Robert George Pickett (February 11, 1938 – April 25, 2007), was a native of Somerville, Massachusetts, United States, who found fame as a one-hit wonder musician under the name Bobby "Boris" Pickett. He was best known for co-writing and singing the 1962 hit novelty song, "Monster Mash".
Pickett died at the age of 69 on April 25, 2007 in Los Angeles, California, due to complications from leukemia. His daughter Nancy was at his side when he died. He left two grandchildren, Jordan and Olivia. The Sunday, May 13, 2007, episode of the Dr. Demento show featured a documentary retrospective of Pickett’s work.
Pickett’s father was a theater manager, and as a 9-year-old he watched many horror films. He would later incorporate impressions of them in his Hollywood nightclub act in 1959. Pickett was a United States Army veteran, who served in Korea.
Bobby Pickett co-wrote "Monster Mash" with Leonard Capizzi, featuring impersonations of veteran horror stars Boris Karloff and Bela Lugosi (the latter with the line "Whatever happened to my Transylvania Twist?"). It was passed on by every major label, but after hearing the song Gary S. Paxton agreed to produce and engineer it; among the musicians who played on it was pianist Leon Russell. The single became a million seller, reaching #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart for two weeks before Halloween in 1962. It was styled as being by "Bobby ‘Boris’ Pickett & The Crypt-Kickers". The track re-entered the U.S. charts twice, in August 1970, and again in May 1973, when it reached the #10 spot. In Britain it took until October 1973 for the tune to become popular, peaking at #3 in the UK Singles Chart.
A Christmas-themed follow-up, "Monster’s Holiday," was also released in 1962 and reached #30 in December that year. Another of his songs, "Graduation Day", made #80 in June 1963. Pickett also recorded a novelty spoof on Star Trek called "Star Drek", again performing the various voices, which was played on Dr. Demento’s radio show. In October 2005, Pickett protested inaction on global warming by releasing "Climate Mash," a new version of his hit single.
In addition to his music, Pickett also performed as a magician as "Dellesandro The Great."