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Rabies, Dr.
(see DR. RABIES)

RANDY and RICHARD (Film Vault guys in hardhats)
(Randy Clower and Richard Malmos)
The Texas 27 Film Vault
Day? Time?
KDFI, Channel 27 (Dallas, Texas)
Mid-80s
Elena Watson's Television Horror Movie Hosts reference:
Described as a mid-80s show produced by Greg Bransom (who played PROFESSOR CERBERUS; see entry) in Ch. 18, "Professor Cerberus and the Museum of Horrors," p. 127.
NOTES:
  • Elena Watson's book Television Horror Movie Hosts describes the show like this:
    In the mid-eighties he (Greg Bransom; see PROFESSOR CERBERUS) also acted as producer on The Texas 27 Film Vault. This starred Richard Malmus (sic: should be Malmos ó E-gor) and Randy Clower as film hosts for bad and campy movies. The premise was that they were film vault technicians, first class, who worked in the lower depths of the film vault protecting stacks of films from "cellumites." Bransom occasionally appeared as the home-office inspector. The sets and costumes were patterned after the film Alien.
  • E-gorespondent "georgia" who introduced this show to the list, remembers:
    I lived in Dallas for a brief time in the mid-eighties and remember a show called the 'Film Vault' which featured two guys who lived underground in the film vault. They wore hard hats and jump suits and had various contraptions to take them around the cavernous vault which was, of course, filled with many of the movies which are so near to our hearts. They faced some sort of adversaries but I can't remember much about that. They would be visited by old movie or serial stars and I remember that Commando Cody (probably George Wallace, 'cause the other Cody, Judd Holdren, died in the 70's -- E-gor) came by a few times. Being from New Orleans, my true allegiance was to Dr. Morgus but I remember enjoying the Film Vault quite a bit. The two technicians were charming and funny and really got into the spirit of the movies they were showing. I'm really sorry that I can't tell you more. Perhaps someone from Dallas would remember. I still lived there when they did the last show. They knew they were going off the air because they talked about it and seemed pretty sad about it. I was sad too. It was the best thing on TV.
  • NOTES from Underground! Film Vault technician Randy Clower generously responded to our e-mail query with the following fabulous memories of the show!:
    This blows me away...people still remember all that. Cool.
    Oh, those Film Vault days...what memories. No budget and no shortage of fun.
    To answer some of your questions:
    We used our own names on the show, although never mentioning our last names. The whole "gag" of the show was to create this fictional world of gigantic film vaults under each major city in the United States staffed by "highly trained" vault specialists. Each vault was the size of...say..an aircraft carrier and linked with tunnels. Through these tunnels would travel high speed rocket cars called STV's (I think...can't recall). These were used for film transport. We also had "proppaks" which were like jet belts only propeller driven (???) and carried machine guns to fight off huge rats that might threaten the film librarys. And..so on and so on...as bizarre as we could make it BUT ALWAYS playing it very, very straight.
    The show was originally created by myself, Richard Malmos and Ken Miller (a brilliant set and effects designer who passed away in 1988). Richard and I had hosted a no-budget cable show called "The Trivia Guys" in Lewisville, Texas. We took that show and added a lot of special effects and such making it look rather high dollar for what we had to work with. This caught the eye of a PM Magazine producer who did a segment on us. That lead to Channel 27 calling us and asking if we might be interested in creating something for them. We were given full creative control but very little money. No problem...I think we were in it for the fun.
    Richard I still talk to although he lives in Kansas now and works as a radio and voiceover guy, doing very, very well. Rick and I have been pals since college, long before Vault so we stay closely in touch. Rick is also a very accomplished stage actor. You should hear his Shakespeare. Hard to imagine when you watch him on Vault.
    The vault concept wasn't our original plan. The first time Rick, Ken and I met to discuss what we were going to do (since channel 27 was waiting for an outline) we came up with the usual horror host look...creepy castle set, etc...but none of us were thrilled with this idea so we had a few beers and sat around my apartment for a few more hours. It hit me somewhere during that time to call it "Film Vault" and Ken looked up, cocked his head and instantly began sketching the set, the logos, and so forth long into the night. We knew right then we had the concept and channel 27 was truly blown away when we came in the next day for the presentation.
    Ken Miller was truly the quiet genius behind the look of the show. he built incredible sets and costumes using (literally) trash. His career was taking off during the final months of the Vault but for reasons that have never been clear, he committed suicide in 1988. He was a very close friend as well. In fact, my son is named for him. It was a terrible tragedy. I wish he were still here to read your e-mails about the show! Ken, by the way, played "Tex" on the show, the slow talkin' STV driver, a kind of Chuck Yeager of the rocket car film transport thingies. "Tex" was always saving the day somehow. Funny thing about Ken: he had all this background in theatre but was terrified on camera so he insisted on wearing dark aviator goggles in his persona as Tex. Strangely shy...
    We had a lot of funny moments on that show...it'll take me some time to recall it all for you. Some plot lines were extremely complex like one "proppak" incident, some rat attacks and so on. Also, interviewing Vincent Price was a huge deal for us.
    We had the usual artistic conflicts...Rick and I were forced at one time by the station to tie in with a local radio station personality. The radio mentions certainly helped the show but the dj who we had to put on the show during ratings periods was a complete boob. Lots of tension over that. Also, Richard..God bless 'em...was a wild back then. He'd show up for the show a tad tiddly. Never affected his performance tho..made it kinda fun. We were both a bit wild during that time and having a little cult show on at night opened a few doors around the Dallas area which we were all more than willing to go through and explore.
    The Film Vault also established a lot of careers around town for people. One young wanna-be effects artist wrote us a fan letter during the run of the show and we invited him down to play with us. He turned out to be brilliant and talented. Today, he's still working in the special effects and special make-up effects industry here in Dallas which he attributes to those lean days on the Vault set. In fact, Joe Riley is coming to my college this Friday to lecture to my film students so we obviously stay in touch.
    Greg Bransom joined the show later on and did a lot of incredible work promoting the show....I see Greg only on local TV ads from time to time playing a doctor for K Clinics. (Injured in an accident? call K Clinic!!)....I had no idea he had been a horror host. Thats news to me.
    One Greg gig was a late night movie opening of the Jeff Goldblum version of "The Fly". We were to show up as the FV guys at the movie theatre. People were told that if they dressed as vault personel, they'd get in free. Well, Rick and I weren't in a great mood that night...didn't really want to make any personal appearances that evening since we were both fighting with girlfriends and such...we grumbled all the way to the theatre. We really didn't expect much of a turnout.
    When we arrived, there was a line around the place and 50% of those in that line were dressed in Film Vault styled uniforms of their own creation, most of which were better than ours! We were FREAKED..Rick, who is usually the most extroverted guy you will ever meet in your life, got a panic attack and almost didn't go in. I loved it and drug him along until we were both having a blast with the crowd. It was our first realization that this tiny late night show actually reached people and that we had "fans". I think Rick felt for a moment that we didn't "deserve" such attention and geeked. But, like I said, we went in and had a great time. It was almost like Trekkies. Thse people started asking questions about film vault procedures and details of past shows until I was confused beyond measure! I couldn't grasp why they were so into it! But, you don't ask questions when things are going good so Rick, Ken and I just ran with the show until we got tired of it. That was basically it...we all started getting lots of work around town and couldn't keep up with the show. We all "retired" it peacefully.
    About 9 months later, we had a one night only Film vault reunion and showed some gremlins flick...we were told the ratings for that were incredible. That was fun but we decided not to bring it back anyway.
    We did flirt with syndication, of course. Unfortunately, we kept getting approached by really terrible producers who talked big and never delivered. No telling what we would have done if someone good had taken over the syndication negotiations. But, all of us left the Film vault days very happy and content. It was a completely positive experience for us and I kinda like the fact that it's remembered as this small, cult thing.
    I'd be happy to provide you with anything else you want. This is a kick. I had NO IDEA we were mentioned on the web or in books...no idea at all. I must see this material!
    Thanks for making my day!

RAVENA, THE GODDESS OF STONEHENGE and ANOK
(Ravena played first by Julianna McPherson, currently by Brandi Lynn Coppock; Anok played by Greg Martin)
See bio and vidcaps from the show ó and hundreds of images of a host of other horrors ó at the incredible Horror Host Gallery website, courtesy of video shockaeologist Thomas Rudé!
Friday Fright
Friday at 9 p.m.
KTCI Channel Three (TCI Cable)(Southeast Washington)
April 3, 1998 - September 25, 1998 (series of 26 shows)
Friday Fright
Friday night
B-Movie Cannel (cable)
?, 199? - ?, ????
Stone Circle Cinema
NOTE:
  • According to their original Friday Fright Web blurb, Ravena, the Goddess of Stonehenge, and her companion Anok awakened from a thousand-year spell to host Friday Fright on KTCI. Ravena is a beautiful, buxom blonde with a nasty sword. Anok is loyal and crazy. Together they present a series of wonderful, old, classic films and treat audience to an aged interpretation of current events.
  • The original Friday Fright schedule ("26 weeks of the campiest films you'll ever see!") included: Attack of the Giant Leeches, The Hideous Sun Demon, Atom Age Vampire, Women of the Prehistoric Planet, Night of the Living Dead, The Flying Saucer, The Unearthly Stranger, The Killer Shrews, Nightmare Castle, Devil Girl from Mars, White Zombie, Cosmic Man, Little Shop of Horrors, The Beast from Haunted Cave, The Astounding She Monster, The Bat, She-Demons, Teenagers from Outer Space, The Creature from the Haunted Sea, Atomic Blonde and Dementia 13, The Ape Man, Project Moonbase, Mesa of Lost Women, The Aztec Mummy and Plan 9 from Outer Space, The Beach Girls and the Monster, and The Monster from Green Hell.
  • According to the new Stone Circle Cinema Web site, "Ravena, Goddess of Stonehenge and her trusted companion Anok present some of the BEST classic horror & sci-fi films of the past. Plus, you never know what these two will come up with or who will stop by for a visit. Stone Circle Cinema will be coming to a TV channel near you real soon. Stop by for a visit!"

Reaper, The Grim
(see THE GRIM REAPER)

Reed, Warren *
(see WARREN REED and FRANKIE *)

REMO D.
(Shane M. Dallmann)
See Remo D.'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 Remo D. from the HHU archive of The Very Important Writings of A. Ghastlee Ghoul.

Remo D.'s Manor of Mayhem
Sunday Time?
Access Monterey Peninsula, Cable Channel 24 (Monterey, California)
January 2002 - Present
and guest-host appearances on The Horror Host Underground Network coast to coast!

Magazine reference:
NOTES:
  • Information from Remo D.'s Horror Host Underground Website profile:
    One of the new kids on the block! Remo D.'s Manor of Mayhem combines the two varieties of "horror host" shows ó the pure trivia / information variety popularized by Bob Wilkins and John Stanley, as well as the "anything goes" comic craziness supplied by the fiends I grew up with (most specifically Svengoolie, formerly the Son of Svengoolie).
    Remo D.'s Manor of Mayhem plays every Sunday on Monterey, California's cable channel 24 (Access Monterey Peninsula). Remo's alter-ego, Shane M. Dallmann, is a writer/reviewer for various genre publications ó currently he's a regular contributor to Video Watchdog magazine. He can also be found in back issues of Fangoria, Deep Red, Blood Times, Psychotronic Video, Video Junkie and the online Images, a journal of film and popular culture.
    The show debuted in January 2002 with a screening of the Paul Naschy classic Assignment Terror, and the second season kicked off on Sunday, July 7, 2002 with the Cameron Mitchell epic Maneater of Hydra. Manor of Mayhem is produced in association with the Barbary Coast Theatre and collaborators Gregg Galdo and Dave Deacon.


RENFIELD
(Real name = ?)

Sanguine-Day Night at the Movies
Saturday at 11 pm
WFFT-TV, Channel 55 (Fort Wayne, Indiana)
Mid 80s ("for a short time")

NOTES:

  • John Eschner provided the first information about this Hoosier host:
    For a short time in the middle eighties, WFFT 55 in Fort Wayne, Indiana had a late night show called Sanguine-Day Night at the Movies. It starred a character named Renfield (yes, inspired by the Dracula character) who broadcasted from the "Plazma Hotel." The show aired Saturday nights at 11PM and featured mostly Universal monster classics (1931 Dracula, etc.).
    I love your site! Thanks for archiving our Horror Host heritage!
  • Renfield's show came sometime after another show on WFFT called Nightmare Theatre hosted by THE SHROUD. According to a Ernie "Wil" Radcliffe, whose e-mail to another website fleshed out that entry, The Shroud's show eventually turned into an unhosted Shock Theatre. Renfield was introduced "to capitalize on the Elvira craze."

REX LANE
(Rex Lane)
The Late, Late, Late Show
Irregular schedule - Day? Time?
Cable public access Channel 53 (San Francisco, California)
March 20, 1999 - present
NOTE:
  • Michael Monahan submitted this new entry with details:
    I just stumbled across another host doing a public access show in San Francisco called The Late, Late, Late Show. His name is Rex Lane, and though not a horror host type per se (his show has a bachelor lounge motif), he does screen horror films (in this case, atmospheric terrors from Mexico) and has an unseen valet named Mr. X-Ray -- which adds an oddball ambience, at least.
    The camera tracks in on the door to his swinging bachelor pad over the opening credits. The door opens, revealing Rex casually lounging in a comfy chair, beckoning the audience to enter. As the show ends, the camera pulls back out of the room, and the door shuts once again. In between, Rex makes chit-chat, mostly relating to the films, and orders drinks from his mysterious valet....
    (From later e-mail>:
    I just received some tapes of the irregularly scheduled show. Three have been broadcast so far: Neutron vs The Death Robots (03/29/99), Black Sabbath (05/31/99) & Invasion of the Vampires (06/29/99).
    Rex lives in a swinging bachelor pad somewhere near "the cemetary." Apparently he's Satan's next door neighbor, as his room # is 667. An opening title scroll presents an engraved invitation to join Rex for his latest foray into Late, Late, Late Show territory.
    A feminine hand knocks on his door. Rex bids Mr X-Ray, his faithful unseen valet, to answer. "Ah, it's you", says Rex (in traditional Hef 'Playboy After Dark' style). "I'm so glad you could make it. Mr X-Ray, please take our guest's coat." The leopard skin jacket is passed from the unseen owner to the unseen valet. A call for drinks sends Mr X-ray to the bar, while Rex introduces the evening's program. He gives a brief plot summary and a few background facts as Mr X-Ray passes him is martini and starts the film.
    As this is a public access program, there are no sponsers, but Rex occassionally interrupts the film with vintage commercials (Ipana toothpaste, etc) and a bit more host material.
    Rex notes Bob Wilkens as a major influence for his hosting style. Indeed, he is a low-key presenter. The swinging lounge surroundings, vintage commercial, and off-screen cast are the only exotic touches, and give the program a real personality. Good to see someone continuing the tradition, and finding a unique way of doing it.

RHONDA SHEAR
Visit Rhonda Shear's Official Home page.
See Rhonda Shear's Internet Movie Database entry.
USA Up All Night
Friday at midnight
USA Network (cable)
199? - 199? (more than eight years)
NOTE:
  • GILBERT GOTTFRIED hosted movies on this show on Saturday nights.
  • Movies shown were often not horror films -- but often enough for this list.

Richard or Richard Malmos
(see RANDY and RICHARD)

ROBBIN GRAVES
(see next entry, "Robin Graves," for a different character on another show)
(Mike Stephens)
Horrible Movies
Saturday at midnight
WJCL-TV, ABC Channel 22 (Savannah, Georgia)
1970 - c. 1975
NOTES:
  • Great e-mail introducing this host from a person connected with the show!:
    I'm Paul Wolfe, former television anchorman and program director of WJCL TV in Savannah, Georgia. One of my fond memories of the station in the early seventies was helping to produce a TV show called "Horrible Movies" starring Mike Stephens as ROBBIN GRAVES. Mike in real life was a Savannah policeman who just happened to be quite a ham. Somehow we came up with the idea of him dressing up in a funny skirt made of chains and doing his thing with the name "Robbin Graves." Since the movies we showed were from a very cheap package of old horror flics ó the name "Horrible Movies" really fit. Each week we would try to make the most of them with very campy shows.
    Robbin Graves came off as a very loveable, talented and weird person. The show presented many fresh ideas including always having Robbin shown on the screen in reverse polarity or as a negative picture. We also used chroma key, a now common green screen effect where Robbin could go anywhere while never leaving the studio. Another innovative idea was having Robbin sing songs with original lyrics made up from current hit songs. One line that comes to mind from the song "Windy" was "Who's cooking rats on the barbecue grill ó everyone knows it's Robbin." The show ran each Saturday night from midnight until from 1970 till around 1975. Mike now gives tours of historic Savannah and I do voice overs for radio and television.
    Paul Wolfe.

Robin Graves
(see BARON VON WOLFSTEIN)

RODERICK and VAMPIRA (II)
(Jack Whitaker [John Milton Whitaker, died in 2003]; Phyllis Ranson [now Phyllis Child] )
Shock!
Saturday at 10:30 pm / Midnight
KUTV, Channel 2 (Salt Lake City, Utah)
1958-1959
Mystery Mansion
Day? Time?
KSL-TV, Channel 5 (Salt Lake City, Utah)
1964

Magazine reference:

  • SHOCK! TV listing ad with picture of Roderick holding skull (see sidebar), with "monster memories" discussion by Mike Gelino, published in Scary Monsters magazine No. 6, March 1993, page 39.

NOTES:

  • Information extracted from Mike Gelino's letter in Scary Monsters, cited above:
    The year was 1958, I was eight years old, and I vividly remember being introduced to horror films by Roderick, the old Shock Theater film host in Salt Lake City, Utah. The Mummy's Hand was the featured film on Shock Theater, and the impact of the film on me was so great that it created a lifelong love of horror films.
    Roderick hosted Shock Theater on Channel 2 from 1958 to 1959, and later returned to television for a brief appearance on Channel 5 hosting Mytery Mansion (1964). Roderick then disappeared from television, and with the exception of one final appearance on a Halloween make-up show for children, has not been heard of since.
    Funny thing, despite the availability of over three-hundred titles in my horror film library, I kind of miss those wonderful Saturday nights. Impatiently waiting for the news to end and the familiar opening scene from Citizen Kane to announce the presence of my dear friend Roderick.
  • E-gorespondent David Humes from Seattle WA sent a great lead related to this host and his show:
    A friend of mine claims her mother, Phyllis Child, co-hosted with Roderick -- she was some sort of Vampira clone.
    When I wrote to him and asked him if he could find out more information, he was very helpful; he forwarded my e-mail to his friend, who told him her Mother was "most excited to correspond" with me! In August 2005 he wrote again:
    Phyllis has asked me to forward this to you; I hope you find it as fun and interesting as I did. Thanks for your interest.
  • Phyllis L. Child's memories of co-hosting Shock Theater with Roderick as "Vampira" are VERY interesting, to say the least!:
    About my stint at KUTV, Channel 2:

    When I started to work at Channel 2 in September 1958 I was going by my married name, Ranson. KUTV was an ABC station, but a year or so later there was a big shakeup and it became Salt Lakeís NBC station. Channel 4, KTVT, became the ABC affiliate. It was a big deal to make it to NBC and when the station went to color a few years earlier they used the Peacock at every opportunity. Many people in the business played musical chairs between the three TV stations in Salt Lake City. I had several friends at KSL, which was only two or three doors down the street, and at the radio stations along Social Hall Avenue. Although working there was the most fun to be had while employed, I left my employment at Channel 2 at the end of 1960 to work for a newly-elected Salt Lake County Commissioner.

    I was at Channel 2 in pre-video years. Videotape use was in its infancy and everything was done live. According to my friend who was an engineer there, KUTV didnít begin to use videotape until later.... probably not until sometime in 1961. He said they might have used the big bulkier tapes, but doubts that any were kept because of storage problems with them. Iíve tried to get in touch with a couple of other people I worked with, but havenít made contact with anyone else....

    John Milton Whitaker is the correct name, but no one at the station called him anything but Jack. He died in 2003; I have a copy of the obituary from a Salt Lake city paper....

    Hereís how I became involved: A year or so after I started working at the station, [I met?] Jack Whitaker, a schoolteacher who worked mostly during the late afternoon show for children. He played the role of Kimbo the Clown. One day Jack mentioned he had been assigned to host the lead-ins for the Saturday night horror movies, to be called Shock Theater. Jack planned to call himself "Roderick" for the show, and asked me to be "Vampira," his girlfriend. I asked what my role would involve and he told me all Iíd have to do was stand and stare! I said Iíd try it, it sounded like fun to me. I would have to furnish my own wardrobe for the show; I asked him what would be appropriate. He said a long, white dress would be the best choice. The only item in my closet that was long and white was my wedding dress, which Iím sorry to admit, had no sentimental value to me. I couldnít afford to buy a dress or even fabric to make one, so my wedding dress had its second life as a costume for a spook show!

    Late every Saturday night for the next several months I went to the station and appeared as Vampira at midnight. It was terrific fun and often so hilarious I had difficulty not breaking up. There was no script as such; it was a seat-of-the-pants thing. Jack (Roderick) led us and we followed. The other "supporting actors" were station prop boys, Jerry (I don't remember the surname) and Ollie Hunter. Jerry played the part of "Igor" and Ollie was a big hulk who merely wandered around in the background. The music used came from opera or classical selections and Jack handled that, too.

    Usually at the beginning of the movie Vampira would be put into a coffin, and Jack would close the lid and the movie would begin; in a subsequent break he directed Jerry and Ollie to raise the lid of the coffin and assist me in my exit. Roderick made comments all the while about what was happening in the movie and what was coming. We had only one and a half minutes for the break (oh, the joys of early TV!) so there was no pre-planned programming at all. During other breaks I got out and stood staring, as he had promised I would. The hardest part was keeping my eyes steady and trying not to laugh! Since Jack nearly always arrived just seconds before the lead-in break, we seldom ever had a clue what was expected of us. His instructions for my appearances came willy-nilly. One night I was caught in mid-question just as the red light went on (indicating we were on the air). "What am I to be doing?" I was asking and Roderick replied, "Just stare, my dear, just stare!" When the light came on to indicate the movie was rolling, the guys in the control room were yukking it up hilariously!

    Nearly every Saturday night [my daughers] Paula and Cindy had begged to stay awake so they could see me on television; when I finally gave permission for them to do so they fell asleep before midnight! I donít think they ever saw me as Vampira and to my regret, no photos exist that I know of. My friends then didnít accompany me to my gigs.

    Jack and I (to a much lesser extent than he) achieved a minor fame around town. Halloween night (probably 1959), "Roderick" pushed the coffin containing "Vampira" for a block. I was "driven" all the way down State Street from Social Hall Avenue and into the lobby of the Lyric Theatre, where I ascended from the coffin and we made a "personal appearance" prior to the movie. An unruly throng of teenagers and a few adults was gathered at the Lyric to applaud us and a big cheer went up as I exited the coffin. I felt like a bona fide celebrity!
   

Salt Lake City Shock Theater host Roderick

Original Utah
Shock Theater host
Roderick on KUTV,
Ch. 2, Salt Lake City.
Image adapted from a
TV listing ad published
in Scary Monsters
magazine, courtesy of
Mike Gelino. Click
image to see complete
original ad.


Rodney *
(see THE HOST (I) and RODNEY *)

Roger, Sir
(see SIR ROGER)

ROLAND *
(pronounced Ro-LAND; see also ZACHERLEY)
(John Zacherle)

See all John Zacherle products for sale at Amazon.com.
See all Zacherley products for sale at Amazon.com.

Discover real TREASURES on the fabulous Broadcast Pioneers of Philadelphia Website:


Action in the Afternoon
Live half-hour daytime western serial
February 2, 1953 - January 29, 1954
The Shock Theatre, later shortened to Shock Theatre (live broadcasts)
Monday and Tuesday late-night (11:25); changed to Friday and Saturday late-night
October 7, 1957 - September 13, 1958
WCAU-TV, Channel 10 (Philadelphia, Pennsylvania)
The Return of Roland
One-shot program broadcast from Roland's original set and same studio
date?, 1985
WCAU-TV, Channel 10 (Philadelphia, Pennsylvania)
Live on City Line Avenue
John Zacherle appeared as a guest to honor Roland's 30th anniversary
date?, 1987
WCAU-TV, Channel 10 (Philadelphia, Pennsylvania)
Saturday Night Dead
Roland appeared as a special guest of this show's hostess STELLA (Karen Scioli).
date?, 1988?
KYW-TV, Channel 3 (Philadelphia, Pennsylvania)

Elena Watson's Television Horror Movie Hosts reference:
frequently mentioned (pp. 22, 31, 33, 35, 204); picture on p. 23.

Other book references:

  • The Zacherley Scrapbook by John Skerchock. Copyright 2001 by Dark Dungeon Enterprises, P.O Box 733, Bellefonte, PA 16823. A monstrously beautiful squarebound paperback with 126 pages shockful of indispensable pictures and information about all aspects of John Zacherle's career ó Roland and Zacherley fans MUST have this book!

  • Zacherly for President -- "A Photographic Interview with Zacherly (sic)" by Dick Watson John Elliot and Dick Strome assisted by Syd Rubin. The Macaulay Company Publishers Inc., New York, 1960. 90-page digest-sized squarebound paperback with comical photos of Zach serving as graphic answers to questions posed in a political interview "conducted in the abandoned sewer which serves as Mr. Zacherly's campaign headquarters." A two-page postscript outlines Zach's platform e.g.: "EDUCATION: Zacherley television lectures will replace the present school system. All schools will be converted to bat sanctuaries. Kids will learn the new way of life while watching these intriguing T.V. programs. Reading writing, and arithmetic will be taught on one minute spot commercials sponsored by the Transylvanian Creatures Party." Out of print; sometimes available (pricey) from monsterzine dealers.

  • Zacherle! by Gordon R. Guy. Copyright 1987 by Gordon R. Guy Coffin Box 423, Glastonbury Connecticut 06033. 52-page digest-sized squarebound privately printed paperback. Chockful of all sorts of John Zacherlebilia and heavily illustrated. May be out of print but well worth tracking down (try inquiring about it at Chiller Theatre's Zacherley website).

Magazine references:

  • John Zacherle's early career as a host was discussed in detail in "Spoofing the Spooks" in the TV-Radio section of Newsweek, April 6, 1959. (p. 98). A rather complete article describing Zach's history until that time, with emphasis on the New York ABC affiliate giving him a better time slot (Friday and Saturday nights) as well as changing the show's name from "Shock Theater" to "Zacherley at Large". Includes two photographs of John Zacherle in and out of make-up.

  • Featured in "Night Harbingers of Horror" in the 26 May 1958 issue of Life magazine (pp 63-68). Includes a photograph (page 64) and descriptive caption.

  • John Zacherle pictured in and out of character (2 photos), show and personal life discussed on half-page (42) of feature article "TV's Nightmares" in February 1959 issue of TV Star Parade, pp. 39-42.

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

  • Feature with 30 pictures of John Zacherle in and out of costume, "An Interview with the 'Cool Ghoul' Himself...John Zacherle" by Jim Knusch, in issue #14 (March/April 1989) of Filmfax, pp. 32-39, 94.

  • Discussed, with cartoon likeness in group drawing, in feature "Monster Mania '57" by Greg Theakston in issue #3 (March-April 1991) of Pure Images, pp. 2-11, 25-28.

  • "T.V. Horror Host Gallery" portrait photo on inside back cover of issue #3 (Summer 1996) of Monsters from the Vault.

NOTES:

  • John Zacherle played the long-black-frock-coated undertaker character "Grimy James" just once on Action in the Afternoon though he played many other parts throughout the series, working his way up to a co-starring part. When WCAU purchased the SHOCK! package and were looking for a weird host for the live broadcasts, Zacherle allegedly didn't need to audition because they remembered him in that part and still had the coat!

  • According to BPP's Webpage listing all the movies shown on Shock Theatre (see link above), John Zacherle starred as Roland on all but two of the live broadcasts: Friday, April 18, 1958 and Saturday, April 19, 1958. These shows were hosted by Roland's wife, "My Dear," because Zacherle was on strike for a raise in salary!
    Does anybody know who filled in as "My Dear?"
     

Autographed photo ofJohn Zacherle as Roland!

John Zacherle as "Roland" in Philadelphia -- the King of Horror Hosts in his first incarnation (see also ZACHERLEY).
Click for larger view.


RONALD *
(Jerry Sandford)

Shock Theatre
Friday, 11:30 p.m.
WVEC-TV, Channel 13 (Norfolk-Hampton, Virginia)
195? - 196?

Elena Watson's Television Horror Movie Hosts reference: mentioned in Ch. 3, "Invasion of the Ghost Hosts," pp. 28-29; TV ad with picture used as frontispiece.

NOTES:

  • Debbie Painter was encouraged by our mutual fiend and fellow monster fan Jeff Roberts to send her memories of Ronald:
    Ronald was a ghoul who rose up out of his casket each Friday night at 11: 30 and said, "Good evening, friends!" in a high and sepulchral voice. He then introduced the movie of the week, and the show consisted of skits between the commercials and the movie.

    Others who assisted Ronald in his dungeon were the Cool Ghoul, a funny beatnik character, and a young woman dressed in normal clothes. I cannot recall her name.

    Ronald's movies included SON OF DRACULA, BRIDE OF FRANKENSTEIN, THE WOLF MAN, BEAST WITH A MILLION EYES, TRAUMA, FROM HELL IT CAME, THE THING THAT COULDN'T DIE, KING KONG and SON OF KONG. Those are specific titles I remember from childhood. The Shock Theater series ran on WVEC in Norfolk, Virginia and I recall watching it as late as 1967. It may have been broadcast after that, but if so, I do not remember seeing it. I do recall that by the late 1960s the show was airing the drive-in films of the 1950s like THE THING THAT COULDN'T DIE and BEAST WITH A MILLION EYES frequently, and not showing older Universal horror.

    Jerry Sandford, who played Ronald, was a busy fellow, because once a week he played Ronald, but five times a week during the daytime he was "Bungles," an Emmett Kelly type clown for a show of the same name. On this WVEC-TV series, he played more of a straight man to various loony characters. He showed childrens' fare such as THE THREE STOOGES and THE MUNSTERS well into the late 1970s.
  • Elena M. Watson, who wrote the wonderful book that inspired this site, Television Horror Movie Hosts -- 68 Vampires, Mad Scientists and Other Denizens of the Late-Night Airwaves Examined and Interviewed, was from Norfolk, and the illustration on the frontispiece of her book is a promotional picture of Ronald.

Roy Hoggins, Uncle
(see UNCLE ROY HOGGINS)

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