- CHILLY BILLY *
- (Bill Cardille)
Pittsburgh Horror Hosts,
a subset of pages on the "E-gor's Chamber" web site that's dedicated to collecting information about horror hosting
activities in Iron City!
If you can contribute new data, PLEASE DO —
- Check out the
Chiller Theater Memories Yahoo Group!
The group owner and moderator, John Buriak, is a long-time fan of the show and he says "Everyone is welcomed!
Come in to the Castle and Laboratory and share your Chiller Theater Memories!"
Check out the fast-growing collection of great pictures and multimedia goodies!
- Visit John Buriak's
Chiller Theater Memories website,
with another rapidly-proliferating bunch of show-related stuff dug up by John's research (including a complete list of
the movies shown -- see next item!) and/or contributed by hardcore Chilly Billy fans.
- See Chiller Theater Movies,
a complete, year-by-year list of all the movies Chilly Billy hosted during the entire run of the show,
painstakingly researched by John Buriak for his Chiller Theater Memories group.
- Read a great historical view of Chilly Billy's TV career,
Monster Chiller Horror Theater: Growing Up MonsterMad
with Pittsburgh's 'Chilly Billy' Cardille and Chiller Theater
by Paul Riggie in issue #1 (July 1997) of
MonsterMad, E-gor's one-shot monsterzine!
- Read a terrific
Chilly Billy interview
conducted by Robert (Bobb) Cotter and Paul Riggie,
reprinted with permission from the magnifico
Santo Scene # 11
(Vol. 2, # 3, October 2001).
How I Spent One Chilly Halloween, or "My Visit to Chilly Billy's Castle"
by Susan Donley Johnston — a fan's memories of appearing on the Halloween 1980 Chiller Theater show...
in a hunchback costume!
- See Chilly MemoraBillya —
a treasure trove of Chiller Theater autographed photos, records, posters, fan merchandise and other cool stuff!
Got something cool and different? — share it with other fans!
- Read Goodbye, Chilly Billy
by Pittsburgh Press reporter Mike Hasch on
The NEW Authorized Rege Cordic, Cordic & Co. and Olde Frothingslosh web site.
(Originally published in The Pittsburgh Press, Saturday, December 31, 1983.)
- See bio and images of Chilly Billy
— and hundreds of images of a host of other horrors —
at the incredible Horror Host Gallery website,
courtesy of video shockaeologist
- See Bill "Chilly Billy" Cardille's Internet Movie Database info.
- Check out Bill Cardille's current Pittsburgh radio show
WJAS-AM 1320 website.
(See Chiller Theater TV Log for a growing list of movies shown — E-gor.)
- Chiller Theater
- Saturday night, Sunday night, Saturday afternoon (?), Saturday late-night
- WIIC-TV (later WPXI-TV), Channel 11 (Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania)
- September 14, 1963 - New Year's Eve/Day, 1983/1984
- Chiller Theater Reunion Special (60-minute one-shot; no movie)
- Saturday, 10:00 p.m.
- WPXI-TV, Channel 11 (Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania)
- December 14, 1991 (also aired several times since)
- Chiller Theater: One More Time (one-shot special)
- Sunday, 12:30 p.m.
- WPXI-TV, Channel 11 (Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania)
- Halloween season 1998 (part of "The WPXI Halloween Special")
- Elena Watson's Television Horror Movie Hosts reference:
whole chapter and picture (of Chilly Billy's LP jacket) in
Ch. 8, "Chilly Billy: or Night of the Living Horror Host,"
- Other book reference:
- Two-page article with 6 photos,
"'Chilly Billy' Cardille:
Pittsburgh's own nighttime 'chiller' host,"
in The Collectors Guide to Monster Magazines
(2nd printing, March 1978) by Bob Michelucci.
- Magazine references:
- Four-page feature article, "The Emcee that Ate Pittsburgh" by R. Berrian
in issue #53 (May, 1986) of
- Wonderful five-page feature with 10 pictures,
Monster Chiller Horror Theater: Growing Up MonsterMad
with Pittsburgh's 'Chilly Billy' Cardille and Chiller Theater
by longtime show fan Paul Riggie in issue #1 (July 1997) of
(MonsterMad was E-gor's first (and so far only) attempt at monsterzine editing and publishing, kiddies!)
- Chillerific seven-page interview with Bill Cardille with 2 pictures,
It's... Saturday Night... time for CHILLER THEATER... with your host, CHILLY BILLY!!!
originally published in Bobb Cotter's great "MexicanMonsterMovieMag"
Santo Scene # 11
(Vol. 2, # 3, October 2001), pp. 31-37 (unnumbered).
The interview was conducted by "Dr. Riggie Jr." (Paul Riggie) and
"Roberto C" (Bobb Cotter) at the Monster Bash 2001 convention near Pittsburgh,
and is reprinted with permission on this website at the link above.
- Great seven-page feature with fascinating interview and nine pictures,
"At Long Last...Chiller Theater and a CHILLY BILLY CARDILLE Interview"
by John Skerchock in Scary Monsters Presents Monster Memories #6, 1998 Yearbook (January 1998), pp. 24-30.
- Chiller Theater first aired on at 11:30 pm on Saturday, September 14, 1963,
The show aired for several months at different times on Saturday and Sunday, but
soon settled into a regular slot on Saturday night at 11:30, normally with double-features.
Chilly Billy sometimes referred to the show as Channel 11's "Saturday Late Show"
during Chiller Theater's final, single-feature late-night run following Saturday Night Live.
For a while (dates being researched, but c. 1985), Channel 11 continued to run late-night horror movies under the title
The Saturday Late Show in an unhosted show; Bill Cardille provided voice-over narration for this show.
- Bill Cardille is still on the radio airwaves with "music, memories, and observations"
(and some of his old TV skits) on Pittsburgh station WJAS-AM 1320,
weekdays from 10 am - 3 pm.
- The "Chiller Theater family" included: "Chilly Billy" (Bill Cardille),
"Terminal Stare" (icy, sexy, stony-silent Donna Rae),
beautiful "Sister Susie" (Joyce Sterling),
"Norman, the Castle Keeper (Norman Elder; died September 18, 2000, see note with obituary below),
"Stefan, the Castle Prankster" (Steve Luncinski; died January 9, 2009: see obituary), and
"Georgette the Fudgemaker" (Bonnie Sue Barney), with
occasional appearances by other characters like
"Skeets Skeltino the Pizza Man," "Sister Suzie" and
"Beauregard C. Beauregard" (Ted James).
- Marilyn Eastman, well-known to horror fans as "Helen Cooper"
in George Romero's original Night of the Living Dead,
had a regular recurring role in the 60s as "Commoneltha," the vampire lady,
in commercials for Commonwealth Plumbing and Heating written by her NotLD husband
(and longtime creative partner), Karl Hardman.
- Guest stars on the show included the late-great horror icon Vincent Price,
comedienne Phyllis Diller,
actress Barbara (Get Smart) Feldon,
Lorne Greene (Bonanza and Battlestar Galactica),
and legendary pro wrestler Bruno Sammartino.
- Bill Cardille appeared as himself (as Channel 11 news reporter) in
both the 1968 and 1990 versions of Night of the Living Dead.
Bill's daughter, actress Lori Cardille, starred as "Sarah"
in the 1985 NotLD sequel Day of the Dead.
- Chilly Billy released an album, "Chilly Billy Goes on Record,"
on the Gateway label, and a 45 single,
"Chilly Billy's Vamp," on the Vampire label.
- The Chiller Theater theme music was Henry Mancini's "Experiment in Terror,"
composed for the film with that name.
The arrangement used on the show was not one of the variations on the original soundtrack;
it was a raunchy, rockin' arrangement performed by guitarist Al Caiola.
Both the soundtrack and Caiola versions are available on CD --
see details and ordering info here!
- The show came to an end during the Halloween season in 1998 with a special called
Chiller Theater: One More Time,
featuring a showing of the original 1968 horror classic
Night of the Living Dead, which Chilly Billy and Channel 11
helped young director George Romero to promote and produce in Pittsburgh thirty years earlier.
Romero appeared as Chilly's guest and discussed the film
during the hosted segments.
At the end of the show Chilly Billy announced his impending retirement
and said a very moving goodbye to his fans and supporters.
- Chilly Billy fan Pete Ferraro writes:
I grew up in Pittsburgh and used to watch
Chiller Theater late nights on Saturdays.
In grade school, I once met Bill at a little league dinner
banquet -- he was the guest of honor.
Many years later, I eventually went on to work in television,
and as corny as it may sound, I later realized I had
"finally made it" when I began working next to "Chilly Billy"
in the newsroom as a Promotion Writer/Producer for WPXI-TV
(I was the envy of all...my family).
TV can be a cutthroat business.
But Bill really helped me get through some tough days at WPXI as a young producer.
As far out as he seemed on Chiller Theater,
in reality he was the most down-to-earth person at the station.
He is a true gentleman and has earned his place in local TV horror history.
- Dedicated Chiller fan Bill Yester remembered a landmark date
in this note:
As a long time fan, I really like your web site.
The memory of the first showing of Chiller Theater is still vivid in my mind.
I was ten years old, and my parents allowed me to stay up and watch.
The first showing was Saturday, September 14, 1963 at 11:30 pm.
I can still picture the ad in the Pittsburgh Press ....
I don't think I missed more than one or two shows over the life of the series.
- Erik Von Gorr kindly permitted us to reprint his e-mail on Bill Cardille, originally posted to
the Yahoo Horrorhosts group, with the comment
"i'd be honored! i'm glad you enjoyed my anecdotes!
Bill Cardille is a class act!"
i am a fan of his radio show, which is on 1320 AM, WJAS
between 10:00 am & 3:00 pm.
Aside from E-gor:
Erik is well-known in sinister circles as an accomplished artist and collector of "all things monster"
who creates awesomely grotesque monster dolls (including a growing set of TV horror host action figures!),
paintings, T-shirts and other monster stuff, which he displays and sells at shows and on his Pittsburgh-based
Haunt Kraft website.
Here's more comments from Eric's e-gorrespondence:
he plays GREAT old popular tunes you won't hear anywhere else AND does his "strange but true"
and other features that he originally did on Chiller Theater, and frequently has old cast members on!
a Chilly Billy story i have; one hot summer i was painting my house and i was in a terrible mood due to the humidity,
and i turned on wjas and listened to his show.
he usually played Roy Orbison's "Crying" and i really wanted to hear it, so i called in to request it.
Billy answered and apologized that he could not play my request, because the play list was all pre-programmed,
so we talked for awhile about music we liked and i hung up, impressed with how friendly and down to earth he was.
then years later, maybe 5 years, i saw him at the
and started chatting with him about his show and music again,
and i mentioned that i had called his show once,
and he told me he remembered when i called in to request "crying"!!!!!!
pretty cool guy!
also, i was with my friend, a girl with cherry red-dyed hair.
he kept calling her "red".
the last time i saw him a couple years later, upon seeing me, right away he says, "hey, where's 'red'?" !!
that was before i even said anything to him!
Reading your Chilly Billy feature brought to mind that he would often have Steve Luncinski
("Stephen, the Castle Prankster" from the TV show — E-gor)
on his radio show, calling him,
"and now heres Steve Luncinski, our man about town!"
and then Steve would do some veiled plug about some restauraunt or something,
but it usually turned into them just shooting the bull.
i haven't heard Steve on there since around '99.
once i was listening at work and Bruno Sammartino stopped by --
it was one of the funniest moments and one of the best and most memorable shows i have ever heard!
basically, what happened is, at noon, Bruno suddenly appears, --
it really didn't seem planned, ( but one never knows with Mr. Cardille!)
and those two just started shooting the breeze.
well, by and by, it dissolved into this hilarious jam-session about women and
all kinds of stuff! they were laughing really hard &
Bruno started telling stories about his mother and other personel experiences.
this went on for a really long time, and i got the impression that they had forgotten entirely about the audience.
it was like eaves-dropping on a conversation at a bar!
that's what i think is special about Bill Cardille, he makes his audience feel firmiliar and
like he is speaking directly to you.
- Charlie Harris, one of E-gor's former co-workers,
used to see Norman "The Castle Keeper" Elder hitchhiking
and frequently gave him lifts.
Sadly, Charlie also brought the sad news that Norman had passed
away, and contributed this obituary from
the Steubenville (Ohio) Herald Star:
Norman Elder, former 'Chiller Theater' regular
STEUBENVILLE -- Norman Elder, 50, of Steubenville, who
played the Castle Keeper on WPXI-TV's "Chiller Theater",
died Wednesday, Sept. 18, 2000 at Trinity Medical Center West.
He was born Oct. 2, 1949, in Jefferson county, a son of the late
Melvin and Rose Walker Elder.
In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by a brother,
Archie; and a sister, Betty Jane Elder.
He was Protestant by faith.
He was a member for many years of Bil Cardille's ensemble cast on
the weekly horror film double-feature that was a mainstay of
Tri-State Area television.
Surviving are two brothers, Randy of Steubenville and
John of Brunswick; and two sisters, Patricia Merino of Steubenville
and Ella Mosser of Weirton.
- Todd Warren sent the following comments:
Just visited your fantastic Horror Hosts site.
I am particularly impressed with your coverage of Chilly Billy
-- great info!
I grew up in the Pittsburgh area during the early to mid 70's and looked forward to watching Chiller Theater every Saturday night.
I remember watching my first Chiller (double feature: Missile Monsters and The Frozen Ghost) in 1973 when I was a young nine-year-old lad.
This was a very big deal and sealed my interest in horror films for life.
My younger brother and I enjoyed many memorable Chiller features until moving to Colorado in 1976.
In recent years I have become a collector of rare horror films and Chilly Billy memorabilia.
My prized possession is a video of the 1991 Chiller Theater Reunion Special along with vintage Chiller clips
(1974 interview with Lorne Green, classic intro with Barbara Feldon, and other rare bits).
I have also kept an old scrapbook with undated Chiller feature clippings from TV Guide and
The Pittsburgh Press from 1974-1976.
You may be interested to know that Chiller ran some Triple Features for a short while during 1975!
I am looking to correspond with other Chilly Billy fans and always looking for collector Chiller memorabilia.
Thanks, Todd Warren
- Jim in Pittsburgh remembers:
And time for Chiller Theater with your host Chilly Billy Cardille!
I remember his jokes during the breaks were called "Chilly Billy Sillies."
I can also remember him peddling new glow-in-the-dark monster models from the Aurora manufacturer.
I can remember the crew either being partied out or drunk and howling during his monologue.
It was my favorite show.
At 12 years old I loved it.
- From Richard Santus:
Saw your Chiller Theater site and thought I'd write.
I too was, and am, a BIG Chiller Theater fan.
I started watching it in the late 60s and continued through its '84 finale.
I attended some of Bill's appearances at malls,
"haunted" houses and even a couple of show tapings in the mid-to late 70s.
Bill, as you probably know, regularly attends the summer Monster Bash convention in PA,
where he signs autographs and mugs for fans' photos.
I miss Chiller Theater, but am grateful sites such as yours help keep the memory alive.
- Another old fan of the show, Malcolm Gittins, shared his memories of visiting the Chiller Theater set
(and working with Chilly Billy) with the
Monster Bash Convention Yahoo Group, and
sent me additional details by e-mail.
Here's a conglomerated adaptation of his comments:
Growing up in Pittsburgh the place to be every Saturday was Chiller Theater.
Chilly Billy was and is the coolest host ever, and on several
occasions he scared the heck out of me!!
I'm very lucky that during the 1970's I began sending my art work to him and he would show it at the end of the show.
And I was even luckier to attend a Chiller taping on October 9th, 1976!
It was the second week of the new Castle set (which debuted on October 2nd, 1976),
and I was the first guest to see it live.
It looked so much better in person... I had a blast!
(That October 2 show was also the first appearance of Norman, and the rest of the Chiller family would be added over the next few months.)
From there we struck up a correspondence... I wrote a couple of "Strange but Trues" that he used on air,
and to this day he has been a great friend and very supportive of me and my art work.
I also have a lot of "inside" info on Chiller and Chilly Billy cause we corresponded
all thru the 70's and we've stayed in touch since then.
I've got some rare Chiller Theater and Chilly Billy fotos I took on the set, and lots of other Chiller collectibles
including, as far as I know, the only existing script from the show!
CHILLY BILLY RULES!
- Bill Conger writes:
For some unknown reason I did a Google search on "Chilly Billy horror movie" and came across your website.
This is really cool.
I was born in 1970 so I was young in the seventies but I remember staying up late when our family friends from Munhall came to stay.
I was the youngest of a group of 6 kids.
I only have some vague memories of the actual show but we all remember one episode with a movie villain that one of the older kids
named "the ugly eye guy."
It seems to me that some of the skits had an almost MST3k look to them.
Fans and friends can send Bill e-mail via a "mailto" link on his bio page for the Pittsburgh radio station where
he works now,
WJAS-AM 1320 — E-gor!
I read on another website that almost no recordings exist of the show.
That is really unfortunate.
Anyways thanks for the dedication.
BTW do you know an email for Bill Cardille?
Chiller Theater cast
(left to right):
Terminal Stare, "Chilly Billy" Cardille,
Norman the Castle Keeper, Sister Susie and
Stephen the Castle Prankster.
Click for larger view.