E-gor's Chamber of TV Horror Hosts header graphic

A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z Index Tomb

(Use the navigation bar above to display the alphabetical host info on other pages)

Corrections? New information? E-mail E-gor!

Start of B Listings

Barclay, John *

(Hy Ullner [died January 3, 2007: see obituary] and Willie Thall [died January 3, 2005])

Shock Theatre
Friday night at 11:30
WCPO-TV, Channel 9 (Cincinnati, Ohio)
Early '60's

Magazine reference:

  • According to Dan Sweet's letter in Scary Monsters #10:
    Our Shock Theatre hosts here in Cincinnati were the Bargain City Kid and Willie Thall. The Kid wore cap guns and a silly cowboy hat. The show was sponsored by Rink's Bargain City, and was shown on Friday nights. Channel 9 also showed wrestling broadcasts locally on Saturday afternoons. This was in the days of Dick the Bruiser, BoBo Brazil, and the original Sheik. Many times these wrestlers would show up on Shock. It was always a thrill to see the Sheik throwing the merchandise the hosts were promoting and screaming in "Arabic"! To an eight-year-old boy these were times to savor and wait up for.
  • Dan Sweet E-goresponded with further details:
    B.C.& W.T. would hype what was on sale that week at Rink's Bargain City (The Kid owned the store business). Once the original Sheik (professional wrestler) showed up & proceeded to bite & rip the clothing being hyped & supposedly broke Thall's arm!....
    (See correction in next note — E-gor)
    After the Friday night Shock Theatre was played out WCPO started showing the same movies on Saturday afternoon with no host, just an opening montage of scenes from the Universal Horror films to open the show. It used to make me angry that the movies were cut to fit a 90 minute time slot, so after the credits there would usually be a jump cut & the opening scene was removed. When the movie was Ghost of Frankenstein or Frankenstein Meets The Wolfman you missed out on some of the best scenes of the film.
  • Linda Giglio supplied great additional information — and enabled my hearing from the Bargain City Kid himself! — via E-gorespondence she initiated in 2005, slightly adapted below:
    The Bargain City Kid's real name is Hy Ullner, he resides in Wyoming (Cincinnati, Ohio), and talks fondly of those days. Sadly Willie Thall is no longer living.
    Actually it was the Bargain City Kid's arm that was supposed to have been broken by the Sheik. This was verified today by Mr. Ullner (aka The Bargain City Kid). He enjoyed viewing your reference to his antics so many years ago.
    Linda kindly obtained and sent me the signed photo on the sidebar to share with the many fans of the Bargain City Kid and Willie Thall.

  • William Pearson was the first to report the sad news of Hy Ullner's death in January, 2007.

  • An appreciative obituary by my monstrously multi-talented friend Joe Busam was posted in the "Final Farewells" forum of the great Classic Horror Film Board at ezboard.com. Joe kindly permitted me to reprint his CHFB post from 1/6/07 here:
    The Bargain City Kid

    Yesterday's local paper announced the death of Hyman Ullman. As founder of Rink's Bargain City, a local discount department store, he acted as host as well as sponsor for several local TV shows in the early 60's. As co-host of Shock Theatre on Ch 9 Fridays at 11:30, (along with Cincinnati broadcast pioneer Willie Thall), he could be considered Cincinnati's first horror movie host. I still fondly remember seeing him and Willie clowning around during the breaks of Secret of the Blue Room, Ghost of Frankenstein and Night Monster, all the while flinging pots, pans, mens undershirts and whatever was on sale at Rink's that week at the camera. The next day they'd be at it again hosting Big Time Wrestling.

    His death notice (by Rebecca Goodman) appeared in the "Cincinnati Enquirer" on Friday, January 5, 2007; for the complete article and a photo go to this link:

    Fun-loving Hyman Ullner founded Rink's, did TV ads

    Joe Busam
    Monster Kid Home Movies
    (E-gor here, with a quick plug for Joe's award-winning Monster Kid Home Movies DVD, linked immediately above. It's a fabulously entertaining compilation of vintage amateur monster movies by several generations of "Monster Kids" — guaranteed to be the most fun monster fans can have with their clothes on! Check it out at the link above.)

  • When I asked Joe to let me use his Hy Ullner obit on this site, he responded immediately with MORE great memories!:
    I still vividly recall the opening of Shock. It was stock footage of a full moon with wisps of clouds as Todd Hunter intoned the following.
    It is the hour of terror.
    It is the hour of doom.
    It is time for SHOCK.
    When werewolves walk the streets,
    and monsters roam the countryside.
    And tonight our story...
    At this point they would run a few seconds of the main title from whatever the feature was that night. They would then cut to a title card where the name Rink's would burn in over a black background, very much in the same manner as the main title for The Thing. Hunter's voiceover returned in an ominous chant....
    Rinks!  Rinks!  RINK'S BARGAIN CITY!
    And now here are yours hosts —
    The Bargain City Kid and Willie Thall.
    I was always bothered by the fact that they said "werewolves walked the street and monsters roam the countryside" when it seems it should be the other way around.

    I was also trying to recall their theme song that they would close both Shock and Big Time Wrestling:
    We're the Kids from Bargain City.
    Bargain City's famous stores.
    Where you save a lot of money,
    every time they open up their doors.
    We'll be back next week with more of (movies or wrestling, depending on the show)....
    And that's all I can remember. Hopefully someday I'll remember the rest. It would be great too if a kinescope of them from either show would turn up, but I'd say chances are slim as both shows were live.

    One other thing I vividly recall. Before Shock debuted, the movie slot on Friday night was called Queen City Theatre, and when the first Shock movie was announced (Frankenstein, of course), it was still listed as Queen City Theatre. Whether or not the boys were on the first night I don't know for sure. Despite looking forward to it all week and staying up for the event, I was too scared to watch and walked through the living room just long enough to see Frankenstein and Fritz digging up the body. What a chicken-shit!
  • More musical memories of the show, courtesy of fan Robert Cumming from Jamestown, Kentucky:
    In regard to Cincinnati Shock Theater's host sponsor Rink's Bargain City, the host's theme song lyrics were:
    I'll tell you what you oughta do,
    Go to Rinka Dinka Dinka Do,
    and save your money,
    Rinka Dinka Dinka Do,
    there's lots of bargains,
    Rinka Dinka Dinka Do,
    there's lots of parking
    Rinka Dinka Dinka Do!

The Bargain City Kid and Willie Thall

The Bargain City Kid (Hy Ullner, r.) and Willie Thall (l.), hosts of Shock Theatre on WCPO-TV, Channel 9 in Cincinnati, Ohio.
Photo autographed by Hy Ullner courtesy of Linda Giglio.
Click for larger view.

(Glenn Fisher)
Shock Theater
Saturday night at 10:30
WLTV, Channel 13 (Bowling Green, Kentucky)
? -- December 15, 1962 -- ?

  • This entry and the picture of Baron Bloode on the sidebar come to us courtesy of Deborah Hartman, who was offering on eBay a copy of a regional issue of TV GUIDE (December 15, 1962) containing information and an ad about this host. She was kind enough to digitize the ad for us when I asked her to, writing:
    I did sell the TV guide, but not before I took a digital picture of the 1/4 page Baron Bloode ad. I'm attaching it to this email, saved as a JPG file at 300 dpi. I visited your website, and your venture is indeed a noble one! ,,,, I'm sorry I couldn't provide more info than what I was able to on the Baron. I'll look through the remaining TV Guides I have and see if they have any other information. Again, many thanks, and keep up the great work!
  • Googling for more information about Baron Bloode, I serendipitously found a webpage about motivational humorist / actor / writer George Goldtrap, whose bio mentions that early in his career he forecasted for "WLTV, Channel 13 in Bowling Green, KY, a station Goldtrap helped build." I sent Mr. Goldtrap e-mail to see if he could tell me anything about the Baron, and got this reply within a few hours!:
    Your inquiry is most interesting, for I have wondered many times whatever became of Glenn Fisher, Baron Bloode of Shock Theater, with whom I worked for two delightful years at WLTV. Glenn was one of a kind. A unique personality, cigar smoking, talented actor who could take on the persona of most anyone or anything. He hosted movies nightly and horror flicks on Saturday night and a variety of other announcing and art chores during the week. I left WLTV in 1964 .... Glenn stayed awhile, not sure how long, before he too vacated TV 13. I have no idea where he went but would sure love to know.

    (Here he provided names and contact info for a number of old associates who might have information. — E-gor)

    That's the best I can offer and I do so hoping that should you locate Glenn, you will share your findings with me. He was a talented co-worker and I would be delighted to renew my acquaintance with him.

    May I suggest that in your site, if you do not already include SIR CECIL CREAPE (Russ McCown) of Creature Feature, WSM-TV 4, you ought. Russ was also a talented actor, now deceased. More info on Russ can be found at this Nashville Memories site that also includes some info on me.

    Look luck.
    Think Happy
    George A. Goldtrap Jr.
    Actor, Speaker and Writer
    Author of A Legacy of Laughter and Humor is My Heritage
    I, E-gor, DO have an entry on SIR CECIL CREAPE, but the best web info is this tribute page at Dr. Gangrene's Web Lab, including a reprint of an Outre magazine feature article written by DR GANGRENE himself!

Baron Bloode, host on WLTV

Baron Bloode, early 60's host of horrors on WLTV, Channel 13 in Bowling Green, Kentucky.
Click for a larger view of the complete TV Guide ad this portrait came from, courtesy of Deborah Hartman.

(Mike Price)
Click here for 20K jpeg image, courtesy of show fan Joe Capuana (check out Joe's fabulous artwork here)!
The Saturday Hollywood Special
Saturday night at 11:15
WNYS-TV (now WIXT-TV), Colorful Channel 9 (Syracuse, New York)
Early '60's?
The Baron and his Buddies
Weekday afternoons, 4-5 p.m.
WNYS-TV (now WIXT-TV), Channel 9 (Syracuse, New York)
1962 - 1967
Elena Watson's Television Horror Movie Hosts reference:
mentioned in Ch. 25, "Son of Invasion of the Ghost Hosts," p. 180.
Magazine reference:
  • Saturday night show mentioned in "Monster Memories" article "Look! Up On the Silver Screen" by show fan Dan Phillips in Scary Monsters Presents Monster Memories #3, 1995 Yearbook (January 1995) pp. 11-14.
  • Daemonologist Tim Fox, who currently works with Mike Price (!), contributed this fabulous note and details on the next one:
    Found your website listing of our colleague here at WIXT TV. Thought I'd give you a few more details, if you have any interest.
    Mike Price, an original member of the WNYS (now WIXT) staff, is a Syracuse native who's still working here after 37 years (as of June 1999 -- E-gor). His "Good News" feature is one of the best-loved elements of NewsChannel 9 at 5:30 p.m., every weeknight.
    "The Baron and his Buddies" featured Rocky & Bullwinkle cartoons, "Mack & Myer for Hire," and Flash Gordon shorts... plus a studio audience of kids and the Baron's Bloody Buddies, "Verry Harry" and "Boris," the world's shortest monster." The kids show evolved from the late night movie cut-ins you mention (Hollywood Special) because so many parents called complaining they couldn't get their little kids to bed when the Baron was on so late at night. It was cancelled after a studio fire destroyed all the props, costumes and sets, and sent WNYS to broadcast from public station WCNY's studios for 6 months. (Like a true vampire, Baron Daemon was killed by fire.)
  • Baron Daemon released a 45 rpm record, "The Transylvania Twist." Tim Fox notes that it's: "still considered the best-selling local single of all time in Central New York, and was featured at the first-ever Syracuse Area Music Awards (the SAMMY's) in 1993, which also honored Dick Clark, Benny Mardones, and Tony Trischka, all nationally-known artists with local ties. He was backed then, as he was on the original record, by 'Sam & the Twisters.'"
  • Mike Price provided the voice for another Syracuse show; see "Death-like figure with eyeball" in TOMB OF THE UNKNOWN HORROR HOSTS.

(Mike Ensley and Chip Chism)
Visit Nightmare Theatre, the show's Official Website.
See these hosts' profile page at HORRORHOSTS.com, the official site for the Horror Host Underground.
Nightmare Theatre
The last Friday of each month from 10 p.m. to midnight.
Cox Communications Channel 39 (Pensacola, Florida)
October, 2000 - Present
Magazine references:
  • "Nightmare Theatre recalls gory days of campy horror TV" by Elizabeth Trever Buchinger, The Pensacola News Journal, October 26, 2001. See story online at PensacolaNewsJournal.com (purchase necessary).
  • Featured in the December 2001 issue of The Monster News, published by The Monster Club.com.
  • The bad Baron was kind enough to e-mail the following details about his show, and I deeply regret taking so long to post them!:
    Our show is a 2-hour traditional hosted movie show, with comedic host segments interspersed throughout the film.
    Our Bio Info: A minor demon, the Baron Mondo Von Doren was sent to the physical plane to inflict misery upon mankind. Among his greatest achievements: the introduction of new Coke, putting together Milli Vanilli and managing the Olsen Twins.
    He has since given all of those up, however, in favor of an evil scheme to hoist such horrible films as "Attack Of The Giant Leeches" and "The Brain From Planet Arous" on an unsuspecting viewing public on his show Nightmare Theatre which premieres October 2001 in Pensacola, FL. He, along with his Mexican wrestler sidekick, El Sapo De Tempesto, treat these films with all the respect they deserve: none and have a lot of fun with them in the process...
    El Sapo de Tempesto, the only son of a Mexican sharecropper and a Hungarian go-go dancer, is proud to serve the Baron in every capacity.
    For years El Sapo watched his every dream crumble into dust, until that fateful day when a UPS truck crashed in his front yard, spilling its cargo of Ouija boards, canned hams and roller skates. El Sapo used the Ouija Board and successfully contacted The Baron. El Sapo de Tempesto now serves as the Baron's manservant and personally ensures that the Barons glass of Pumpkin Ovaltine is never empty during Nightmare Theatre.
    Nightmare Theatre is written and produced by Mike Ensley and Chip Chism, both of whom have sordid pasts in pro-wrestling, college radio, public access TV and zine publishing.

Baron Von Wolfenstein

(Timothy Francis Meyer Herron, B.G.G. [By GOD'S Grace])

See Baron Von Wolfstein's profile page at HORRORHOSTS.com, the official site for the Horror Host Underground.

Read Baron Von Wolfstein's written rants (and those of many other current horror hosts) on the Horror Host Underground site.

Read an interview with Baron Von Wolfstein conducted by "The Undertaker" on the Buried.com website.

Read another interview with Baron Von Wolfstein at Whisper's Web.

See Timothy Herron's Internet Movie Database entry.

See the Internet Movie Database entry for Timothy Herron's movie "Joe Nosferatu: Homeless Vampire" (2004).

Baron Von Wolfstein Presents Saturday Night with the Monsters
Saturday night
WTTV, Channel 4 (Indianapolis, Indiana)
April 1, 1978 - December 30, 1978 (eight months)


  • This host's name had been unusually difficult to pin down; various contributors had submitted it as Count or Baron, Wolfstein or Wolfenstein, Von Wolfstein or Von Wolfenstein. Amazingly and most happily, we finally received "official" verification of the correct name straight from the HorrorHost's Mouth -- the Baron himself! See the following note for one of the most delightful bits of cyber-serendipity I've yet experienced -- E-gor.

  • Baron von Wolfstein lives again!:
    Tuesday, May 9th, AD 2000
    My Initial Missive,
    Hi-ho Chappies and Monster Lovers, Baron von Wolfstein here.
    And an especially Benevolent Greeting to you, Cousin E-Gor. I humbly note that you are responsible for safe-guarding and revealing the lost lore from the days of Yore, when Monsterdom was in flower.
    Please convey, if you are so able, to all my olde friends who seek my whereabouts, the fact that, indeed, Baron von Wolfstein has re-surfaced in the world of mortal ken. I am proud to be so honoured as to live in the hearts and minds of such fine folk for now more than two decades.
    It seems nearly inconceivable that 22 years have elapsed,since last I had contact with those interested in our Realm.
    Much to communicate, so little space and time to do so in this present missive. Meanwhile, fondest regards to all from Carlyle, the Invisible Wizard, Robin Graves, the Cockney grave-robber, and "Stinky" (the guy chained up in the catacombs of Castle von Wolfstein). Until I receive your response, Have a good night, and a pleasant sleep.
    Baron von Wolfstein
  • In his next note, the Baron supplied initial information about the show:
    The 1st episode of Baron von Wolfstein aired on Saturday, the week following Easter, in AD 1978. The show ran for 8 months, meeting an untimely demise (yet probably fortuitous) during Christmas week of AD 1978. As I possess virtually total recall, just supplying the details for these last two sentences will take a few pages.
  • E-gorespondent Terry Tapp remembers:
    Saturday Night with the Monsters began airing in late 1978. The interesting thing about the Baron was that he rarely, if ever, joked.
  • Jason Pizzleman writes:
    This is indeed a forgotten horror host that I've been accused of making up. I remember him as Baron von Wolfenstein and I recall writing him a letter complete with a drawing I had made of his wolf character. That was when I was in third grade which would have been 1978ish. I'm pretty sure he was on WTTV-4 but I can't remember whether it was Friday or Saturday nights. Details are fuzzy, but I must have been impressed, because Sammy Terry was a hero of mine and I never got around to sending him a letter. I'm pretty sure that's where I saw Frankenstein Conquers the World. Well, I was just happy to see that I hadn't imagined the whole thing and thought I'd toss in what info I had.
  • Yuri Duncan reports:
    The show started when Sammy Terry went off the air. I believe it has to be around the late 70's. I always remembered the show being called "Count Wolfenstein." I was about 11 at the time, but I recall that it seemed that one guy was playing several roles. I vaguely remember a tormented vampire figure, a werewolf character, and I distinctly remember a whole episode hosted by a guy chained to a wall in the dungeon. I remember the show having a serious, somber mood. No attempt at campiness. I have asked around for years and while everyone remembers Sammy Terry, no one remembers the Baron.

Baron Wolfenstein or Wolfstein

(Barry Kibrick and Pat Mulligan)
Snicker Theater
Saturday around midnight
WNBC-TV, Channel 4 (New York City, New York)
  • Horror hostorian Saul Fischer contributed this entry and these details:
    Snicker Theater. Hosted by Barry Kibrick & Pat Mulligan (as characters "Barry" & "Pat"). Aired on WNBC-TV/Channel 4, New York, NY, Saturday nights around midnight, 1987. No horror make-up, just a low-rent living room/basement set with an AWFULLY cheap-looking sofa, upon which "Barry" & "Pat" sat and watched cheesy videos, pausing every few minutes before and after the commercial breaks to make fun of the flicks (hence the title, Snicker Theater) -- and make fun of each other, too. These two guys hosted as well as co-produced and co-wrote the show, and, as I recall, most of it was amusing. The character of "Barry" ran a bowling alley while poor "Pat" worked "down at the toxic dump" (shades of The Simpsons).
    In a typical episode, they got up and literally hopped off the set to eat at (the offscreen) Bernie's All-You-Can-Eat Frog Leg Emporium, as the movie continued playing. They returned several minutes later, gastrointestinally-challenged, and saw their mistake -- but wisely decided not to bother rewinding the video to see what they had missed (but the audience had endured).
    In the same episode, they had pizza delivered by a well-endowed blonde (another cast member), and ended up dancing with her around the set. It ended with them trying to leave the set for a much-needed "case" of cold beers, then Barry's too-short microphone cord that was trailing behind him got hopelessly caught in the closing door, as Pat cracks up with the offscreen crew, all of this visible under the closing credits. Lydia Finzi played the girl who delivered the pizza (Domino's!). The films they showed were low budgeters like Superargo vs. Diabolicus, Trinity and Sartana, etc. It was filmed in Hollywood, CA. (Hey, the IMBD shows nothing for this, or Kibrick, or Mulligan! Just Ms. Finzi! Whew -- I thought I was hallucinating there for a while.)
  • Tireless Saul Fischer has updated his original input with fresh feedback from two people connected with the show!:
    I've managed to locate and contact two of the guiding lights behind Snicker Theater, Barry Kibrick and Aaron Weinstein. They were kind enough to respond to my letters and provide some insights into the making of the show:

    Barry Kibrick (producer, co-creator, co-host, and co-writer):
    "....This is way too cool. I never thought anyone even saw those shows. I have lost touch with Pat Mulligan and Lydia (Finzi). I am hosting a PBS series now called Between The Lines. It's a book show and I interview authors. It's a far cry from Snicker Theater. Here's a little Snicker Theater trivia for you, however. Did you know that through that show which aired on NBC, I developed a strong relationship with "Saturday Night Live"? (In fact, Kevin Nealon does an imitation of me from my Snicker Theater days. Snicker Theater was the seed of creation for Wayne's World. In fact, through other series I produced, I introduced Adam Sandler to television and Bill Maher of Politically Incorrect fame, which I also helped create.... thanks for getting in touch."

    Aaron Weinstein (associate producer and co-writer):
    "You just made my week. Barry Kibrick passed along your email to me regarding the insanity that was Snicker Theater. Barry, Pat, and I were the production crew for the show. We wrote the shows together in a little room in Barry's backyard, and then I'd take VHS copies of the movies home with me and figure out how to cut the movies down to fill the 2 hour air slot and figure out the places where we'd work in the shtick. I was 21 at the time Barry hired me, and the show represented my first writing and producing credit. Barry and I went on to collaborate on many other projects over the next several years, doing stints with NBC, ABC, HA! (the precursor of Comedy Central), and The Sci-Fi Channel. We remain good friends to this day. I'm not sure whatever became of Pat, but Barry may know. I remember those days very fondly. It was guerilla television at its best, and we had a tremendous amount of fun doing the show. It's great to know that after all of these years, someone out there still remembers. (I also think that would make you the only other person outside of Barry and I that actually has a copy of the show!)"

Basil, Count

Bela Zarbo, Dr.

Belazarbo, Dr.

(George Ellis)

See See George Ellis' Internet Movie Database credits.

Read a March 2006 blog entry about Bestoink Dooley on the Mike Durrett Confidential site -- a fan's memories of the character, his shows, and the man behind the host, George Ellis. Don't miss the scan of a flyer from Bestoink's personal appearance at a drive-in!

Search for Bestoink Dooley video clips on YouTube.

See the Atlanta Film Forum data on the Cinema Treasures movie theater reference site.

The Big Movie Shocker
Friday night at 11:20 / 11:30; rerun Saturday morning for a short time
WAGA-TV, Channel 5 (Atlanta, Georgia)
Late 50s to late 60s or early 70s

Friday Night Fright
Friday night at ?
WAGA-TV, Channel 5 (Atlanta, Georgia)
?? - ??

The Big Movie Shocker (13-week retrospective)
Friday night (?)
WAGA-TV, Channel 5 (Atlanta, Georgia)
c. 1975

Dooley & Co. (kid's show)
Weekdays at 4:30 pm
WAGA-TV, Channel 5 (Atlanta, Georgia)
?? - ??


  • E-gorespondent Mike Harbold remembers:
    I am looking for info on a horror host from Atlanta, Ga. circa aprox. late 50's to late 60's early 70's. His name was Bestoink Dooley, real name, George Ellis. George was reportedly very much involved in the business of bringing "art" film to the Atlanta scene.
    The show that he hosted was known as The Big Movie Shocker and was shown at 11:30 pm Friday nights, right after the late news on WAGA, channel 5 and, for a short time, reran on Saturday mornings. I was introduced to many first rate horror films during those prepubescent years, including all the old Universal classics.
    Bestoink, due perhaps to the fact that he truly appreciated these films, would not overdub or otherwise tamper with these masterpieces but would save his highjinks for the beginning of the show and during commercial breaks.
    I have no memorabilia, or anything other that the warmly remembered times spent at sleep overs with my best friend of late childhood and the glow of the old B/W set, late into the night.
    Please use this small bit of info as you choose. I hope that it will draw out more info from others and perhaps even some memorabilia. Since this was long before home video, I am fairly sure that there would be no tapes available, but who knows? I wouldn't have even suspected that such a Website existed before I found this one!"
  • In 1965, George Ellis starred as "middle-aged copy boy Bestoink Dooley" in a low-budget "Bigfoot" horror flick, Demon Hunter (aka Legend of Blood Mountain), filmed at Stone Mountain Memorial Park near Atlanta. Demon Hunter has been released on VHS by Camp Video. It is apparently out of print but occasionally shows up in eBay (online auctions).

  • E-gorespondent "ksmf" remembered that George Ellis opened a underground film theater in Atlanta, the Film Forum, which showed Andy Warhol's black and white short and long films among many other art films and underground classics, and that he was also in a movie (see note above) and a Gunsmoke episode.

  • Bestoink's fan Fred Fournier recalls:
    I ran across your web site while Googling "George Ellis" also known as Bestoink Dooley. My name is Fred B. Fournier and I now live in Marin County, California. I had the pleasure of working with George Ellis in Atlanta, GA in the 60's at an Industrial Design firm named Dimension Incorporated. Dimension Incorporated was founded by two older ID classmates of mine at Georgia Tech. When I came on board in 1962 George Ellis was the company sales representative calling on prospective clients in the Atlanta area. and on Friday nights he was hosting the Friday Night Frights horror movies on WAGA-TV as Bestoink Dooley. I took over George's sales rep. job in 1964 when he started making his own horror movie The Legend of Blood Mountain, aka Demon Hunter.
    My wife and I had a bit part in that movie in a beach party dancing scene. Also in that beach party scene was a Georgia beauty named Marianne Gordon. That same year (1965) Marianne had a speaking part in a real Hollywood beach party movie entitled How to Stuff a Wild Bikini and then, a few years later, a part in Rosemary's Baby as Rosemary's girlfriend, and then a stint on the Hee Haw TV show, and later married Kenny Rogers. Also in the Legend movie with a major role was Erin Fleming, who later became Groucho Marx's infamous companion. What is really amazing is that Legend of Blood Mountain was one of the top ten highest grossing films of 1965 by grossing $1,200,000. Sound of Music was number 1 in 1965 and grossed $163,000,000. Legend must have played at a hell of a lot of drive-in theaters that year!
    In 1975 George Ellis starred in Moonrunners, written & directed by Gy Waldron who four years later turned the movie's premise into the TV show The Dukes of Hazzard.
    [NOTE: the movie is identical to the TV show from the basic plot, setting and main characters to the narration by Waylon Jennings. Ellis' character, saloon-keeper / rival bootlegger "Jake Rainey," evolved into the TV show's "Boss Hogg." -- E-gor.]

  • Richard Moore recalls Bestoink's special qualities:
    What made George Ellis such a wonderful monster movie host was that he was a lovable old ham with a great sense of humor. Atlanta was a city that appreciated its local celebrities and Bestoink Dooley was very popular. George Ellis was also very well known to the art theater types and old movie fans because he had a theater ,,,, that showed the old classics like Casablanca and the latest subtitled Swedish films. He was there just about every time I went by, selling tickets and greeting everyone with that booming voice.
    He also was a regular on the local theater circuit. I recall seeing him in a "Theater Under the Stars" production of "Oliver" that had Vincent Price starring as Fagin. Ellis played the part of the blustering man [the parish beadle, "Mr. Bumble"] whom Oliver asked, "May I have some more, sir?" As soon as Ellis entered the scene, there was a burst of applause all around the theater, and then a rush of whispers as those who recognized Bestoink Dooley explained the applause to neighbors. It was funny and Ellis clearly was having a great time.
    He appeared in several movies, most if not all made in Georgia. The best that I have seen is Moonrunners, which was filmed in the North Georgia mountains and was the forerunner to The Dukes of Hazard but not played for laughs. Another great old ham, Arthur Hunnicutt, had one of his last roles as Uncle Jesse, and Robert Mitchum's son James was also in the cast. I think this was the movie that the writer Paul Hemphill visited the location shooting and wrote a piece on it. It's in one of his collections, perhaps "The Good Old Boys." I lost track of George Ellis, but I recall hearing of his death at far too early an age years ago.
  • Cynthia G. Brundage sent her fond memories of Bestoink:
    It must have been 1960 because I was around 8, when Bestoink Dooley was the main attraction at my elementary school's (Elm Street School, Newnan, GA) Halloween Carnival! I adored him...but I was also scared of him! I wouldn't go talk to him (to my everlasting sorrow!) but I remember standing behind my father and peeking at him! There was the same booming voice and muwaaaaahhh haaa haaa kind of laugh! And he wore the squirting flower on his lapel along with his trademark muffler scarf! And that wild fringe of hair... man, he was something!
    Around 1975, I had graduated from college and was living in Tallahasse when WAGA did a special retrospective and had Bestoink back on hosting Big Movie Shocker for a 13 week run. Watching then brought back all those thrilling late nights sitting wrapped up in a blanket in front of the old black and white and peeking through my fingers at Boris Karloff and other guys too scary to watch without digit protection! Thank God for Bestoink Dooley... kids today don't know what real fun is! I never forgot him... in fact, I named my Scottie after him and he's the only Bestoink Dooley on Dogster.com!
  • Tom Cox of Anniston, Alabama writes:
    I remember this character! He also appeared on Big Movie Shocker as Bestoink's "country cousin" Nurkney Dooley.
    When his film Legend Of Blood Mountain (which I've not seen since) was released, he made a personal appearance in my hometown (Annniston, Alabama, approximately 90 miles west of Atlanta) at the theatre. I remember my best friend and myself talking with him briefly, and believe I also received a postcard sized picture (B&W) that he autographed, but sadly I have lost it over the years.
    WAGA came to my town via a new offering, Cablevision! Few in my community had it yet as it was costly, but it offered nine channels from Birmingham and Atlanta, rather than the three we were accustomed to. My family was slow to join the bandwagon, and I recall many Friday nights spent at my friend's house or at my grandmother's just to see Big Movie Shocker. Great memories!
  • From Mark Hendrix:
    I was looking at the site again and thought I would check and see if there was anything about Bestoink Dooley and was happily surprised to see some. Here is what I remember about him; We had just moved to Atlanta from Miami in 1961 and I was in the third grade. I was not able to stay up late until a couple of years later when I convinced my parents to let me stay up on a Friday night to watch a horror show I had heard my friends talk about. It was hosted by Bestoink Dooley and I remember his deep voice and outfit quite clearly. He was quite funny and he showed all my favorite horror movies, so from that night on I was up late on Friday nights watching the show. I remember the tv station going off the air afterwards and seeing the national anthem... then static until the morning. It was a wonderful time in my life. I remember when the show finally went off the air and I had seen him somewhere and he said he would be returning to do the show again but it never happened. George Ellis was a fixture around the Atlanta area with his theatres and occasionally would turn up on TV or I would see him at a show and as soon as I heard his voice I knew it was Bestoink. I believe he passed away a few years ago, though I am not sure of it. I am very lucky to have grown up when I did and because of people like Charlie Baxter (M.T. Graves) and George Ellis, I have some wonderful memories of staying up late and watching what are still to this day my favorite movies.
  • E-gorespondent Bob Chapelle writes:
    Now there is a name one wouldn't soon forget. As a kid growing up in Marietta, Georgia, during the 50's and 60's, we LIVED for Friday nights and The Big Movie Shocker with host, Bestoink Dooley. I think a big part of my love for old sci-fi and horror movies grew from those repeated viewings. If we had only had VCRs back then! Bestoink, aka George Ellis, was not what I would call a typical "Horror Show" host. He didn't wear scary makeup or have a hunchback sidekick. Instead, he would come out wearing his derby and usually some kind of scarf and jacket .... He kinda favored Zero Mostel. Whether that's good or not, I can't say. Another TV show that use to come on Saturday afternoons was called Science Fiction Theater. It showed 50's Sci-Fi movies like Attack of the 50-foot Woman, but it didn't have a host. Looking back, I think that's what made The Big Movie Shocker so special. Not the movies so much as having them introduced each week but none other than Bestoink Dooley!
  • Dooley-appreciative show fan Dan Henderson writes:
    Being from Atlanta, I too remember Bestoink Dooley. We were lucky to have him. As someone else mentioned, he wasn't a ghoulish wannabe. He had his own style, with a deep voice somewhat like the Great Gildersleeve. I remember his first episode on Big Movie Shocker. The scene opened on a cardboard box. It wasn't until the third or fourth commercial break that he reluctantly emerged from the box. This was typical of his minimalist humor. On another occasion he was in the rafters of the studio, refusing to come down. It seems that he refused to say the title of the film, The Monster from Green Hell. Finally he agreed to say the first part of the title, then held up a cardboard sign with "HELL" scrawled on it! Later he was involved in the Atlanta "art film" scene, operating The Film Forum where I first saw the work of Fellini and many others. There was a foretaste of this when he showed Black Orpheus on Big Movie Shocker! Of course I saw him almost every week, taking tickets at the Forum in the early 70's, but I also saw him as Bestoink at the Buckhead Theater in 1960 or so, hosting a showing of Journey to the Center of the Earth. It was PANDEMONIUM when he walked out on stage! Those were the days. Thanks for the site!

    P.S. Check out my site if you have a minute. It's the present day work of a Monster Kid:

    (Incredible artwork! Check it out! — E-gor)

  • In February 2008 one of Bestoink's relatives found this site and started E-goresponding! :
    Hi, I’m enjoying reading your website! A friend of mine recently brought up "Bestoink," asking where George got that name –- (he was my father-in-law). I thought I’d have a look on the internet to see what all was out there on him and came across your site. I do have more info/pics of him, if you’d like them for the site, let me know, and I’ll be glad to send to you..
    Thanks, and take care,
    Vickie Ellis
    Of course I responded E-gorly, and she answered generously:
    Great to hear from you! You're doing a lot of interesting stuff, Wish I had time to do more fun things like that! ,,,, I do have some pics of George, one especially good one taken at the wedding, and some from the last incarnation of the Film Forum at Ansley. They were in negotiations for the theater in Little Five Points when he died. God bless him, he loved everything about theater except for the part where you have to actually take money from people for seeing it... :) Well, thanks again for writing, and as soon as I gather what I have, I'll let you know and we can arrange logistics.
    Take care!
    Her next note came bearing wonderful gifts! :
    Here's a couple of things I grabbed so far. One is a portrait of George in 1981 at our wedding, and the other is a flyer from the FilmForum in '78.. I found some more stuff on the web, one is a really good promo picture of him as Bestoink (see my note about this below -- E-gor). I'll keep looking, and think I'll also e-mail Michael (his son) and see what he still has of George's. He founded and runs a wildlife rescue foundation in Atlanta now. It always surprises me how much like George he looks.. :)
    Vickie sent me this link to the promo picture of Bestoink she mentioned:
    Bestoink Dooley photo on flickr
    It turned out to be an incredible autographed color fan post card of Bestoink from the collection of Dennis Whitefield, who displays a very large collection of interesting images in his Whitefield's photos account at flickr -- lots of shots of classic movie theaters in the part of the country he lives in, period portraits of iconic movie stars, and lots more! I couldn't find his e-mail address, and as I was puzzling over how to get in touch with him, I received a note from Dennis about the photo! :
    I like your site, you can use this black & white photo, provided you link it back to my site.
    As a kid growing up in Decatur GA, I was always sending off for photos of movie stars, TV stars and even local TV stars, I always watched the Friday night Big Movie Shocker movies, and they were great, and George Ellis aka Bestoink Dooley was a very good host for those type movies, So I sent off to WAGA-TV5 for a photo and sure enough, I received an autographed picture!
    If you're a Dooley fan, be sure to check out Dennis' original COLOR photo in his Flickr gallery, it's a beauty, and a terrific collectible for horror host fans. The description of the photo on Flickr says the back of the phote reads:
    Join Atlanta's favorite satirist, Bestoink Dooley, Fridays at 11:30 pm for Channel Five's Big Movie Shocker. And a must for the younger set is DOOLEY & CO. featuring Bestoink, the Three Stooges and Morgus the Magnificent Weatherman, weekdays at 4:30 pm on WAGA-TV
George Ellis as Atlanta host Bestoink Dooley

Bestoink Dooley, genial host of The Big Movie Shocker on WAGA-TV, Atlanta GA.
Click image to see a b&w scan of the original color photo this portrait was cropped from, courtesy of Dennis Whitefield -- and see the signed original photo in color at Whitefield's photos on flickr!

George Ellis out of makeup, later in life.

George Ellis out of makeup, later in life. Photo courtesy of Vickie Ellis (taken at her wedding in 1981.)
Click image for larger view.

See a 1978 Film Forum flyer, courtesy of Vickie Ellis.

See a Big Movie Shocker ad from Atlanta TV listings.

Beringer, Bob

Bernhard, Sandra

Big Chuck *

(Real name = Billy Black?)
Hott Sinema
Saturday late night (1 a.m. Ch. 7; 3 a.m. Ch. 36)
Coaxial Communication Cable Channels 7 and 36 (Columbus, Ohio)
199? - ???? on cable
Friday nights at ???
STATION? Channel? (Charleston and Huntington, West Virginia)
199? - ????
  • The (now-defunct) website gave this info:
    Hott Sinema is an original television concept that combines Horror, Sci Fi, and Cult Films with Exotic Dancers, Skit and Improv Comedy. Hott Sinema has been described as Benny Hill meets Pro Wrestling. Hott Sinema is Late Night Television at its Best! Hott Sinema is produced in Columbus Ohio. Airing in Columbus on Coaxial Communication Cable Channels 7 at 1:00 am and 36 at 3:00 am Saturday Night (Sunday Morning). Also airing in Charleston and Huntington West Virginia on Friday nights. We are currently expanding our market to include Dayton and Lancaster. We are also negotiating with cable system's in New York.
  • Host Billy Black sent e-mail when the show was on the air:
    We show B Horror and Sci Fi movies, and along with our host we have dancers (female). We are on regular cable, but we're an adult oriented program. We feel we're in the tradition of The Ghoul, Elvira and Fritz The Night Owl, with a twist.
  • Speaking of Fritz the Nite Owl, Fritz wrote us in April 2005 and discussed his appearances on this show:
    As for Billy Black -- I had the extreme pleasure of being a guest on his show 5 or 6 times -- altho I was usually rendered speechless by his other guests -- local exotic dancers. Fortunately, the Owl glasses hid my turgidly-bulding eyeballs -- so I looked cool--even tho there was steam shootin' outa my ears.
    I also had the pleasure of working with Billy at local comedy clubs where I emceed. he had an act that resembled that of Andrew Dice Clay -- whom he also looked like. A fun guy -- knew a lot about movies -- and, ironically, as I recall ---- had a very straight-arrow (in banking, I think) day job.
  • Michelle, who appeared on this show as a dancer but had forgotten the name of it, wrote for help in tracking it down, found a little info on my site, and then was nice enough to share her memories of the experience. The following comments are cobbled together from a couple of her e-mails:
    About 11 years ago I was on a late night movie show with a comedian host (Hott Sinema with Billy Black — E-gor) and he had his female guests that danced in between the movie on breaks. We were in Columbus, Ohio. It would be 1992-1993. I could not even tell you what movies were played, I never paid attention. I was a go go dancer at Centerfold's and every week we co-hosted on his late night movie show. He would talk with us, we did little skits and we would dance to heavy metal music. The set was a small bar with stools and this is where we would sit and chat. There was a guy that hung out as the "bartender" so basically we were acting like we were having drinks watching the movie and then we would dance half naked and take calls from viewers..... very cheesy! Billy Black did local comedy gigs in Ohio. He had pasty white skin, large nose and black hair that he pulled in a swirl type thing cause he was balding. There is nothing in particular that I can remember about the show except that I was always horribly nervous!
    I am in a flick coming out hopefully next year called I am Vengeance by Ritchie Anasky, I am awaiting updates...Will let you know.
    Again, thank you!

(Real name = Billy Van?)
Name of show?
Day? Time?
KTLA, Channel 5 (Los Angeles, California)
197? - 197?
Elena Watson's Television Horror Movie Hosts reference:
mentioned in Ch. 25, "Son of Invasion of the Ghost Hosts," p. 180.
  • This appears to be a misnamed reference to the main character in the syndicated Canadian kid's show The Hilarious House of Frightenstein, in which actor Billy Van played "Count Frightenstein" — but it may be an entirely different character, played by Billy Van or ...?

(Bob Dalton; died December 10, 1999)
The Black Cat
Day? Time?
WTOP-TP (now WUSA-TV), Channel 9 (Washington, D.C.)
1953 ?!?!?!?!
  • WUSA-TV reporter David Statter forwarded a link to the online Washington Post's obituary on Bob Dalton, which included details about his stint as a horror host. I haven't yet verified the year given for his appearance as "The Black Cat" -- but if 1953 is correct, Bob Dalton preceded Vampira as the earliest TV horror host reported to this site, or generally known!!

    Here's the pertinent passage from the Washington Post obit, "Broadcaster Bob Dalton, 74, Dies -- A Washington Television Pioneer; Channel 9 Anchor Dominated the Competition at Noon" by Washington Post staff writer Martin Weil (Saturday, December 11, 1999; Page B06):

    In one notable assignment in 1953, he was host of a clutch of horror movies that the station had programmed under the title of "The Black Cat." In introducing the films, Mr. Dalton was clad in a black leotard. On his lap, to enhance the atmosphere of fright, was Thanatopsis, a large black cat. Switching on the brilliant television lights made the animal nervous. Inevitably, on one show, the cat answered the call of nature. On another, it dug long claws through Mr. Dalton's leotard and into his thighs. Years later, Mr. Dalton remembered with amusement that the cat earned a $5 talent fee for each show. Mr. Dalton received no extra pay. "It's been a lot of comfort for me that I have outlasted that cat," he said long afterward.

Bloode, Baron

(Barry Batia)

Visit American Nightmares, Blood E. Murder's official website.
See Blood E. Murder' profile page at HORRORHOSTS.com, the official site for the Horror Host Underground.
See bio and images from the show — and hundreds of images from a host of other horrors — at the Horror Host Gallery website, courtesy of video archaeologist Thomas Rudé!

American Nightmares
Saturday at Midnight (about once a month)
Chicago Access Network Television (CAN TV), Channel 19 (Chicago, Illinois)
July 1998 - present


  • According to his Horror Host Underground profile, Blood E. Murder is "a self-proclaimed shaman and conscience of the American Psyche .... born from the clash between Native and European-American cultures. Thus, he considers himself a TRUE American. Because of strange visions predicting a great war, he warns people by enlightening them through horror movies."
  • Barry Batia's original name for his host persona was "Red Zomby."

Blood E. Murder, host of American Nightmares in Chicago IL

Blood E. Murder, host of American Nightmares, CAN TV, Chicago IL.
Click image to see the autographed picture it was clipped from.

Bloodenguts, Professor I.C.

(voice only; Bob Beringer, station announcer)
Visit Milwaukee Hosts of Horror, a fabulous website maintained by Dick (Nitelinger) Golembiewski, for great information about Bob Beringer and other hosts from that area.
Shock Theater (single feature)
Saturday night at 9:30
WUHF (formerly WXIX, later WVTV) Channel 18 (Milwaukee, Wisconsin)
September 7, 1963 - September 11, 1965
Shock Theater
Friday night at 10:30
WVTV (formerly WXIX and WUHF - call letters changed June 1966), Channel 18 (Milwaukee, Wisconsin)
January 16, 1970 - May 29, 1970
Shock Theater
Saturday night at 8:00 or 8:30 p.m. (single feature)
WVTV, Channel 18 (Milwaukee, Wisconsin)
September 4, 1971 - December 18, 1971
Time changed to Saturday night at 8:00 (double feature)
January 1, 1972 - September 9, 1972
Time changed to Saturday at 10:00 p.m. (back to single feature)
September 16, 1972 - April 6, 1974
Time changed to Saturday at 8:00 p.m. (back to double feature)
April 13, 1974 - August 27, 1977
Time changed to Saturday at 10:00 p.m. (back to single feature)
September 3, 1977 - August 25, 1979
Late Movie 18 (single feature)
Saturday at 10:00 p.m.
September 13, 1980 - August 29, 1981
January 16, 1982
February 6 - February 27, 1982
WVTV, Channel 18 (Milwaukee, Wisconsin)
Magazine references:
  • Mentioned in article by Larry Widen, "Late Night Horror in Milwaukee," in issue #8 (September 1993) of Scary Monsters, pp. 14-15.
  • Shows discussed at length in "Milwaukee Horror Errata," by Dick (Nitelinger) Golembiewski in the Scary Monsters' Monster Memories 1999 Yearbook, pp. 124-125.
  • Description of (74-77) show opening from Larry Widen's article:
    A spectacular opening sequence featured crashing thunder and lightning with spooky electronic sound effects. A tarantula crawled across a dusty book with SHOCK THEATRE written on the cover... At the commercial breaks, a title graphic appeared with the Glenn Strange Frankenstein monster peering through a dungeon window.
    Bob Beringer provided a "sepulchral voiceover and creepy laugh" for this intro.

  • Tireless Hostorian Dick (Nitelinger) Golembiewski provided shockaeological details about this host; for much more information, visit his monstrously fascinating Milwaukee Hosts of Horror website linked above.

(Bob Burns)

Visit the Official Bob Burns Web Site.

See Bob's Professional Profile as actor, producer, consultant, interviewee, writer and much more on the official web site.

See Bob Burns' Internet Movie Database credits.

See "Ahoy There Little Mateys!" — a wonderful webpage about Joe Alston's long stint as kid's show host "Captain Gus," created by the guy who played the Captain's sidekick, "First Mate Mortimer," Dennis DuPriest! The page includes some great pictures and memories of this show, reprints of two articles from the San Antonio Express-News, and "Mail from the Mateys," lots of feedback from old fans.

Shock Theater
(starring THE HOST, aka JOE ALSTON, supported by many appearances of Bob Burns and his wife Kathy in monster makeup.)
Friday at midnight
KENS-TV, Channel 5 (San Antonio, Texas)
1959 - 1960

Theatre 13 (previously Jeepers Creepers Theatre)
(hosted by JEEPERS)
Saturday, 10 p.m.
KCOP-TV, Channel 13 (Los Angeles, California)
Bob Burns appeared as "The Mad Mummy" on Saturday, December 1, 1962; host segments from this show survive.

Book references:
  • It Came from Bob's Basement: Exploring the Science Fiction and Monster Movie Archive of Bob Burns by Bob Burns with John Michlig; introduction by Dennis Muren. Paperbound, Chronicle Books, March, 2001. ISBN: 0-8118-2572-8.
    Jacket blurb: "A colorful journey through the vivid world of fantastic cinema and a true tribute to Bob Burns, a man who has dedicated his life to the preservation of an amazing number of movie artifacts. Illustrated with more than 200 never-before-published photographs of everything from King Kong's metallic skeleton to the terrifying Alien Queen, It Came from Bob's Basement brings you up close and personal with the incredible props and artwork used in some of the best science fiction and creature features ever made. You'll also hear entertaining behind the scenes stories from movies like It Conquered the World, The She Creature, and Plan 9 from Outer Space. Told with irresistable enthusiasm, It Came from Bob's Basement honors the beloved cult classics that have shaped movie history."
    Order an autographed copy from "The Ghouleria" on Bob Burns' Official Web Site.

  • Monster Kid Memories by Bob Burns as told to Tom Weaver; foreward by Leonard Maltin, introduction by Joe Dante. Paperbound, Dinoship, Inc., 2003. ISBN: 0-9728585-2-0.
    Jacket blurb: "Behind-the-scenes, first-hand encounters with the men who made the classic movie monsters! More than 300 rare photos! Monster Kid Memories chronicles Bob Burns' role in science fiction and horror film history over the course of more than 50 years. Inside, read all about Bob and his friendships with legendary SF producer-director George Pal (The War of the Worlds, The Time Machine); Glenn Strange, last of Universal's classic Frankenstein Monsters; WIlliam Castle, king of the "gimmick" horror movies; makeup legend Jack Pierce; the men who made the Saturday matinee serials; Hollywood's greatest "Ape Man" Charlie Gemora, and many more!"
    (Not to mention a fascinating chapter on Bob and Kathy Burns' TV horror hosting stint with THE HOST, aka JOE ALSTON! — E-gor.)

    Monster Kid Memories was nominated for, and won, the prestigious 2003 Rondo Award as "Book of the Year." It richly deserved it!
    Order an autographed copy from "The Ghouleria" on Bob Burns' Official Web Site.

Magazine references:

  • Feature article "Horrors Hottest Newcomer" with seven pictures of Bob Burns and his wife Kathy in issue #13 (August 1961) of Famous Monsters of Filmland, pp. 46-51.

  • Feature article "Return of the Burn," with pictures of Bob and Kathy Burns in and out of makeup, in issue #15 (January 1962) of Famous Monsters of Filmland, pp. 24-27.

  • Feature article "Horror Monsters introduces Bob Burns — Horror is His Hobby!" with thirteen pictures of Bob Burns in issue #4 (1962) of Horror Monsters, pp. 31-38.

  • Feature with six pictures, "Mad Mummy Gets Jeepers," about Bob Burns' monster character "The Mad Mummy" appearing on Jeepers' show, in issue #4 (1962) of Fantastic Monsters of the Films, pp. 36-38. Another picture in same costume with guitar on page 12 (with article "I Was a A Teenage Mad Mummy"). "Mad Mummy" listed as "crumbling editor" on masthead of this issue.

  • Feature article "A History of Tracy the Gorilla, The Mad Mummy, and Major Mars...Our Weekend at Bob's!" by Steve Smith in Monsterscene #3 (Fall 1994), pp. 41-43. Five pictures, historical tidbits of Bob and Kathy's experiences, and a promise of major coverage to come (see next item).

  • Cover painting, extensive career coverage and many pictues of Bob Burns (in and out of makeup) in issue #5 (Summer/Fall 1995) of Monsterscene, which is dedicated to Bob, his lifework, and his early collaborators. Beautiful cover by Jeff Preston shows Bob menaced by his own Mad Mummy. Inside front cover (full color) shows Kathy Burns in Miss Shock! makeup on mockup cover for "the lost issue" of Fantastic Monsters of the Films, which Bob helped to publish in the early '60's. Editorial page 1 discusses publisher Stephen D. Smith's relationship with Burns, and features a photo of young Bob, FX wizard Paul Blaisdell and props from Invasion of the Saucermen. Editorial page 2 is an introduction by Burns, with another photo of Bob, Blaisdell and Kathy Burns. Much of the issue features reprinted material from FMoF. Feature Bob Burns interview "Kogar and the Mad Mummy Speak!," conducted by Frank Kurtz, Bill Harrison and Steve Smith, features 18 photos, most of Burns (pp. 11-23). Special article by Burns, "Day the She Creature Invaded TV" (pp. 57-59), covers Bob's appearance in Blaisdell's costume on live west coast TV shows; 5 pictures.

  • Features about Bob Burns have appeared in numerous issues of Dennis Druktenis' fan-favorite Scary Monster magazine, including:

    • # 39 (June 2001) — extensive Burnsiana in this "Mummy Bash issue", including: cover art (Mad Mummy and Kathy Burns Witch inset); Mad Mummy inside front cover photo; interview article "Mad Mummy Mumblings" conducted by Dennis Druktenis, focusing on Burns' Wrap Star appearances, with 26 pictures (5 of Kathy Burns) (pp. 8-22);
      reprint of "Mad Mummy Gets Jeepers" from Fantastic Monsters of the Films #4 (pp. 40-42);
      reprint of "Horror Monsters introduces Bob Burns — Horror is His Hobby!" from Horror Monsters #4 (pp. 55-63).
      This issue is dedicated to Kathy Burns and Sally Druktenis.

    • # 41 — original Glenn Strange interview provided by Bob Burns and Don Glut (details forthcoming).

    • # 43 — Bob's horror hosting experiences (details forthcoming).

    • # 46 — (details forthcoming).

    • # 47 — Ghost Busters Saturday morning TV show (details forthcoming).

    • # 50 — Invasion of the Saucer Men (details forthcoming).

    • Monster Memories Yearbook 2003 — "The Thing" re-lived (details forthcoming).

    Order copies at the Scary Monsters website!


  • Legendary make-up artist, "gorilla-man" and collector Bob Burns never hosted his own horror movie show, but he (and often his wife Kathy Burns too) appeared in a wide variety of monster makeup on THE HOST, Joe Alston's Shock Theater show in San Antonio, Texas, in 1959-60. and others during the heyday of horror hosts.

    On Saturday, December 1, 1962, Bob got all wrapped up in his "Mad Mummy" costume to scare the bejeebers out of JEEPERS), the original host of a long-running Los Angeles horror showcase on KCOP-TV. Miraculously, the host segments from this show survived!

    Bob Burns later created the makeup for GHOULITA, Jeepers' successor at KCOP, and did special effects for her show.

  • Bob Burns appears in his "Kogar" gorilla costume in several low-budget cult films including Ray Dennis Steckler's Rat Pfink a Boo Boo and Attack of the B-Movie Monsters.

  • Bob Burns appeared in his "Tracy" gorilla costume as one of the three main characters (with Forrest Tucker and Larry Storch) in the 70's Saturday morning kid's show The Ghostbusters — which has much more than a passing similarity to the blockbuster movie it predates. He also appeared in gorilla costume in episodes of various other shows, mostly situation comedies like My Three Sons.

  • Bob Burns revived his Tracy the Gorilla character most recently as one of the three fictional horror hosts (see DR. SHOCKER and IGOR and TRACY THE GORILLA) of the B&W opening TV horror show spoof in the 1997 made-for-video documentary Halloween: The Happy Haunting of America.

Bob Burns as werewolf in Shock Theater ad

Bob Burns as a werewolf on Shock Theater with "The Host," Joe Alston, KENS-TV, San Antonio, Texas.
Click for larger view.

Bob Burns as the Mad Mummy

Bob Burns as the Mad Mummy on Jeepers' Theater 13 show, KCOP-TV, Los Angeles, California.
Click for larger view.

(see also JOHN STANLEY *)
(Bob Wilkins; died January 7, 2009: see obituary)

See much more information about this host on Scott Moon's BobWilkins.Net website, -- lots of great stuff including Bob Wilkins merchandise like T-shirts and DVDs!

See a bio and images of Bob Wilkins — and hundreds of images of a host of other horrors — at the incredible Horror Host Gallery website, courtesy of video archaeologist Thomas Rudé!

7-Arts Theater/Bob Wilkins-7 Arts Theater
Saturday night at 11:30 p.m.
KCRA, Channel 3 (Stockton, California)
1966 - 197?

Bob Wilkins Horror Show/Bob Wilkins Double Horror
Saturday night at 11:00 p.m.
KXTL, Channel 40 (Sacramento, California)
197? - 1978

Creature Features
Saturday nights 11:00 p.m. (1971 - 1973)
Saturday nights 8:00 p.m. to 1:00 a.m. (1974 - 1979)
Friday nights 11:00 p.m. to 1:00 a.m. (1976 - 1979)
KTVU, Channel 2 (Oakland/San Francisco, California)
February 1971 - 1979 (continued with host JOHN STANLEY until 1984)

Book references:

  1. Substantial coverage and many photos of Bob Wilkins in John Stanley's account of his own television career, I Was a TV Horror Host, now available from bookstores and from John Stanley's own Creatures at Large Press through his website. See E-gor's review, and ordering information, here.

  2. Elena Watson's Television Horror Movie Hosts reference: discussed in Chapter 22, "John Stanley: Man, Not Monster," pp. 152-153, 157.

Magazine reference:

  • Feature with autographed photo, "Monster Memories of Bob Wilkins" by John Clemons, in issue #14 (March 1995) of Scary Monsters, p. 52.


  • Creature Features was taken over by host JOHN STANLEY in 1979.

  • August Ragone of Kaiju Productions contributed the airdate specifics above and the copious notes below:
    Bob started in Stockton, Ca (KRCA CH.3) as "7-Arts Theater," and when he moved to KTXL-TV CH. 40 (Sacramento) it became "The Bob Wilkins Horror Show" and later, "The Bob Wilkins Double Horror"... after the great success on that channel, he was courted into doing the same for KTVU CH. 2 (Oakland/San Francisco) as "Creature Features" -- and during the high point of its popularity in the San Francisco market (one of the top three of the television markets in America), the show would often beat Saturday Night Live in the ratings.

    KTVU's "Creature Features" also killed two competing hosts in the market: in the first season, we lost the local "Asmodeus" on KEMO TV-20's "Double-Headed Feature" (which started in the late '60s) and the syndicated "The Ghoul" (KBHK-TV CH.44), who was also (regrettably) squashed by 1973. In the late '70s, KTVU went superstation, and "Creature Features" (as well as his spin-off "Captain Cosmic" 1977-1982) was seen all over the country.

    John Stanley began guest-hosting the Friday night show in early 1979, and eventually took over the Saturday night show, when the Friday nights were dropped. I believe that Stanley's show eventually pulled back to 11 p.m. (can't remember when), and that's how it stayed until it's cancellation in the Summer of 1984.

    Interestingly, Bob Wilkins actually was NOT a horror fan -- he fell into the job when the KRCA show took off (he was a last-minute replacement to host ATTACK OF THE MUSHROOM PEOPLE)... and he just rolled with the success. He always made sure to surround himself with expert-fans, who often supplied the trivia on certain movies that the stations would air -- two of them included myself, and Bob Shaw, who is still the resident film critic at KTVU.

    The great appeal of Bob Wilkins was his "normal" appearance and extremely droll humor (as well as his accessability and kindness to fans) -- with tongue firmly planted in cheek. Bob stayed at KTVU from 1971 to 1979, when he felt that it was time to move on -- the ratings were still very high -- by this time the show was on Friday (one film) and Saturday (two films and a serial), but he couldn't see himself as a 60 year-old movie host. He hand-picked film critic and genre fan John Stanley (author of the Creature Features Movie Guides), and he ran with the show until it was axed mercilessly but the new station management in 1984. Despite his savvy in the genre, he was never as popular as the unassuming (and hilarious) Bob Wilkins, who never took himself too seriously...

    Not only was I a semi-frequent guest, but I became friends with him... and will never forget his generousity and kindness after my mother passed away in 1979.
  • Horrorhost fan (and now a horror host himself) Michael (DOKTOR GOULFINGER) Monahan says:
    I can still vividly recall seeing the first Creature Features broadcast with Bob Wilkins on KTVU Ch 2 in 1971 -- Horror of Party Beach. I believe Del Tenny's companion piece, Curse of the Living Corpse, appeared the following week. Creature Features showed a wild grab bag of fantasy/horror films. Among the more memorable titles were The Vulture, Kiss of Evil, Billy the Kid vs Dracula, Son of Godzilla, Agent for H.A.R.M., Theater of Death...and on and on.

    Due to the show's popularity, KTVU expanded the program to a double feature. Wilkins would fill the host segments with interviews, skits and such, often highlighting local talents. He sometimes showed fan's 8mm movies - a feature which inspired many (including me and my friends) to create our own little epics.

    A lot of big names came through town in those days, and everyone stopped in on Creature Features: Christopher Lee, Forry Ackerman, Buster Crabbe, Ben Johnson (?!?), David Prowse, all the Star Trek crew (the first film was about to be launched) -- and many, many others.

    Wilkins came back to KTVU in a one-off appearance to host the television premiere of The Fog in 1987.

    If you check out the Bob Wilkins' pages on the Planet X magazine site Wilkins is offering DVDs and videotapes (taken from studio masters) from his collection. Most are composed of various Creature Feature host segments, but a few full length specials he produced, including a 'Super Horror" special, 2 Star Trek specials, a Twilight Zone tribute, and some other stuff are included. An incredible collection of zero-cool stuff!
  • According to a posting to the exotica (music) discussion list, the opening theme music for Bob Wilkins' Creature Features show on channel 2 was "Gotham City Municipal Swing Band" from Batman TV show composer Neal Hefti's album Hefti In Gotham City. Some of Wilkins' earlier shows predate this music and must have used other themes.


Bob Wilkins

Bob Wilkins, legendary host of Creature Features and other 60s/70s shows in northern California.
Photo autographed by Bob Wilkins courtesy of Michael "Doktor Goulfinger" Monahan.

Click for larger view.

The Body *

(Name = ?)
Visit The Bone Janger's Official Website.
See The Bone Jangler's profile page at HORRORHOSTS.com, the official site for the Horror Host Underground.
The Bone Jangler
Saturday Night at 10:30 p.m.
Comcast Digital Cable, Channel 6 and/or 10 ("the Fox Valley area of Chicagoland," Illinois)
September 29, 2001 - present
  • Extracts from "The Origin of The Bone Jangler" Website blurb:
    Since long before time itself had been recorded, there has been The BONE JANGLER! Throughout the years, the world's most prolific thoughtsmiths have theorized that the "big bang" that spawned the Earth's creation also heralded the arrival of this ancient enigma....
    Many were the songs the women sang unto Him, with fevered hopes that He would anoint them, and permit them entry into His Coven. And, as The BONE JANGLER and His merry maidens moved across the lands, the seeds of thousands of civilizations were sown. From the building of the ancient sphinx in Egypt, to the mysterious rock formation of Stonehenge, even as recent as the crop circles of today... The BONE JANGLER has been there.
    While the true extent of His powers are none of your business, rest assured that He has zero, if any, rivals. From witchcraft to voodoo, reaching all the way back to Native American shamanism, The BONE JANGLER has had an impact on all forms of magick, past and present. In fact, many of the world's occult practices are based on the fundamental principles of The BONE JANGLER's natural abilities.
    So, what is The BONE JANGLER's current agenda? None know. He appears to be concerned with only 2 things: Sexing His Coven, and His horror show.
  • Bone Jangler's co-host and companion for shows and personal appearances is Nocturna, Queen of the Coven.
  • The cable markets for the Bone Jangler's horror show currently include: "various Chicagoland stations; various Indiana stations; Jackson, New Jersey (Horror Host Underground); Dayton, Ohio (Horror Host Underground); Greensboro, North Carolina (Shock Block); and The Horror Host Underground Network."

Boris Kutchyourheadoffski

Borloff, Karlos

Boudreaux, Quzi
(see DR. BRAIN)

(Bill Bowman)
See bio and images of The Bowman Body — and hundreds of images of a host of other horrors — at the incredible Horror Host Gallery website, courtesy of video archaeologist Thomas Rudé!
Bill Bowman discussed his career as a broadcaster, including his years as a horror host, in long, hilarious interviews on Bob Keeton's Living Successfully radio show in 1997 and 2002. Check out the website to order the interviews, "A Life in Broadcasting with the Bowman Body" (tape) and "The Bowman Body - A Career in Television" (tape or CD).
Shock Theatre
Saturday at midnight
WXEX-TV (now WRIC), Channel 8 (Richmond, Virginia)
June 1970 - September 1976
Cobweb Theatre
Day? Time?
WVIR-TV, Channel 29 (Charlottesville, Virginia)
1977 - 1979
Monsterpiece Theatre
Day? Midnight
WNVC, Public TV, Channel 56 (Fairfax, Virginia)
1983 - 19?
Elena Watson's Television Horror Movie Hosts reference:
whole chapter and two pictures -- Ch. 14, "The Bowman Body," pp. 92-96.
  • I found this pleasant memory of the Bowman Body experience, by webmaster Brian Quass, on his now-defunct Café Brian site (good thing I swiped it before it disappeared!):
    The year was 1974 and if it were Saturday night at 11:30, you would have found me up in the attic, adjusting the rabbit ears on my aunt's black-and-white GE television as part of my weekly effort to lasso in the signal from relatively faraway WXEX in Richmond, Virginia. Why? Well, the Bowman Body starts at midnight, you see, and I don't want to miss the dramatic opening when the balding middle-aged man sticks his tennis shoe out of the coffin and cries, "Hi there, Horror Movie Fans!" Besides, he's showing "Devil Bat" tonight or "Dracula Meets Jesse James" or maybe even the 1932 version of "Frankenstein." So you go on to bed if you want to, but this is one Virginia teenager who's staying up until 1:30 A.M.! (or so I always resolved, but, you know, I don't recall one episode during which I didn't either fall asleep or become so terrifically tired that I shuffled off to bed of my own accord).

(Bradford Skobie?)
Day? Time?
Burly Bear Television Network (national campus cable TV network)
  • According to the old Burly Bear website:
    Thrillavision is a program that takes the pain out of our addiction to bad films. Host Bradford Skobie does us all a favor and cuts these 90-minute abominations of art down to a manageable fifteen or twenty minutes.... Interspersed throughout the show, Bradford and his many personalities lighten up the mood with truly insane commentary.

Brain, Dr.
(see DR. BRAIN)

Brew, Misty

Brewer, Sterling

Briggs, Joe Bob

B.S., Dr. Mor
(see DR. MOR B.S.)

Bubbles *
(see NOTE to DR. SHOCK (I))

Budd, Milton *
(see MILTON *)

Burns, Bob

Burns, Kathy

(Butch Patrick and Natalie Popovich)
Visit Butch Patrick's Official Web site.
Visit Macabre Theatre, the show's Official Web site.
See profile page for Butch Patrick and Ivonna Cadaver at HORRORHOSTS.com, the official site for the Horror Host Underground.
Visit The Munsters Official Website.
See Butch Patrick's Internet Movie Database entry.
Macabre Theatre
Saturday night at 8:00 p.m.
KHIZ, Adelphia cable Channel 64, (Southern California)
Direct TV Channel 64 or Channel 966
Dish Network Channel 8019
Halloween 2002 - present
  • Introductory information from the Horror Host Underground profile:
    Worth Watching! Butch Patrick, AKA Eddie Munster from the TV Show "The Munsters," has returned to Grandpa's dungeon with co-host Ivonna Cadaver, the ravishing temptress. Each week, Butch and Ivonna will host a classic horror film directly from Grandpa's private vault! Clever skits, celebrity guest segments, some very "hip" 21st century ghouls and surprises that regularly crash into the dungeon walls!
    Born in Eastern Europe, a distant relative of the Romanov's, Ivonna began her career designing "burial wear," a thriving cottage industry during the black plague. After acquiring her mother's jewelry and dreaming of a "life" at the royal court, she decided that she just couldn't wait around the castle for her inheritance, declaring to anyone who would listen, "If I can't have it all right now, then I'm out of here with Ivan!"
  • From Macabre Theatre's Official Website:
    Butch Patrick, AKA Eddie Munster, and Ivonna Cadaver, a timeless ghoul who has chosen to re-invent herself in the 21st Century, haunt, tease, and tantalize viewers each week on Los Angeles-based "Macabre Theatre.". The show LA Weekly declared "It beats the living daylights out of just about anything else being broadcast."
    Each week Ivonna welcomes viewers into her own private dungeon where she engages in delectable debauchery and hosts campy – some say, classic – horror movies (such as) "House on Haunted Hill," "Lisa & The Devil," and "The Brain That Wouldn’t Die."
    Butch Patrick of "The Munsters" delights in his signature segment "Haunted Hollyweird" as he visits haunted locations and tells true stories about the stars, movies and scandals behind them.
    Join Ivonna as she delivers hip, irreverent, cutting-edge humor "with a bite!" Some of her favorites segments include Goth Trivia – fun facts on the movie, Ghoul Shopping Network – her take on hot products in today’s culture, with a macabre twist, and Ivonna's CD picks of the week.

(Brian Easterling)
Visit Meet Cleaver Theatre, the show's Official Website.
See Butch R. Cleaver's profile page at HORRORHOSTS.com, the official site for the Horror Host Underground.
Meet Cleaver Theatre
Daily, late afternoon
Media Bridges-Cincinnati, Time Warner Cable Channels 4 (Cincinnati, Ohio)
Various public access stations across the country via the a Horror Host Underground
Summer 2003 - present
  • Random factoids adapted from information posted on the official Website:
    The show centers on Butch R. Cleaver (Brian Easterling), a mechanical engineer from the past (1959) who is obsessed with horror films. One afternoon while tinkering with one of his short-wave radios, an explosion occurred, opening a rift in the space-time continuum, and hurling Butch, his family and his entire home through a time-warp. They awakened to find themselves in the year 2003, with many things different in the Cleaver homestead — for instance, Butch lost his depth perception, and now wears 3-D glasses. An even greater change is that Butch's lovely wife, Joan E. Cleaver (Jeanne Dietrick) emerged from the Time Warp as a severed head. Butch preserved Joan's head in a jar, and wired it into his old radio; when she speaks, there are bubbles and lights! Stuck between two times in Americana, Butch and his family experiment with their new world, catch up on fifty years of horror films, and partake in many wacky adventures.
    Meet Cleaver Theatre is the first horror host program originating in Cincinnati, Ohio since the classic performances of "The Cool Ghoul" back in the 70s. The show consists of public domain movies and independent features (shown with the creator's consent), sandwiched between horror/comedy skits and other short subjects.
    The Cleavers have a dog named Patches, produced by a mad lab experiment performed by Butch R. Cleaver after the warp. Originally the Cleavers had two playful pups, but their bodies were unable to withstand the force of the warp. When Butch awakened he was only able to scrape together enough doggy parts to create one puppy, Patches.
    The producers intend for Meet Cleaver Theatre to become a showcase for independent filmmakers and video artists. Interested? Contact the producers via the show's website.
  • More show info from the Horror Host Underground profile:
    Additional characters into the show include a full-size, cable/wire controlled skeleton called "Uncle Em" and busty horror babe / bartender "Molly Hatchet," head of the Cincinnati chapter of the Dee Kappa Tation sorority.

Byram, George *

End of B Listings  Go back to INDEX