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Daemon, Baron *
(see BARON DAEMON)

Dale Dorman
(see UNCLE DALE)

Dale, Uncle
(see UNCLE DALE)

Darc, Mr.
(see MR. DARC)

The Daughter of Desire *
(see STELLA)

DAVEY HORROR
(David A. Parietti)
Visit Davey Horror's Little Shop of Terror, the show's official Website.
See Davey Horror's profile page at HORRORHOSTS.com, the official site for the Horror Host Underground.
The Davey Horror Show
Saturday at 11:00 am and Monday at 8:30 pm
Public Access Channel 15 (Burlington, Vermont)
1996 - Present

Magazine reference: featured in an article in the Scary Monsters 2003 Yearbook.

NOTES:

  • Davey Horror's profile page on the Horror Host Underground site describes the show as "Pee Wee's Playhouse with a Horror twist".... raised on The Ghoul and Zacherley, Davey Horror has fashioned his family-friendly show as a way to create monster memories for a new generation. He shows short clips from Horror and Sci-Fi related films, and in between he interacts with other inhabitants that live around the Horror Castle. With more than 250 aired, the show has developed a considerable cult following.

  • Other characters on the show include Captain Cartoon (a pirate puppet who introduces a cartoon), Ms. Eerie (a skeleton od puppet who tells the audience about upcoming films in Horrorwood); Chef Boyardead (the castle cook), and Boris (a skeleton hand that delivers "creep Mail" fan letters).

  • Davey Horror produces a live theatrical "spook show" called Spookarama every October.

  • E-gorespondent Jay Williams posts additional details:
    Real Name: David A. Parietti. Add: Other characters on the show include Woofy, a remote-controlled wolf head who hangs on the wall of the set and who also interacts with Davey Horror and other characters on the show by telling bad jokes, etc.

DAVID ALLEN *
(David Allen; "a floating head surrounded by a sea of mist")
Shock
Friday at 11:15 p.m.
WKBN-TV, Channel 27 (Youngstown, Ohio)
1957? - 19??
Elena Watson's Television Horror Movie Hosts reference:
mentioned in Ch. 3, "Invasion of the Ghost Hosts," p. 27.
Magazine reference:
  • Mentioned in feature "The Horror of Them All!" in issue #13 (December 1988) of Filmfax, pp. 28-32.

DAVID THE COLOSSUS
(Real name=?)
Name of show?
Early Saturday evening?
CBET-TV, Channel 9 (Windsor, Ontario, Canada)
196? - 19??
Same title?
Early Saturday evening (7:00 p.m.?)
Station?, Channel ? (Detroit, Michigan)
circa 1964 - 1966
NOTE:
  • Mark Shanks from Detroit (mshanks@fltdyn.com) remembers: 'David the Colossus' had a show on the Windsor, Ontario, station (Channel 9 - I can't remember the call letters) that was also seen in Detroit circa 1964-1966.... He showed the usual B-grade movies ('Attack of the Crab Monsters' is one I remember for certain) but shifted into the sword-and-sandal 'Hercules in the Haunted World' type of movie. David himself was a youngish man who took to coming onto his set (as I remember, a cardboard arena wall with a sandy floor and a portcullis) to a loud fanfare, wearing a loincloth-type garment. No, I am NOT making this up! I also remember him challenging the audience to 'wet mop fights,' and I believe I even saw one of these fights. The show was on early Saturday evenings, 7:00 or so -- if 'Hockey Night in Canada' wasn't on, that is!

Davver, Uncle
(see UNCLE DAVVER)

Dead, Ned the
(See NED THE DEAD)

DEAD EARNEST (I)
(Bob Chesson; died 1990)

Name of show?
Either Friday or Saturday at 11:00 pm (probably a double feature?)
WRET-TV, UHF Channel 36 (previously WCTU, later WCNC) (Charlotte, North Carolina)
c. 197?-197?

Friday Night Frights
Friday at 7:30 (usually a double feature)
WTCG-TV, UHF Channel 17 (previously WJRJ, later WTBS) (Atlanta, Georgia)
c. 1972-1974 or '75

NOTES:

  • E-gorespondent Rudy Stotz initiated this entry with his memories of Dead Earnest's show on WTCG in Atlanta:
    Sometime in the 1972-74 time frame, Atlanta's Channel 17 had a horror host named Dead Ernest.... I don't know how long his show lasted.... From what I remember, he would open his show by rising out of his coffin and facing the camera to talk about the movie he was about to show. He was made up like a vampire with hugh vampire teeth sticking out of his mouth. The funniest thing was that between these teeth and the heavy Southern accent he had, I couldn't understand a word he said! I don't know if he was on the air for any appreciable length of time, but he should be remembered and I would like to know anything about who he was.
  • Channel 17 in Atlanta was originally a UHF station called WJRJ-TV when Ted Turner bought it and renamed it WTCG ("Watch This Channel Grow") in 1970. Around 1976-77 he changed the call letters again to WTBS (Turner Broadcasting System), the first cable Superstation. Dead Earnest appeared on Channel 17 during Ted Turner's early years of managing the station.

  • Way back in November 1999, Atlanta hostorian Rod Bennett (editor of a GREAT publication called Wonder, "The Children's Magazine for Grown-Ups") e-mailed a startling suggestion about who had played Dead Earnest in Atlanta:
    Dead Earnest Exposed!

    I'm about to blow the lid off the greatest scoop in Horror Host history! First, the back story. Your previous correspondents are correct in identifying one "Dead Earnest" as the host of Friday Night Frights on Atlanta's WTCG (later Superstation TBS) back in the early 1970's. This show (which DID NOT by the way, pre-date Turner's purchase of the station in 1970) came on at 7:30 PM on Fridays and was usually a double-feature.
    "Dead Earnest" himself was, indeed, a pasty-faced guy in a Dracula cape with a thick Georgia accent. Here's what you don't know... DRUM ROLL...

    I'm convinced that "Dead Earnest" was, in reality, NONE OTHER THAN STATION OWNER R.E. (TED) TURNER HIMSELF!

    I know this sounds incredible. But there were, after all, only about five people working at WTCG in those days...and Ted is a notorious ham. Admittedly, I have no proof. I did watch the show religiously, however, and I can assure you that all of my similarly devoted buddies were of the same opinion as myself. Ted's voice is pretty distinctive... even with plastic vampire teeth in his mouth.

    I'm aware that this charge, if substantiated, would make headlines the world over. I think it would provide a public vindication of the much-maligned art of horror hosting... proving, as it does, that even a man who can later donate ONE BILLION DOLLARS of his own wealth to the United Nations in the cause of World Peace was once not above rolling his eyes, honking a rubber skull at the camera, and introducing Bride of the Monster.

    However, I'm also aware that I may be endangering my own life by recklessly blowing this particular whistle. Mr. Turner seems to have carefully covered his tracks on this and may, even as we speak, be funnelling large sums of hush-money into the hands of potential TBS stool-pigeons.

    Nevertheless, feeling as I do about you, my brother Horror Host fans, I've decided that I can't remain silent about this anymore. We need to band together and FORCE THE TRUTH INTO THE LIGHT OF DAY. Perhaps we can file a Freedom of Information Act request... Anyhow, I say we get to the bottom of this subject no matter what!

    Let's send Mr. HOT-SHOT TIME WARNER CHAIRMAN an ultimatum... either PRODUCE THE REAL DEAD EARNEST, Mr. Turner, and present him to the public... or OWN UP TO THE TRUTH! You owe it to the world to come clean!
  • In December 2002, Grave Dave Newton dug into the subject:
    I know several people who work for Turner (mainly for The Cartoon Network). A good friend of mine who has some strong connections to the Turner archivists told me that there are no existing videos/stills of Dead Earnest in their records at all. I'm pretty sure he was never featured in any advertising (I wish!), but maybe a picture will show up of him eventually (I can only hope).

    My recollections of him are pretty similar to Rod Bennett's. Dead Earnest did have a thick southern accent — he was kind of like a vampire redneck, with of course some very corny jokes. The production values of his segments were very basic, not a lot of atmosphere, Dead Earnest was always sitting up in a coffin, with a too-large suit and cape. Looking back, he very well could've been Ted Turner — he bore a strong resemblance to him under the makeup (body type, facial structure, hair), and did sound sort of like him. It definitely was '72 -'74 (maybe into '75) that he was on.

    I have very fond memories of him, as this was my introduction to a lot of the classics. Love your website — it's the only reference to Dead Earnest that I know of.
  • Back in October 2000, CR Andrews, aka Chaz, shared memories of watching Dead Earnest that crossed over into new territory:
    I want to add my memories to your incredible archive of horror hosts regarding "DEAD EARNEST." While looking for info on "Ole Dead," as he called himself, I happened to stumble across your excellent site. I was shocked to find that Dead Earnest appeared on 17 in Atlanta! In fact, I had thought he was a local only in the Charlotte, North Carolina area on Ted Turner's independent station, Channel 36 (formerly WRET, now WCNC Channel 6). Unfortunately, being so young at the time, I don't recall the exact dates, but Dead was definitely the host of a horror theater in the early seventies on Channel 36.

    As your earlier correspondents indicated, the opening, commercial breaks and closing of Dead's show initially began with color still images of a tall vampire rising out of a coffin and doing mischief. I don't think there was any sound for the wraparounds in early shows. Later, I seem to recall some voice overs. The show on Channel 36 aired from 11:00 pm on either Fridays or Saturdays -- I'm not sure which. It may have been a double-feature, as I seem to recall the program lasting until 1:00 am or later.

    At some point, Channel 36 hosted a mail-in contest to name the vampire. It was through this contest that he received the name Dead Ernest. I am absolutely certain about that. I had thought that the contest winner was from Charlotte, but that particular fact I'm not clear on.

    Eventually, Dead became a live-action (as opposed to still image) host. His voice, which I remember very well, was goofy, but was NOT deeply southern. If it was Ted Turner, himself, then he was doing a good job disguising his voice. Additionally, Ted has a habit of pausing often with a deep, rolling "Ahhhh...", which Dead Ernest did NOT.

    Turner made a lot of money from Channel 36. My understanding was that it was a money drain until he started showing old movies — particularly westerns, science fiction and horror. It was a wonderful channel! He eventually sold the station for a pile of cash. Supposedly, this was a fundamental part of the money he used to launch WTBS as the first cable superstation. 36 has changed owners several times since then and the old call letters now belong to a different station.

    Getting back to Dead Ernest, because of the apparent discrepancies in the voice, and the fact that I so clearly remember the name contest, I now wonder if the character originated on Channel 36, then was recycled later on Channel 17, perhaps with a different actor.

    Thanks for the great memories!
  • Meanwhile, in August 2003, Sandy Clark, writer/producer of the fabulous, long-awaited American Scary documentary about television horror hosts, had investigated the Dead Earnest controversy by going straight to the source — Ted Turner's home office! He was kind enough to forward the response he got to this website:
    From the desk of Ted Turner's assistant, Suzan Tatum: Info on Dead Earnest:
    Date: Fri Aug 29, 2003 9:57:27 AM US/Pacific
    Subject: RE: Dead Earnest - Ted Turner?

    Okay Sandy .... here you go from the "horses" mouth - Ted Turner was NOT Dead Ernest. Ted said it was a guy from Charlotte that introduced scary movies for our sister station WRET and that he also would come and do it for us at WTCG for the Friday Night Frights.

    Ted said, "the only thing I did was introduce Academy Award Theatre dressed as Ted Turner"
    ....

    Best regards,
    Suzan Tatum
  • Despite Suzan Tatum's authoritative statement, I have heard from a number of other Dead Earnest fans who shared Rod Bennett's belief that Ted Turner himself played the role. I've posted several of their comments to show just how widespread this notion was among Dead Earnest's fans.

    In August 2004, Ellis Cannon fired off this e-mail:
    I was so glad to see Rod Bennett's account of the days of Dead Ernest. It has been a BURNING question in my mind for years, but I never seemed to take the time to pursue the real answer. I too remember VERY WELL staying up late on Friday nights for the Friday Night Frights with Dead Ernest rising out of the casket to introduce the movie and do his shenanigans on commercial breaks. I have always believed it was Ted Turner. Now I'm sorry I didn't take my curiosity further. Rod is "right-on" with the opinion that Ted has an undeniable southern accent, even in '72, that is a DEAD GIVEAWAY. I agree, Dead Ernest IS Mr. 17.
  • In January 2007, Robert Cozine added his support to the Dead Turner Theory:
    I grew up in Decatur, GA (a suburb just east of Atlanta) and I remember Dead Earnest of WTCG quite well. It was a poorly kept secret around here that Dead Earnest was indeed Ted Turner. I remember it took my dad about 5 seconds to figure it out.
  • In September 2005, an unnamed E-gorespondent (userid MY63BLKCAD) sent a different but equally positive statement about Dead Earnest's identity:
    Dead Earnest was Larry Sprinkle currently local news or weather person for WCNC Charlotte NC.
  • When I e-mailed Larry Sprinkle through the WCNC website, he responded immediately and enthusiastically:
    Great to hear from you! Please give me a call and we can try to "unravel" this mystery of "Dead Ernest." Take care and I look forward to talking to you.
  • When I talked to Larry Sprinkle, he was very familiar with the story about Ted Turner playing Dead Earnest, and he did indeed solve the mystery! Here's a transcript of a few of his pertinent comments from our phone conversation (see the next entry for lots more!):
    First of all, that's probably one of the better urban legends about Ted Turner, because there's no truth in it at all.

    Dead Earnest was BOB CHESSON.

    Bob was on this station back when it was WRET — its original name was WCTU; Ted Turner bought it and changed it to WRET ("Robert Edward Turner"). Ted Turner OWNED the station at the time, but it was Bob Chesson who did Dead Earnest. He started when Ted Turner took over. But Bob had done this character going back into the sixties at other TV stations. Bob passed away a few years back. Dead Earnest was syndicated and taken down into Atlanta, and that's how it ended up down there, because it was a Turner station — but it's not Ted, it was Bob Chesson.

    I think Bob got into radio maybe ... late 50s? So he was in broadcasting a long time, a very, very talented man. He did a lot of voiceover work, he had a big voice, you know, BIG Dick Bennick-type voice (see DR. PAUL BEARER).

    That's the truth about Dead Earnest.


  • In February, 2008, I heard from someone who really has the inside scoop about Dead Ernestt!:
    Hello, E-gor!
    I was married to the late Bob Chesson, who was horror-movie host Dear Ernest on Ted Turner's 2 TV stations. The segments were pre-recorded to air each weekend on WRET in Charlotte. They were then shipped by mail to Ted's Atlanta station for airing the following weekend. Remember -- there were no "digital transfers" back then, and no FedEx. Everything was done on 2" tape. Hence, the weekly mail shipment from Charlotte to Atlanta.

    When the late-night horror movies first began on WRET, there was a mail-in "name the vampire" contest. I've forgotten what the winning prize was, but I distinctly remember that Bob chose the name "Dead Ernest" because we both found it hilarious. Many, many entrants suggested "Count Wretula" -- a takeoff on the WRET call letters, which were an acronym for Robert Edward Turner.

    Once in a while, Bob would perform the late-night Dead Ernest segments live, and the crew would record in real time for Atlanta. Whenever this happened, Bob was always "in the bag" during the performance. Then he would drive home in full vampire makeup. He was stopped once or twice for driving while intoxicated, but was never arrested. The police officers would recognize him, scold him, and make him promise to drive straight home.

    Ted Turner loved the Dead Ernest character, which is most likely the reason that Bob was able to keep his job at WRET as long as he did. Ted liked the fact that Dead Ernest "fan mail" arrived almost daily at both TV stations -- much of it from inmates at the Atlanta Federal Penitentiary, a high-security prison for men.

    A couple of corrections to your website -- Bob did not die in 1993. He had been hospitalized for many years at the VA facility in Salisbury, following a head-injury (from a fall on an icy sidewalk) and subsequent stroke. Bob developed pneumonia and died in 1990.

    Also, I don't believe that Larry Sprinkle ever filled in for Bob as Dead Ernest. Larry may have performed the Dead Ernest character after Bob's WRET position was terminated, but Bob was the only Dead Ernest during the years he worked at WRET.

    Kind regards,
    Nancy (Chesson) Haynes
    Charlotte, NC
    Stay tuned to the next entry, Dead Earnest fans — there's more to be revealed!
   

Help E-gor picture this host!

If you have any sort of additional information about Dead Earnest
(particularly a picture of him), please E-mail E-gor!


DEAD EARNEST (II)
(Larry Sprinkle)

See the Larry Sprinkle, Weather Anchor profile on the WCNC-TV website.

See Larry Sprinkle's Internet Movie Database credits (incomplete).

Read "Laughter is the Lead Story," an article about Larry Sprinkle by his friend and co-worker John Snyder, on the WCNC blogsite.

Name of show?
Either Friday or Saturday at 11:00 pm (probably a double feature?)
WRET-TV, UHF Channel 36 (previously WCTU, now WCNC Ch. 6) (Charlotte, North Carolina)
Filling in for Bob Chesson occasionally c. 1974-1975

NOTES:

  • In September 2005, an unnamed E-gorespondent (userid MY63BLKCAD) sent this very positive statement about Dead Earnest's identity:
    Dead Earnest was Larry Sprinkle currently local news or weather person for WCNC Charlotte NC.
  • When I contacted Larry Sprinkle, he solved the long-standing mystery of WHO played Dead Earnest (see the previous entry), and told me some amazing things about his own career and lifelong interests. I mentioned that I had seen streaming video on the WCNC website of his Halloween appearance as Count Sprinkula doing the weather report, and I asked him if he had ever done any horror hosting himself. He then gave up another long-lost secret about Dead Earnest:
    That's interesting, because when Bob couldn't make it, that's what I did — I filled in for him.

    E-gor [excitedly]: "YOU were Dead Earnest too?!"

    I was DEAD EARNEST... (II). That's right! — I didn't think of that! I didn't do it in Atlanta, just on the local version, WRET. I don't have any pictures, because I didn't do it that often.

    Well, somebody wrote me and said that Larry Sprinkle was Dead Earnest!

    I do get that from people here. It's interesting that I've done so many different things on television. I had a kid's show here on Channel 18 (WCCB-TV), back in the late 70's called "Sonic Man" .... if you look at a Power Ranger, that almost exactly how it looked, and I'm thinking that one of those kids watched that, went on to form the Power Rangers and made a fortune out of it! It was an outfit kinda like that, kind of a cross between Superman and Batman, and I hosted kid's movies and cartoons, and I did that character for about three years. This is the 30th anniversary, this year — 1977 to about 1980 we did that on Channel 18 here in Charlotte.

    How about the Dead Earnest appearances?

    That was when I was doing freelance. I was in radio, but I was doing freelance in television, and that was in 1974, probably, 74-75.

    Did anybody ever notice that it was a different guy behind the fangs?

    You know what, that never came up! It never came up. It's interesting... I think because the lighting probably helped... or lack of lighting, in that era of television. It was very unsophisticated, very minimal set.... you had the liberty to go out on a tangent occasionally.

    Obviously you're a classic horror movie fan... there's Lugosi AND Karloff in "Count Sprinkula"...

    Yeah, definitely so, always have been, and along the way I've done about eleven films, and quite a few were horror movies... some were so bad they weren't released, they escaped!

    You must've been pretty young when you were Dead Earnest?

    Yes. Bob was an old radio guy, and if he wanted to have somebody help him out it needed to be some radio guy — and I think it was purely because I had always admired him as a radio guy. He just did it because... "You know what, this Sprinkle guy, this young guy here, I like him, and he's a radio guy, and so he could probably do it." So he just asked me to fill in. It was not a lot, but I did, and it was a great experience.

    Did you ever do any personal appearances?

    Not as Dead Earnest, no. Some of the other characters, definitely... Sonic Man. But Bob Chesson did.

    When I was a little kid, we lived in Winston-Salem for about six years, from the time I was six to twelve years old, and I became fascinated with broadcasting, radio and television. I used to listen to WTOB radio, a big top 40 radio station. Even when I was six years old, I was just fascinated with it. Around 1960 or 61 I went to an event at one of the movie theaters in Winston-Salem, and met several of the disk jockeys — one of them was Dick Bennick! (See DR. PAUL BEARER.) He had this incredible voice, BIG VOICE, you know, and I met him, and I met those other guys, and it was like — BING! — from that moment on, "I want to be a deejay!" And then, later on in the same city, I met one of the weather guys at Channel 12, so eventually I ended up going into radio for many years, and now I'm in television.

    But I had lost touch, I didn't know what had happened to Dick Bennick — this is before the Internet — I would ask people "What ever happened to Dick Bennick?" Well, most people had never heard of him, because it was so many years ago when he left Winston-Salem. And, FINALLY, when we got the Internet, you could do a search, and BOOM! — there's an explosion of ... HERE's what he became, and I was just so fascinated to know that's what he ended his career doing. And he became a legend at that, in Tampa, the character he portrayed down there.

    I wish I could meet some of his family, just to let them know, because I was like six years old, and that's what I wanted to do .... that's exactly what I wanted to do. It was because I met him, it wasn't because I heard him on the radio, but I MET him. At the end of the movie, all the deejays were there, they'd been on stage giving out prizes, and then "C'mon down!" I'm like six years old — "Hi!" It was like, just hello,,, when you're a kid, what do you say to somebody? But just to be able to stand next to them — there were two other jocks, three of them. That was it — "Oh man, I'd like to do all that stuff, that would be great!"

DEADLY EARNEST (I) (Sydney, Australia)
(Ian Bannerman; died 198?)

Visit the Deadly Earnest TV Fan Page, an index providing great information, links, and pictures of all of these Deadly Earnest Australian hosts!

Read more about Deadly Earnest in Sydney!

Aweful Movies with Deadly Earnest
Friday and Saturday night
TEN Channel 10 (Sydney, Australia)
1966 - 1968

Magazine reference:
  • "Monster Memories" feature by Bill Webb, "Deadly Earnest from Down Under," in issue #7 of Scary Monsters (June 1993), p. 8. Illustrated with a photo of Deadly Earnest and a reproduction of the show's fan club card.

NOTES:

  • In the photo illustrating Bill Webb's article in Scary Monsters, Deadly Earnest appears to be a young, cadaverous, palefaced man wearing a black outfit, heavy hornrimmed glasses, and a flower in his lapel (see sidebar photo). He is standing by a coffin bearing a Channel TEN logo.

    Bill Webb remembers seeing films like Carnival of Souls, The Slime People, and The Giant Gila Monster on this show.

  • When Bill Webb discovered that I'd reprinted stuff here from his magazine article on Deadly Earnest, he sent e-mail with more information!:
    I was checking out your cool site when I discovered some info about Australia's Deadly Earnest taken from my article in Scary Monsters. Deadly's real name was Ian Bannerman and try as I might I cannot find any info about him regarding his post-Deadly activities; he seems to have just vanished from the Earth. .... It's a shame we don't have any horror hosts here anymore as I would love to see the idea take off again and I'm sure the present generation would go for it as well.
    All the best.
    Bill Webb
    Sydney, Australia.
  • Chris Keating provided a much-appreciated overview of four different Deadly Earnests in different areas of Australia, and provided the image of Ian Bannerman as Deadly Earnest (from the footage he possesses) that's used on the sidebar:
    Hiya, love the site.
    Right, info on Deadly Earnest.
    Firstly, the program he hosted was titled Aweful Movies with Deadly Earnest. Note the correct spellings of "Awefull" and "Earnest."
    There were four. In order of appearance:

    1. Ian Bannerman (TEN-10, Sydney) 1966 - ?. One piece of footage is known to exist.

    2. Ralph Baker (ATV-O, Melbourne) 1967 - 1973(?). Sidekick was Claw (his left hand, in a right-hand glove), and Igor. Two pieces of footage are known to exist.

    3. Hedley Cullen (SAS-10, Adelaide). Around 1968 till no idea when. Had a skull named Yorick. No known footage. Died in 1994.

    4. Shane Porteous (TVQ-O, Brisbane). Early 1970's. No known footage, never seen any photos. Went on to become a very well-known actor in the 1980's.

    Hope this is of help, keep the flag flying!
    Chris Keating.
  • John George Hospodaryk provided great additional details about this host:
    The host of the Aweful Movies shown in Sydney from 1966 to 68 was Ian Bannerman. Other favorites besides those mentioned on your website include Attack of the Puppet People, Reptilicus, Varan the Unbelievable (this being the first film screened in mid or late '66), Robot Monster, The Beast With a Million Eyes, Karloff in The Body Snatcher. Bannerman also inserted running commentaries as subtitles when he screened 40's matinee serials which had been edited into single 3-hour long movies. The comments which stand out in my mind are those observing the fact that when the good guys and the bad guys are having a big fist fight, no-one loses his hat! He also had an occasional offsider whose name I don't remember. They once sang a dirge-like little ditty that went: "Gonna bury my baby, six feet down, six feet down. Gonna bury my baby, under the ground, under the ground." There was also a female offsider called Creepella.

    Deadly Earnest also had a brief spell on radio in early 68, with DJ Max Rowley, on Sydney radio station 2CH I think it was. I seem to remember this included stereotyped special effects like howling wolves and thunder.

    The TV show didn't even have that: usually it was just the darkened studio and Deadly's coffin. The coffin was a real laugh! If you followed the show week by week - and fanatics like me did - you could actually notice how it was deteriorating: a torn edge here, a dog-ear there. It was ashen-looking and appeared to be made of either 3-ply or even cardboard.
    Regards,
    John from Sydney
  • Crazy Joe Bananas adds:
    I've been researching "Deadly Earnest," alias Ian Bannerman (an ex-Pom from Coventry) who came up with the idea of hosting horror & Sci-Fi movies. He approached,the (then) "O-Ten" Network and every Friday nightat 10.30 p.m. he appeared as a ghoul hosting "Aweful Movies." It was a surprise to discover, he wasn't the only "Deadly Earnest," there were four others, in each state that had the "O-Ten" Network, Shane Portious of "A Country Practise" being one!

    (NOTE from E-gor: I don't know if Crazy Joe is correct about there being FOUR other Deadlys, for a total of FIVE, when other evidence indicates just four... but pending confirmation or denial, his comment stands for now.)

    He was close friends with a radio announcer, John Brindle, who interviewd Ian, alias "Deadly," on His regular AM Radio program "Showbreak." John Brindle also assisted Ian on his 1969 LP "Rave in Peace — Deadly Earnest & the Grave Situation" (an obvious "Monster Mash" / "Bobby 'Boris' Pickett & the Crypt Kicker 5" type Black Humour affair) to promote the LP, He had copies delivered (by "NIDA" students dressed as mourners and a horse-drawn hearse with black-plumed horses) to all the AM radio stations!

    One of Deadly's TV sponsors was Ces Cook's Magic Shop, situated in the Imperial Arcade in Sydney. East India Curry Restaurants was another sponsor.

    After ratings dropped, Ian approached "O-Ten" with a pilot entitled "This is Australian Content, mate—Don't knock it!" But it never eventuated.

    He then,returned to his Mother-England. Rumours abound that he later returned to Australia and became a script writer / editor for the federal government-run:ABC-TV. I'm informed that he died from pneumonia in the '80s. So little is known about him yet, so many baby-boomers fondfly remember him!

    Channel 7's "Creature Feature" replaced the void that was "Aweful Movies" for some years, later in the early 70's. "Deadly" would appear in short comedy skits during the commercials, with other characters. He was very popular with the Sydney Uni Set. His show would start with himself and another ghoul, dressed in undertaker's attire, running outside and inside the (then) Artarmon Studios of "O-Ten" to a fast-paced instrumental tune (used also in Rex Mossip's Speedway program) that ALL can remember but NONE know the name of! With a large black hexagonal wooden coffin — specially built by the "O-Ten" Props Department and later featured in his promo photo shots.

    Alas, Australia only remembers its sporting and political "heroes," not off-beat types such as "Deadly Earnest"!
    

Ian Bannerman,  Deadly Earnest in Sydney AU

Ian Bannerman as Deadly Earnest on Channel 10, Sydney, Australia. Portrait courtesy of Chris Keating.
Click image for more pictures of this host.


DEADLY EARNEST (II) (Melbourne, Australia)
(Ralph Baker)

Visit the Deadly Earnest TV Fan Page, an index providing great information, links, and pictures of all of these Deadly Earnest Australian hosts!

Read more about Deadly Earnest in Melbourne!

Read Hideously Yours, Deadly, an interview article about Ralph Baker, on the Melbourne Sixties website!

Aweful Movies with Deadly Earnest
?day night
ATV Channel 0 (now Channel 10) (Melbourne, Australia)
1967 - 1972

NOTES:

  • Chris Keating provided an overview of the four different Deadly Earnests in different areas of Australia:
    The program he hosted was titled Aweful Movies with Deadly Earnest.... There were four. In order of appearance:

    1. Ian Bannerman (TEN-10, Sydney) 1966 - 1968. One piece of footage is known to exist.

    2. Ralph Baker (ATV-O, Melbourne) 1967 - 1972. Sidekick was Claw (his left hand, in a right-hand glove), and Igor. Two pieces of footage are known to exist.

    3. Hedley Cullen (SAS-10, Adelaide). Around 1968 till no idea when. Had a skull named Yorick. No known footage. Died in 1994.

    4. Shane Porteous (TVQ-O, Brisbane). Early 1970's. No known footage, never seen any photos. Went on to become a very well-known actor in the 1980's.
  • Steven Stevenson watched the show in Melbourne:
    I used to watch him all the time -- the movies were really bad, 'The Screaming Skull was one. Deadly Earnest would fold the fingers of one hand over the forefinger of that hand, and wave it in front of his face, yelling "Craw! Craw!"

    There was a stage pit with smoke coming out of it, and Deadly would beat the monster supposedly in there with a stick to keep him in line.

    The host was much better than the movies. Funnier and scarier (he was fairly funny and vaguely scary).
  • Ralph Baker's comments about the development of his characterization from the "Hideously Yours, Deadly" interview cited above:
    I had seen footage of the Sydney Deadly Earnest. To my knowledge he was the first Deadly to be on TV. A lot of things happened by accident, the first thing I did was to write a rough sort of script. We then went to the wardrobe department to look at what I could wear. We came up with an old funeral directors type outift. I put it all on with the frock coat, hat and so forth, and I then said I can't have my hands like this it looks too good. So they pulled out a pair of grey gloves. I put the one on, and then the other. I then remarked you've given me two right hand gloves, hang on I'll keep them. Once you put a wrong glove on your it immediately looks grotesque, that how "Claw" another part of the Deadly Earnest persona came about.
  • Another show fan, Russell Lovell, remembers:
    G'day E-gor!
    Just thought I'd put in my 2 cents worth on Deadly Earnest... He appeared on Channel 0, later to become Channel 10 in Melbourne, Australia. I think it was around the late 60's, early 70's.

    He used to rise out of a coffin to introduce horror movies... it also featured "Claw" which was his own hand, which had a nasty habit of attacking him and also "Igor" which was some kind of monster that was never seen, only heard.
    I still remember to this day his reply to my request for photo's of himself.... he wrote on the back of a photo:
    This is all you get and think yourself lucky ...
    All my hate ... Deadly!
    I hope this info has been of some use to you.
  • There is a waxwork of Ralph Baker as Deadly Earnest at the Gold Coast Wax Museum in Queesland, Australia. It's pictured on the Deadly Earnest in Melbourne page.
    

Ralph Baker,  Deadly Earnest in Melbourne AU

Ralph Baker as Deadly Earnest on Channel 0, Melbourne, Australia.
Click image for a better look at his monstrous mug.


DEADLY EARNEST (III) (Adelaide, Australia)
(Hedley Cullen; died November 4, 1994)

Visit the Deadly Earnest TV Fan Page, an index providing great information, links, and pictures of all of these Deadly Earnest Australian hosts!

Read more about Deadly Earnest in Adelaide!

Read a transcript of a 1990 radio interview with Hedley Cullen on Adelaide public station 3D FM!

Check out Hedley Cullen's Internet Movie Database credits — an impressive list!

Aweful Movies with Deadly Earnest
Friday at 8.30 p.m.
SAS Channel 10 (Adelaide, Australia)
July 1967 - 197?

NOTES:

  • Chris Keating provided an overview of the four different Deadly Earnests in different areas of Australia:
    The program he hosted was titled Aweful Movies with Deadly Earnest.... There were four. In order of appearance:

    1. Ian Bannerman (TEN-10, Sydney) 1966 - 1968. One piece of footage is known to exist.

    2. Ralph Baker (ATV-O, Melbourne) 1967 - 1972. Sidekick was Claw (his left hand, in a right-hand glove), and Igor. Two pieces of footage are known to exist.

    3. Hedley Cullen (SAS-10, Adelaide). Around 1968 till no idea when. Had a skull named Yorick. No known footage. Died in 1994.

    4. Shane Porteous (TVQ-O, Brisbane). Early 1970's. No known footage, never seen any photos. Went on to become a very well-known actor in the 1980's.
  • Graham Thomas writes from Canberra, Australia:
    Some feedback on your site regarding the "Deadly Earnest" character who appeared on Australian TV in the early 1970s.
    The show was made by SAS Channel 10 in Adelaide (capital of the state of South Australia) and syndicated to other Channel 10 in Sydney as well as Channel 0 in Melbourne (and possibly in Brisbane as well). The show may also have been shown on Western Australia's Channel 7.
    (NOTE from E-gor: I don't know if Graham is right about the syndication of this version of DE to other states, or if he wasn't aware that other actors were involved on other channels — but until I get some sort of clarification, his comment stands.)

    It was shown on Friday nights from 8.30 pm and starred Adelaide actor Hedley Cullen as Deadly Earnest. The character would rise from his coffin to introduce the movies and his echoing laughter (think of Vincent Price in Michael Jackson's "Thriller") would lead into the opening of the movie. At the end of the movie (or sometimes during the movie) Deadly Ernest and his sidekick (a skull called Yorick) would show drawings sent in by viewers or announce competitions.
    MANY of the movies were those classic B=grade American International films such as Panic in Year Zero, the Japanese Godzilla & Mothra movies and the British Hammer horrors. Others I recall seeing between 1973 and around 1977 include The Omega Man, The Last Man on Earth, Planet of the Apes and sequels. Some of the American International films, especially the black and white ones, have hardly been seen on Australian TV since those days. What a shame!
  • Ralph Baker was assistant producer on the Channel 10 comedy/drama/romance TV series Good Morning, Mr. Doubleday in 1969, and played Deadly Earnest in one episode with a haunted house plot.
    

Headley Cullen as Deadly Earnest, Adelaide AU

Hedley Cullen as Deadly Earnest (with Yorick) in Adelaide, Australia. Image courtesy of Chris Keating.
Click for a bigger, better look.


DEADLY EARNEST (IV) (Brisbane, Australia)
(Shane Porteous)

Visit the Deadly Earnest TV Fan Page, an index providing great information, links, and pictures of all of these Deadly Earnest Australian hosts!

See the Shane Porteous profile at the official website for the TV show A Country Place, which Porteous was in from 1981 to 1993.

Check out Shane Porteous's Internet Movie Database credits!

Aweful Movies with Deadly Earnest
Day? Time?
TVQ Channel 10 (Brisbane, Australia)
Early 70's

NOTES:

  • Chris Keating provided an overview of the four different Deadly Earnests in different areas of Australia:
    The program he hosted was titled Aweful Movies with Deadly Earnest.... There were four. In order of appearance:

    1. Ian Bannerman (TEN-10, Sydney) 1966 - 1968. One piece of footage is known to exist.

    2. Ralph Baker (ATV-O, Melbourne) 1967 - 1972. Sidekick was Claw (his left hand, in a right-hand glove), and Igor. Two pieces of footage are known to exist.

    3. Hedley Cullen (SAS-10, Adelaide). Around 1968 till no idea when. Had a skull named Yorick. No known footage. Died in 1994.

    4. Shane Porteous (TVQ-O, Brisbane). Early 1970's. No known footage, never seen any photos. Went on to become a very well-known actor in the 1980's.
  • The webmonster who put together the tremendously informative Deadly Earnest Fan TV Page, from which I cribbed much of the content for all of my Deadly Earnest entries, hasn't yet been able to find out much about Shane Porteous's turn in the role.
    Beside a small picture of the handsome young actor in an un-monstrous role, he laments:
    Closest I could get to a pic of Shane looking dark and sinister... Well, he is back lit and on screen left. If you have a more ominous one, send it in!
    (I, E-gor, echo that request: please send it to both of us; I'm sure we'll share it for the benefit of Deadly Earnest fans anyway!)

    Here's what the webpage says about Porteous's performance:
    SHANE PORTEOUS brought Deadly Earnest to the tropics.
    Yes, this is the same gentleman who starred in the long running soapie "A Country Practice," as Doctor Elliot.
    And you thought he was such a nice doctor, but just like Dr Jekyll, he could turn into a Mr Hyde!
    These days Shane keeps the Deadly tradition alive, by killing off characters in "Neighbours"...
    I don't have any material on Shane's Deadly, but there is a waxwork of him at the Gold Coast Wax Museum (in Queensland, Australia)!
   

Help E-gor picture this host!

If you have any sort of information about Shane Porteous as Deadly Earnest (especially a photo), please E-mail E-gor and/or rocket42au@yahoo.com.au!


Deadly, Jami
(see JAMI DEADLY)

Death, Dr.
(see DR. DEATH)

Death, Uncle
(see UNCLE DEATH)

THE DEBASER and CHERRY PAYNE
(Matt Sanborn, Cherry Payne)
See this show's profile page at HORRORHOSTS.com, the official site for the Horror Host Underground.
Midnight Hour
Day? Time?
Public Access Channel 22 (Haverhill, Massachusetts)
? 2004 - Present
NOTE:
  • Rescued: the (now defunct) MonsterFashion site description of the show:
    DATELINE MONSTERVILLE — MonsterFashion Films is proud to announce .... the new MonsterFashion television show MIDNIGHT HOUR! The show will be hosted by MonsterFashion King Matt Sanborn and his beautiful co-host, Cherry Payne. Six episodes are in the can. Sanborn and Payne will introduce and talk about the movies and give some little no fact and actual insight into these great and not-so-great films. The movies to be shown: At Midnight I Will Possess Your Soul, The Brain that Wouldn't Die, The Unholy Three, Horror Express, Night of the Living Dead and Nosferatu.

Desmodas, The Duke of
(see MALCOM THE BUTLER and THE DUKE OF DESMODAS)

Destruction, Dr.
(see DR. DESTRUCTION)

DOKTOR GOULFINGER, aka DOKTOR HIERONYMUS BULLWINKLE GOULFINGER
(Michael Monahan)

Visit The Hip Crypt of Doktor Goulfinger, the official Website.

The Hip Crypt of Doktor Goulfinger
Thursday at 6:00 am, 1:00 pm; Friday at 2:30 pm; Saturday at 2:30 pm
Berkeley Community Media B-TV, Channel 28 (Berkeley, California)
Halloween 2001 - Present

Magazine reference: "Doktor Goulfinger is In!", an interview conducted by Dan Johnson, in The Monster News, October, 2001.

NOTES:

  • The Cryptic Hipster himself (!) provided some background info about his show, and continues to keep his entry here up-to-date, with monstrously friendly occasional e-mail (thanks, Dok):
    Howdy!
    Here's a bit of information on Doktor Hieronymus Bullwinkle Goulfinger.

    I've been a horror host fan for many years, and have developed a fondness for hosts from all over the country. These characters have always fascinated me, finally leading me create "The Hip Crypt of Doktor Goulfinger." Goulfinger emerged mainly from my childhood memories of Bay Area hosts, Asmodeus and Bob Wilkins, though the actual impetus to produce a show came from Zacherley and Ghoulardi.

    The show first aired — appropriately — on Halloween 2001, with the trash clas-sick, Brain That Wouldn't Die. From the beginning, the Dok has been something of a horror host historian and archivist.

    The set is decorated with photos of Zach, Wilkins, Dr Paul Bearer, etc — as well as signed artwork by Vampira (I), a model of Sammy Terry, a rubber chicken signed by Svengoolie and a skeleton won on the Son of Ghoul show.

    The Dok has had folks on discussing their favorite hosts, and aired interviews with Dr Creep, John Stanley and Son of Ghoul, as well as many of the current crop of folks on the field. Basically, doing the show is an excuse to share my love and enthusiasm for the whole genre, and to give audiences a sense of the sheer scope and variety horror hosts in their heyday.

    The Dok began as a solo host, but in 2003, he was joined by a few semi-recurring cast members: Shegor (a cheerfully promiscuous hunchback who wears a t-shirt emblazoned with the message "Wanna Hump?"), Professor Nik (a peculiar Peter Lorre version of the "wacky neighbor"), Count Zygote (the world's youngest horror host — and a bid to hook the Fright to Lifers), and Lil' Satan (just as the name implies).

    Another new element to the show are periodic episodes of "The Noggins," which is sort of like "I Love Lucy" — only with two dismembered heads. By mixing footage from Brain That Wouldn't Die and The Head we create the incredible illusion of a lovable disembodied married couple, kept alive by a steady flow of nutrients delivered through the tubes in their necks.

    Doktor Goulfinger has made a number of live appearances at a local revival theater in Oakland, CA, known as The Parkway. A regularly scheduled film series called Thrillville features a broad range of genre features, from Earth Vs the Flying Saucers to Fulci's Zombie. The host of these events, Will the Thrill, has invited the Dok down to co-host a couple of Creature Feature Nights, featuring the Bay Area return of Bob Wilkins and John Stanley, and even staged a Doktor Goulfinger Birthday Bash, with Monster From Piedras Blancas as the present.

    Since starting the show, my personal experience has been that people still love to see a host. They come out in large numbers to see the ones they grew up with, and there are creative communities who offer immediately support when a horror host project is discussed. Despite the wholesale evisceration of local programming by syndication and mega-mergers, this is a genre that's not going away anytime soon.

    Doktor Goulfinger
    "Scaring is Caring"
    Visit goulfinger.com
  • Most recently, Dok wrote:
    Long time no type. I hope all is well on your end. Despite my best efforts to stay buried, things continue to pop like crazy around here and I figured it was time to shoot you an update.

    This last October, I co-produced a three day hosted movie event at the Castro Theater in San Francisco called "Shock It To Me" (in tribute to ASMODEUS) which went over extremely well. So much so, in fact, that they've asked us back for next October and are expanding the event to two weeks. We'll be booking our own film series for the weekends and contribute to a weeklong 3D festival that will be promoted under the "Shock It To Me" banner.

    My partner, August Ragone, was a regular on BOB WILKINS' Creature Features and Captain Cosmic shows, and the current Castro theater manager was a film editor at KTVU and worked with JOHN STANLEY during his Creature Features era. So this all has creative roots deep in our local TV history, which makes me very proud to be a part of this.

    I also had the pleasure of joining Wilkins and Stanley for another year at the Wondercon convention in San Francisco, where we chaired a panel called "The Secrets of Horror Hosting," which was very well attended and enthusiastically greeted. This year, we added an extra touch, something I'd suggested after last year's show. Following out panel, we invited a couple of people from the audience to come up and be horror hosts. We let them choose their names from a prefix and suffix columns, with an additional descriptive tag on the female, ala ELVIRA's "Mistress of the Dark" moniker. Hence, we wound up with (male) "Baron Von Spooky" and (female) "Countess Frankenatix, Queen Beer Whore of the Dead." Ah, the kids are going to go far. The Countess even came up with her own catch phrase: "Welcome, Maggots!" I want that on a shirt...

    MR. (ERIK) LOBO, a satelitte host from Sacramento, took point on that part of the show, and pulled it off quite well.

    My buddy, Tom Wyrsh, the guy behind the Bob Wilkins and John Stanley Scrapbooks, talked to me about making a Creature Features documentary this year, something we can premiere at next year's Wondercon. So between that and planning the next "Shock It To Me," it's going to be a busy year.

    And just to top it, I was asked to write an introduction for ZOMBOO's new book. It's all good.

    I'm heading out to Cinema Wasteland next month for SON OF GHOUL's 20th Anniversary celebration. I can't recall now if you've ever made it out to the convention there, but this would definately be a good year for it. It would be great to see you there.

    But even before that, there's yet another high point at the Castro on March 11th. They're premiering the newly colorized Plan 9 From Outer Space with a red carpet event featuring available cast members. Apparently VAMPIRA is a strong possibility. I would love to see her again.

    Anyway, that's all the craziness here -- and I didn't even get to the story of how we got both SON OF GHOUL and THE GHOUL out here in October about a week apart from each other. Now THAT'S crazy...

    Take care -- your site is still the all-time best. I mentioned it at the panel -- hopefully some of the curious will seek it out.
    Thanks again, Dok,
    Dead gratefully, E-gor
   

Doktor Goulfinger, host of the Hip Crypt in Berkeley CA

Doktor Goulfinger, hard-working host of the Hip Crypt in Berkeley CA.
Click image to see an autographed photo of him!


DOKTOR TOM B. STONE
(Rodney Budell)

See Doktor Tom B. Stone's profile page at HORRORHOSTS.com, the official site for the Horror Host Underground.

Spookaroonies
Saturday night from 9:30 - 11:30 pm
WJTS-UPN Channel 27 (Jasper, Indiana)
November 6th, 2004 - Present

NOTES:

  • Spookaroonies features Docktor Tom B. Stone (Rodney Budell), Fred Ascare (Timothy Troutman), and Sir Perceival P. Peabody, Vampire Slayer (Steve Scott) hosting classic sci-fi and horror movies on Channel 27 WJTS-UPN in Jasper, Indiana, every Saturday night from 9:30 - 11:30 pm.

  • From the Horror Host Underground website profile:
    Somewhere between states of consciousness… between asleep and awake… between your last breath and death, you will encounter "Doktor Tom B. Stone." Throughout the centuries, thoughtsmiths have pondered this ethereal realm, but to no avail. The omniscient Doktor has vowed to lead his faithful viewers on their sojourn seeking answers to all of these timeless questions concerning "what lies beyond?"
  • E-gorespondence from Doktor Tom B. Stone himself:
    Hello.....
    Doktor Tom B. Stone here. I just wanted to let you know that I have a horror host show here in Southern, Indiana. I host a weekly show entitled "Spookaroonies" on WJTS-UPN 27 here in Jasper, Indiana. It is on Saturday Nights at 9:30 p.m.
    Dok Tom......aka Rodney Budell
  • Each weekly show includes 5-6 minute horror/comedy skits and interviews with local celebrities and guests, interspersed with horror movies like Night of the Living Dead, Horror Hotel, The Screaming Skull and House On Haunted Hill.

  • According to the official website, the show's "Unfaithful Staff" includes Dwight (a fly?), Rod Budell (writer/host & set designer), Richard E. Buckner (director), Dana Buechline (producer), Jeremy Markos (camera) and Josh Houchin (special effects).
   

Doktor Tom B. Stone, host of Spookaroonies in Jasper, Indiana

Doktor Tom B. Stone, host of Spookaroonies, Jasper, Indiana.
Click image to see the autographed photo (of Dok Tom and Fred Ascare) that it was clipped from.


DON KENNEDY
(Don Kennedy)
Visit the websites for Big Band Jump and the Don Kennedy Show, the nationally-syndicated radio shows Don Kennedy hosts.
The Shock Show
Friday at 11:15 pm
WSB-TV, Channel 2 (Atlanta, Georgia)
Fall 1957? - ? 1958/59
NOTES:
  • E-gorespondent Charlie Walker remembered this host first, writing:
    In the Fall of 1957, the Screen Gems "Shock" series was shown on WSB-TV in Atlanta. I was 10 years old at the time and was not allowed to watch. It aired at 11:15 PM on Friday night. I do know the host was Don Kennedy, who also did news and later became Office Don, host of the Popeye Club, a children show that featured cartoons and games, etc. I finally was allowed to watch the show, which was called the Shock Show, in the summer of 1958 which was near the end of its run.
    Don Kennedy is now the host of a popular syndicated radio show named Big Band Jump. .... I e-mailed him about the show and he answered me with fond memories.
    By the way, great site!
    Charlie Walker
  • Atlanta-based radio-tv broadcast personality and entrepreneur Don Kennedy was inducted into the Georgia Association of Broadcasters Hall of Fame in 2001. Kennedy and two partners created the pioneering FM radio station WKLS ("K" for "Kennedy") with an easy-listening format; they sold it and it is now 96 Rock. He also ran Atlanta TV station WATL, which is now WB36.

  • Don Kennedy also does cartoon voices for the Cartoon Network, including characters on Space Ghost Coast to Coast and Aqua Teens Hunger Force.

Doren, Baron Mondo Von
(see BARON MONDO VON DOREN and EL SAPO DE TEMPESTO)

Dorman, Dale
(see UNCLE DALE)

Doug Graves *
(see SON OF SVENGOOLIE and DOUG GRAVES)

Drac *
(see FRANK and DRAC)

Dracula, Count
(see COUNT DRACULA, aka TV's COUNT DRACULA)

DR. ACULA
(Jay Robert Jennings)
Visit The Official webpage of L.A. Horror Host... Dr. Acula -- videotapes of shows are available!
E-mail Dr. Acula! (DoctrAcula@aol.com).
Dr. Acula
Saturday at midnight
Cable public access Channel 3 (Los Angeles, California)
January - December, 1989
Dr. Acula's Halloween 1990 (one-hour special)
Saturday at 9:00 p.m.
Cable public access Channel 3 (Los Angeles, California)
October 31, 1990
NOTES:
  • From Dr. Acula's website: "'Dracula?...No, Dr. Acula!' Back in 1989, host Jay Robert Jennings muttered these words, dressed in his black vampire cape, but looking more like a hack TV actor than vampire, as he hosted this popular 30 minute horror show which aired on Saturday nights at midnight on public access Channel 3 in Los Angeles. The show made like a vampire bat and flew away into the night after only 1 year, not because of poor ratings, but because the cable channel went bankrupt and had to stop taping any more shows. Talk about a stake through the heart! In the course of the show's 30 minutes, Dr. Acula would introduce that night's movie and then appear in funny little segments in-between. Due to time constraints, the movie would be a 22 minute version of an old, black and white classic like 'The Human Monster' with Bela Lugosi, or the silent 'Cabinet of Dr. Caligari.'"
  • From the website: "Dr. Acula also hosted 'Halloween 1990, ' a one hour special which was broadcast live with an audience and was one of the station's most watched shows ever! The show featured various video stories on horror movies & make-up, a costume contest, musical performances, comedy and two special guests: Angus 'The Tall Man' Scrimm and the star of 'The Fearless Vampire Killers, ' Ferdy Mayne."
  • From the website: "Now, just recently discovered at the Video Vaults of that extinct cable channel, after being considered lost for 10 years, comes the release of the first 2 'Dr. Acula' shows & 'Dr. Acula's Halloween 1990.' All 3 are now available for trade or for $10 each at this webpage. For more info, please e-mail Dr. Acula at DoctrAcula@aol.com." (see mailto link above)
  • The name "Dr. Acula" is a venerable one that predates this show by more than 30 years at least. A property of that name, to star Bela Lugosi, was one of the unproduced projects of notorious Z-movie auteur Edward D. Wood Jr., and Lugosi mentioned it by name when he appeared on the TV show You Asked for It in the mid-50's. After Lugosi's death, Wood used the name for the phony medium played by western and serial stalwart Kenne Duncan in his feature film Night of the Ghouls, a sequel to Bride of the Monster made in 1959. Duncan's "Dr. Acula" succeeded Lugosi's "Dr. Vornoff" (in Bride) as the master of the hulking "Lobo" character played by Swedish wrestler Tor Johnson in both films. Night of the Ghouls was publicized in a photo feature in Famous Monsters of Filmland #3, and Tor Johnson mentioned it (by it's alternate title Revenge of the Dead) as his latest film when he appeared on Groucho Marx's TV quiz show You Bet Your Life -- but the film was shelved after an unsuccessful preview, and was never released until Wade Williams brought it out on video in 1982. Forrest J Ackerman, the founding editor of Famous Monsters, the magazine that made horror fans of several generations of American kids (including E-gor), often used "Dr. Acula" as one of his many Ackernyms. Since Forry was Ed Wood's agent at some point, it's a toss-up who coined the name...does anybody know for sure?
  • Dr. Acula himself(!) sent e-mail responding to the preceding note: "That's exactly where I got my Dr. Acula name. When Lugosi on 'You Asked For It' mentioned that Ted Allen was going to produce a new TV show called 'Dr. Acula' starring himself, he said: 'Dracula?..No, Dr. Acula." It's kind've like my tribute to the Bela show that never was!"

Dr. Alexander Morgus *
(see DR. MORGUS)

DR. ATOMIC
(Jeremy Savage)
Dr. Atomic?
Friday night from 10 p.m. - 2 a.m.
WHCT, Channel 18 (Hartford, Connecticut)
1980's - 1990
NOTES:
  • E-gorespondent Dan C. contributed the initial information about this host:
    On channel WHCT 18 Hartford, CT all through the 80's and briefly in 1990 on Friday nights from 10pm-2am they used to show really wild public domain films hosted by Dr. Atomic.... He played a lot of old AIP-TV titles (first place I saw any of the Larry Buchanan films).
    Then on Saturday 6am they would play AIP-TV Japanese monster films (without Dr. Atomic).
    The doctor had a incredibly low budget set (dry ice smoke and maybe two of those electric orbs you get at the mall) and he wore a lab coat, an afro wig dyed white, glasses, and fake teeth extensions.
  • Subsequently, Dr. Atomic himself (!) sent the following comments — hopefully he'll send more!:
    Was on your horror movie host site... Saw a listing about my old show Dr Atomic! I played Dr Atomic at WHCT Ch 18 in Hartford, I also did the booth work there as well.
    It was nice to see this listing, as I really had so much fun back then doing it!
    Regards,
    Jeremy Savage

DR. BELA ZARBO
(Real name=?)
Wide Scream Theatre
Saturday at 11:30
KIII, Channel 3 (Corpus Christi, Texas)
c. 1971

NOTES:

  • Eric Ridenour submitted sketchy preliminary info about: "a host that we used to watch on (I think) Saturday nights in Brownsville, Texas around 1971 or so. I remember his name as 'Doctor Belazarbo,' and he was at least as important as my Sunday school teacher in my upbringing. Any ideas on how to search for him?"
    Can anybody provide more information?

  • Another show fan from Texas provided great new details, a good lead to more info, and a correction to the spelling of his name:
    Dear E-gor, You asked for more info on this horror host. The person providing your current info said he saw him in Brownsville, Texas around 1971! Well, when I stayed up late on Saturday nights/Sunday mornings in the early 70's, he was based in Corpus Christi, Texas (about 60 miles north of Brownsville ), so he may have been receiving a strong feed from there or on a translator station. Also, the TV station was K-III (triple I ) TV in Corpus!
    The name of his show was "WIDE SCREAM THEATRE", and he used the old 1940's "The Shadow" radio show music (with the eerie organ) as a background opening . He drove a real hearse around Corpus for events (it was parked in his driveway once, but I was too scared at 11 years old to go knock on that scary guy's door). He also had a pet purple great dane named Argona on his show ! I tried to track down more info on him about a year ago, and found that the Corpus Christi Caller-Times (the local newspaper) had done an article about him.
    (See note and link below — E-gor.)
    Also, I have found no pics of him anywhere, and his name was displayed as DR. BELA ZARBO (two names, not just one long one) ! Hope you can track down more on him with these recollections!
    Loving your website,
    Jay Blancq
    Abilene, Texas
  • "The Shadow" radio show music Jay Blancq mentions is from a classical piece by Camille Saint-Saens, "Omphale's Spinning Wheel."

  • I, E-gor, checked the Corpus Christi Caller-Times website and discovered that you have to register to get to the archives, but registration is free. Click the following link to register and access Boys and girls, remember Col. Christopher and Snow Job?, a wistful tribute to long-gone regional TV kid shows by William J. Chriss, originally published on November 15, 2003. The spirit of Dr. Bela Zarbo's show is fondly invoked.

  • FreeX, posting to the alt.horror newsgroup on November 22, 1997, remembered:
    Okay, here's a flash to my youth: in the early '70s in Corpus Christi, Texas, every Saturday night at 11:30 (on the ABC affiliate, as I recall), the host was DR. BELA ZARBO. The doc was pretty lame. Definitely sub-Count Floyd, though his incredibly fake laugh still haunts me....
  • So the search goes on — so WHO was this guy? Anybody got a picture? Dr. Bela Zarbo, where are you?
   

Help E-gor picture this host!

If you have any sort
of information about
this horror host
(particularly a photo),
PLEASE E-mail E-gor!


Dr. Belazarbo
(see DR. BELA ZARBO)

DR. BRAIN
(Lee Kleinpeter, Jr.)

Theatre of the Mind
Saturday at 10:30 pm - midnight
KLFY-TV, Channel 10 (Lafayette/Lake Charles, Louisiana)
Fall 1979 - Spring 1980

NOTES:

  • E-gorespondent Jeff Lanoue initiated this entry, remembering:
    His assistant Quzi Boudreaux [sic, see following note] (its a Louisiana thing) .... I don't recall the name of their show but it aired from 10:30 to 12:00 every Saturday night until about 1980. This was before the days of cable TV so only some nights could I pick up Channel 10 from Lafayette (45 miles from Baton Rouge).
  • Show fan Shane K. Bernard sent a very likely correction:
    I see you have a listing for "Quzi Boudreaux" -- I think it was actually spelled "Quasi Boudreaux," which was a play on "Quasimodo" of "The Hunchback of Notre Dame" and the quintessential Cajun surname "Boudreaux," since the show aired in the heart of Cajun Louisiana.
  • Lo and behold, I heard from Dr. Brain himself in January 2008, and he filled in some very important blanks in my entry! :
    Dr. Brain's show was Theatre of the Mind.

    Brain was played by Lee Kleinpeter, Jr., and Quasi-Boudreaux by John Brockmeyer. We wrote are own scripts, some improv, it was directed by Kathy Anderson.

    We were on Saturday night from 10:30 til Midnight, in fall '79/spring '80; on CBS affiliate in Lafayette, La. -- KLFY Ch. 10 (at the time owned by Sugarland Broadcasting -- Lady Bird Johnson was an owner.)

    Regards,
    Lee Kleinpeter, Jr.

DR. CADAVER and IGOR
(John Melillo and Dave Rogers)
Visit Dr. Cadaver's Monster Horror Theatre website!
Dr. Cadaver's Monster Horror Theatre
Friday night at 11:30
WTWN, local access Channel 19 (Pompano Beach, Florida)
February 13, 1998 - March, 1999
NOTES:
  • During the show's run the producer, Paul Rogers, e-mailed: "I think you would love a television show that I currently produce. It's called Dr. Cadaver's Monster Horror Theatre and it airs in South Florida every Friday night at 11:30 p.m. It is a delightful mix of humor and horror that any regular visitor to this website is sure to enjoy! Dr. Cadaver and Igor introduce the films and then return at each commercial break. They are always getting into some kind of trouble!"
  • After the run was over, producer Rogers wrote again: "Dr. Cadaver is one of my close friends, his name is John Melillo. Igor was actually played by 3 different people but the main (and best) Igor was Dave Rogers, my brother. Dr. Cadaver's Monster Horror Theatre ran from 2/13/98 until sometime in March of '99, when I left the station-mainly because they had stopped production on Dr. Cadaver for no good reason - they stopped airing it. There were only 11 episodes produced so the show was really just finding it's identity when production was halted, But we had a nice following as we recieved quite a few e-mails and phone calls, and there was a lot of word of mouth. Anyway I do hope to start up production again sometime in the not-too distant future."
  • During the show's run, WTWN's website noted: "Unexpected guests often drop by the 'Haunted Mansion' (sometimes with fatal results!), and the doctor's faithful pet Igor is always 'on hand' to get the doctor into trouble!"
  • Eleven episodes of the show, featuring Dr. Cadaver hosting public-domain features, are available from Paul Rogers, who would be happy to trade copies of Dr. Cadaver for other Horror Hosted Shows from around the country. See list and contact information at the Horror Host Trading Post.

DR. CADAVERINO *
(Jack DuBlon: born October 28, 1929; died July 25, 1988)
Visit Milwaukee Hosts of Horror, horror hostorian Dick (Nitelinger) Golembiewski's fabulous web tribute to Dr. Cadaverino and all the other TV horror hosts and shows of that area, for great information and loads of audio-visual treats.
Nightmare Theatre
(Listed as The Late Show)
After Saturday Night Movie (about 11:30-midnight)
October 10, 1964 - July 10, 1965
Nightmare Theatre
(Listed as The Late, Late Show until March 8, 1969, when it was first listed under its real name)
After The Late Show and The Late Show News
July 17, 1965 - September 24, 1977
Farewell Nightmare Theatre (Halloween one-shot)
12:15 a.m. - 1:15 a.m. Saturday night/Sunday morning
October 29-30, 1977
Dr. Cadaverino's Halloween Special
Friday at 11:00 p.m.
October 31, 1980
All on WITI, Channel 6 (Milwaukee, Wisconsin)
Elena Watson's Television Horror Movie Hosts reference:
mention (pp. 158-159) and whole chapter Ch. 9, "It's Dr. Cadaverino, Stupid!", pp. 70-72.
Magazine references:
  • Show discussed in depth in "Monster Memories of Dr. Cadaverino" by Dick (Nitelinger) Golembiewski, an excellent article with many illustrations (photos, promotional handout, and advertisements) in issue #20 (September 1996) of Scary Monsters, pp. 126-132.
  • Show discussed again in "Milwaukee Horror Errata," by Dick (Nitelinger) Golembiewski in Scary Monsters' Monster Memories 1999 Yearbook, pp. 124-125. Illustrations include the first ad for the show and the front of a vintage "Nightmare Theatre" postcard.
  • Show discussed at length in "Dr. Cadaverino's Sidekick Igor Speaks!" by Dick (Nitelinger) Golembiewski in issue # 40 (September 2001) of Scary Monsters magazine, pp. 64-89. Included are many pics, promo cards and the memories of one of the folks who played Igor.
  • Show discussed, and autographed promotional card reproduced, in editorial by Dennis Druktenis in issue #6 (March 1993) of Scary Monsters, p. 1.
  • Discussion and three pictures in article by Larry Widen, "Late Night Horror in Milwaukee," in issue #8 (September 1993) of Scary Monsters, pp. 14-15.
  • Wonderful memories from frequent Nightmare Theatre guest, Milwaukee magician David Seebach, in a letter which appeared in issue #21 (December 1996) of Scary Monsters magazine (pp 12-13).
NOTES:
  • Some incredible inside information from a Nightmare Thespian!:
    My name is Tracy Lesch, and I just came across your site. I started reminiscing about the past and felt compelled to drop you a line. I made a number of appearances on WITI-TV6's Nightmare Theatre in the 70's. My nom de plume was BARON VON FINKENSTEIN. I used to send Dr. Cadaverino lots of art which he always featured. One day, Jack Du Blon called me and very casually asked, "hey, how'd you like to be on the show?" Of course, who wouldn't? So, over the span of the next two years, I appeared on and off in character, sometimes with another Cadaverino fan, Mr. Mystery. Jack became a good friend, and I was crushed to hear of his passing years ago. He was a sweet, multitalented guy. He also did the weather during the 6:00 news as Albert the Alleycat (a puppet). He had a morning kids show with Albert called Albert's Alley, where he did multiple puppets in between cartoons.
    He had a sidekick on the show, a headless silent giant named Igor. Igor always added tons of comic relief due to the fact that he was always doing things in the background to cause trouble, like threatening guests with bodily harm, etc. No one knew who played Igor. Some day maybe I'll tell the story of the infamous "streaking" episode.
    It was nice to be reminded of the fun I had with Jack on Nightmare Theatre.
    Tracy Lesch (e-mail: stinggm@magicnet.net)
    (He'd love to hear from Dr. Cadaverino fans! -- E-gor)
  • Dick (Nitelinger) Golembiewski notes that the first film was The Werewolf, and the last film (as "Nightmare Theatre") was The Conqueror Worm (24 September 1977). The farewell show ("Farewell Nightmare Theatre") of October 29, 1977, had no film. The "Dr. Cadaverino's Halloween Special" of October 31, 1980, featured Willard.

DR. CREEP
(Barry Hobart)
Visit The Official Home of Shock Theatre Starring Dr. Creep, with information on Dr. Creep videos and DVDs, T-shirts and other products for sale, Creepy Pictures, News, articles and interviews.
See Dr. Creep's profile page at HORRORHOSTS.com, the official site for the Horror Host Underground.
See bio and images of Dr. Creep — and hundreds of images of a host of other horrors — at the incredible Horror Host Gallery website, courtesy of video archaeologist Thomas Rudé!
Science Shock Theatre
(Hobart supplied creepy voiceover for opening and breaks)
Day? Time?
1969? - 1971?
Shock Theatre
(Dr. Creep character developed around voice)
Saturday at 11:00 p.m., other times
January 1, 1972 (live broadcast) - 1980
Saturday Night Dead
(show title changed)
Saturday late-night following Saturday Night Live
January 1980 - March 23, 1985
WKEF-TV, Channel 22 (Dayton, Ohio)
Shock Theater
Sunday nights at 10:00 p.m.
January 31, 1999 - present
DATV TCI Channel 20 (Dayton, Ohio)
Miami Valley Cable Council Media One Channel 23 (Dayton and surrounding areas, Ohio)
Horror Host Underground Network
Circulating videotape guest appearances
200? - Present
Live appearances throughout the year
see Dr. Creep's News page for information about recent and forthcoming appearances.
Magazine references:
  • Part one of two-part feature with five photos, "Dr. Creep -- Birth of a Legend" by Rick Martin in issue #13 (December 1994) of Scary Monsters, pp. 30-33. (Feature concluded in issue #14.)
    Full-page ad for "The Best of Shock Theatre" videotape (cover with picture of Dr. Creep reproduced) on page 34.
    Another full-page photo (surrounded by girls in bikinis) on inside front cover.
NOTES:
  • Dr. Creep is a corpulent, bearded man wearing dead white make-up, black makeup around the eyes, red lips, a stove-pipe hat and a cape.

  • Assistants included "Terra" (Rhona Aitken), "Firma," "Gloria Ghoul," and "Madam Zoltar" (all three played by Mona Fowler Ranoe), "Groucho Marx," "Uncle Creepy, " a mummy puppet (all played by Mike Martin), and "Obieyoyo," an orange, pointy-headed puppet (operated by John Higgins or Richard Weiser).
  • E-gorespondent Dan Sweet notes:
    When Dr. Creep's "Best of Shock Theatre" tape was released the first ones released had an autographed b&w photo of the good(?) Dr. in the tape box.
  • Information reprinted from the Horror Host Underground Website profile page for Dr. Creep:
    January 1st, 2002 marked Barry Hobart's 30th anniversary as Dr. Creep. Initially inspired by his uncle Doug Hobart's "Dr. Traboh's Chamber of Horrors" traveling spook-show, and his Uncle's film efforts such as Sting of Death and Death Curse of Tartu, Dr. Creep has horror in his blood. After a 13-year initial run on broadcast television under the titles Shock Theatre and Saturday Night Dead, The Creeper continues his family tradition now with new episodes of Shock Theater on cable, as well as still making regular public appearances.
    Barry Hobart is co-founder of the "Project Smiles" charity, which helps 45-65,000 needy families every year.

DR. DEATH
(Ted Knight, died August 26, 1986)

See Ted Knight's Internet Movie Database credits.

Visit Bill Jerome's Ted Knight fansite, with great information about Ted's early career in television including vintage photographs and newspaper articles (nothing on "Dr. Death" though -- yet!).

Name of show?
Day? Time?
WJAR-TV, Channel 10 (Providence, Rhode Island)
Late 50s

NOTE:

  • Once in a while I get a bit of info about a nearly-forgotten host that's so wild and wonderful that it immediately moves to the top of the big backlog of data waiting to be added to this website. Check out this incredible revelation from professional filmmaker who worked at the same TV station later:
    I have a tidbit of info that you might be interested in. Back in the early 1980s, I worked as a producer at WJAR-TV in Providence, RI. I was told by a couple of the longtime employees there that Ted Knight (The Mary Tyler Moore Show, Caddy Shack, Too Close for Comfort) had been a station announcer and on-air host at WJAR back in the late 1950s. One of his gigs was hosting a late-night horror movie showcase where he played a character named "Dr. Death." I was even shown an old 8x10 black and white headshot of Ted in full Dr. Death make-up. As i recall, he looked like a cross between Vincent Price's Dr. Phibes and Boris Karloff's Mummy.
    That's all I know. Hope it's of some interest.
    Mike Valerio
    www.docmoviemaker.tv
   
Help E-gor remember this host!

If you have any sort of additional information about Ted Knight's appearances as TV horror host "Dr. Death"
(particularly a picture of him), please E-mail E-gor!


DR. DESTRUCTION
(Dale Wamboldt)
Visit Dr. Destruction's Crimson Theatre, the show's official Website.
See Dr. Destruction's profile page at HORRORHOSTS.com, the official site for the Horror Host Underground.
See a detailed discussion of the show in "The Hosts of Horror" — just one of the many treasures to be found at Dick Nitelinger's magnificent Milwaukee TV Horror Hosts site
Dr. Destruction's Crimson Theatre
Tuesday at 3:00 - 5:00 pm; Friday late-night from Midnight - 2:00 am; Saturday night from 10:00 pm - Midnight
Time-Warner Cable / Kenosha Community Television, Channel 14 (Kenosha, Wisconsin)
December 16, 2001 - Present
Dr. Destruction's Crimson Theatre
Live broadcast every other Tuesday from 7:30 - 9:30 pm (as of January 2004); tapes rebroadcast at various times during the week.
Time-Warner Cable / MATA Community Media, Channel 14, (Milwaukee, Wisconsin)
(also shown on Channel 96 in Milwaukee, and on the North Shore Community Access Channel in the Northeastern Milwaukee Suburbs)
July 13, 2002 - Present
Magazine reference: Feature article, "Dr. Destruction’s Crimson Theatre: Southeast Wisconsin’s Latest Horror Host Show" by Dick (Nitelinger) Golembiewski, in Scary Monsters magazine #43 (June, 2002), pp. 116-118.
NOTES:
  • From the Horror Host Underground profile:
    Dr. Destruction's Crimson Theatre is a horror host show with your resident host of horror, Dr. Destruction. Every week a new horror / sci-fi movie is featured. The show is like Svengooli meets David Letterman mixed with the Munsters .... Dr. Destruction interviews actors, musicians, magicians and anyone interesting and with an interest in horror.

  • In December of 2003, Dr. Destruction filed papers and announced that he was actually running for mayor of Kenosha.

  • The show's cast has included Dale Wamboldt (Dr. Destruction), Perry Claeys (Scary Perry, Doc’s neighbor and hearse driver), Jessica and Nicole (The Doc-ettes), Don Lipke (Lampini the gypsy), Charles Braden (Mr. Graves the butler), Danielle Strampp (Persephone), Amber O'Connor (the mute vamp "Dearest"), and Jerry Ball (Tepisch, Lord of the Underworld).

DR. DRECK
(Michael Legge)
Visit The Dungeon of Dr. Dreck, the show's Official Website.
See Dr. Dreck's profile page at HORRORHOSTS.com, the official site for the Horror Host Underground.
The Dungeon of Dr. Dreck
Generally on Friday, Saturday and Sunday nights at 10 pm.
ABMI Cable Channel 8 (Bellingham, Massachusetts)
(Additional markets: Mendon, Medway, Upton, Uxbridge, Northbridge, Whitinsville, Linwood, and Grafton, Massachusetts)
February 2004 - Present

Magazine references:
  • Single-page article by Michael (Dr. Dreck) Legge, "Yes! You Too Can Become a Horror Host In Your Spare Time!" in Monster Memories #13: Scary Monsters 2005 Yearbook, (March 2005) p. 35. Nice piece on how the show started, with a photo of Dr. Dreck and his co-hort Moaner.
    Order a copy at the Scary Monsters website!

NOTES:
  • According to the Horror Host Underground Website profile, the show is dedicated to the memory of another TV horror host, Ed McDonnell, who appeared as FEEP, the tiny space alien who hosted "Fantasmic Features" in Boston in the 1960's.

  • Details about the show adapted from the official Website:
    With the aid of his co-host, Moaner the Zombie Cheerleader, and other show characters, Dr. Dreck tries to introduce the younger generation to the Ancient Art of the local horror host, and provides adults with a nostalgic look back at the "oldies but goodies" that are rarely shown on TV anymore.
    The Denizens of the Dungeon:
    • DR. DRECK (Michael Legge) is an illegal medial practitioner who believes that you don't need a license if your heart is in the right place (he keeps his in the freezer).
    • MOANER JOHNSON (Lorna Nogueira) was killed in a bus accident on the way to a basketball game but came back as a flesh-eating zombie. She is Head Cheerleader for the Casketball Team at George Romero High School.
    • GROANER (Diane Mela) is Moaner's older sister, a graduate of the Frankenstein School of Scare Dressing. She aspires to be the Scaredresser to the Stars, although the scariest ones, like Bette Davis and Lucille Ball, are dead.
    • MADAME NICOTINA (Roberta Marsden) is the world's worst psychic, acquiring her dubious powers as a child, when she was run over by a tobacco truck. SHE DIVINES THE FUTURE BY READING THE ASHES OF CIGARETTE BUTTS, AND IF THERE'S ENOUGH LEFT, SHE'LL SMOKE THEM. She divines the future by reading the ashes of cigarette butts — if there's enough left, she'll smoke them.
    • SHRUNKEN ED, a decapitated head that was shrunken down slightly.
    • STU THE GIANT RAT, a nasty rodent with subtitled dialogue.
    • (First season only): BRUNO (Hank Eaton), the disgruntled mailman, was Madame Nicotina's assistant because he could actually read. At times he countered Madame's predictions with his own, which were even more worthless.
    The hosts do not interfere with the movies, insert ourselves into them, or make snide remarks while they are playing. They produce a program younger kids can see without their parents forbidding it, because they want to get them while they're young so they'll grow up into B-movie fanatics! The movies presented include: Voodoo Man, The Atomic Brain, The Screaming Skull, Devil's Messenger, The Brainiac, Killer Shrews, Warning from Space, The Manster, The Apeman, Night of the Blood Beast, Bucket of Blood, Gigantis, the Fire Monster, Hideous Sun Demon, Bride of the Gorilla, Snow Creature, Plan 9 from Outer Space, Samson in the Wax Museum, Time Travelers, Robot Monster and Attack of the Mushroom People.
  • Dr. Dreck himself (!) sent e-mail with an update on drecktivities:
    Hi Egor,
    You have a great website. I finally found more info on Simon's Sanctorum that I used to watch on Channel 5 in Boston. As an update for the character FEEP, the Saturday morning cartoon show he hosted was called Feeperoonies.
    Dr. Dreck just celebrated his one year anniversary on the air. Gone from the show is Bruno the mailman. Added are Shrunken Ed, a decapitated head that was shrunken down slightly, and Stu the giant rat, a nasty rodent with subtitled dialogue.
    In general the stations broadcast the show on Friday, Saturday and Sunday nights at 10 pm.
    Dr. Dreck and Moaner have a "deadline" in the studio; a disconnnected phone with which they are able to talk to dead celebrities. So far they've talked to Raymond Burr, but more will follow.
    Mike Legge aka Dr. Dreck

Dreadful, Penny
(see PENNY DREADFUL (I) and PENNY DREADFUL (II))

Dreck, Dr.
(see DR. DRECK)

D., Remo
(see REMO D.)

DR. E. NICK WITTY and EPAL *
(Alan Milair and "Bill Everett" [real name = Willard Lape, Jr.; died September 19, 2004])
Monster Movie Matinee
Saturday afternoon at 1:00
WSYR (now WSTM-TV), Channel 3 (Syracuse, New York)
1964 - 1980
Chamber 13 - Tales of Horror
Day? Time?
Cable Channel 13 (Syracuse, New York)
1980 - 1985
Elena Watson's Television Horror Movie Hosts reference:
mentioned in Ch. 25, "Son of Invasion of the Ghost Hosts," pp. 180-181.
NOTES:
  • Show fan Scott Walker sent his memories of several New York state hosts, including these:
    I grew up in Syracuse Ny and I recall Monster Movie Matinee ran Saturday afternoons from 1 pm to 2:30 or 3pm on WSYR Channel 3 (now WSTM-3). The movies would often be trimmed to an hour or an hour and 15 minutes to make room for the opening, closing and several other scenes with Dr. Witty and Epal.
    The entire thing was very creepy with eerie organ music and one of the Main themes to Creature from the Black Lagoon for the open/close themes. It opened with a cool, well-detailed haunted mansion model on a hill with dry ice fog, cemetary moat, etc.
    Dr. Witty was never shown totally, usually just his hand with sharp black fingernails and highlighted veins on his hand with a large ruby ring. He wore what looked like a velvet smoking jacket.
    Epal was a hunchback type assistant with an eyepatch, well-made scars on his face and forehead, and a silver-mesh glove as a supposedly metal hand.
    The entire thing was done seriously, with no reference to the movie except from Dr. Witty to his "Dear Guests" that he would now resume his "tale of terror," "narrative of the unknown," stuff like that.
    The Dr. Witty excerpts would follow a continuous story line for several weeks, such as Dr. Witty's latest experiment to restore his facial features (supposedly he was disfigured too terribly for his "Dear Guests" as he referred to his audience to see). Another was Epal's disembodied head on a table hooked up to an oscilloscope, tubing, chemistry stuff with colored fluids as Dr. Witty made a new body for him.
    The show moved to Cable channel 13 on Syracuse cable. The format remained pretty much the same. They showed the Universal monster movies, some japanese monsters, Gorgo, Invasion of the Saucermen, etc.
  • Alan Wood sent sad but revealing news in late September, 2004:
    Sad news this week that Dr. E Nick Witty's assistant, Epal, passed away. Epal's stage name was Bill Everett. His given name was Willard Lape, Jr. Now we know where "Epal" came from! If you're curious, here's his obit:
    Willard E. Lape Jr. — September 19, 2004
    Willard E. Lape Jr., 74, of Syracuse, died Sunday, September 19, 2004, after a prolonged illness. Mr. Lape worked at WSYR (Radio and TV) for many years before retiring. As "Salty Sam" he was well known for his children's shows and charity work. He was also known as radio and TV personality "Bill Everett", "Epal" from Monster Movie Matinee, and from his role in the cable show "Snuckleby and Friends". In later years he performed as a storyteller at schools, libraries, and local events and did voice characterizations for author Bruce Coville's audio books. Mr. Lape was a graduate of Syracuse University with a BS in Speech and Dramatic Arts and an MS in Broadcasting. Mr. Lape served with the USAF during the Korean war. Surviving: his wife of 48 years, Rosemary Longmire Lape of Syracuse; a daughter and son-in-law, Melanie and Donald Pitts of Fabius; a son and daughter-in-law, Willard III and Celine Lape of PA; a sister and brother-in-law, Beverly and Charles Carson of FL; and three grandchildren, Megan and Davis Pitts of Fabius, and Rosemary Lape of PA. Services will be held at University United Methodist Church in Syracuse, Wednesday at 2 p.m. Donations may be made to the University United Methodist Church or to the Muscular Dystrophy Assoc. of CNY. Arrangements being handled by the Fairchild & Meech Syracuse Chapel.
    (The above obituary, reprinted from Syracuse.com, was originally published in the Syracuse Post-Standard on September 21, 2004 — E-gor)

DR. EVIL
(Philip Morris)

Visit the Morris Costumes website.

See Philip Morris: Magician, Inventor, Living Legend!, a fascinating career article originally published in Haunted Attraction magazine.

See an article about Philip Morris and his dispute with the Austin Powers producers over the "Dr. Evil" trademark in The Loop Newsletter.

Dr. Evil's Horror Theatre
Friday night at 11:30
WBT (now WBTV), Channel 3 (Charlotte, North Carolina)
1962-1969

Show title?
Date? Time?
WTBS (Cable Superstation TBS) (based in Atlanta, Georgia)
Mid 1980s?


Book reference:

  • Discussed, with picture from show inscribed "Your Ghost Host, Dr. Evil" (see sidebar image), in a chapter on the career of theatrical spook show magician Philip Morris (illustrated with other photos from stage shows) in Mark Walker's superb Ghostmasters, a fascinating account of the live movie theater horror stage shows that proliferated in America from the Depression through the '70's -- a very interesting counterpart to TV horror hosts worthy of further investigation. The author states that the show ran "over a period of four years" but gives no further details about the time or place.

Magazine reference:

  • Cover story with numerous photos of TV and live spook show host Dr. Evil and the man who played him, "Philip Morris: Magician, Inventor, Living Legend!" in Haunted Attraction magazine, issue #17, © 1999.

NOTES:

  • Though his TV show ran for years, Philip Morris is much better known as a stage magician, live "spook show" host, and owner of Morris Costumes in Charlotte, North Carolina, the world's largest distributor of Halloween and horror-related props and supplies.

  • Prior to (and since) hosting horror movies on television, Morris used "Dr. Evil" as one of his stage names for his live shows, which had various titles including Frightmare Show, Dungeon of Death, House of Horrors, Horrors in the Night, and Dr. Evil and His Terrors of the Unknown.

  • The Loop Newsletter article noted discusses Dr. Evil's career as a Spook Show and TV horror movie host:
    Morris toured his stage show, "Dr. Evil and his Terrors of the Unknown," nationally for 22 years, performing by his estimate almost 5,000 shows throughout the United States and Canada. A Charlotte television station hired him in 1962 to host Horror Theater as Dr. Evil, a show that outdrew NBC's The Tonight Show in its market and ran until 1969 when Morris decided to return to full-time touring. The show played on the Turner Broadcasting Company for one year in the mid-80s, too. His company subsequently currently sells Dr. Evil merchandise, and his Charlotte haunted house uses the name.
  • In the photo in Mark Walker's book Ghostmasters (see sidebar image), Dr. Evil is wearing a suit and tie and a fez, and sports a goatee and dark circles around his eyes. He is standing by a leather chair in front of a fireplace with a mantle decorated with a dried flower arrangement and a human skull.

  • According to the Haunted Attraction magazine feature cited above:
    In the mid 1960's, television executives noticed the growing popularity of using Ghost Shows to introduce movies that no one would watch otherwise. Having an already established character like Dr. Evil made Philip a hot commodity, and it was not long before Philip Morris was the star of his own television show, "Dr. Evil's Horror Theater". Late Friday nights, your ghost host Dr. Evil, played by Philip, would introduce the evening's feature film, and provide eerie segments during commercial breaks.... Horror Theater was eventually expanded into a double feature, and moved to an earlier time slot.... The award winning "Dr. Evil" television show ran for 8 years, which is an eternity in the television business.
  • An audio interview with Philip Morris, covering all aspects of his spooky career including his TV horror hosting days, is one of the many great extras included on the multimedia DVD Monsters Crash the Pajama Party — Spook Show Spectacular, available from the Something Weird Video website.

  • The Haunted Attraction magazine article (cited above) also notes that Morris has appeared in several motion pictures, and mentions three directed by legendary cult film directors: Color Me Blood Red and Moonshine Mountain, both directed by Herschell Gordon Lewis, and Al Adamson's Carnival Magic. His participation in these films is not recorded in their Internet Movie Database entries.

  • E-gorespondent Bill Counts remembers "some additional information that wasn't included in the listing":
    His show ran on Friday nights, on WBT (now called WBTV NewsChannel 3), the CBS affiliate in Charlotte, NC; I believe it started at 11:30 after the local news. I watched it in 1965-66 but don't know how many years it ran in all. I can't recall the name of the show — seems like it opened with a title card that simply read "Dr. Evil," but I don't trust my memory enough to be sure of that.
    I also know that Morris played the sidekick to the host of a children's show that WBT ran during the afternoon, though I can't remember the name of the show or the characters. I visited the station's website (www.wbtv.com), but couldn't find any way of contacting them.
  • Another fan, "EDPJR", sends his memories of the show:
    I am 49 yrs old and I remember well staying up late on Friday nights in the 60's to watch Horror Theater hosted by Dr. Evil on WBT Channel 3 Charlotte NC. The show ran from 1963-1966 at 11:30 on Fridays, if I recall correctly. The show opening was an old gate creaking accompanied by wind and a wolf howl. Dr. Evil was a horror/comedy master, I can't remember his side-kick's name, but he was also a WBT regular. The movies were classic: Screaming Skull, X the Unknown, Teenagers from Outer Space, etc. What a treat! I also recall Dr. Evil doing live Magic/Horror shows at area theatres. I clearly remember attending one at the old Center Theatre in Lenoir, NC around 1965. Thanks for the memories.
    edp
  • Another fan of Dr. Evil's show, John McElwee, dredged up these memories on Halloween weekend, 2005:
    Very much enjoyed your entries on the various horror hosts, and thought I'd supply a little more information on Dr.Evil. He was, of course, Philip Morris, stage magician, traveling showman, spook show promoter... Phil did it all. His duties at WBTV (Channel 3 -- Charlotte) also included a stint on the weekday Three Ring Circus, an hour-long kid show from 5:00-6:00, in which he performed magic tricks in the guise of "Captain Phil," a sea-going illusionist. He shared the local spotlight with other WBTV luminaries such as Fred Kirby and Jim Patterson. This gig actually overlapped with Dr.Evil for a couple of years. I first encountered him on Horror Theatre around May of 1964 when The Monster Of Piedras Blancas played the 11:30 Friday night spot. This was followed by a summer of memorable late nights --- The Body Snatchers, The Mummy, The Brain Eaters --- many others. WBTV had the programming budget to scarf up virtually all the worthwhile syndicated packages --- including, of course, both the "Shock" groups.

    Dr.Evil's New Year's Eve show for 1964 was unforgettable. He opened with a gorilla sealed inside a cage, introduced the feature, Teenagers From Outer Space, then returned during several of the breaks to taunt the increasingly incensed ape. The sock finish at the feature's conclusion saw the beast tearing it's way through the bars and carrying a screaming Dr.Evil off the darkened stage. What a night! Horror Theatre continued apace over the next several years, and in 1967, actually instituted a double feature policy, which proved to be a mixed blessing inasmuch as the earlier, classic titles (Bride Of Frankenstein, for instance) would invariably be placed in the second position behind something like From The Earth To The Moon. The viewer would then be obliged to stay up past 2:30 a.m. to see the desired movie.

    WBTV would generally pre-empt Horror Theatre during the week of Christmas, preferring an annual run of O Henry's Full House to commemorate the holidays. The station stopped running the sci-fi/horror titles altogether after the cancellation of Horror Theatre, and these packages eventually made their way to one of the UHF stations in the Charlotte market --- Channel 36, where they played more or less continuously into the late 70's, albeit without the benefit of an on-screen horror host.

    Hope this info is of some help ---- John McElwee, Wilkesboro, NC.
   

Philip Morris as Dr.Evil, WBTV, Charlotte NC

Famous "spook show" host Dr. Evil (Philip Morris) also hosted horrors on WBTV in Charlotte, North Carolina.
Photo is from the Ghostmasters book discussed at left.
Click for larger view.


DR. FEAR
(Brian Young)

Visit The Mysterious Lab of Dr. Fear, the show's official site, with both Flash and HTML entrances.

Join the Mysterious Lab of Dr. Fear Show Yahoo Group!

See Dr. Fear's profile page at HORRORHOSTS.com, the official site for the Horror Host Underground.
The Mysterious Lab of Dr. Fear
Saturday at 9:00 - 11:00 pm
Pegasys Community Television, Channel 11 (Enid, Oklahoma)
? 200? - Present
Dr. Fear's Friday Fright Show
Friday night (time = ?)
Pegasys Community Television, Channel 11 (Enid, Oklahoma)
March 2002 - ? 200?

NOTES:
  • Information adapted from the show's profile on the Horror Host Underground Website:
    The original show, "Dr. Fear's Friday Fright Show," debuted in March, 2002, inspired by the classic COUNT GREGORE show that aired in Oklahoma City, as well as the structure of Mystery Science Theatre 3000.
    The host, Dr. Ignatius Faust Fear II, is a 300-year-old mad scientist who felt that Northwestern Oklahoma deserved a Horror Host show of its very own, and who is obsessed with taking over the world. Dr. Fear and his lab assistants perform skits, spoof public service announcementss, and do recurring bits throughout the movie. The original Friday night show grew a fan base (almost too fast, in some weird underground scene) so the show took some time off to retool the style and finally re-launched on Saturday night with a new title.
    Dr. Fear's co-hosts are his Romanian vampire maid Trinka, and Mr. Grimly, a ghoulish groundskeeper, thug and graverobber made from reanimated body parts.

    Past and present featured characters include: rival scientist Professor Maddness; Tor, a giant, hulking Frankenstein-type monster created by Professor Maddness but tamed by Trinka; Trinka's uncle, Count Vino, who feeds on drunks to keep himself buzzed; Count Vino's main squeeze Holly; Dr. Fear's new mechanical lab assistant MAL 9000; wheelchair-bound lycanthrope Wheelwolf; Dr. Fear's sickening next-door neighbors Jack & Jill Normal; Jack's two-faced niece Abby Normal; famed Mexican Luchidor El Mucho Grande; hillbilly Bubba Country; Dr. Ignatious Faust Fear I (stuck in the year 2005); Evil Alien Agent; Dr. Fear's undead, sickness-spreading relatives Aunt Mildew and Uncle Boil; vampire hunter Rex Stardust Van Helsing; and many more to come!
    A movie script is in the works presently, as well as a fan club, a one issue comic in the future and a CD or two of music made for the show.
    Brian Young (Dr. Fear) is a Celtic scholar and artist who speaks, reads and writes the six existing Celtic languages in some capacity, publishing a Celtic language art-book (written in Breton, Welsh and Cornish). He also plays the bagpipes — but not on the show...yet!
  • On Thursday evening, August 25, 2005, The Mysterious Lab of Dr. Fear will celebrate its third anniversary episode with special guest John Ferguson recreating his legendary first-generation horror host COUNT GREGORE! Ferguson will join the cast as vampire Trinka's uncle, Count Gregore. The episode will include the presentation of an oversized coffin donated for use by the Oklahoma Film Society.

    John Ferguson, a veteran of over fifty years in film, television, and stage, is honored that next-generation horror hosts like Brian Young were corrupted enough by his performance of Count Gregore to boldly seek out their own ghastly ways of entertaining audiences everywhere. Count Gregore first appeared as WKY-TV's horror host for Shock Theatre on May 10, 1958. His familiar visage, public service announcements, and entertaining skits resulted in hosting additional horror shows Thriller, Nightmare, Sleepwalker's Matinee, Creature Features, Horror Theatre, and Scream Country Theatre — the longest running horror host in the world!

    Watch for the Count Gregore website featuring episodes, theme music, outtakes, photos and more about Count Gregore.

DR. FREAK
(Henrique Couto)
See Dr. Freak's profile page at HORRORHOSTS.com, the official site for the Horror Host Underground.
Visit The Henrique Couto Show Website, official site for Henrique's non-horror TV show.
Shop at Freak Productions Inc. for Henrique Couto's films and other products.
Read a two-part interview with Henrique Couto (Part 1 |  Part 2) on the Gates of Gore Website.
Cult Theater
Day? Time?
Miami Valley Cable Council Media One Channel 23 (Dayton and surrounding areas, Ohio)
200?
Ghastlee and the Horror Host Underground
(co-sponsored by Bob Hinton and Henrique Couto)
Friday late night, 2:00 - 4:00 am
DATV, Time Warner Cable Channel 20 (Dayton, Ohio)
August 2001 - present
Horror Host Underground Network
Guest appearances on circulating videotapes
200? - Present
NOTES:
  • Adapted from the Horror Host Underground Website profile:
    The World's Youngest Horror Host! Dr. Freak was a normal person once. He used to be an every day Joe, but after something that he refuses to talk about that changed him forever, he was pulled from normal life and taken into the world between worlds. Once there, he was assigned a number and taken out to his new “home” and given a person to follow and learn from to take on his new job. Now most people got a ghoul, a goblin, and any kind of spooky ghost-like creature, but Dr. Freak got Dr. Creep. The good doctor took him under his wing and taught him the ways of the horror host.
  • According to the HHU Website, Ghastlee and the Horror Host Underground is a weekly cocktail of one part "Ghastlee Movie Show," and three parts something else. Co-sponsored by Bob Hinton and Henrique Couto, the show melds A. Ghastlee Ghoul's long running half-hour show at the end of programs from producers from around the country.

  • From a note to E-gor from A. Ghastlee Ghoul:
    Dr. Freak aka Henrique Couto lives and produces here in Dayton. He is, so far as we know, still "The World's Youngest Horror Host." He started his Cult Theater show when he was 12, and will turn 17 in October (2004). He also makes his own films under the company name Freak Productions.

DR. FRIGHT
(Name = ?)
See Dr. Fright's profile page at HORRORHOSTS.com, the official site for the Horror Host Underground.
The Creepy Theatre
The last Saturday of every month (time?)
Public Access Channel 22 (Central Illinois)
March 2002 - Present
NOTE:
  • Information adapted from the show's Horror Host Underground Website profile:
    "Hugs and Curses!"
    Airing the last Saturday of every month on Public Access Channel 22 in Central Illinois, The Creepy Theatre's resident physician of thrills and chills, Dr. Fright, furnishes you with the best of the worst in classic schlock. Along with his cohorts in crime, a disembodied skull named "Fredd" and "The Shadowgoblin," the good doctor does his utmost to make The Creepy Theatre a true viewing displeasure. Whether it's some experiment gone awry, or if Doctor Fright just has something to get off his chest, it's sure to be fun for all. So pull up a slab or get comfy in your casket, 'cause Dr. Fright's preparing the next spine-chilling episode of ...The Creepy Theatre.
    First season episodes were hosted by another frightful character, "The Shadowgoblin."

DR. GANGRENE
(Larry Underwood)

Visit Dr. Gangrene's Web Lab, his official website.

Check out Dr. Gangrene on Myspace.com.

Read Dr. Gangrene's Tales from the Lab blogspot.

See Dr. Gangrene's profile page on the Horror Host Underground (HHU) website.

Watch streaming video clips on Dr. Gangrene's YouTube Channel.

Read "History of a Mad Man" on the HHU website.

Read an Adobe Acrobat (PDF) article about Dr. Gangrene from the HHU Website (originally published in the Tennessee newspaper "The Daily News Journal" in the spring of 2003).

Read an article about Dr. Gangrene from "The Tennessean" newspaper, published Friday, October 27th, 2000.

See Larry Underwood's movie credits in the Internet Movie Database.

E-mail Dr. Gangrene!

Chiller Cinema (30-minute program)
Thursday at 8:30 pm
Cable public access Channel 3 (Hendersonville, Tennessee)
July 1, 1999 - ? 2001
Chiller Cinema (30-minute program)
Friday at 8:00 pm and Saturday at 9:30 pm (originally Friday at 8:00 pm and Monday at 5:00 pm)
Cable public access Channel 19 (Nashville, Tennessee)
October 1999 - October 2005
The Mad Movie of the Week (90-minute program featuring movie)
Saturday at 8:00 am and Midnight
Cable public access Channel 19 (Nashville, Tennessee)
? 2000 - ? 2002
Dr. Gangrene's Chiller Cinema (30-minute program)
Friday late-night at 1:00 am (originally Saturday late-night at 1:30 am)
WUXP-TV, UPN Channel 30 (Middle Tennessee and Southern Kentucky)
April 10, 2003 - November 5, 2004
The WB58 Creature Feature, featuring Dr. Gangrene (2-hour program featuring movie)
Saturday late-night at 1:00 am
WNAB-TV, WB Channel 58 (Middle Tennessee and Southern Kentucky)
October 22, 2005 – present

Magazine references:

  • Chiller Cinema was named 11th Best Cable Access Program in the Country in the October 2000 issue of Gear magazine.

  • Dr. Gangrene was featured on the cover painting by Terry Beatty on Scary Monsters issue #36, painted by Terry Beatty, He was also featured in an article inside, and in a special Dr. Gangrene limited-edition run of the magazine, complete with postcard of the mad doc himself.

  • Dr. Gangrene was featured in article about the history of Nashville horror hosts in the October 2000 issue of Outre magazine.

  • Dr. Gangrene was among the top horror hosts in the country featured in issue #21 of Dark Realms magazine.

  • An interview with Dr. Gangrene wasfeatured in issue #4 of Wicked Karnival magazine.

  • Numerous online interviews with Dr. Gangrene are linked from drgangrene.com.

NOTES:

  • For many years, Dr. Gangrene has personally kept this website posted about the latest developments in his life and work. Here are the comments in the latest version of his career overview:
    Dr Gangrene began his career in 1999 with the half-hour program Chiller Cinema. It was originally broadcast in Hendersonville, Tennessee, but quickly expanded into Nashville on public access Channel 19. Larry began syndicating the program to other access stations across the country, becoming one of the first hosts ever to do so.

    In 2000, this show spun off into a second, 90-minute program called the Mad Movie of the Week which ran for a couple of years on Channel 19 in Nashville, featuring public domain movies. In 2003, Dr. Gangrene took his show to the Nashville UPN, Channel 30, and re-titled it Dr. Gangrene's Chiller Cinema. He stayed on the airwaves there through 2004.

    In October 2005, the show moved to Nashville's WB58 and was called The WB58 Creature Feature, featuring Dr. Gangrene. This time it was 2 hours long and featured the doctor and crew hosting horror and sci-fi movies. The premiere episode featured George Romero's Bruiser, followed on Halloween weekend with Dreamscape.
  • The show has won numerous awards and accolades including:

    • Gear magazine naming Chiller Cinema the 11th best cable access show in the country;

    • Dark Realms magazine featuring Dr. Gangrene as one of America's top horror hosts;

    • Nashville Scene magazine naming Dr. Gangrene Nashville's best horror movie host;

    • Numerous nominations for "Best" categories in the annual classic-horror-fan-based Rondo Awards, including a 2005 Rondo Award win for Best Horror Website and two nominations in 2007 for "Best Fan Event" (for his Saturday night stage show at WonderFest) and "Best (active) Horror Host."


  • Additional cast members through the years have included:

    • Nurse Moan-eek, played by Linda Wylie;

    • all-purpose hunchbacked lab assistant Oogsley, played by Brandon Lunday;

    • his replacement hunchbacked assistant Otto Von Lump, played by Paul Browning;

    • Nurse Deadbody and psychic Madame Fortune ("I can see the past, I can see the future, and I can see over 2000 cable channels"), both played by Larry's wife Karlee Underwood;

    • Barnaby Bones (a disembodied skull who introduced the Doctor at the beginning of episodes briefly);

    • and Major Monterey Jack, the resident monster hunter and general goofball (Larry Underwood again, behind an outrageous walrus mustache).


  • Movie appearances:

    • Dr Gangrene hosts Ambition Withdraw, a "dark documentary about the greatest band you never heard of," "The Unsatisfied" from his television show set.

    • Dr Gangrene appears in Charlie and Sadie (aka Miss Maniac, 2003), hosting a movie-within-a-movie, again from his show set.

    • Larry Underwood appears in Skarecrow (2004) as (what else) an insane doctor.

    • Larry Underwood appears in Demon Sight (2004) as the main villain, "Demon Lord Xorto."

    • Larry Underwood is interviewed, and Dr. Gangrene appears, in the Horror Host documentaryAmerican Scary, currently in post-production.

    • Larry Underwood and Dr. Gangrene appeared in a television news feature aired on WZTV Fox 17 in summer, 2005, during a week-long series on public access television in Nashville. An on-set interview and clips of Larry at his place of work were shown.


  • Recordings:

    • Dr. Gangrene provided a spoken intro on the Creeping Cruds CD, "The Incredibly Strange Creatures Who Stopped Living and Became the Creeping Cruds." It was nominated for a 2005 Rondo Award for Best CD.

    • Dr Gangrene also provided the spoken intro and outro for the CD "T-Boner's Rot-N-Roll Compilation from Hell," released in 2006.


  • Dr. Gangrene's television markets (so far!) have included:

    • Nashville, Tennessee (Home) access, WB, UPN;
    • Hendersonville, Tennessee;
    • Greenfield, Massachusetts;
    • Detroit, Michigan;
    • Stillwater, Minnesota;
    • Atlanta, Georgia;
    • Anne Arundel, Maryland;
    • Horror Host Underground Network markets in Ohio, Virginia, Illinois, California, Florida, New Jersey, and North Carolina.
   

Dr. Gangrene, horror host from Tennesse

Dr. Gangrene, wildly-successful horror host from Nashville TN.
Click image to see the autographed photo it was clipped from.


DR. GRUESOME
(Mark Bartholomew)

Dr. Gruesome's Movie Morgue
Saturday Noon-2 p.m. and 11 p.m.-1 a.m.,
then Friday, midnight-2 a.m.
then Saturday 1 a.m.-3 a.m.
WRLH-TV, Fox 35 (Richmond, Virginia)
December 1987-April 1990

Dr. Gruesome's Movie Morgue
Friday 8-10 p.m.
BLAB-TV, commercial cable-only station (Richmond, Virginia)
August 1990 - May 1992

Dr. Gruesome's Movie Morgue
Saturday 1-3 a.m.
WRLH-TV, Fox 35 (Richmond, Virginia)
June 1993 - August 1995
June 1996 (Summer special)
October 1996 (Halloween special)

NOTES:

  • E-gorespondent Mark Bartholomew e-mailed E-gor some information about the show — but he didn't tell me that HE himself was Dr. Gruesome, and I didn't realize it until I received the note from Lewis Smith that follows! Mark Bartholomew remembered:
    It ran for about 260 shows total. The character still shows up to host children's programming during the Halloween period. His sidekick was a hunchback named Skeeter. The set looked like a lab with stone walls and weird toys all over. It started as a kids show and got moved to late night by new management.
  • Lewis Smith added great details in several different posts, the first to me and the others to Horrorhosts@onelist.com. Here's mine:
    Read with great interest your directory of horror hosts, and believe I can add some more information on one program in particular. I remember seeing Dr. Gruesome's Movie Morgue during its late-night Friday run on Channel 35 (WRLH). The basic plot of the host segments usually involved some abuse of Skeeter the hunchback (whom I believe was Mathew Pak, if I remember my credits correctly) by Doc Gruesome (Mark Bartholemew) or any of the recurring cast, or even (in very special segments) guests from local radio or fans. A recurring segment was the "Wheel of Torture," in which contestants answered trivia questions. The penalty for wrong answers being some sort of pain, which inevitably backfired on Skeeter.

    The show went off the air in late 1990, which even the hosts seemed less than happy about. Then apparently, it moved to BLAB, which I didn't get at the time, so I was unaware they had continued. . . Until 1993 or so, when WRLH ran them again, VERY late on Saturday night, where the moves were usually bottom of the barrel affairs (except for Night of the Living Dead). Gradually the show began to be pushed later and later, due to WRLH's acquisiton of UPN programming, until they appeared once a month or so, then only for the summer and Halloween.
    And here are some extracts from Lewis Smith's posts to the Horrorhosts@onelist.com discussion group:
    Dr. Gruesome of Richmond always hit the ground running, delivering a mile-a-minute monologue which, while being amazing for the sheer speed it was delivered, was also amazing in that he gave info about the movie and set up the hosts segments.
    ....
    I remember Dr. Gruesome showing some very hacked-up versions of Return of the Living Dead and Psycho 2. To be honest, I never watch horror hosts for the movie -- in most cases, I've already seen it, I watch it for the hosts segments.

DR. LUCIFER and MRS. LUCIFER *
(Richard Dix and Nancy Lee Dix)

Shock!
Saturday, 11:15 p.m. (live)
WBAL-TV, Channel 11 (Baltimore, Maryland)
Saturday, November 9, 1957 - 1959

Elena Watson's Television Horror Movie Hosts reference: mentioned in Ch. 3, "Invasion of the Ghost Hosts," p. 27.

Magazine references:

  • Richard Dix pictured in and out of character (3 photos, one with Lucifer family), show and personal life discussed on large part of double-page spread (40-41) in feature article "TV's Nightmares" in February 1959 issue of TV Star Parade, pp. 39-42. Click on sidebar image to see reassembled scan from original feature.

  • Mentioned, with picture, in feature "The Horror of Them All!" in issue #13 (December 1988) of Filmfax, pp. 28-32.

  • Article by Gregory William Mank, "Remembering Baltimore's Shock! Theater - The Lucifers Strike Back," in Midnight Marquee #46 (Winter 1994), pp. 51-55. Three pictures of the Dixes/Lucifers.

NOTES:

  • The TV Star Parade cited above provides lots of information about these hosts and their show:
    Dr. Lucifer ... Baltimore's bumbling bogeyman haunts on WBAL-TV
    A macabre figure who comes off more mocking than menacing is Dr. Lucifer, a tremendously popular fellow in Balitmore, Md. In his laboratory at WBAL-TV (1 A.M. Sat.) his fiendish brain is constantly at work experimenting and creating—but his experiments usually backfire and his creations are harmless, making him a bumbling sort of bogeyman. As a terror he's all thumbs, and that's just the way Richard Dix, who breathes life into the luckless Lucifer, plans it. For instance, the bear trap he set to catch Santa Claus (just to prove there is a Santa Claus) caught the good doctor instead. His attempt to recreate a baby sitter from a 3,000-year-old mummy (because the label said she was young and beautiful) resulted instead in an unhappy 350-pound weight lifter in the Egyptian princess' clothing. One night Lucifer dropped a marble slab on a bill collector who was hounding him. At various times during the show he'd lift the marbe and ask the man if he'd give up. Each time the answer was no, so the slab would drop again. When the collector finally gave up Lucifer let him have it again—because he hates quitters! Though Lucifer works mostly solo he is occasionally joined by the rest of his video family—his wife, Grace; a daughter, Lucretia, and Baby Borgia. The formally attired doctor is also aided—or victimized—by a Great Dane who's addicted to showing up on camera with dismembered arms and legs of neighborhood children. For his Lucifer chastises him publicly as not being neighborly. And, believe it or not, the whole things is handled so amusingly that it comes off more "grin" than "grim." Years of acting, directing, producing and studying the dramatic arts are behind the 33-year-old Mr. Dix's week-after-week characterization. A native of Baltimore, Md., he attended City College of Baltimore and Johns Hopkins University. In addition he received a scholarship to the Institute of the Theatre in Williamsburgh, Va., in 1948 and again from 1950-51. A verteran actor, Dix has some 200 roles to his credit, including off-Broadway productions and a five-year run as lead in The Common Glory, a historical pageant staged annually at Williamsburg. A versatile performer, Dix has run the gamut of professional acting from such deep drama fare as The Glass Menagerie and Petrified Forest in legitimate theater, to the role of Officer Happy on WBAL-TV. His favorite role is that of Scrooge in Dickens' Christmas Carol, which he did on network television in 1948. At present he's a direcor of the Children's Theatre Association of Baltimore and president of the local AFTRA chapter. So when things go wrong on Baltimore's Shock Theatre, the viewers needn't get too upset, for Dr. Lucifer knows what he's doing—every stumble of the way.
   

Dr. Lucifer, Mrs. Lucifer, and daughter Lucretia

DR. LUCIFER, MRS.
LUCIFER, and
daughter LUCRETIA,
the Shock family
pn WBAL-TV, Ch. 11,
Baltimore, Maryland.
Click image for scan
of complete magazine
feature this portrait
came from.


DR. LUCIFUR *
(Ken Bramming)

Check out the stillustrated Dr. Lucifur tribute page -- among the pages for a number of other area horror hosts, at Dr. Gangrene's Web Lab!

Read an excellent feature article about Dr. Lucifur written by Ken Bramming's friend Jeff Thompson and originally published in Filmfax magazine, in Dr. Gangrene's "Vault of Horror Hosts" web pages.

Read Final Bow, Michael McCall's heartfelt memorial tribute to Ken Bramming, on the Nashville Scene website.

Shock Theater
Friday at 10:15 pm CST; later moved to Saturday at 10:30 pm
WSIX-TV, Channel 8 (now WKRN-TV, Channel 2) (Nashville, Tennessee)
November 1958 - April 1967

Mystic Circle
Friday night
WMCV-TV, (independent) Channel 17 (Nashville, Tennessee)
October 1968 - November 1969

Creature Feature
(Ken Bramming was the pre-recorded announcer, and made one on-camera appearance as Dr. Lucifur, on this show hosted by SIR CECIL CREAPE)
Saturday at 10:30 pm
WSM-TV Channel 4 (Nashville, Tennessee)
September 1971 - ? 1973

Shock Theater
(Dr. Lucifur's filmed "intro and outro" revived for station's 50th anniversary re-creation broadcasts)
WKRN-TV, Channel 2
Thursday at 10:30 pm
Thanksgiving nights in 2003 and 2004


Elena Watson's Television Horror Movie Hosts reference: mentioned in Chapter 3, "Invasion of the Ghost Hosts," page 30.

Another book reference:

  • More Nashville Nostalgia by E. D. Thompson, published by Westview Publishing Co. in 2004 (ISBN 0975564676). Photos and discussion on pp 134-135, 250. The author is the father of Jeff Thompson who wrote the Filmfax feature about Dr. Lucifur cited below.

Magazine reference:

  • Discussed at lenght in the photo-feature "Dr. Lucifur: Nashville TV’s Tasteful Transylvanian" by Ken Bramming's friend and fellow broadcaster Jeff Thompson in issue #? (? 199?) of Filmfax, pp. ?-??.

NOTES:

  • Jeff Thompson's excellent Filmfax feature "Dr. Lucifur: Nashville TV's Tasteful Transylvanian" is a treasure trove of information about Ken Bramming's life and career. Be sure to read the entire web reprint); meanwhile, here are some choice tidbits of info adapted from the article:

    • Ken Bramming described his Dr. Lucifer character as "a very elegant gentleman who had been the president of Transylvania for the past two hundred years" and who "spent a lot of time looking down his nose at people." He claimed the character was drawn from "Bela Lugosi’s Dracula, some of John Carradine’s characters, and some Vincent Price things." The dapper Dr. Lucifur spoke with a Transylvanian accent and always appeared in black-and-white: white tie and black tails, a long black cape, silver hair, a black eyepatch over his right eye, a "Ming the Merciless"-style moustache, and a cigarette holder.

    • The earliest Shock Theater shows on WSIX opened with Moussorgsky’s "Night on Bald Mountain" and with Ken Bramming off-camera, introducing the movies in his normal announcing voice. In the summer of 1959, Bramming livened up the show with his ghoulish on-camera host. Norm Cole's jazzy "Blues for Lucifur" was the new theme music; a wavy "Mystic Circle" framing Dr. Lucifur as he walked into the light under a lamppost. As fog swirled around him, Dr. Lucifur invited his viewers to come with him on "these journeys into the worlds of mystery, the supernatural, fantasy, and the world beyond." Dr. Lucifur appeared again when the movie ended, inviting viewers to come back next week, and signing off with a wild laugh and "Good night—and pleasant dreams!" These black and white "intro and outro" sequences were filmed to be repeated every week; unfortunately, this is the only footage of Dr. Lucifur known to exist (but so little old horror host stuff survived that fans are very lucky to have that).

    • Bramming also appeared as himself and other characters in the live breaks during the movies. Dr. Lucifur rarely appeared on-camera, but his voice was often heard when subjective camera shots showed other characters talking to him, seen through Lucifur's eyes. These comical characters -- Granny Gruesome, Frantic Freddy the Hipster, (Ernie Kovacs-inspired) poet Cyril Songbird, Baron Von Sloucho, Mrs. Moshe Gumora, the Poor Slob, and many others -- were played by other cast members including Corky Savely, Herschell Martin, Richard Dixon, and Norm Fraser.

    • Ken Bramming and his supporting players performed live with minimal sets and props: the lamppost for man-on-the-street interviews, a dry-ice fog machine for atmosphere, and the "Purple Grotto," a painted-cavern flat with a door with bloody handprints on it.

    • The movies Dr. Lucifur presented ranged from the Universal classics in the Shock packages to Sherlock Holmes and Mr. Moto mysteries and a few science-fiction titles. Ken Bramming selected and prepared every film.

    • Bramming left WSIX for a radio-announcing job in 1967, but Dr. Lucifur soon returned to television, hosting horror movies on WMCV-TV from October 1968 until November 1969 on a show called The Mystic Circle.

    • A few years later Bramming's deep baritone was heard as the pre-recorded announcer for another Nashville horror movie showcase, Creature Feature, hosted by SIR CECIL CREAPE (Russ McCown). This show aired on Saturday nights on WSM-TV, Channel 4 from September 1971 until 1973. Sir Cecil (later known as "The Phantom of the Opry" on an early-80s show on The Nashville (cable) Network) occasionally mentioned his old friend Dr. Lucifur, and Bramming revived the character for a single on-camera appearance on Creature Feature.

    • Dr. Lucifur was also heard on the radio from the 70 through the 90s in logical reincarnations like a safe-driving public-service announcement ("Don’t spill your blood on the highway!") and an annual Halloween broadcast of Orson Welles’s 1938 "War of the Worlds" radio drama on WAMB-AM 1200, Nashville’s big-band/easy-listening station, where Bramming was the mid-day announcer and program director from 1979 until 1997.

    • Ken Bramming and Russ McCown appeared together again in a panel discussion of their horror-hosting careers at the first annual World Horror Convention, held in Nashville in 1991.

    • After Ken Bramming died, Dr. Lucifur was revived two more times on WKRN-TV when the station celebrated its 50th anniversary with Thanksgiving night re-creations of Shock Theater in 2003 and 2004. Through the miracle of film, Dr. Lucifur strolled up to the lamppost again and welcomed viewers to a showing of The Brain That Wouldn’t Die in 2003, and House on Haunted Hill in 2004.

DR. MADBLOOD, aka DR. MAXIMILLIAN MADBLOOD *
(Jerry Harrell)
Visit Dr. Madblood's incredible Website — featuring a Shockwave tour of Madblood Manor, tons of text, a peck of pics, and much, much more!
See Dr. Madblood's profile page at HORRORHOSTS.com, the official site for the Horror Host Underground.
See the chapter on Dr. Madblood from Elena Watson's book on TV Horror Hosts, reprinted on Dr. Madblood's Website!
See "The Plot Thickens" — Jerry Harrell's personal comments on the history of his show, on the Dr. Madblood Website!
See "Dr. Madblook: The People" — details on the cast and crew of the show, past and present, on the Dr. Madblook Website!
Dr. Madblood's Movie
Saturday late-night following Saturday Night Live; then on Saturday afternoon
November 1, 1975 - January 1982
WAVY-TV, Channel 10 (Virginia Beach, Virginia)
Dr. Madblood's Nightvisions
Sunday 11 p.m.
WHRO, PBS Channel 15 (Virginia Beach, Virginia)
(syndicated to 17 PBS stations around Virginia)
Fall 1982 - 1983
Dr. Madblood's Halloween Howl
Halloween 1984 special
WAVY-TV, Channel 10 (Virginia Beach, Virginia)
October, 1984
Dr. Madblood's Halloween Film Festival
Halloween 1986 special all-night triple-feature starting at 12:30 a.m.
WAVY-TV, Channel 10 (Virginia Beach, Virginia)
October, 1986
Dr. Madblood's Movie
Saturday afternoon
WTVZ-TV, Fox Channel 33 (Virginia Beach, Virginia)
Early April 1989 - 1993
Dr. Madblood's Movie
Halloween one-shot special, followed the next year by a monthly late-night show
WTVZ-TV, Fox Channel 33 (Virginia Beach, Virginia)
1995 - August 3, 2002
Dr. Madblood Presents The Friday Night Frights
Friday from 8:00 - 11:00 pm
WSKY-TV, Channel 4 (Virginia Beach, Virginia)
Friday, September 27, 2002 - January, 2004
Dr. Madblood Presents
Saturday at 8:00 pm (following The X-Files)
WSKY-TV, Channel 4 (Virginia Beach, Virginia)
Saturday, February 7, 2004 - Present
Elena Watson's Television Horror Movie Hosts reference:
mention (p. 94) and whole chapter and picture -- Ch. 20, "Doctor Madblood's Movie," pp. 138-145. See Elena's complete "Dr. Madblood" chapter on Dr. Madblood's Website!
NOTES:
  • Dr. Madblood has been on and off in Norfolk, Virginia, since 1975 — one of the longest-running hosted horror shows ever!

  • From the Horror Host Underground Website profile:
    "Turn off the lights and pull the shades!"
    Each week, direct from Madblood Manor, long time TV horror host Dr. Madblood, the lovable resident mad scientist of Pungo (not far from the gurgling reaches of the Great Dismal Swamp somewhere within the deep recesses of Virginia Beach's lost lagoons sits this turn-of-the-century tribute to paradise lost), brings his offbeat humor and wacky cast of characters to SKY4 to host classic classic horror movies.
  • Joining award-winning producer/director Jerry Harrell as Dr. Madblook are many supporting players including Count LaCudra, Dusty the Crop Duster, and Toulouse Latrine (all portrayed by Mike Arlo, well known radio personality on FOX 106.9); Nurse Patience Dream (Penny Palen); Brain, Dr. Roach, and Waldo Monster (Craig T. Adams of Fuzz and Stuffing Puppets); and a host of other characters.

  • Lewis Smith remembers: "Dr. Madblood of Norfolk always just set up the host segments, the movie was really usually an afterthought, especially during the ultra story-driven shows of the late 70s - early 80s."

Dr. Maniac
(see COUNT ZAPPULA, aka DR. MANIAC *)

Dr. Max Madblood *
(see DR. MADBLOOD)

DR. MAZEPPA POMPAZOIDI
(Gailard Sartain)

See a 34K jpeg image of Mazeppa.
See a 20K jpeg image of Gailard Sartain.

Visit The Mazeppa Home Page.

See bio and images of Dr. Mazeppa and his cronies — and hundreds of images of a host of other horrors — at the incredible Horror Host Gallery website, courtesy of video archaeologist Thomas Rudé.

See Gailard Sartain's Internet Movie Database entry.

Find lots more information about this host and his show on the Mazeppa page and the guestbook archive on the Tulsa TV Memories website. This site also has great information about other TV horror hosts in that area, including PETER HARDT (Fantastic Theater) and original 50's host IGOR (Shock Theater)!

The Uncanny Film Festival and Camp Meeting
Late night weekends
KOTV-TV, Channel 6 (Tulsa, Oklahoma)
July 1970 - summer 1971
KTUL-TV, Channel 8 (Tulsa, Oklahoma)
July/August 1971 - summer 1973

DR. MERIDIAN *
(Real name = ?)
Shock!
Friday at 9:45 p.m.
WPTA-TV, Channel 21 (Fort Wayne, Indiana)
195? - 19??
Elena Watson's Television Horror Movie Hosts reference:
mentioned in Ch. 3, "Invasion of the Ghost Hosts," pp. 25, 27.
Magazine reference:
  • Mentioned in feature "The Horror of Them All!" in issue #13 (December 1988) of Filmfax, pp. 28-32.

DR. MONGO, aka DR. MONTAGUE B. GOURLEY
("Dr. Mongo" in show credits; alter ego a carefully-guarded secret)
Dr. Mongo's Midnight Movie
Late night Friday--12:30 a.m. (Nov. '91 to Sept. '92)
Moved to Saturday at midnight (Sept. '92 to Jan. '93)
Dr. Mongo's Sci-Fi Cinema
Saturday afternoon beginning at 1:00 p.m. (Jan. - May '93)
WNAC Fox Channel 64 (Providence, Rhode Island)
November 1991 to May 1993
NOTES:
  • E-gorespondent Russ Dougherty was one of the producers, directors, and writers of the shows, as well as one of the residents of "Mongo Manor" (he played "4D," an unseen retired mad scientist who lived upstairs and communicated via intercom).

    See a separate page of info about Dr. Mongo's shows contributed by talented people behind the scenes!

DR. MORBIUS
(Bruk Gant)
Saturday Nightmare
Saturday nights at 10:30
KCRG, Channel 9 (Cedar Rapids, Iowa)
June 1986 - November 1988
NOTE:
  • E-gorespondent Don "Big Bald Guy" Reese, says Dr. Morbius released a 45 rpm record called "Morbius Rap."

DR. MOR B. S.
(Mark Newman)
Visit the Dr. Mor B.S. Webpage
See Dr. Mor B. S.'s profile page at HORRORHOSTS.com, the official site for the Horror Host Underground.

The Dr. Mor B.S. Show
Mondays and Fridays at 10:00 pm
DCTV, Channel 5 (Defiance, Ohio)
1998 - Present
The Dr. Mor B.S. Show
Friday at 8:00 pm
Access Fort Wayne, Channel 57 (Fort Wayne, Indiana)
1999 - Present

NOTES:

  • Adapted from the Horror Host Underground Website profile:
    The gregarious Doc and his warped and wacky sidekicks, Wort and Mr. Death, stir up a weekly blend of comedy, horror and interviews that is a sure cure for the TV doldrums.
  • In May 2005 Adam Ball, who works with Dr. Mor B.S. on the show and other projects, plugged in some important details for this entry, and provided the following new tidbits of info (with help from Dr. Mor B.S. himself!):
    The Doc is back in the full swing of things with a new cast of characters such as Lumpy, Danny O' Night, Johnny T Bonez, and Wart, and he's brought new and exciting things to the table. In addition to such old favorite skits as "Just a Minute Movies" and interviews with Sci Stars, the "Dr Mor B.S. Show Animated" premiered in November of 2004. Always on the run from the mundaneness of everyday occurrences, the Doc keeps moving and is hard to keep track of.

    Over the years Dr. Mor B.S. has shown such films as Night of the Living Dead, The Brain that wouldn't Die, Forbidden Planet, Kronos, and Wasp Woman.

    Every summer on the last Saturday of the month, Dr Mor B.S. plays a free outdoor movie to the public at Pontiac Park in Defiance, Ohio. New for 2005, the outdoor movie has been expanded into a concert series as well called MORBAPALOOZASIS.

    Dr. Mor B.S. has hosted the Lions Club Halloween Parade for the last 3 years in Defiance.

    Mark Newman is also a film maker who has shot many films and is currently in production with his lastest feature, Attack of the Giant Cicada, which is to be released this fall by his Peek-A-Boo Productions company and Voided Industries. Keep an eye on his official website for updates.

DR. MORGUS, aka DR. MOMUS ALEXANDER MORGUS, MORGUS THE MAGNIFICENT *
(Sidney Noel Rideau)

Visit Morgus Presents! Online, Chuck Brillowsky's tribute to his childhood hero-- produced in collaboration with Dr. Morgus himself!

See Morgus the Magnificent entry in Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia online.

Order Dr. Morgus's CD, Hearse-ry Rhymes!

See bio and images of Dr. Morgus -- and hundreds of images of a host of other horrors -- at the incredible Horror Host Gallery website, courtesy of video archaeologist Thomas Rudé!

See The Wacky World of Dr. Morgus Internet Movie Database entry.

House of Shock
Day? Time?
WWL-TV, Channel 4 (New Orleans, Louisiana)
January 3, 1959 - ? 1962

Morgus and the Weather (5-minute show)
Monday-Friday at 5:55 pm, before the local news
WJBK-TV, Channel 2 (Detroit, Michigan)
? - ? 1964?

Morgus Presents (90-minute show)
Friday at 11:30 p.m.
WJBK-TV, Channel 2 (Detroit, Michigan)
? 1964 - ? 196?

Morgus Presents (?)
Late-night ?day at 1 am
WXYZ-TV, Channel 7 (Detroit, Michigan)
? 196? - c. April 1965

Morgus Presents
Day? Time?
WWL-TV, Channel 4 (New Orleans, Louisiana)
Syndicated in other cities?
? 1965 - ? 1967

Morgus Presents
Day? Time?
WDSU-TV, Channel 6 (New Orleans, Louisiana)
? 1970 - ? 1971

Morgus Presents
Day? Time?
WGNO-TV, Channel 26 (New Orleans, Louisiana)
Syndicated through July 1989 in the cities of Albany, Atlanta, Baltimore, Little Rock, New York and Wichita
Fall 1986 - July? 1989?

Morgus Presents
WVUE-TV, Channel 8 (New Orleans, Louisiana)
Saturday at 9:30 pm
? - ??

Morgus Presents (half-hour show)
Friday at 10:30 pm, repeats on Sunday at 8:30 pm
Cox Cable Channel 10 (New Orleans, Louisiana)
April 15, 2005 - present


Elena Watson's Television Horror Movie Hosts reference:
whole chapter and two pictures -- Ch. 6, "Into the Realm of Science with Morgus the Magnificent," pp. 48-56)

Magazine references:

  • Mentioned, with picture, in feature "The Horror of Them All!" in issue #13 (December 1988) of Filmfax, pp. 28-32.

  • "Morgus the Movie Star" by Kent R. Daluga, about Dr. Morgus feature film (see note below), with two pictures (poster and scene), in issue #8 (September 1993) of Scary Monsters, pp. 12-13.

  • Dr. Morgus appears with group of other horror hosts in cover painting by Terry Beatty on issue #8 (September 1993) of Scary Monsters. (September 1993)

NOTES:

  • E-gorespondent Kenny owns a 45 rpm recording by "Momus Alexander Morgus" on the MORGUS label, copyright 1958. Side one (ZTSC-97429) is "Theme from Morgus Presents"; side two (ZTSC-97430) is "Hearsery Rhymes."

  • Dr. Morgus was the first horror host to star in his own motion picture, The Wacky World of Dr. Morgus (1962), shown primarily in the New Orleans area, and apparently never released widely nationwide. Morgus fan Kenny has a video copy of the film, which he says "was in print back in the late 80's for a very, very short time, distributed by Bell Productions or something like that."

  • Mark Shanks e-mails:
    When Morgus was on in the Detroit area, he did a daily (Mon-Fri) 5-minute weather spot/skit at 5:55 together with a robot sidekick named 'Armsby.' (The forecast was projected on Armsby's front panel/chest.) 'Morgus Presents' was shown Friday nights at 11:30, and also featured Armsby and 'Eric' -- a skull with two large-gauge metal-insulated cables attached to the temples and which had a movable jaw.
   

Dr. Morgus, the ghost host toast of New Orleans

Dr. Morgus the Magnificent, the toast of New Orleans!
Click image to see the complete promotional flyer it was cropped from.

See an autograped photo of Dr. Morgus, courtesy of his official webmonster, Chuck Brillowsky -- please credit Chuck if you use it!


DR. PAUL BEARER * (see also COUNT SHOCKULA)
(Dick Bennick: died February 18, 1995, age 66)

Read what the late great Dick Bennick said about his hosting career in The Lost Interview of Dr. Paul Bearer, conducted by Ed Tucker in 1991, and published online on the Crazed Fanboy website.

Enjoy another great Dick Bennick tribute by Ed Tucker, Dr. Paul Bearer and Me: A Monster Memoir, also courtesy of Crazed Fanboy.

Last but not least from Crazed Fanboy: check out the Creature Feature Dr. Paul Bearer Fan Archive and Database!

See bio and images of the late-great Dr. Paul Bearer -- and hundreds of images of a host of other horrors -- at the incredible Horror Host Gallery website, courtesy of video archaeologist Thomas Rudé!

Shock Theatre
Friday or Saturday at 11:15 or 11:30 pm
WGHP-TV, Channel 8 (Winston-Salem, North Carolina) -- syndicated elsewhere
Early 1965 - 197?

Creature Feature
Saturday afternoon
WTOG-TV, Channel 44 (St. Petersburg/Tampa, Florida)
September 15, 1973 - ? 199?

Fright Theatre
Saturday 11:30 p.m. (summer only?)
WTOG-TV, Channel 44 (St. Petersburg/Tampa, Florida)
September 15, 1973 - September 10, 1977

Horror, Inc.
STATION? Channel? (Minneapolis, Minnesota)
Summer, 1974

Elena Watson's Television Horror Movie Hosts reference:
whole chapter and picture -- Ch. 12, "Dr. Paul Bearer: 'Welcome, fright fans!'," pp. 84-87.

Magazine references:

  • A full-page portrait of Dick Bennick's previous host persona Count Shockula, and two large photos from one of his personal appearances, were published in the 4-page feature article "'Mess America' Contest Winner" in issue #45 (July 1967) of Famous Monsters of Filmland, pp. 42-45. For a complete transcript of the text of this article, see the NOTES in the COUNT SHOCKULA entry.

  • Feature "Dr. Paul Bearer" with six pictures in issue #144 (June 1978) of Famous Monsters of Filmland, pp. 40-43.

  • Autobiographical feature by Dick Bennick, "Dr. Paul Bearer Celebrates 20 Years of Hearsing Around," in issue #8 (September 1993) of Scary Monsters, pp. 23-29. Also appears in cover painting by Terry Beatty with group of other horror hosts.

  • Autobiographical feature by Dick Bennick with two photos (one of Dr. Paul's appearance on "Hee Haw") and a Christmas card repro, "Dr. Paul Bearer Celebrates the Ghoultide Season," in issue #10 (March 1994) of Scary Monsters, pp. 13-15. The same issue has a full-page ad (p. 12) for an autographed set of "Dr. Paul Bearer's Horrible Horror Cards," available from the publisher.

  • One-column death notice, "Sad News," in issue #14 (March 1995) of Scary Monsters, p. 78.

  • Ed Tucker's 1991 interview (published online at the link cited above) was also published as "Dr. Paul Bearer: The Lost Interview" in Monster Memories #10 (Scary Monsters 2002 Yearbook, February 2002), pp. 24-33. The article is illustrated with 14 photos.

  • Four large photos of Dick Bennick's earlier horror host character COUNT SHOCKULA were published in the 4-page feature "Dr. Paul Bearer Picture Tribute Chapter 6 — Shocking Count Shockula Photos!" in Scary Monsters magazine #44 (September 2002), pp. 35-38. This issue also contains a 5-page interview with Dick Bennick conducted by Jim O'Rear, "Dr. Paul Bearer: The Final Interview with Horror's Longest Running Horror Movie Host" with five photos and lots of laughs.

NOTES:

  • Dr. Paul Bearer replaced COUNT SHOCKULA (also played by Dick Bennick) as host of WGHP's Shock Theatre.

  • Show fan "Shard" writes;
    I was browsing about to see if I could find anything about Dr. Paul Bearer out here on the Web, and it's nice to see him get a mention.... you said you wanted memories, so here's mine.
    I grew up in central Florida in the 80's (graduated high school in 93). I spent many, many Saturdays between noon and 2pm glued to my TV watching "this week's horrible old movie, heh-heh-heh..." And when the Doc said horrible, he wasn't kidding... Attack of the Mushroom People, Gamera, The Car, I even vaguely remember some piece of cinematic garbage called The Death Curse of Tartu. The movies, though, were always secondary to the Doc. He had his friend Spinjamin Bock, a spider... his Frankensteinway piano (to which he'd lip-synch Tom Lehrer songs - I knew "Poisoning Pigeons in the Park" by heart by the time I was ten)... and all the other terrible puns (Bloodweiser beer, ButterFINGER bars) which shaped my sense of humor to this day. I have one autographed picture which I may yet scan, and that's all I ever had. We didn't have a VCR till I was 14, so I never got to tape his show. I will say this, though... I cried the day the Doc died. I miss his show, I miss his terrible jokes, and I miss the same phrase he said every week by way of a goodbye. "Until next week, fright fans.... I'll be LURKING for you..." Thanks to him, I'm a Fright Fan to the heart... and I always will be.
  • Dr. Paul Bearer fan Deborah Hartman kindly sent me information and a great picture to initiate an entry about another host, BARON BLOODE, and sent these memories as a bonus:
    My Saturday afternoon childhood days were always made much more interesting by the colorful host who introduced the great black and white horror flicks on UHF! I noticed the horror host I remember fondly from childhood IS on your list -- I used to watch Creature Feature in the 70's on Channel 44 (WTOG in Tampa, FL) with Dr. Paul Bearer, who always departed saying, "I'll be LURKING for you!" Incidentally, my father knew him socially, and we sometimes drove by his house (very distinctive, the one with the hearse in front!), and the very last time I saw him was at the makeup counter in a shop in the Winter Haven Mall in Florida. And incidentally, he looked ghoulish in real life too (this was NOT a public appearance but a completely by accident social meeting) -- maybe he was buying makeup to keep himself looking fresh and young!

    Thanks very much for the website! My husband is enjoying your bios on SIR GRAVES GHASTLY and THE GHOUL, wonderful memories for him too!
   

Dr. Paul Bearer, famous Florida host

The late great TV horror legend Dr. Paul Bearer — gone but not forgotten!
Click image to see a pair of original autographed photos!


DR. RABIES
(Arthur DeLuca)
Visit Dr. Rabies' Official Website.

Doctor Rabies' Mad Movies Experimentorium
Monday from 9:00-11:00 pm; repeated Wednesday from 8:00-10:00 pm (Medford)
Comcast Cable System, Cable Channel 3 (Medford (home), Malden, Melrose and Somerville, Massachusetts)
April 15, 2002 - present

NOTES:

  • This new entry came from the host himself, via E-gorespondence in June, 2006:
    I have an addition to your list of horor hosts; myself. I have a show on my local cable access channel here in Medford, Massachusetts. I'm Doctor Rabies and my show is Doctor Rabies' Mad Movies Experimentorium. Here is a link to my hopelessly outdated website:

    My cast of characters include:

    • My sometimes co-host "Professor Infestation" (who has his own cable show in Melrose MA but does not host horror movies on his own show).

    • "Jan in the pan," the disembodied head from The Brain That Wouldn't Die. I acquired her during my first show/experiment when I ran that movie and she has hung around ever since (the Jello brain has since dissolved).

    • "Angus," the corpse I dug up for the experiment on my second show hosting White Zombie.

    • An un-named mummy that I "stole" from the Massachusetts General Hospital during my second season when I thought we were running The Robot Vs. The Aztec Mummy but we really ran They Made Me A Criminal (don't ask!).

    • "Irving," my clawed watch-mutant ("Irving Claw", get it? Yes, I know it's a VERY bad pun), who was introduced during my Jack And The Beanstalk episode.

    • I also have a collection of Mr. Potato Head-type people that the Professor often gives me when he drops by for a visit but can't stay for the show.

    These are my regulars; from time to time other one-shot characters pop up (usually played by myself in dual roles).

    To fill out my 2-hour timeslot, I at times include movie serial chapters, cartoons, TV episodes, short subjects and whatever other public domain stuff I can find to throw into the mix. Although I originate out of Medford, my show also runs on the cable public access channels in Malden, Melrose and Somerville, MA.

    -- Arthur DeLuca, a.k.a. Doctor Rabies

    p.s. The running gag of the show is that since I'm French (although my accent sounds slightly German more than anything else), my name is pronounced "RAH-bay"). No one but me says it that way.

DR. SAN GUINARY
(John Jones)
Visit Dr. San Guinary's Web Lab!
See bio and images of Dr. San Guinary — and hundreds of images of a host of other horrors — at the incredible Horror Host Gallery website, courtesy of video archaeologist Thomas Rudé!
Creature Feature
Late Saturday night
KMTV, Channel 3 (Omaha, Nebraska)
1971 - 1981

DR. SARCOFIGUY
(John Dimes)
Visit The Spooky Movie.com, the show's official Website.
See Dr. Sarcofiguy's profile page at HORRORHOSTS.com, the official site for the Horror Host Underground.
The Spooky Movie
Friday and Saturday night (time?)
Falls Church Cable (FCCTV), Cox Cable Channel 12 (Fairfax County, Virginia)
Halloween 1995 - Present
NOTES:
  • From the Horror Host Underground Website profile:
    "Isn't that charming...!"
    Part video Yule-log / part performance art / part sacrificial rain dance, "The Spooky Movie" has received national recognition as one of the most original horror host shows ever made. Hosted by the world's only African-American horror host, "Dr. Sarcofiguy" (played with reckless abandon by author and actor, John Dimes), TSM quickly became a cult favorite in the third largest cable system in the country. Funny, edgy, and always unpredictable, TSM never took itself, or the movies, seriously.
  • Curtis Prather, who writes, produces, directs, films and edits The Spooky Movie, contributed the following comments to Count Gore De Vol's Horror Host Mailing List (click for info):
    THE SPOOKY MOVIE was born out of another access show I did called TALES TO MAKE YOU SAY "GOODNESS!" which aired once a month for a year on Falls Church Cable Channel 38. It was basically a collection of my home movies, rantings, some new stuff thrown in, etc, hosted by my friend John Dimes. John is a man of many talents — singer, artist, stand up comedian, writer, you name it.
    For the October episode of GOODNESS, John threw on an old doctor's coat of mine and we spliced him into some of my OLD home movies (stuff I did when I was in 5th grade!), and had them host them in a loving parody of the old horror hosts. Well, he did such a great job, and I got so jazzed about it, we quickly put together the first real SPOOKY MOVIE which debuted on Halloween 1995 on Channel 38, which is on Media General in Fairfax County, here in Virginia.
    After that, we did another 12 episodes for the first "season." Other friends pitched in as an assortment of wild and wacky characters — some worked (like "Anne Rice"), some didn't (like "E", the zombie Elvis impersinator). Aside from "Dr. Sarcofiguy," John also plays the doctor's neighbor, the "totally insane" Maya Angelou. All done in fun.
    Season two added an additional 10 episodes (although one got ruined on it's first playback). Currently (after two years of clearing the mental cobwebs), we're working on an additional 16 episodes (including one that will replace the damaged tape) for a total of 38. Hopefully they will start airing this summer. We would be happy if we can get to a total of 50 some day without killing each other. Eventually, maybe.
    One tradition we've had for three years now is to have a marathon on Halloween. The first year it was a daring 12 hour event. The following year we blew it out, airing every episode (up until then) that weekend. That was almost two full days. Ugh! Never again!!! HA! Last Halloween, it was about 16 hours. Still too soon on what we will do this Halloween. I may do something like run all of our silent films together. That might be fun.

  • The show's current cable markets: Northern Virginia (Home); Dayton, Ohio (Horror Host Underground presents); Jackson, New Jersey (Horror Host Underground); and Greensboro, North Carolina (Shock Block).

  • The Spooky Movie presented a 45-hour movie marathon for Halloween 1997.

  • Dr. Sarcofiguy appeared on Count Gore De Vol's New Years Eve Special in 2000.

  • "The Spooky Movie Thanksgiving Leftover Special" in November, 2000, brought together eight horror hosts from around the country to host two movies.

DR. SCAR
(Jack Jacobson; died March 23, 2009 -- see obituaries)

See career biography of Jack Jacobson, courtesy of Jack and his son Steve Jacobson.

See and hear video clips of Jacobson (and Dr. Scar!), and a radio interview with him, courtesy of Robert Rappaport.

See A Tribute to Our Friend Jack Jacobson on the Arizona Survivors (media and advertising veterans) website.

Big 9 Chiller
Saturday night at 9:00 or 10:00
KGUN-TV, Channel 9 (Tucson, Arizona)
196?-197?

Science Fiction Theater
Sunday night at 9:00 or 10:00
KGUN-TV, Channel 9 (Tucson, Arizona)
196?-197?

NOTES:
  • Arizona hostorian Jim Morton, who first told us about Dr. Scar and Tucson's original 50's hostess GHOULIA, writes:
    During the sixties, the Tucson horror show was called Chiller and came on Saturdays around nine or ten. The host was Dr. Scar.... If my memory serves me correctly, the same guy also played Marshall KGUN -- the local children's show host on the same channel.
    (See correction (another guy played Marshall KGUN) in next note. — E-gor.)
  • E-gorespondent Al Lauver provided additonal information and corrections:
    The guy who played Dr. Scar was named Jake Jacobson (sic), he was an employee of the station. The show was later renamed Science Fiction Theater in the early '70's. I'm not sure if he stayed on the show after it changed but he did a few appearances as Dr. Scar on The Jerry Lewis Muscular Dystrophy telethons during the 70's.
    (See several corrections in next note. — E-gor.)
    The guy who played Marshall KGUN Was named Bob Love, he later moved over to KZAZ TV (now defunct), and had his own kid's show called The Uncle Bob Show.
  • In March 2005, the Son of Dr. Scar, Steve Jacobson, corrected information in both of the notes above, and has good news for Dr. Scar fans!:
    The guy that played Dr. Scar was Jack Jacobson. He was the program director at KGUN. He also did Science Fiction Theater on Sunday afternoon the same years that Chiller was on. He also was the host of the Jerry Lewis M.D.A telethon in Tucson and still co-hosts it now. He is always asked to do his Dr. Scar voice and laugh to this day. He also was on TV in Dayton Ohio in the 50's on a kid's show; his name was Nosey the Clown. That was on WHIO TV. He will be 84 years old this April and still going strong.
  • The Ohio chapter of Tim Hollis' great book on local kid's shows, Hi There, Boys and Girls! (click title to see details and order it from the publisher), includes great information about Jack Jacobson's early TV work at WHIO (Channel 13, later 7) in Dayton:
    By 1949, Jack Jacobson had joined Uncle Bob (Campbell, the cowboy host of Lucky 13 Ranch — E-gor) as cowhand "Whittlin' Jake" .... but when Jacobson came up with an alternate alter ego, "Nosey the Clown" ... and was teamed with .... Joe Rockhold, as rustic "Uncle Orrie," there was plenty of business for him to stick his nose into. The team of Uncle Orrie and Nosey (with occasional return visits by Whittlin' Jake) was the mainstay of most of WHIO's kid shows for the next ten years, including The Tic-Toc Toy Shop, The Magic Circus, and, in the late 1950s, Popeye Theatre. Demonstrating his versatility, Jacobson would discard his Nosey and Whittlin' Jake costumes to portray an even wider range of eccentrics, including "Chief Straight Arrow," "The Professor," seafarer "Captain Fogg Horn," "Herman Noise the Fix-It Man," and "Muley Skinner," along with an assortment of puppet characters. At least two of these puppets served as spokesmen for the sponsors: "Peterkin," as the royal logo of King Korn trading stamps, and "Parky," a cartoony chef representing the Parkmore Restaurant. .... Jack Jacobson left Ohio for the genuine Western climate of Arizona in 1962, and obviously his trunkful of characterizations moved with him.
   

Jack Jacobson as Dr. Scar, KGUN-TV, Tucson AZ

Jack Jacobson as kindly, lovable Dr. Scar, host of chillers on KGUN-TV in
Tucson, Arizona.
Autographed photo (!)
courtesy of Jack
and Steve Jacobson.
Click for larger view.


DR. SHOCK (I) *
(Joseph Zawislak: died September 28, 1979, age 42)

See bio and images of Dr. Shock -- and hundreds of images of a host of other horrors -- at the incredible Horror Host Gallery website, courtesy of video archaeologist Thomas Rudé!

Scream-In
Saturday night
1969-1972
Mad Theater (first film of double-feature)
Horror Theater (second film of double-feature)
Saturday afternoon, 2:00-5:00 p.m.
WPHL-TV, Channel 17 (Philadelphia, Pennsylvania)
1969 - 1979

Elena Watson's Television Horror Movie Hosts reference:
whole chapter -- Ch. 13, "Dr. Shock: The Mad Magician of Fright," pp. 89-91.

Magazine reference:

  • Two-page article with five pictures of Dr. Shock, "Let There Be Fright!!!" by John E. Parnum, in issue #19 (January 30, 1973) of The Monster Times, pp. 10-11.

  • One-page article with reproduction of promotional card for afternoon shows, "autographed" by Dr. Shock and Bubbles, in issue #9 (December 1993) of Scary Monsters, p. 10.

  • Extensive coverage, including cover portrait, in "Dr. Shock tribute" issue, #27 (June 1998) of Scary Monster magazine. Coverage includes: cover portrait by artist Terry Beatty; inside front cover photo; dedication with portrait drawing, p. 1; 12-page feature article, "The Frightful Dr. Shock" by John Skerchock (15 photos, promo reproductions, or drawings picturing Dr. Shock, Joseph Zawislak, Bubbles, and Zacherley), pp. 63-74); 6-page feature, "The Story of Shocky Doc" by Bubbles, as told to John Skerchock (11 photos, vidcaps, record jacket repros, or drawings depicting Dr. Shock, Grandma Shcok, a home-made Dr. Shock action figure, Joseph Zawislack, Bubbles and Bob Hope!), pp. 121-126; 4-page feature, "A Scream In Christmas" by John Skerchock (17 photos, vidcaps, promo repros or drawings depicting Dr. Shock and Bubbles), pp. 127-130. Essential reading for Dr. Shock fans.

NOTES:

  • Dr. Shock's makeup and mannerisms were modeled on Zacherley, with Zach's permission.

  • Dr. Shock was unearthed when construction workers broke ground to expand Channel 17 facilities. He was immediately hired to host horror films for the station. His sign off each week was "Let there be fright!"

  • Afternoon show was cancelled after 13 weeks, but thousands of protest letters and a small crowd of picketers brought it back.

  • At the height of his popularity Dr. Shock made about 50 live appearances a year, traveling in a chauffeured hearse.

  • Dr. Shock's daughter "Bubbles" (played by Zawislak's daughter Doreen) regularly appeared on the show.
   

Dr. Shock, horror host in Philadelphia PA

Dr. Shock, the legitimate heir to John Zacherle's Roland in Philadelphia, loved and remembered by thousands.
Click image to see a photo of Dr. Shock and Bubbles (autographed by Bubbles)!


DR. SHOCK (II)
(Ray Spruell; died July 9, 1990)
See Ray Spruell's Internet Movie Database entry.

Shock Theater
Saturday night at 10:30
WRBT (call letters later changed to WVLA) UHF Channel 33 (Baton Rouge, Louisiana)
c. 1972-1979

NOTES:

  • Clay Fourrier provided the initial info about this host, remembers a sidekick named Igor played by Stan Taylor, and believes the show went off the air in 1974.

  • Jeff Lanoue provided the show title, remembers the show running from about 1972-1979, and notes that Dr. Shock hosted a special Thanksgiving edition each year and had several kids in the studio for a big party.

  • Show fan Wes Carroll from Baton Rouge sent e-mails (combined and adapted here) providing a spelling correction to the host's real name and other details, including confirmation of some of the data previously reported:
    The name of the show was actually Shock Theater. Doctor Shock was played by Ray Spruell (not Spurell). Mr. Spruell died in 1990. He had been involved in Baton Rouge local radio and TV broadcasting and also had bit parts in a few movies that were filmed in the area. (The Toy from 1982 is one that comes to mind.) UHF Channel 33 was WRBT at this time and later changed to WVLA.

    As I recall, Dr. Shock wore a white full-length lab coat and had sort-of wild grey hair and moustache. He wasn't very animated... Kind of slow-moving and monotone, yet quite witty and funny.

    The Doctor Shock set was complete with props such as boiling chemicals, dry ice, a Jacob's ladder, etc. etc. The 1972-79 time frame sounds correct to me. I'll be on the lookout for more info and will let you know if I find anything.

DR. SHOCK (III)
(Tommy Reynolds; died January 20, 2008: see obituary)

See Tommy Reynolds' obituary by Richard Simms, with a brief bio and career highlights, on the WTVC website.

See Tommy Reynold's obituary on the WDEF website.

See "Dr. Shock and Dingbat," an archived December 2006 article in the Station History section of the WTVC website.

"TV horror film hosts a dying breed," an archived 1999 newspaper column about Dr. Shock and other hosts (based off an interview with Tom Reynolds conducted in 1999) on Franklin Harris's Pulp Culture website.

Check out Phil Lea's Shock Theatre tribute site, with great memories of the show, some fabulous photos (including shots of Nurse Good/Bad/Pure-body and Dingbat), MP3 audio of the original show closing, and extensive comments from visitors to the site!

Shock Theatre
Saturday night
WTVC, Channel 9 (Chattanooga, Tennessee)
Early 70's

Shock Theatre
Day? Time?
WDEF, Channel 12 (Chattanooga, Tennessee)
c. 1974-76

Shock Theatre
Saturday night
WHNT-TV, Channel 19 (Huntsville, Alabama)
Early 80's (about six months)

NOTES:

  • E-gorespondent "Daanjo3" initiated the entry about this host with his e-mail about Mr. Reynolds' stint at WDEF. Netsearching turned up a photo of Doctor Shock and Dingbat, and some details about his earlier show, at the WTVC website. Here's most of Daanjo3's post:
    Was trying to find my personal favorite horror host, "Dr. Shock." This guy hosted Shock Theatre out of Chattanooga Tennessee around 1974-76. I think his real name is Billy Reynolds [sic], and he worked for WDEF-Ch.12. I think that's the right letters. Any info would be appreciated!!
  • Career details from Tom Reynolds' obituary by David Carroll on the WRBC-TV website:
    Chattanooga's Famed "Dr. Shock" Dies
    By David Carroll

    Ask any Chattanooga baby boomer to recall their fondest memories of local TV during their childhood and teen years, and the name "Dr. Shock" is sure to come up.

    Tommy Reynolds was a longtime program director of WTVC Channel 9, usually toiling behind the scenes.

    But he found his greatest fame in the 1970's by appearing in front of the camera, in the guise of a a campy late-night horror movie host.

    Shock Theater was the local program of choice in the pre-Saturday Night Live era.

    Reynolds died Sunday in Huntsville, AL at the age of 75.

    With his puppet sidekick "Dingbat" (portrayed by the late Dan East, the station's art director who later worked at the News Free Press), Reynolds made fun of bad movies, local celebrities, and even the commercials.

    Most viewers endured the B-movies, eagerly awaiting the comical exchanges between Dr. Shock, Dingbat, and often curvaceous young ladies playing characters with names like "Nurse Badbody."

    Reynolds, with the comic timing and reactions of an old pro, would often serve as the "straight man" for Dingbat, who would interrupt the program with outrageous news parody "flashes."

    The pair would often push the envelope, straying into controversial territory, offending the wealthy and powerful among us.

    Along with a few jokes with shall we say, double meanings, Reynolds and East occasionally got into a little hot water with station management.

    But the notoriety of their sometimes naughty behavior just seemed to boost ratings, and advertiser response.

    Blessed with a strong, deep voice, Reynolds could be heard on many of the station's commercials and ID's during the 1960's and 70's.

    He used the voice, and ghoulish makeup to great effect in creating the memorable "Shock" character. His trademark line, usually played in a reverberated echo sound, was, "And if you should awaken in the still of the night, the scream you hear... may be your own." It was, of course followed by a blood-curdling scream.

    After a long run at WTVC, Reynolds moved to WDEF in the late 1970's, and took the Dr. Shock character with him, continuing the program for a few more years. He also served as afternoon personality and program director for WDEF Radio into the early 1980's.

    He then moved to Huntsville to work for Channel 19 TV as creative commercial director until his retirement.

    A recent newspaper article quoted Reynolds as saying that Shock Theater was a highlight of his life, and he was pleasantly surprised at how many people remembered his work.
  • WTVC's Station History article says:
    Throughout the early 1970's, long before Elvira came along, a standard Saturday staple on WTVC was Shock Theatre featuring Dr. Shock and his sidekick, Dingbat. During commercial breaks, Dr. Shock and Dingbat engaged each other in humorous and foolish repertoire, often about Nurse Goodbody. The baby boomers among us usually could care less what the movie was. We hung around just to see the commercial breaks, and many Saturday night dates ended in the living room in the company of Dr. Shock and Dingbat. Dr. Shock was played by then-Program Director Tommy Reynolds. Dingbat was the creation of then-WTVC Artist Dan East. Both moved on to other careers, which ended the reign of Shock Theatre. But the cry of Dingbat's 'FLASH, FLASH, FLASH!' with a breaking tidbit of humorous news.... will never fade from the memories of many long-time WTVC viewers.
  • The WTVC website photo of Dr. Shock shows a heavyset, clean-shaven middle-aged man with 70s-style long hair and heavy eye makeup, wearing a Dracula cape with upturned collar. He's holding a cane topped with a full-sized human skull in his right hand; his left arm appears to be operating Dingbat, a large Muppet-like bat puppet with long stringy hair and prominent fangs.

  • Franklin Harris, Assistant Metro Editor of The Decatur Daily in Alabama (and webmaster of a terrific website called Pulp Culture Online), has e-mailed twice with information about Tom Reynolds. He initially provided the following details about Mr. Reynolds' later career in September, 1999:
    Tom Reynolds is currently a sound engineer and voice-over announcer for WHNT-TV 19 in Huntsville, Ala. He started working at Channel 19 after his stint in Chattanooga.
    In the early '80s (Reynolds can't quite remember when; I've asked), WHNT resurrected Shock Theater for about six months. This time, the show was without Dingbat and Nurse Goodbody. Unfortunately, according to Reynolds, WHNT wasn't interested in really pushing the revived Shock Theater. They purchased the rights to show only old Roger Corman movies and a few British imports, and the show died after a short run.
    Franklin wrote again in January 2008 with sad news and some excellent website links:
    Just e-mailing to let you know that Tom Reynolds, who was Dr. Shock on TV stations in Chattanooga, Tenn., and Huntsville, Ala., died Sunday, Jan. 20, 2008.

    Here's the story from a Chattanooga TV station:

    Here's my archived newspaper column based off my interview with Reynolds in 1999.

    Best regards,
    Franklin Harris
  • Show fan Charles L. Back wrote:
    Thank you so very much for your amazing and informative website. I was finally able to find some information about a heartwarming and distinct memory from my childhood -- Chattanooga, TN's Dr. Shock and Dingbat.
    My little brother and I watched them religiously (?) when we visited our Aunt and Uncle every summer. We were frequently there for weeks, and "Shock Theatre" was one of the highlights of our visits---along with the lightning bugs!
    When our much-beloved Uncle died earlier this year, my brother and I were pallbearers at the funeral, and afterward, between the tears, we remembered the hours spent laughing our asses off with our Uncle watching Dr. Shock and Dingbat. Our Uncle was a remarkable man.
    Anyhow, thank you again for helping refresh a fond, fond memory. Keep up the good work and, if you know how many currently-working horror show hosts there are, I'd sure like to know.
   

Dr. Shock, horror host in Chattanooga TN

Dr. Shock, host of Shock Theatre in Chattanooga TN and Huntsville AL.
Click image to see a larger view of the photo this was cropped from.


DR. SHOCK (IV)
(Douglas G. Agosti)
Visit Dr. Shock's X-Ray Chiller Theatre, the show's official Website.
See this host's profile page at HORRORHOSTS.com, the official site for the Horror Host Underground.
Read fellow horror host A. Ghastlee Ghoul's rave rant about Doug Agosti's Dr. Shock from the HHU archive of The Very Important Writings of A. Ghastlee Ghoul.
See bio and images from Doug Agosti's Dr. Shock show — and hundreds of images of a host of other horrors — at the incredible Horror Host Gallery Website, courtesy of video shockaeologist Thomas Rudé!
Send e-mail to Dr. Shock (dgamea@buckeyeinet.com).
Dr. Shock's X-Ray Chiller Theatre
Saturday at midnight
WUPW-TV, Channel 36 (Fox affiliate) (Toledo, Ohio)
July 1989 - September 1992
NOTES:
  • Doug Agosti e-mailed to tell us about his independent horror films and to note that he was also the producer of the 156 episodes that aired on his original program in Toledo.
  • Information adapted from Doug Agosti's official Dr. Shock Website:
    Dr. Shock exploded onto the airwaves in 1989 on FOX 36. For 3 1/2 years he entertained and shocked northwest Ohio and southeast Michigan fans with his unique brand of humor and slapstick comedy. Every Saturday night at midnight you could "Turn off the lights, melt in your chairs and absorb the shock waves off the tele" and enjoy one of your favorite horror movies, hosted by the zany antics of the Midwest's greatest horror host, Dr. Shock.
    When Dr. Shock's X-Ray Chiller Theatre was forced off the air by those !"#@? Infomercials, Dr. Shock continued to entertain fans with personal appearances and with After Shock Productions, committed to producing the best in independent Horror films, hosted by Dr. Shock, and produced, directed, and written by Douglas G. Agosti and Lance Otto Smith. The videos produced so far include: "The Garden Tool Murders" (#1 in the thriller section of ifilm.com for several months), "Demons Day" (shot in Hell-O-Vision), "The Town That Loved Pizza." "Bullet For A Vampire" and "A Winter's Chill." For more information, visit the Gift Shop on Dr. Shock's Website.
    In addition to personal appearances, Dr. Shock can also be seen on The Fright Channel and on the forthcoming 24/7 all Horror Channel.

DR. SHOCKER and IGOR and TRACY THE GORILLA
(Daniel Roebuck, Chuck Williams, and Bob Burns; see also BOB BURNS)
See Daniel Roebuck's Internet Movie Database info as a professional actor.
Name of show?
Fictional horror hosts of the B&W opening TV horror show spoof in 1997 made-for-video documentary Halloween: The Happy Haunting of America.
See more information about this videotape!

DR. SHROUD
(Real name=?)
Meet Dr. Shroud
Day? Time?
STATION?, Channel ? (City?, State?)
60s? 70s?
NOTE:
  • R. Brazell of Columbia, South Carolina, submitted introductory info about this new host, along with details about COUNT JUSTIN SANE (Augusta, Georgia, early 70s) and another new entry, THE GRAVEDIGGER (earlier in Columbia, SC). He recalls just enough to get started:
    "We also had a show called 'Meet Dr. Shroud' but I remember absolutely nothing about it."
    Can anybody fill in some details?

DR. SLUDGE
(see also THE BOWMAN BODY and MR. SLIME)
(Patrick Bauley)

Slime Theatre
Saturday night at 11:00
WVIR-TV, Channel 29 (Charlottesville, Virginia)
Mid-70s?

NOTES:

  • DR. SLUDGE followed MR. SLIME, and preceded THE BOWMAN BODY as the host of horrors on this station (see following NOTES).

  • E-gorespondent David Allen initiated this entry with the following information:
    Just reading your list of horror hosts while dredging up memories from my teen years. The Bowman Body is listed at WVIR in Charlottesville from '77-'79 on a show called Cobweb Theatre. While I have absolutely no recollection of that series, there was a show on a few years before that, called Slime Theatre.

    The host was a fellow named Howard Meagle [see MR. SLIME -- E-gor] who had no "horror" schtick, but he used to make MST3K-like comments during the host segments. He was on the show for a year or so.... He was replaced by "Dr. Sludge," and then "The Bowman Body."

    Slime Theatre's theme song was Frank Zappa's "I am the Slime."
    I remember this vividly, as I was a faithful viewer. The show ran Saturday nights at 11:00.
  • Mr. Slime himself (Howard Meagle!) provided a bit more information about this show. See the MR. SLIME entry for his complete submission; here's the pertinent extract for this entry:
    ....After I left, the person who had been directing "Slime Theatre" assumed the position of host. His name was Pat Bauley.... He called himself "Dr. Sludge." Bauley left WVIR.... I lost touch with the station after that, and also the fate of "Slime Theatre"....
  • In August 2006, DR. SLUDGE himself (Patrick Bauley!) found this listing and sent the following e-mail with some corrections which I've already made in the NOTES above. (I hope he'll write again and provide more details and a picture of himself for this entry!):
    Hello way out there! Please correct three items in the "Dr. Sludge" overview. Pat BAULEY has never worked for C-SPAN and my segments for Slime Theatre, employing early Chroma-key, were F*cking HILARIOUS. Mucho thanx for setting the record straight!

    Dr. Sludge
   

Help E-gor picture this host!

If you have any sort
of information about
this horror host
(particularly a photo),
PLEASE E-mail E-gor!


DR. SPECULO, aka DR. IGNATIUS SPECULO
(Ben Armstrong)
Click links at right for: (55K jpeg caricature of Dr. Speculo); (68K jpeg color photo of Dr. Speculo);
Dr. Speculo's Tales from 6 Feet Under
Saturday night (originally at midnight, later at 11:35 p.m.)
WCTV, Channel 6 (Tallahassee, Florida / Gainesville, Georgia)
September 12, 1992 - March 27, 1993 (29 consecutive weeks)
Magazine reference:
  • Feature article "Meet Dr. Speculo" by Ben Armstrong, with nine pictures of Dr. Speculo, show credits and complete movie list, in issue #9 (December 1993) of Scary Monsters, pp. 24-27.
  • Picture and report of Dr. Speculo's appearance as host of the opening ceremonies of the 1995 World Horror Convention in Atlanta, Georgia, in "Scare-News" feature in issue #15 (June 1995) of Scary Monsters, p. 93.
NOTES:
  • Dr. Speculo was a mad scientist who loved old horror movies, with unruly hair, staring eyes behind black goggles, a huge mouth with massive teeth, and a "mutated Peter Lorre/Ren Hoek voice."
  • Show featured "the best of the bad" films such as Plan 9 from Outer Space, The Brain from Planet Arous, Robot Monster, and Bela Lugosi Meets a Brooklyn Gorilla.
  • Cast included sidekicks Mortimer the talking skull, Rufus the vampire bat, and Frunobulax the monster; the "happy couple," and Clem and Clem, the Phlegm Brothers.
  • Show fan Dave White remembers: "Dr. Speculo of Gainesville, FL, was often helped by some Society for Creative Anachronism friends, including Merald Clark, who incidentally drew the caricature you have. Ben was funny as heck, and I'm not just saying that because I knew him."

DR. TERROR
(Guy Henry)
?? (Halloween special introducing Dr. Terror)
October 31 (?), 1992
BBC2 (England)
Vault of Horror
Day? Time?
BBC1 (England)
September 1993 - 199?
Dr. Terror's House of Horrors
Friday at various times, usually around Midnight
BBC1 (England)
Years? (approximately 2 years, in 2 or 3 short seasons)
Magazine references:
  • Feature with photo, "Nightmare News" by Andi Brooks, in issue #10 (March 1994) of Scary Monsters, pp. 54-55.
  • Feature article with two pictures of Guy Henry in and out of makeup, "The Fiends Behind the Face of Dr. Terror" (Part One) by Andi Brooks, in issue #15 (June 1995) of Scary Monsters, pp. 11-12.
NOTE:
  • Dr. Terror's makeup is probably the heaviest of any horror host's on this list -- lightweight moulded latex pieces completely covering the actor's face, neck and shoulders, taking from 3.25 to 5.5 hours to apply and one hour to remove.
  • E-gorespondent "Learned" Robb writes from the UK:
    Dr. Terror's House of Horrors, BBC1, Fridays, Various times, usually around Midnight. Ran for approx 2 years, in 2 or 3 short seasons. The Dr. Terror scenes were shot at the world famous Blackpool Pleasure Beach. The credits showed Dr. Terror on a number of rides, including the ghost train, and ended with a shot of the eerie laughing Clown automaton.

DR. VOLAPUK
(see also FIREMAN FRANK)
(Ron Ross)
Nightmare Theater
Friday night
KCPX / KTVX, Channel 4 (Salt Lake City, Utah)
1974-1976
NOTE:
  • E-gorespondent Steve Anderson, who provided details about Nightmare Theater's previous host FIREMAN FRANK, also initiated this entry:
    About 1974 a new host took over for KCPX's Friday night horror show. He went by the name of Dr. Volapuc. His outfit was pretty cheesy and his discussion of each feature was sarcastic and corny. He always finished his on-screen patter by reminding the audience that "Volapuc spelled backwards is Cup-a-luv." What this bizarre observation was supposed to mean was entirely unclear but it did stand out in my mind. He was on the air from 1974 until about 1976. During this time KCPX was sold and the call letters were changed to KTVX, which they still are today.
    (See FIREMAN FRANK entry for Steve's comments on Ron Ross' earlier, voice-only hosting of Nightmare Theater — E-gor)

  • David Hall sent two e-mails supplying this host's real name, and providing some very interesting additional details about both of his shows. Here are his comments on this one, including a correction to the spelling, and an explanation of what the unusual name derives from!:
    I have a little information for you regarding Fireman Frank and Dr. Volapuk on KCPX TV in the 1960s and 1970s. His real name was Ron Ross. I don't know if he is still around. I do know he was a dancer and actor associated with what is Now Ballet West ( previously Utah Ballet), and he also worked with the Theatre Department at Utah State University in the mid 1970s.
    As Dr. Volapuk, he wore a ghoul mask and a cape over a Dracula-like tux. The background was mostly dungeon-like, and the whole scene was lit with eerie lighting. Then to add to the cheesy effects, the contrast adjustments on the cameras were set too high, so there were lots of weird shadows and odd lights. Most of what he did for Nightmare Theater consisted of voice intros following commercials, and announcements of next week's shows.
    BTW, "Volapuk" was the name of an artificial universal language similar to Esperanto. Here is an official citation for that spelling issue:
    Volapük was first published in 1879 by Johann Martin Schleyer (1831-1912) and for a brief period achieved immense popularity before being eclipsed by Esperanto. Indeed Volapük is second or third after Esperanto, and possibly Ido, in terms of its historical impact as a constructed language, the number of speakers it once had, number of copies of publications and so on.

    http://www.rick.harrison.net/langlab/dejong.html
    (See FIREMAN FRANK entry for Dave's personal memories of Ron Ross and that show — E-gor)

Dr. Von Shtick
(see SHRIMPENSTEIN and DR. VON SHTICK)

DR. WOLFENSTEIN (fictional horror host)
(Gregg Gibbs)
See Gregg Gibbs' Internet Movie Database credits as production designer and actor.

Doctor Wolfenstein's Creature Feature Show
Halloween night ("Halloween Eve Movie Marathon")
Channel 68 (somewhere near Ruggsville, USA)
October 30, 1977

NOTES:
  • Dr. Wolfenstein is a fictional TV horror host in Rob Zombie's film House of 1000 Corpses (2003). Though Rob Zombie allegedly wanted to play this character himself, he was finally portrayed by the production designer, Gregg Gibbs, whose credits include music videos for Rob Zombie, Marilyn Manson and Danzig, and the films The Hillside Strangler and Black Dahlia. Gibbs also played a supporting role as "Officer Mike McHale" in The Hillside Strangler.

  • Dr. Wolfenstein appears to be an enthusiastic young man made up as a half-mad older man, with sideburns, theatrical makeup and granny glasses, wearing old-fashioned formal attire like Lugosi's Dracula — frock coat, vest, cravat, medallion. He is also glimpsed in the opening wearing a Dickensian top hat and smoking a Calabash pipe. The set is a typical (but elaborate) spooky house / mad lab TV horror host environment.

  • Dr. Wolfenstein's hairy lab assistant, lurking in the background, is unnamed in the film but listed in the credits — Rob Zombie!

  • The movie opens with brief TV static and a few minutes of black and white television footage from a special Halloween marathon on Doctor Wolfenstein's Creature Feature Show. During the rest of the film a few more segments from this show are shown, including bumpers with Dr. Wolfenstein and short clips from classic Universal horror films (The Old Dark House, The Wolf Man and House of Frankenstein) which reflect features of Zombie's film in their own content — stranded travellers at the mercy of a family of crazed recluses, carnival sideshow scenes, etc.

  • The opening of Dr. Wolfenstein's show, adapted from the English subtitles on the DVD of the movie:
    (Titles in a monstrous dripping font: TERROR! THRILLS! HORRORS! DOCTOR WOLFENSTEIN'S CREATURE FEATURE SHOW).

    ANNOUNCER: Attention, boils and ghouls, it's time for Dr. Wolfenstein's "Creature Feature Show."

    DR. WOLFENSTEIN: Ah-hhh. The Doctor is in. Don't scream. Don't move. (laughs) Stay tuned for Channel 68's Halloween Eve Movie Marathon. (laughs) I'm your host, your ghost host with the most, Dr. Wolfenstein. (extreme close up) I WILL BE WITH YOU UNTIL THE END! (insane laugh)

DR. X
(Robin Shurtz)
Dr. X's Cinemondo
Day? Time?
Time Warner Cable (now Bright House Networks), Channel 98(?) (Orlando, Florida)
1989 - 1992

Magazine reference:
  • Mentioned in "Monster Memories" article "TV Horror Hosts & Me" by B-movie director Fred Olen Ray in issue #9 (December 1993) of Scary Monsters, p. 37.

NOTES:
  • Cult B-movie director Fred Olen Ray says he "helped out a fellow Orlandoan, Robin Shurtz," by supplying some of his own movies for the show, including The Alien Dead and Biohazard.

  • The following is cobbled together from a couple of e-mails sent by writer / director/ producer / actor Steve Latshaw, who writes from Hollywood:
    I produced one season of this series… I believe there were 3 seasons total, approximately 12-15 episodes each time out. The series featured some great cult films (Robin was an expert – as well as a very funny, talented guy) plus a serial chapter. Very funny show. Robin was a good, competent actor, very stylized, 40s style. I believe the series aired between 1989-1992.
    I remember we all LOVED B horror and cult films and the show was a labor of love. Robin graciously loaned me practically his entire collection of 50s & 60s schlock films as I had yet to see many of them. We used to overwhelm the staff of Time/Warner Cable in Orlando -- literally taking over the studio for production and editing. I remember Robin and I editing some of the features for time and laughing ourselves into a stupor over TEENAGERS FROM OUTER SPACE and actor Harvey B. Dunn. I was a fan of the show first -- still have many of them on tape and watch them frequently.
    What I remember most about the show was the party atmosphere when filming... Robin's infectious enthusiasm for the show... and the genuine excitement when he announced his picks for each season's features (he always looked for the truly weird and unusual). It was a real labor of love -- we were all volunteers -- and -- because of Robin's knowledge of all things "Cinemondo" -- was the best show of its kind.
    One afternoon I got called down to the studio early... schlockmeister Don Farmer was shooting scenes there for his epic Vampire Cop. Robin was appearing in Don's film as a producer. I got to watch Farmer shoot and remember thinking -- gee -- making a horror movie isn't so tough. That's when we got the idea; the same creative team who worked on the show also produced a horror feature in 1991 called Vampire Trailer Park.
    Robin was friends with Fred Olen Ray going back to the early 1980s. Robin appeared in Fred's Biohazard and was also in his Terminal Force, which just came out on IMAGE DVD. Robin actually introduced me to Fred Ray -- Fred subsequently financed three feature films for me in Florida and made it possible for me to have a career in Hollywood.
    (Steve Latshaw says that the Internet Movie Database data regarding Robin Shurtz's name is incorrect, crediting "Robin SCHURTZ" (allegedly an actress!) with his role in Fred Olen Ray's Biohazard, and "ROBERT STURTZ" in Vampire Trailer Park! Steve says "they are one and the same." And he modestly failed to mention that Vampire Trailer Park was the first movie he directed... check his IMDb career credits now! — E-gor)

DR. YGOR
(WQAD station announcer Gene King [correct last name?]; died 19??)

Chiller Theatre
Saturday night at 10:00 or 10:30 (double feature)
WQAD, Channel 8 (Moline, Illinois)
August 1963 - ?? 196? (unhosted after Dr. Ygor left the station)

Name of show?
Day? Late-night
STATION ?, Channel ? (Denver, Colorado)
19?? - 19??

Magazine reference:

  • Mentioned in "Monster Memories" feature, "Scary Models" by artist Terry Beatty, in issue #4 of Scary Monsters, pp. 9-10.

NOTES:

  • IN the late 90's, Scary Monsters cover artist Terry Beatty e-mailed that Gene King "also played Jungle Jay in the afternoons (showing Tarzan, Bomba, etc. movies)" and that "Don Molander, who played Ygor's pal 'Plasma' is STILL at WQAD as a technician."

  • I, E-gor, heard from Don Molander's daughter DeAnn that her dad was also the original "Emmett" on the more famous Acri Creature Feature horror movie showcase on the same station, and that he retired from WQAD after 35 years there on July 15, 2005.

  • IIllinois horror hostorian Mark Angelcyk wrote:
    You have referenced DR. YGOR quite well, and I just thought I'd add a few items to it.... Jungle Jay was a Monday-through-Friday daily after-school afternoon two-hour program. I believe it started at 3:30 P.M. He would show one feature length film (usually a Tarzan, Jungle Jim or Bomba), an episode of a serial (I particularly remember Clyde Beatty's Lost Jungle and the Nyoka serials), and an episode from an old TV series (I remember particularly Jon Hall in Ramar of the Jungle).
    WQAD-TV, Channel 8, Moline, Illinois, came on the airwaves around the first of August, 1963, and Jungle Jay and Chiller Theater were there right at the beginning. Chiller Theater was a Saturday night show only. It came on at either 10:00 P.M. or 10:30 P.M., and the best thing about it was that it ran a double-feature every Saturday, with Dr. Ygor "cutting up" during the commercials.
    As I remember, the man who played Dr. Ygor didn't stay very long at the station, certainly no more than two years at most, so when he left WQAD-TV continued to show horror films on Saturday nights, but without a host in character. (I know his first name was Gene, but I'm pretty sure his last name was not King, as Terry Beatty says -- there was a Jim King who was a fixture as a newscaster at the station, and he was there until his death last year).

DR. ZEKOW
(Francisco "Frisco" Aquilar; died August 1994)
Name of show?
Saturday at 10:30 pm
KGNS, Channel 8 (Laredo, Texas)
19??-1971 or '72
NOTES:
  • Initial information about this host came from E-gorespondent Sean Spillane, who also informed us about Tex-Mex shows hosted by COUNT NATAS and EL SANTO (!) :
    During the late sixties and early seventies, Laredo, Texas TV station KGNS channel 8 broadcast a horror movie program featuring a host called Dr. Zekow. I don't remember the actual name of the program (maybe one of those generic titles like "Shock Theater" or "Creature Feature" but don't hold me to it). Dr. Zekow was portrayed by Francisco "Frisco" Aguilar. Sadly, he passed away about five years ago, and some of the information I have here was gleaned from his obituary. He was dressed in a black suit (tuxedo?), with a black cape, white gloves, his face greasepainted gray, with popped eyes manufactured from halved ping-pong balls. I shook his hand at a supermarket opening when I was about six and he scared the bejesus out of me, not so much as to what he did, but with my 6-year old imagination running wild and rampant.... The show was broadcast late on Fridays (maybe Saturdays, but I do seem to recall the show starting after The Tonight Show signed off, which would make it at midnight, but then I can't see my parents letting my 6 or 7 year old self staying up that late; maybe the Friday Tonight Show was pre-empted for Dr. Zekow -- these are really ancient memories). He probably showed classic Universal horror, because I do seem to recall watching the 1931 Dracula. Don't remember if it was a single or double feature. He performed silly sketches between commercial breaks. One I do remember was Zekow performing surgery, maybe on a sidekick I can't recall, and pulling all sorts of stuff out of his belly like a toaster, a football, and other sundry items. I do remember his show being sponsored by Butterkrust Bread, because he used to do on-air commercials for them. He would eat a slice of bread slathered with butter and say to the camera in his creepiest voice, "...and it always tastes better with butter!" I have no idea how long his show lasted. My family moved from Laredo in '71, and we returned in '74, and Zekow was no longer on the air.

    I recently met someone whose dad was a newscaster on KGNS in the early seventies. She remembered Dr. Zekow and Frisco Aguilar quite fondly. Her family a his family used to have cookouts together, and she recalled cutting and painting the ping-pong balls for him before one of his shows....
  • Francisco Aquilar's son Randy sent e-mail with new information for this entry, and provided answers to specific questions from the Webmonster in a second note:
    My father used to host the Dr. Zekow show in Laredo. He was in advertising. He passed in August 1994. He did do skits where sometimes he would use neighborhood kids to do them. The movies were the classic horror movies like The Mummy, Frankenstein, The Wolfman, The Blob etc.
    His name was pronounced ZEE-coe. My father made it up himself. He was in advertising and came up with a way to make extra money and sell adds in the same time. He came up with Dr. Zekow and sold all the advertising for it. The show was on Saturday night at 10:30. I don't recall the years exactly but can get you that later. I know it ended in '71 or '72. He went on to advertising manager of Laredo Times Newpaper. There are no surviving tapes because the majority was done live and the little that was taped was sadly thrown out by KGNS one time they were cleaning up after the station was sold. Thanks for your Web site and the interest you have in this.
    Randy Aguilar
   

Francisco Aquilar as Dr.Zekow, KGNS, Laredo, Texas.

Francisco Aguilar as Dr. Zekow, bug-eyed monster host of horrors on KGNS, Channel 8 in Laredo, Texas.
Photo courtesy of Randy Aguilar.
Click for larger, uncropped view.


Dr. ZinGRR *
(Robert O. Smith)
Visit The Robert O. Smith Voice Page, spotlighting his amazing vocal talents, and featuring information about Dr. ZinGRR, including pictures and audio!

Zingrr's Projections
Saturday at 11 pm
KTVW-TV (now KCPQ-TV), Channel 13 (Tacoma-Seattle, Washington)
1972-1974

Elena Watson's Television Horror Movie Hosts reference:
mentioned in Ch. 25, "Son of Invasion of the Ghost Hosts," pp. 181-182.

NOTES:
  • Seattle show fan and E-gorespondent David Humes sparked my interest in Dr. ZinGRR with these additional details:
    The show was called Zingrr's Projections. Robert O. Smith was a local radio personality. Dr. Zingrr sported a black top hat .... a grey beard, and an unconvincing German accent. I think he had a sidekick, but I dont know who (or what) it/he was.
  • After hearing from David Humes, I poked around the Web and found more great information about this host on Robert O. Smith's own website — so I wrote to him with various questions, and he responded very promptly with more great info and the pictures on the sidebar!

    The following is a consolidated adaptation of what Robert O. Smith says about Dr. ZinGRR on his website and additional details from his e-mails to me:
    In the 70's I had a TV show that showed monster movies called Dr.ZinGRR in the Seattle-Tacoma area. The skits were "live," and every 15 minutes when we broke for spots, I'd change costumes and face make up, and do a parody on the movie we were playing. The movies were oh so bad... but the skits were daring -- risque and hip.

    The characters were:

    • ZinGRR himself (a white-haired, bearded German scientist). It's ironic -- I had brown hair and a beard in the 70's, and so as not to look like a hippy, but an old man (the audience still didn't want bearded people on the air) -- I sprayed PSST on my hair (simply baby powder under aeration) to make it look white. NOW I look like ZinGRR did 30-some years ago (but heavy again, drat).

    • The DreamMaker, who would fly thru the movies flapping his cape, oftimes sitting on the faces of people driving along in convertibles.

    • Film Lorre, a Peter Lorre type (the eyes I made with egg shells and false eyelashes, and of course the face was pure clown white).

    • The Masked Doily, a muscled takeoff of Mexican Wrestlers.

    • Count Lickula, the worlds oldest whampire -- "I gum them on the neck."

    • A Hitchcock character -- in which I just was a shadow against a wall like His TV opening.

    • "Clifford Scuz, Voice of Youth" — me without the PSST to make my hair white, hair combed with ducktail pompadour style, wearing blue frame glasses. He looked like Wolfman Jack (well, because I do, or did -- both Bob Smiths too), but sounded like my "Walter Wart" voice. He made fun of teenage monster movies.

    I always started the show with the phrase (after opening credits):
    Hello and you're welcome to it!
    In the German accent it took on 2 meanings -- a guy not so good at speaking de Englee... and "here's this sloppy show... geeez ... you're welcome to it"...

    As for my sidekick (mentioned in David Humes' e-mail -- E-gor), he was a high school kid who made a Rod Serling puppet and sold it to me. I named it "Raw Surrealism" and I would pre-record a script I'd write, and as it played back, he would puppet it for the camera. One day when I was watching a Mexican horror movie I noticed that the main hero wrestler/crime fighter had a dwarf sidekick (his "Igor"), so i told the kid to put on gorey makeup and do the "stand on knees with shoes in front" bit. Then I carted up a voice track (old tape technology) -- when we were on camera I'd speak, and the cart would be played and the kid would lip sync to it...so he had become his own puppet, just as with his funny felt and cloth creations. He was a very sharp kid, and If I tore the cellar apart I could find his name — drat! It's a shame that it was in the 70's or I'd remember! He kept the puppet when the show went off the air (after I had paid for it) so i guess I was just leasing it, ha ha! He was only on maybe 6 times as the Igor type, and 10 or so as the mover (only) of Raw Surrealism — I did ALL the audio in those days..

    SIDE NOTE: You'll note that I'm somewhat trim in the ZinGGR photos -- but I started the show horrendously overweight...and as the weeks went on, I shrunk down to an acceptable weight in front of the audience... PLUS I had been a champion weightlifter as a teen, and some of that conditioning showed thru for the "Masked Doily." The Masked Doily's schtick was to talk in a VERY BOOMING COMMANDING VOICE when he was doing his 'bits' — but as soon as he thought he was off camera (he wasn't, of course), he reverted to a simpy lisping NON-hero sounding voice, complaining that it was a strain talking like that.

    Today I am heavy again but two times as strong as I ever was.
    NOTE from E-gor: Robert O. Smith has broken the all time mark for a 60+ lifter with a 515 lb. benchpress, a WABDL (World Association of Bench Press and Deadlifters) World record,)

    Sometimes I headed home at 2:00 am --and at least 3 or four times fell asleep driving (thanks to the Gods of Bela and the bumps on the freeway for waking me up)! Luckily before I killed myself the show ran its LONG course when the TV station was sold.

    Later people were kind enough to say my show was Saturday Night Live YEARS BEFORE it was even thought of --- well with horror, make that Saturday Night Dead!

    Now I'm the voice of The Amazing Super Buddies (soon to be released) and "Gravity Man" in Mega Man NT Warriors on Kids' WB -- also I'm on two very secret Anime projects now as various characters..

    p.s. I just co-starred in a Ron Ford movie, Snake Man as "Alvin Din," rude talk show host...

    As for your site -- thank you so much for all the work...many of my links are so OLD but it does give an Idea of what I have done. This was my most fun ever in producing, writing and voicing a TV or Radio show.
  • Elsewhere on Robert O. Smith's website (among lots of other interesting stuff), you'll find information about his voice credits, including the cartoon characters he has done the voices for, a list of his recent commercials, a list of clients, downloadable (MP3) voice demos and radio liners, loads of his own Flash animations and ZBrush 3D cartoon art, and revelations about his life and his true loves — including POWERLIFTING! Now there's something you don't hear about every day — a classic horror movie host who's also one of the best Masters Benchers in the World Association of Bench Press and Deadlifters!

  • Robert D. Smith (no relation!) sent some corrections in May 2009:
    I wanted to add a little bit of corrected information about Dr. ZinGRR, who appeared on Channel 13 in Tacoma/Seattle.

    The television station was KTVW, Channel 13 at the time. It now is KCPQ, a Fox affiliate. KTVW at the time (1972-1974) was owned by Blaidon Mutual Investors Corp., a woefully underfunded operation. It operated as a true independent station.

    Dr. ZinGRR, portrayed by the wonderfully talented Robert O. Smith (in a weird quirk, my own name is Robert D. Smith), was on Channel 13 during the ownership of Blaidon from 1972-1974.

    Thanks and I enjoy your compilation.
    Bob Smith
     

Robert O. Smith as Dr. ZinGRR;

Photos courtesy of Robert O. Smith.
Click for larger views.

Above: Dr. ZinGRR.

Below: The Masked Doily and his all-purpose assistant!

Robert O. Smith as Dr. ZinGRR;


DR. ZOMBIE
(Real name = ?)
Visit ZOMBIETHEATRE.COM, the show's official Website.
See Dr. Zombie's profile page at HORRORHOSTS.com, the official site for the Horror Host Underground.
Halloween Theater
Saturday at 10:00 pm
Channel 8 (Modesto, California)
Sunday at 11:30 pm
Channel 74 (Sacramento, California)
Late 1990's - ???
Zombie Resurrection Theatre
Friday at 11:30 pm
Channel 8 (Modesto, California)
Sunday at 11:30 pm
Channel 74 (Sacramento, California)
March 2003 - Present
NOTES:
  • Adapted from the Horror Host Underground Website profile:
    "Resurrecting the best of the worst B-Movies - On the Web and on your TV!"
    Dr. Zombie was awakened from his grave accidentally, when a local TV Horror Host claiming to be "Doctor Zombie" did a broadcast from the cemetery on the very spot where the real DR ZOMBIE was supposedly buried. During the show, live on the air the real DR ZOMBIE crawled up and killed the fake Dr. Z., ate his brain, and and took over his position on TV. The viewers all thought this was part of the show and loved it. Now working under the cover of a TV Horror Host, the real DR ZOMBIE is back — and he is continuing his evil experiments!
  • Supporting characters on the show include Nurse Raven ("Pain Made Pleasure") and Dead McMahon (a has-been character actor turned bitter sidekick).
  • Dr. Zombie is the first horror host with his own weekly Internet horror radio show, under the alias "Dug Graves" listen to the streaming Real Audio Webcast of Dug Grave's K.D.O.A. Horror Radio Show on the Live365.com Website!
  • Dr. Zombie's current markets include: Sacramento, California; Modesto, California; The World Wide Web; Internet Radio Show (as Dug Graves); and The Horror Host Underground Network.

Dug Graves
(see DR. ZOMBIE)

The Duke of Desmodas
(see MALCOM THE BUTLER and THE DUKE OF DESMODAS)

DUNCAN LAMOND
(Duncan Lamond?)
Name of show?
Day? Time?
KTTV, Channel 11 (Los Angeles, California)
196?-196?
NOTE:
  • E-gorespondent Craig Endler remembers:
    "We had a guy, Donald Lamond, here in Los Angeles on KTTV channel 11, now I guess this is Fox channel 11, in the sixties and he was a sort of pirate on a ghost ship and he would host scary movies. He was fun, I wish I could see an old clip of him in action."

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