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(dramatic music)
- (sighs) Screaming relaxes me so.
(exciting music)
- The modern horror genre
arguably got started

on a June night in 1816 when Lord Byron
challenged his companions at Lake Geneva
to write ghost stories to tell each other.
That challenge resulted in Frankenstein
and the modern vampire as we know it.
Now here's the part where
it'll probably sound like

I'm reaching, I think
it's that origin story

with a group of story
tellers sitting around a fire

that has led horror to
be drawn to anthologies

and horror hosts.
It's probably no shock to you all that I,
someone who talks about
horror movies on the internet,

have a huge love for horror hosts.
And while the internet has changed a lot
I thought we could look
back at the history

of how we got here.
Vampira, played by actress Mila Nermey
was the first horror host.
For a single season from April 30th, 1954
to April second, 1955 the Vampira show ran
on KABC in Los Angeles at the glamor ghoul
in her long, tight black dress
reclining on a Victorian
couch introducing movies.

Now that probably sounds a
bit familiar to a lot of you

who have never even seen Vampira.
But she was the first to do it.
She was Morticia Addams
before Morticia Addams.

She based her look on
the nameless character

from Charles Adams'
cartoons in The New Yorker

who wouldn't be known as Morticia
until the TV adaptation a decade later.
What's really crazy about
the character of Vampira

and her influence is her short tenure.
A year in, ABC tried to buy
the character from Nermey.

She refused, they canceled her.
That was it for Vampira.
But she started a format that would thrive
and launch a million monster kids.
Then in 1957 Universal Studios packaged
52 of their classic horror
films as Shock Theater

and distributed them around the US
for television syndication.
And encouraged the use of
hosts for the broadcasts.

This led to a wave of
late night costumed hosts

taking to the air to introduce the films
with stand outs like John
Zacherley, originally appearing

as Roland in Philadelphia
before moving to New York

and presenting as Zacherley,
becoming nationwide sensations.
Zacherley really leaned
into the horror comedy

side of things and
incorporated cut away gags,

parodying the films he was presenting,
which has kind of become the standard.
Zacherley even had a hit record
with Dinner For Drac,
breaking the top 10 in 1958.

And that's sort of what my
introduction to Zacherley was,

not Dinner With Drac in
1958, but from Rock and Roll.

He and the Ghastly Ones
do a great cover of CCR's

Sinister Purpose on Rob Zombie's
Halloween Hootenanny compilation.
The Shock Theater package
hitting television

created a monster craze in the late '50's
that would also benefit
from Forrest J. Ackerman's

Famous Monsters of Filmland Magazine
and comics like Tales from the Crypt.
While the horror hosts of
the era were mostly made up

of weather men and other
personalities already employed

by the respective stations
presenting archival films

during the late '50's a
genre series would emerge

that would change everything.
Rod Sterling was already an
established name in television

when he created The Twilight Zone
an anthology series which
presented original sci-fi,

fantasy and horror tales
which used the freedom

of genre storytelling to
tackle stories and theme

that he felt were being
suppressed and censored elsewhere.

The show with Sterling narrating
through each stand alone

story until its twist
ending is one of the most

beloved franchises in television history.
And has spawned a movie,
countless imitations

and three revivals including
an upcoming version

executive produced and
hosted by Jordan Peele.

While The Twilight Zone
brought about a new kind

of horror host one that
presented original material

it didn't mean that the
Late-Nite Schlock host

went anywhere.
In fact they thrived through
the '60's with names like

Ghoulardi, Sammy Terry and Moona Lisa
ruling their local airwaves.
Some of the characters from
the original monster craze

are still going like how Mark
Carter replaced his Father Bob

as Sammy Terry and Rich Koz took over
the reigns of Svengoolie.
First replacing Jerry G.
Bishop as Son of Svengoolie

from 1979 to 1986 then when the
show was resurrected in 1995

Bishop encouraged Koz to drop Son of
and he's been Svengoolie every since.
Now expanded from the
original Chicago market

to reach audiences nationwide
Saturday night's on METV.

While the horror hosts didn't go anywhere
through the '70's
popularity did dip a bit.

But there was a resurgence
in the early '80's

thanks to the Mistress of
the Dark herself, Elvira.

The origin story of Elvira
actually circle us back

to Vampira which shouldn't
really come as any surprise.

Looking to revive Fright
Night not the movie

which featured a horror host
but the LA area horror show

that had been hosted by Sinister Seymour
producers reached out to
Mila Nermey she was on board,

but according to Wikipedia
she wanted Lola Falana

to take over the role, producers
said no and Nearmy walked

which was kinda her thing.
Auditions were held to find a new hostess
and Cassandra Peterson won the job,
but since Nermey owned Vampira,
remember she refused to sell
the rights the character

of Elvira was created.
And as you can expect
there were some lawsuits.

But it was ruled that
characters that just shared

a close resemblance that if
anything could be sourced

back to Charles Adams.
The hostess and movie
macabre went on to be

a media sensation throughout the 1980's
and has been a staple of
pop culture ever since.

In fact, there's rumors of another sequel
to Mistress of the Dark
and talk that a new version

of Elvira's movie macabre may
be making its way to Netflix.

It was at the very end of
the '80's that arguably

the greatest horror host
of the greatest horror

anthology series made his debut.
Tales from the Crypt sound
so weird it had to work.

I mean someone said let's
have a puppet corpse

introduce a bunch of short
films starring and created

by A-list Hollywood talent
based on horror comic books

from the 19050's.
And they said it with a straight face
and then it actually worked.
Thanks in large part to the
John Kassir voiced Crypt Keeper

who would also make the
leap to Saturday mornings

with the markedly tamer
Tales from the Crypt Keeper.

There are definitely a group
of horror fans around my age

who would cite the Crypt Keeper
as their first horror host.

But for me that honor goes
to a group of Canadian kids

sitting around a campfire.
The Midnight Society of
Are You Afraid of the Dark?

met weekly with each member taking a turn
submitting a tale for approval.
It wasn't a traditional
horror host set up for sure,

but it was an effective
one that cultivated

a new group of monster kids.
Are You Afraid of the Dark? is
even moving to the big screen

it and Annabelle Creation's
scribe Gary Dauberman

has written the film which
is due in theaters this fall.

But beyond Kids in the
Woods the '90's also saw

the emergence of something
else that would change

the landscape of horror
hosts, the internet.

Count Gore de Vol of
Washington D.C. who originally

broadcasted from 1973 to 1987
lays claim to being the first

horror host on the internet
with his online series

which dates back to 1998.
But it's not just existing
hosts taking to the web

the last few years has seen a rise
in a new generation of horror hosts.
Like Blair Bathory of Fear
Haus who has been hosting

her carefully curated
selections of short horror

since May of 2015.
The show is now weekly with
new episodes on Wednesdays

and they've even expanded to
a Fear Haus Watch Club group

on Facebook for fans of the
series to join the discussion.

There's also Deadflix hosted
by hellbound video store clerk

Morgul from the team at Grind Mind.
Their series is an anthology
of original short films

with new episodes coming monthly.
So like the horror hosts
going back to the '50's

even the internet has hosts who
introduce pre-produced films

and hosts who present original works.
Ad of course I can't forget Joe Bob.
Joe Bob Briggs is a bit different
than your usual horror host
having originally been known

as a Drive-In critic
before hosting Drive-In
Theater and Monster Vision.

These days he set up show
with the folks over at Shudder

where the last Drive-In knocked
out three epic marathons

in 2018 and now news is
out that a weekly series

will be coming to the streaming
platform in the new year.

Look I know I missed a bunch
here including Grandpa Al,

but who's your favorite horror host?
Do you prefer original anthologies
or archived presentations?
Let us know in the comments.
And remember Frighthype and
Cryptv are all over the internet

until next time keep
the horror on the screen

and off the streets.
(intriguing music)
- [Narrator] Watch new
scary vids every Tuesday,

Thursday and Friday.
(upbeat music)


Fright Hype | "Horror Host History" | Crypt TV Culture

266 タグ追加 保存
Amy.Lin 2019 年 5 月 30 日 に公開
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