- EDDIE DRISCOLL [aka MOLDY, UNCLE GORY (sp?), KRANDEL, others?]
- (Eddie Driscoll; died September 23, 2006)
- See the Remembering Eddie
tribute on the WLBZ-2 website,
with lots of pictures and streaming video clips!
- Read The Genius of Eddie Driscoll in the
archives of aroundmaine.com — more pictures and streaming video!
- Shock Theatre as "Moldy"
- Saturday at Midnight
- WLBZ-TV, Channel 2 (Bangor, Maine)
- Fall 1962 - ? 196?
- Weird as "Uncle Gory" (or "Uncle Gorey"?) the hunchback and "Krandel" the Martian
- Saturday at Midnight
- WLBZ-TV, Channel 2 (Bangor, Maine)
- ? 196? - ? 1967
- Weird II (as ??)
- Sunday at Midnight
- WLBZ-TV, Channel 2 (Bangor, Maine)
- c. 1982
- Outer Limits (as ??)
- Day? Time?
- WLBZ-TV, Channel 2 (Bangor, Maine)
- c. ???
- Magazine reference:
- Feature article by ??, "A Lifetime of Horror," in ??, 200? issue of Scary Monsters "Monster Memories Yearbook," pp. ?-??.
- A great NEW horror host,
was the first to bring this great CLASSIC horror host to our attention via her delightful E-gorespondence:
I may have a "scoop" of sorts.
Someone over at the Dark Shadows forums posted a message about a 50's Maine horror-host named "Crandall" played by Eddie Driscoll:
- Here's the pertinent portion of the Dark Shadows forum post that Penny Dreadful mentioned:
Way up in Bangor, Maine, we had Eddie Driscoll on WLBZ-TV,
who, for thirty-five years, was a one-man gang of local programming,
from kid's shows, local commercial content and hosting Dialing for Dollars to Hosting "Weird," a fantastic late-night horror movie show.
He played a variety of characters on this and other late programs, but basically, as the torch bearers of today's late night movie shows do,
he enlivened a lot of marginal horror movies with his fifteen-to-twenty minutes of horror humor and incredibly inventive (on a low budget) skits.
This man once not only held his own with a visiting Milton Berle, but blew his doors off in an impromptu "laugh-off."
His "Crandall," a kind of Zacherly-cum-martian character, was priceless.
If you want to know or see more about this local legend, just find the WLBZ website,
they are currently carrying several clips featuring Eddie who, sadly, is now an Alzheimer's sufferer.
- Starting with the lead from Penny D. and Petofi, I found more info about Eddie Driscoll and his alter ego(s) online.
Television horror hosts are sometimes discussed, along with hundreds of other topics, in the discussion forums
of the Classic Horror Film Board at ezboard.com.
The following big and little bits of information were extracted from comments about Eddie Driscoll in these forums.
Note the variant spellings of Driscoll's character names!
CHFB member Monsterpal remembered:
On Bangor, Maine's Channel 2 (WLBZ) there was an early sixties horror host named Eddie Driscoll,
who had a Saturday night show called Weird.
Eddie had done kiddie shows and game shows,
but when he emerged as "Uncle Gory" on his Weird dungeon set,
he won over a whole new generation of young Mainers and Canadians.
Board member yendor1152 provided additional details:
Uncle Gory was a one-eyed hunchback who hosted horror movies from his dank, underground crypt.
Science fiction movies, on the other hand, were hosted by Uncle Gory's alter ego, "Krandel," from his alien spacecraft.
Eddie played both characters.
Krandel was a bulbous-headed alien with three eyes and antennae, carrying a toy ray-gun,
sartorially resplendent in a black body leotard.
His guests included the honeymooning couple from Venus, who were extraordinarily funny-looking,
and a small creature called the "Re-creation" that lived in a box and escaped in one episode via the miracle of chroma-key,
cutting its way out of its miniature prison with a tiny saw and scampering away.
Eddie was an innovative late night horror show host back in the day, and everyone who saw Weird loved it.
I understand that he designed and built all the sets, props and costumes himself, with the help of his wife and a few other people.
As a kid, I used to watch "Weird," a locally-produced (in Bangor, Maine) horror show, broadcast every Saturday at midnight.
The host was Eddie Driscoll, a fixture at WLBZ for years, and I was totally swept up by him.
Eddie was somewhat rotund, wild and crazy, and he could do just about everything.
He also hosted "Dialing for Dollars" (mentioned several times in King's "Salem's Lot"),
as well as a kiddie program called "The Suppertime Supershow."
The same board poster, yendor1152, later sent a follow-up with some great new info about an earlier Driscoll hosting gig:
"Weird" ran the old Universal horror films, as well as a spate of sci-fi and Mexican horrors.
Eddie would host, either as "Krandall the Martian," or "Uncle Gorey," who was my favorite.
The Gorey set was a dungeon, and Eddie would really let loose during the commercial breaks.
One minute, he'd be "cooking" a meal that would explode, or trying to suck the brain out of a skull
(when he ran Not of this Earth, the only time I've ever seen that movie).
"Weird" lasted for years and finally was knocked off the air by SNL.
Flash forward to 1982.
I was in grad school, and WLBZ decided to revive "Weird" as "Weird II," broadcast on Sundays at midnight.
Eddie was once again the host, albeit way older.
He'd lost none of his craziness, however! ....
Eddie eventually retired, I grew even older, and then Scary Monsters (magazine) entered my life.
I was finally able to use some of the interview for an article in a "Monster Memories Yearbook" ("A Lifetime of Horror").
I first saw Eddie on "Shock Theatre," a precursor to "Weird" that ran in the fall of 1962.
He played a character named "Moldy," and believe me, managing to convince my parents to let me stay up past midnight
(I was all of 9 then) took some major give and take!
But it was all so worth it.
Eddie entertained with all the verve and energy of a dervish!
I absolutely adored him.
And, of course, the birth of "Weird," with all his many guises,
endeared him to me even further.
It was a sad day indeed when Channel 2 cancelled the show ....
From 1962-1967, he hosted "Shock Theatre" and "Weird," which ran every Saturday night at 12 midnight.
The movies I got to see because of him were all the Universal horrors, as well as many other classics.
Alas, Eddie recently passed away at 81, and with him went an era from my childhood that can never be replicated.
But thankfully, I have my memories.
- Selected comments from "The Genius of Eddie Driscoll" tribute cited at the top of this entry (click the link there to read the entire article) —
Television personality Bill Green calls Eddie Driscoll
"The most brilliant TV person I ever worked with by a mile."
Generations of Maine TV viewers have fond memories of Eddie Driscoll, a broadcasting pioneer whose best work will never be seen again,
vanished forever into the air, simply because it wasn’t economically possible to retain the hours and hours of live TV he created in his career.
While memories of his work may be burnished by nostalgia, the high regard of both colleagues and fans are testament to Eddie Driscoll's particular genius.
Eddie Driscoll’s television career began, in 1954, the day they turned the tranmitter on for Bangor’s Channel 2 WLBZ.
Television was a new medium in those days and like any new medium it was completely open to experimentation.
Local programming ruled the day in TV in general, and particularly at WLBZ,
which couldn’t rely on available network programming that had been monopolized by the cross-town competition.
Videotape didn’t become widely available until the mid 60’s, and producing TV on film was both time-consuming and costly,
so the staff of WLBZ had to create hours and hours of live programming, particularly in the first year.
"It was pretty rough," says Margo Cobb, who also started that first day at WLBZ.
"Television was rough back then, but I think I never had as much fun in television as I did in those early days.
It was like putting on a play in your father’s garage."
It was a medium perfectly designed for Eddie Driscoll’s madcap imagination.
He created characters, wore costumes.
One of his earliest children’s shows used puppet characters like Captain Salty and Mason Mutt,
which Eddie would design and wife Ruby would assemble.
Bill Green got his start in TV as Eddie’s cameraman for two and a half years.
He once accompanied Eddie to the Lakewood Theater near Skowhegan to visit Milton Berle,
the "King of TV," who was performing there one summer.
Berle and Driscoll were trading one-liners for the camera,
"Eddie was more than twice as funny as Milton Berle.
Here’s the ‘King of TV’ and he’s getting his butt kicked by Eddie Driscoll.
It wasn’t a competition, but of those two men Eddie was the funnier by far."
Late night on Saturday, Channel 2 would show some typically awful, lousy, horrible movie with live commercial breaks featuring Eddie.
These breaks could be up to fifteen minutes long and were usually more entertaining than the movies.
Members of the Air National Guard from nearby Dow Field joined Eddie for one "Weird" stunt.
In the field behind the station, with volunteer service people, US government equipment, and fake ammo,
Eddie created a live World War Two scene .
Neighbors came out to see what all the commotion was about at eleven o’clock on a Saturday night.
It was just Eddie Driscoll and his co-conspirators, making TV history.
Everyone knew who Eddie was, and everyone thought they knew Eddie,
but meeting Eddie in person wasn’t like meeting the Eddie on TV. Green says
"Eddie was a very private person. The persona you saw on TV was something that he put on for television."
Margo Cobb says "You’d think he’d be the last person in the world to be a performer if you just met him off stage."
Despite that, Eddie Driscoll was an ambassador for WLBZ and appeared regularly in parades throughout Eastern Maine.
Eddie retired in 1987 after a thirty-three year career in television in Bangor.
Like everything else, television had changed in those thirty-three years.
Live local programming, with the exception of news broadcasts, was largely a quaint memory of the past.
Nearly everything was now recorded on videotape or supplied by the network.
Bill Green says, "TV was kind of moving by him."
Eddie’s role at WLBZ had diminished as well.
Most of Eddie Driscoll’s live broadcasts were never captured. What tape remains is mostly of the later years,
when Eddie’s shtick was well-developed and familiar.
There’s no great record of Eddie’s body of work for scholars to reevaluate years from now,
Some scraps are preserved at Northeast Historic Film, but the vast majority was transmitted into space —
live, enjoyed and appreciated by his audience, and then gone.
Eddie’s personal legacy will be his two daughters, but Eddie Driscoll has left his fans with a lifetime of memories and laughter,
and the genius of his talent has created a common appreciation, a bond of community that all of us who fell under his spell,
especially those of us who were children at the time, can share and cherish for years to come.
by Chad Gilley
June 24, 2004
- Eddie Driscoll succombed to Alzheimer's disease on September 23, 2006.
The following are highlights from two of Eddie Driscoll's online obituaries:
- Associated Press, September 25, 2006 —
Eddie Driscoll, Longtime TV Personality in Maine
PORTLAND, Maine -- Eddie Driscoll, a longtime television personality who entertained Maine viewers with a madcap assortment of
characters for more than 30 years, died Saturday. He was 81.
Mr. Driscoll was a broadcasting pioneer who began his television career in 1954 at WTWO-TV in Bangor the day the station went on the air.
The station later became WLBZ-TV.
During the next three decades, Mr. Driscoll hosted numerous shows on live TV,
using slapstick humor in the vaudeville tradition.
His shows included "Dialing for Dollars," where he called people randomly at home and asked them questions for paltry cash prizes.
.... The show had a strong following and is mentioned in author Stephen King's books.
Mr. Driscoll's other shows included "Weird," "My Backyard," "The Great Money Movie," "Mason Mutt,"
and "The Supper-Time Super Show."
The characters he played included Lance Fleazy, Chef Eduardo, Zog the Robot, Hadley the Horrible, Bruce Budworm, and Aunt Margaret.
For his show "Weird," Mr. Driscoll played a space alien named Krandel.
A fan of vaudeville and film, he got his first job after responding to an ad for an announcer for WTWO.
From the 1950s through the 1970s, Mr. Driscoll was a mainstay of the station.
Much of his work, however, is lost because stations at the time didn't retain the hours of live TV because of economic constraints
- Bangor Daily News, Sunday, September 24, 2006 —
TV pioneer Eddie Driscoll dies at 81
By Doug Kesseli
Eddie Driscoll brought so many people so much laughter.
The unpredictable, nutty entertainer, whose puppetry and tomfoolery as well as more serious broadcasting spanned
more than three decades on Maine television, died Saturday. He was 81.
Quiet and more reserved when not on camera, Driscoll morphed into another personality, dozens of personalities over the years, once he hit the sound stage.
Through his slapstick, visual comedy style and quirky characters such as the baggy-dressed Margaret,
the dim-witted Bruce Budworm and the lovable Mason Mutt, Driscoll became a household name in Maine and the Maritime Provinces.
"It was an important part of growing up; you watched him every day," said Bill Green,
who grew up in Bangor watching Driscoll from afar and for 2 1/2 years in the early 1970s was a cameraman for Driscoll and his antics.
Green, host of "Bill Green's Maine," still can recite the introduction to Driscoll's
"Supper Time Super-Show" and he still has the code card used to send and receive coded messages from Driscoll's show "Weird."
The shows had lasting impact, even though many of them weren?t taped and are gone except for pictures and memories.
During the 33 years Driscoll had been on the air, he was in 26 series and amassed quite a following.
Author Stephen King told Driscoll upon the broadcaster's retirement in 1987 that his shows had warped King's childhood.
Driscoll retired from TV in 1987 when he began suffering from Alzheimer's disease.
In recent years, Driscoll lived at a nursing home in Portland. He was inducted into the Maine Association of Broadcasters Hall of Fame in 1996.
hosted horror movies
as several different
characters over his
long career at WLBZ2
in Bangor, Maine.