Local Horror Hosts

I remember growing up there was a show called Creature Feature and their theme music used to scare the heck out of me, I don’t know why… :rofl: Then when I got older, I remember Svengoolie, it ran on a local station. I think it’s still going…

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Between Bill Kennedy, and The Big Show on WTOL-11 (with Dialing for Dollars!), I got a great movie education when I was little. Bill had worked in Hollywood and spoke knowledgeably about the movies he showed, with affection or sometimes derision, depending.

The Big Show was brilliant for its themed weeks – we’d get a week of Best Picture Oscar winners, followed by a week of bug eyed monsters, followed by a week of Abbott and Costello, it was just wonderful. The entire sweep of English-language cinema. I miss when local affiliates ran significant chunks of their own programming… and when is the last time anyone saw a channel sign off for the night, with the national anthem and test pattern and everything?

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We had Creature Feature here too. If my memory is accurate (and it may not be), the opening consisted of overlapping gel-shots of various film monsters plus things like chains and candles, all slowly drifting, and the background sounds seemed to emanate from a novelty haunted house record. My brother and I always looked forward to this show.

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Oh wow. I remember Bob Shreve and PPP. I believe that he aired on channel 12 in Cincinnati. I remember Adam West being a guest once and Morganna, the girl that would rush the field and kiss baseball players, popping up a couple times.

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A while back a few of us fans banded together as a group and traded a few videos, with a lot of the stuff turning up on YouTube (including a clip from his original all night show from 1969)! Lots of great memories there.

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Who would stare desperately at the cue cards? Who would brandish a wolf’s head cane?? Who would randomly move the Ralston Purina Lamp???

Curse you, Philadelphia production company!

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There was also some music, I think that’s what scared me, and for the life of me, I can’t figure out why… :rofl:

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Apparently there were a blue million Creature Features, almost all of them local variants. I couldn’t find our old opening, but there are quite a few saved for posterity. Perhaps yours is among them!

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It’s not local (to where I live now), but it is the show that got me hooked on this kind of genre. While in Chicago (Berwyn!), Svengoolie was on a local channel. Now, I’m happy to have learned how to install an OTA antenna and I can watch his show on MeTV, so I’m able to see it again!

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I actually went on youtube and found the local station’s opening theme song for the show, I don’t know what I thought was scary, maybe the creeking door or the guitar riff…

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It was on WGN in Chicago, that’s where I used to watch Svengoolie…Creature Features was also on that channel.

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Instant nostalgia god takes me back to me and my dad and brother watching the ghoul and mst3k repeatedly. Wish I could find all those old vhs tapes … RIP Mr Sweed…

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All I am today, I owe to Count Gregore, of WKY-TV, Oklahoma City, and his “Sleepwalkers’ Matinee”! Of the others I’ve seen, I think I have to most affection for Sir Cecil Creep, the Phantom of the Opry, on The Nashville Network.

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In our part of SW Ontario we got WKBW Buffalo and at 11:30 Friday night during the 60’s it was Adam Keefe as a vampire - funny and scary at same time for us kids to try and stay awake to watch him

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How much Keefe was that…?

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I was born just as syndication was making local tv extinct, and grew up before the internet brought horror hosts back, but as an adult I’ve adopted Cinema Insomnia with Mr. Lobo, Schilling Shockers with Penny Dreadful (she did a really fun, kitschy fan club membership kit, might still), and Creature Features with Vince Van Dahl. Vince premieres a new episode every Saturday night on YouTube.

Thanks for this! I’m gonna try to tune in. [edit: looks like they have a YouTube channel with quite a few episodes uploaded, too: Madd Frank - YouTube)

interestingly (no refunds!) there are currently 2 Creature Features battling it out for the legacy of the California/Bob Wilkins Creature Features dynasty. There’s a pretty flashy production run by and starring a software mogul as a passion project, and a lower-budget one run by some guy who tried to claim copyright to “Creature Features” (whereas the other host feels like no one person should own “Creature Features”). The lower budget guy also has a prop skull on his set he calls “Bob,” which Bob Wilkins’s widow has objected to. He kinda seems like a jerk.

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hosts - detroit area horror hosts
Detroit area hosts were Sir Graves, Count Floyd on SCTV out of Ontario, The Ghoul out of Cleveland and Count Scary (newsman Tom Ryan).

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I was lucky enough to get a couple of signed chickens from Rich Koz (Svengoolie) that hold a place of honor on my shelf.

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(Son of) Svengoolie for me, too. I’ve been watching Rich Koz off and on since his WFLD days in the late ‘70s/early ‘80s. During the height of COVID-19, I occasionally worried that we might be forced to abruptly accept a “Son/Daughter of the Son of Svengoolie" — Koz has been playing the role now for over forty years(!), and he’s not getting any younger.

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Miles O’Keefe!

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