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Schlock Jocks II: More of TV's Coolest Horror Hosts

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Last week we discussed some of TV's coolest horror hosts, from Vampira to Count Gore De Vol. With all the great hosts out there, the topic demanded a sequel.

1. Ghoulardi

“This movie is so bad, you should just go to bed,” Ghoulardi (announcer Ernie Anderson) used to warn late night followers of Cleveland’s Shock Theater. But during his short run from 1963-66, the lab-coated host was responsible for keeping more kids up past their bedtime than candy bars or Coca-Cola. A hipster with a Van Dyke beard, Ghoulardi improvised his shows, peppering phrases like “Cool it” and “Stay sick, knif (fink backwards)” in his patter, while spinning jazz and R & B records. After he left the show, he had a successful career in L.A. as a voiceover guy for ABC-TV in the ‘70s. Anderson died in 1997.

2. Svengoolie

“Calling all stations. Clear the airlanes. Clear all the airlanes for the big broadcast!” For over forty years, Svengoolie has been haunting Saturday nights in Chicago with corny jokes and campy creature features. Unusual among horror hosts, he may be the only one who has been played by two different actors, with different looks. The original Svengoolie (Jerry G. Bishop) was a hippie with a Transylvanian accent. A writer on his show, Rich Koz, eventually succeeded him in 1979 as Son of Svengoolie (in time he dropped the first part). With song parodies, rubber chickens and favorite skits like Mr. Robber’s Neighborhood, Svengoolie is still going strong every Saturday.

3. Chilly Billy

From 1963-83, Bill Cardille, better known as “Chilly Billy,” was Pittsburgh’s smiling, cigarette-puffing emcee of Chiller Theater. Unlike other horror hosts, Chilly didn’t wear spooky make-up or garb, but just relied on an easy, wise-cracking manner. In the mid-‘70s, the show expanded to include characters such as Norman The Castle Keeper, Terminal Stare and Stefan The Castle Prankster. Today, Cardille has a daily radio show on WJAS. SCTV’s Joe Flaherty, a Pittsburgh native, acknowledged that Cardille was an inspiration for his Count Floyd character.

4. The Cool Ghoul

“Bl-bl-bl-bl-bl-bl-bl . . .” was the Ghoul’s (Dick Von Hoene) signature tongue-fluttering call to viewers around the Cincinnati area for over three decades. With an orange pageboy wig and goblin make-up, he introduced movies, did a mean Boris Karloff impersonation and sang parody songs like “Ten Foot Two, Eyes Of Glue (Has Anybody Seen My Ghoul).” Von Hoene passed away in 2004.

5. Joe Bob Briggs Monstervision

By the early ‘90s, horror hosts were an endangered species. Enter Joe Bob Briggs (real name John Irving Bloom) and his Monstervision program. Coming on like a slightly cynical Andy Griffith, Briggs’s charm lay in both his knowledge of cult horror movies and his straightforward take on the crappy ones. His “Drive-In Totals” would tally up the key stats of a film (“17 dead bodies, two breasts, tribal dancing . . .”). The show went off the air in 2000, but Briggs has stayed active. According to his Facebook page, his production company is “accepting spec scripts for horror and other genre films.”

6. Sammy Terry

I wonder how many kids in Indiana had nightmares about this guy. A Hoosier favorite since the early 1960s, Nightmare Theater host Sammy (Robert Carter) is more creepy than campy. With his pale round face, red skull cap and ominous laugh, he’s like a freakish character out of a Poe story. Or maybe he’s just a good actor. Supporting characters George the Spider, Ghoulsbie and Ghost Girl added some levity to the proceedings. Today, Carter’s son Mark continues to play the character.

Postscrypt

I couldn’t pass up the chance to mention my own close encounter with a legendary horror host. Last year, while visiting Los Angeles, I was walking around and spotted Joe Flaherty. I’m an SCTV fanatic, so to meet Count Floyd (not to mention Sammy Maudlin and Don Guy Caballero) was a huge thrill. Joe couldn’t have been nicer. He answered all my nerdy questions, then let me grab a picture with him.

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Live Smarter
Here's What to Do With Leftover Halloween Candy
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Americans indulged their sweet tooth in a major way this Halloween, spending an estimated $2.7 billion on candy intended for front porch distribution. Rather than confronting a weepy child with an empty bowl because they bought too little, shoppers tend to buy in bulk. Come November, that can mean pounds of sugar-packed temptation still sitting in the house.

The good news: You can remove the risk to your waistline and do some good at the same time. A number of charitable organizations take leftover candy and send it to troops stationed overseas. Operation Gratitude has set up a number of drop-off centers around the country—you can search by zip code—to accept your extra treats. Once collected, they’ll send them to both troops and first responders. Last year, the group collected nearly 534,000 pounds of goodies.

Often, drop-off locations will be located in dental offices as a way of reminding everyone of the perils of tooth decay from excess sugar consumption. Some dentists even offer buy-back programs, paying $1 for each pound returned.

If donating to a national program is proving difficult, you can always deliver the extra candy to local food pantries or homeless shelters.

[h/t weartv.com]  

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Health
The FDA Has a Warning for People Who Love Black Licorice
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Every Halloween, children and adults alike gorge on candy. One estimate puts the number of junk calories consumed at up to 7000 per kid, the equivalent of 13 Big Macs. While all of that sugar is most certainly not healthy, Consumerist reports that there’s actually a more immediate danger to your well-being: black licorice.

Most versions of the candy, which gains some popularity around the spooky season, contains glycyrrhizin, a sweetening compound found in the licorice root. While tasty, glycyrrhizin can affect potassium levels in the body, causing them to fall to dangerously low levels. High blood pressure, swelling, and even heart issues can develop as a result.

It’s not just bingeing that can cause issues. According to the Food and Drug Administration, adults over 40 who eat more than two ounces of black licorice a day for two weeks could suffer heart problems like arrhythmia. If you have a history of heart disease, you’re even more susceptible to complications.

The FDA recommends using a little common sense when consuming black licorice, eating it in moderate amounts and stopping if you notice any adverse symptoms. If you do experience potassium level drops, it’s usually reversible once you put the bag down. Treats that are licorice-flavored are typically artificial and won’t have the same effect as the actual plant root—but for your waistline’s sake, try to avoid gorging on anything.

[h/t Consumerist]

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