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Weekend Discussion Thread: Your Local Horror Host

Alert regular Timmy brings up a question that is JUST BARELY on-topic, but fun…:

When you were all growing up (this one is for mainly our older residents but you young’uns can post too), what was your local creature feature host/show.By the time I was old enough to stay up late (also had my own TV in my room), the local creature feature had gone the way of the DuMont Television Network. There are however some local public access shows on where I live that does creature features (even showed “Space Travellers” of all things) which I watch off and on. So with that in mind, what was your local host?

If you want to know more about the old horror hosts, I recommend a terrific documentary called “American Scary.” Joel is in it, briefly, by the way.

I grew up in the Philadelphia area, and the one I remember best was the great Dr. Shock. But there was also a show in our area when I was a kid called “FRIGHT FLICKS” which was notorious because the graphic for the show was a tombstone with those two words, in capital letters, written on it, shot at just that right angle so that the L and I in the word FLICKS kind of… never mind.

Who was your favorite host?

115 Replies to “Weekend Discussion Thread: Your Local Horror Host”

  1. littleaimishboy says:



  2. dorktales says:

    hmmm, In Baltimore I don’t think any local station had a creature feature personality, at least not when I was young, but WDCA 20 in Washington had Count Gore de Vol (sp?).Very corny, had horrible make-up, but I watched fairly often in my early teens.

    Also, not a horror host, but in Baltimore we had Captain Chesapeake and his sidekick Mondy the sea monster to show us our afternoon cartoons>

    Apparently Captain Chesapeake moonlighted as “Ghost Host” on Saturday nights. Here’s a clip:

    I was a huge Captain Chesapeake fan, but I don’t remember ever coming across Ghost Host. I think I was a bit too young to be allowed to stay up that late.


  3. EricJ says:

    Johnny’s nonchalance:
    BTW: Trace and Frank’s podcast has 4 episodes now. Movie Sign with the Mads is great! Let’s get some more love for it on Satellite News.
    a href=”″ rel=”nofollow”>
    They are not just sticking with new releases, either. The last two were The Warriors (come out and play-ay!) and Valley of the Dolls.

    It would be nice to hear some heterosexual heckling of Valley of the Dolls, for a change.


  4. hortense says:

    Dorktales -That’s cool, I didn’t know about that, guess I was all grow’d up by then :-)


  5. Rachel says:

    Well, a tale of TWO horror hosts, Tom Leahy of Wichita and Uncle Ed Muscare of Kansas City. Both had extremely long careers in local TV; Tom’s horror host career spanned, off and on, forty years. Tom was tall, rugged-looking, and did a killer John Wayne imitation. He began appearing as The Host (just, “The Host”) in black and white, in the fifties. That came back in color; his usual shtick was Frankenstein-monster makeup, which worked well, because Tom was built along the lines of Glenn Strange.

    He also did a kiddie show in the afternoon, one of the last ones in the country, as Major Astro, appearing in an space suit. He held on to that job ‘way too long, and by the nineties you could tune in to see silver pressure suit with an incredibly wrinkled old guy’s head sticking out of it. Tom died in 2010, beloved by pretty much everyone who knew him.

    AND IF YOU’RE A TRUE BELIEVER, A CONNOISSEUR OF REALLY BAD MOOVIES, YOU KNOW HIM, TOO. Tom played Captain J. W. Duke in the infamous “King Kung Fu.” It’s available, right now, on YouTube, in its entirety. For some unknown reason, probably contractual obs, he’s not on the cast list, which is a shame, because he’s really the only reason to watch the damn thing.

    Uncle Ed Muscare (also worked as “Muscari”) did the same kind of thing in Kansas City, which even pre-cable was translated down to Wichita. He had both a kiddie show and a horror-host show, the latter sometimes in vampire makeup. He was twisted, funny, and original, and HE invented the Bananaphone–don’t listen to any claims otherwise.

    Uncle Ed, in the early eighties, was the reason we would gather with beer and pizza at my place in Wichita on Saturday nights, to watch some of the best of the worst. More than ten years before MST came to be, we got to see The Brain That Couldn’t Die, loaded with adult beverages, and one of us started calling Dr. Bill’s frantic charge up the hillside with his girlfriend’s head, Jan on her way to the Pan, as perhaps the greatest broken-field run in the history of the sport of football. Beery hysteria ensued.

    And From Hell It Came. OMG. That wasn’t out on VHS OR DVD for decades, and we all had to survive on only the memories of the roar that went up when Murray the Native leans in to the discussion and, in absolute seriousness, tells the white men that, “The natives call it–Tabonga!”

    Thank you, Uncle Ed, for giving us that. Uncle Ed is also all over YouTube, in many forms.

    Unfortunately, things went very badly when he retired. You can Wiki Uncle Ed Muscare (which will roll over to his YouTube Channel name, “Edarem,” but I’ll guarantee it won’t make you any more cheerful.

    What a great topic, though.

    I’m KCMO born and raised.I vaguely remember Uncle Ed through promos of his show, but I don’t think I was old enough to watch it. I recently went down the Google rabbit hole for KC horror/TV hosts, and read about all that stuff he did. Wow. :pain:
    Don’t think I’ve heard of Tom Leahy – gonna have to look him up. Thanks! :-)


  6. Rachel says:

    I missed this topic the first time around, and I’m glad it’s made a comeback – I love horror hosts. ‘American Scary’ is well worth a watch. :-D
    In Kansas City, we had Crematia Mortem, a ghostess with the mostess who lived in a weird basement dungeon covered in scary paraphanelia. She had two offscreen, unseen helpers: Rasputin and Dweeb. She used to scare the crap out of me with her echo-ey voice (still does), but I remember she showed ‘Gamera’, ‘The Tingler’, and other ‘classics’. I first saw ‘The Uninvited’ with Ray Milland on her show, and to this day it’s one of my favorite movies. Here’s an example of her humor:
    Another KC horror show was ‘Friday Fright Night’on KCTV 5 with the voice (and creepy laugh) of local broadcaster Hugh Bowman. Here’s a clip:
    I watched ‘Up All Night’, ‘MonsterVision’ (with Joe Bob Briggs) and ‘Commander USA’ on occasion, and Elvira, briefly, when she was syndicated. There was also a syndicated show hosted by the voice of John Carradine called ‘Haunted Hollywood’ that mostly showed creaky old B&W Poverty Row horrors. I’m sure ‘The Corpse Vanishes’ was one of them. Nowadays, I watch Svengoolie pretty regularly, and Count Gore DeVol (from Washington DC) and Mr Lobo are on Vimeo. Count Gore (aka Richard Dyszel) was the sleazy mayor in ‘The Alien Factor’, and recently the subject of his own documentary, ‘Every Other Day is Halloween’, which I highly recommend checking out.


  7. goalieboy82 says:

    Johnny’s nonchalance:
    I was a kid in the Twin Cities in the 1980s, so…

    Joel Robinson and his robots ARE my local host.

    Go to bed, old man!

    sounds like a fun show. what ever happen to it?


  8. asdfsd says:

    In South Florida early 90s/late80s-ish there was a guy on channel 19 “The Night Creature Feature”. I remember seeing Robot Monster on it. Some guy in a grandpa munster type cheap vampire get up I think. Been a while.

    On youtube there’s a bunch of episodes of “A Platicar A Su Casa”, which isn’t quite a horror host show but… I dunno. Seems familiar somehow.


  9. Sitting Duck says:

    In the Virginia Creepers documentary, there was this Bowman Body clip that would have been at home on the MST3K Poopie Reel. In it, Bowman and the guy with him were talking about the Frightful Five, a horror host basketball team that did exhibition matches at area high schools. Anyway, Bowman had a basketball as a prop and at one point passed it to the other guy. He doesn’t catch it and it rolls off, but they keep going. One of the stage crew thinks that Bowman will be wanting the ball back and throws it over. However, Bowman doesn’t notice this and gets hit by the ball, loses his balance, and falls into his prop coffin.


  10. SQ says:

    Kenneth Morgan: Which PBS station was that, Channel 44 or 46?I only remember seeing him on WNEP.

    I forgot he was on WVIA – channel 44 – until I found the you tube clips of him. I always associated him with WNEP as well.


  11. BG-19 says:

    Here in Columbus, Ohio, I grew up on Fritz the Nite Owl. Luckily, we have another horror host taking over the reins now – Dr. Bob Tesla! His show is a little … odd for a horror host. It’s a free live show at the Gateway Film Center on the second Saturday of the month.

    Check him out here –


  12. Richard the Lion-footed says:

    WDCA Channel 20 and “Gore De Vol !!!”
    This poor guy did everything on that station BEFORE it turned into a Fox affiliate.
    He was Bozo, Captain 20 (for the after school kids program) hosted the evening movie, and on Saturday nights was the horror host. In my youth I could not figure out how he changed clothes so fast.


  13. Tico Sante says:

    Cleveland MSTie here, member No. 35219, paper newsletter subscriber. Grew up on horror hosts, with Superhost, The Ghoul, Son of Ghoul, Elvira, and the ultimate, Big Chuck & Lil’ John, which is a direct descendant of the Ghoulardi show. BC&LJ are actually still on, in a skits-only version on Saturday afternoon (Couch Potato Theater). Also had various shows like ‘Scream Theater’ on channel 61. A note about Elvira – had a huge influence on my horror/cheesy movie love. To my knowledge she was the first, and the only, broadcast TV host who showed Cozzi’s “Alien Contamination” and the classic Spanish horror flick “Tombs of the Blind Dead” in uncut and unedited form.

    Keep Circulating The Tapes.


  14. steve dyer says:

    1970’s Dr. Paul Bearer in Tampa, Fl.; he later was assistant to “the Undertaker” for WWE wrestling… I liked his props( One was a bucket of “Kentucky Fright Chicken”).


  15. Suzanne says:

    Mississippi in the early ’90s had Margali Morwentari hosting Thriller Theater. Can’t say I watched much, but I remember Margali (and her alter ego Niels) from area cons. She was pretty funny.


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