cousin thomas was a poodle

The Amazing Criswell was famous for his wildly inaccurate predictions

image found here

Criswell married an eccentric former speak-easy dancer, named Halo Meadows. His wife spent a great deal of time sunbathing; she also had a poodle named “Buttercup” which she was convinced was the reincarnation of her cousin Thomas.

Criswell was longtime friends with actress Mae West, once predicting her impending rise to the position of President of the United States, whereupon she, Criswell and George Liberace, the brother of showman Liberace, would ride a rocket to the moon. West used Criswell as her personal psychic, as well as lavishing him with gifts of home-cooked food, dropped off via chauffeur. Additionally, West was known to sell Criswell her old luxury cars for $5. For her 1955 album The Fabulous Mae West, she recorded a song about the psychic, titled, appropriately enough, “Criswell Predicts.”

image found here

Criswell authored several books of predictions, including 1968’s Criswell Predicts: From Now to the Year 2000. In this book, the author claimed that Denver would be struck by a ray from space that would cause all metal to adopt the qualities of rubber, leading to horrific accidents at amusement parks. He also predicted an outbreak of mass cannibalism and the end of planet Earth, which he set as happening on August 18, 1999.

His second book “Criswell Predicts Your Next Ten Years!” was released in 1969. “Why should you feel lonely when you have a trillion counterparts?” Criswell admonishes the reader in his foreword to Your Next Ten Years. “Do the other trillion feel as lonely as you? Are you fair to them?” This work is a combination of fashion tips, financial forecasts, amazing labor-saving devices, spicy gossip and gloomy tales of impending social collapse.

His friend Mae West was famous for the delivery of her one liners. Her play “Drag” was banned from Broadway as was her radio play “The Garden of Eden” where she purred the line “Oh, Adam — mmmm, come over here with your little ways and wiggle them into my heart.”

Diane Arbus had this to say after her photographic session with Mae

“When at last you come up and see her you know you are in the presence of a lady. Resplendent and familiar, she smiles between her superb teeth and rolls her eyes heavenward…. “Men are my kind of people,” she says. “I want them absorbed in me. … The man I don’t like doesn’t exist.

But the world of Mae West is not entirely physical. Her psychic eye has been opened. She has seen visions … “I knew,” she says, ” that in some marvelous way I had touched the hem of the unknown. And being me, I wanted to lift that hemline a little bit more.”

mae west images found here

Published in: on January 25, 2010 at 7:05 am  Comments (35)  
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35 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. I had a feeling the world ended in 1999 – where are we now BTW? Enquiring minds need to know ……

  2. I’m very fond of Criswell…

    I seem to remember that he ‘predicted’ once that the world would end in 2000 in a mass orgy of cannibalism. Now there’s a concrete claim. Where are the psychics of that calibre now, eh?

  3. Oh. I didn’t read properly – you already said that.


  4. On another note… I think I have a Criswell recording somewhere. I’ll try and find it for you.

  5. As a kid in the 60s I used to see Criswell turn up in places like The Merv Griffin Show and my young mind shouted hooey. But then, when the death ray from outer space hit John Denver, I had to eat my hooey.

    Klaus Enough

  6. Criswell…the character that Jeffrey Jones played in Tim Burton’s Ed Wood?

    By the way, men are my kind of people, too.

  7. I can’t help but wonder if Criswell was ‘taking the piss’ as these damn Brits say; his predictions were so outrageous. With a little ambiguity he could have been better known than Nostradamus with, “A great natural disaster will strike in South America or a southern continent, as well as one in the East claiming thousands of lives. There will be wars arising purely because of religion, and great economic upheavals.”

    He could have been gold.

  8. I only wish I could make money writing a book of crazy-ass predictions.

    (Not to brag or anything, but I think I’d be really good at it…)

  9. i predict there will always be loons like Criswell making outrageous predictions, and a gullible publc to lap it up like starved puppies… speaking of starved puppies, Mae West’s certainly were NOT…

  10. I’m so glad we survived. I would not wish to be eaten by cannibals.

  11. That young man Thomas is having altogether too much fun with his swan. You should introduce him to Leda.

  12. I would love to go to an amusement park like that. Fall off the ride and you just bounce back in your seat.

  13. I’m with delicate Flower…i would not like to be eaten by my fellow humans. In fact i hope i never get that hungry that i would resort to that….but never say never i guess :p

  14. Isn’t it amazing what used to make it into print? Nowadays, of course, he’d have to self-publish.

  15. hey most people know that psychics can’t predict that well unless they are really general.

  16. August 1999..I was holidaying in Wales …. the mass meat eating frenzy totally went by me … also in 1999 weren’t we all supposed to be dressed in beige tight fitting outfits and flares(thank goodness that didn’t happen with some of the larger frames that are around now!!)

    • Ugh… beige. Totally not my colour.

  17. I must be one-seventh cannibal, because every Friday I feel like eating NurseMyra.

    • Yeah, but would you swallow?

      • Not if it hurts her.

  18. If Criswell could have added a half-cyborg cat and a ninja to his predictions, he could have been the Renal Failure of the first half of the 20th century. But alas, he knew Mae West but not Tag Larkin.

    • I would like to know Tag Larkin. But only in the biblical sense 😉

  19. A very entertaining post indeed–reincarnation involving animals and predicting the future…wrongly…all in one. I always learn so much here! …And sometimes wonder if my pit bull is a reincarnation of my pet rat. Haha. Could be.

  20. Rubberized metal and mass cannibalism. Man. Would have been interesting times had he been correct…

  21. Was it Mae West who was of the opinion that “A hard man is good to find.” ?

  22. Criswell rocks, he is in one of my favorite really bad movie of all time: Orgy of the Dead!

  23. Bless them all. There’s a bit of celluloid in every each and one of us.

    • Welcome to the Gimcrack, Tranquility. I tried to leave a comment on your blog but blogger wasn’t having a bar of it 😦

  24. hmm..sounds like criswell took a few too many trips to the moon himself…let me guess, his hobby was toad licking?

    • Yeah that and poodle-petting

  25. May west was hot stuff but this guy was bonkers.

  26. being famous for inaccurate predictions is one of my life goals too.

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