, before the editor discovers your cache of Barnabas jokes.

      1. Chained up in a coffin and kept in a secret room?

        What a relief!
        For a minute there, we were concerned that something strange might have happened.

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