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How Many of You Had a Count Floyd In Your Life?


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Count Floyd, as you presumably recall, was the character played by Joe Flaherty on SCTV years ago. It was a quite brilliant takeoff on all those poor clucks in the local TV channel sticks who had to get dressed up as a vampire in order to host a late night television presentation of horror films. Maybe some of them were in the big cities, too. Invariably a lot of them were required to do very bad Bela Lugosi impersonations.

 

I don't know who inspired Flaherty for his characterization but I certainly had a version of it. A local Buffalo channel many full moons ago used to show Universal horror films every Friday night. The vampire host of this station was an actor named Adam Keefe. I can't remember if he actually howled at the moon but he was sure dressed up like a bargain basement Dracula, and he definitely added to the fun of the presentation.

 

I even remember sending Keefe a fan letter asking for his autograph. The only part of the letter that I can recall was its closing.

 

 

"If you can send me your autograph," I wrote, "fangs a lot. If not, fangs for nothing!"

 

 

Being a kid, I was slapping my side with the wit of my comment. With that joke, I thought, I can't fail to get a reply.

 

 

I failed to get a reply. The poor guy, he probably got a few dozen letters a week with "wit" like that in them. It's no wonder he didn't respond.

 

 

By the way, years later, when I was in a Toronto bar I spotted Joe Flaherty. "Count Floyd," I thought as I walked up to him to tell him how much I had enjoyed his characterization. Unfortunately, as I started to speak to him I got shoved in the chest by a drunk. Flaherty had a look on his face like he didn't want to be in the middle of a row, and the mood of the moment for thanks, I'm afraid, was lost.

 

 

My luck in dealing with the original Count Floyd was no better than it had been with one of the men who had inspired him.

 

 

In any event, how many others can recall shlock movie presentations with an actor playing a vampire as its host? Are there still people making some kind of livelihood this way (and do they actually write it on their resumes)?

 

 

images?q=tbn:ANd9GcToHAaswu0WUDaXdl9EdpC

 

 

It's Count Floyd with his 3D glasses on, folks!

 

 

images?q=tbn:ANd9GcSwFuWQI45pCxgxbB4cKJi

 

 

Count Floyd, with "friends"

 

 

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This is my man Adam Keefe. I wonder if Joe Flaherty saw him, as well. That drunk in the bar stopped me from finding out.

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There most certainly are still tv horror hosts (the correct term) working today, although not as widely as many years ago. Elvira is still doing her thing in a newly syndicated program, and many other hosts are either on local cable access channels, or with the age of the internet, do their shows online. Look around through Google...there's many sites and such specifically devoted to the horror host community.

 

There's so many I can think of that were along the lines of Count Floyd, including the well-known Sir Graves Ghastly (Dawson Lemming, who died a few years ago) to one I almost grew up with, The Cool Ghoul from Cincinnati, Ohio (Dick Von Hoene, who died several years ago). Not all horror hosts were based around vampire characters...many were either simply "ghouls" or freaky characterizations, aand some were straightforward humans (such as Hoolihan and Big Chuck, whom I grew up watching in Cleveland...Big Chuck is still on the air there with Lil' John, a midget who started off on their original show).

 

Let's also not forget the first one, Vampira (Maila Nurmi, who died a few years ago), and the legendary Zacherle (John Zacherle, who is still alive and with us).

 

 

As far as SCTV is concerned, I believe Flaherty started off doing that as a recurring joke sketch on the show and then actually started hosting horror movies as Count Floyd. Also don't forget John Candy's recurring spoof character Dr. Tongue, who was also a sort of horror host.

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The joke was Count Floyd was Floyd Robertson, who was also the anchor

of the Melonville News.

 

In Detroit we had Sir Graves Ghastly and The Ghoul. A lot of people thought The Ghoul was a knockoff of Ghoulardi from Cleveland.

 

In Omaha they had a guy name Dr Sanguanary, (sic). I didn't grow up there but my friend talked about him.

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Hi Tom. In Los Angeles in the late '60s and early '70s, and before Cassandra Petersen would originate her role as "Elvira" in L.A., and which(as kriegerg69 mentioned earlier) would eventually become nationally known through syndication, we had a rather gaunt-faced gentleman known as "Sinister Seymour" played by local actor Larry Vincent...

 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Larry_Vincent

 

 

Mr. Vincent unfortunately died of stomach cancer in 1975 at the reasonably young age of 50.

 

(...btw, while watching "Seymour"'s program one Friday night back in the late '60s, I discovered my absolute favorite all-time worse movie ever made to laugh at: 1964's The Creeping Terror)

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And an Uncle Floyd.

 

Okay, no I didn't, I didn't get local New Joisey stations in New Yawk.

 

I had Sandy Becker and the rest.

 

But I loved SCTV and Candy and Levy and Flaherty and Martin and O'Hara.

 

misswonderly, I bow to the brilliance of Canadian comics, with the exception of Carrey, of course, the man's an overpaid hack.

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> {quote:title=sfpcc1 wrote:}{quote}

> In Detroit we had Sir Graves Ghastly and The Ghoul. A lot of people thought The Ghoul was a knockoff of Ghoulardi from Cleveland.

>

> In Omaha they had a guy name Dr Sanguanary, (sic). I didn't grow up there but my friend talked about him.

I remember Sir Graves in Detroit...great character. The Ghoul was originally from Cleveland, by the way, and yes indeed he was a sort of spinoff of Ghoulardi, who was also THE legendary horror host from Cleveland (the first there, I think).

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LOL

 

Yeah, MAYBE...but I don't know how "elusive" the Looney is...especially considering I've just heard that for the first time in history, the average Canuck's net worth is more than the average Yank's.

 

(...no political comment or any political endorsement was either expressed NOR implied in the previous statement, btw)

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A tribute to the ladies:

 

images?q=tbn:ANd9GcSkJkFY1yB_2iVZzRXUwuu

 

Vampira, as played by Maila Nurmi, first of the movie horror hostesses. But who was the first male horror host, I wonder?

 

images?q=tbn:ANd9GcTqTJx7SubDQX3a2CaOu4X

 

Vampira, with Bela Lugosi on The Red Skelton Show (1954)

 

images?q=tbn:ANd9GcTDEDVUPYjOE0DG_kpFh4h

 

Vampira in Plan 9 from you know where

 

images?q=tbn:ANd9GcQI3OiLFY4a8hxT99Fy4hn

 

Vampira with James Dean? Nurmi and Dean were acquaintances

 

images?q=tbn:ANd9GcRpud_X1VUs1Fp6vTUoCyv

 

Vampira and a rebel without a claws

 

images?q=tbn:ANd9GcQ-bADP0WVdzWRi0QxC9kq

 

Hostess with the Mostess, Elvira, played for camp by Cassandra Peterson

 

Nurmi sued Peterson in the '80s, claiming that Elvira's character was an infringement upon the character of Vampira. Nurmi lost the case.

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TomJH wrote: Nurmi sued Peterson in the '80s, claiming that Elvira's character was an infringement upon the character of Vampira. Nurmi lost the case.

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

 

Yeah, I actually remember that little lawsuit, Tom.

 

(...I often wondered if the jury might have thought Elvira's beehive with bangs hairstyle was the deciding factor on her side???) ;)

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> {quote:title=UniversalHorror wrote:}{quote}

> I remember Sir Graves in Detroit...great character. The Ghoul was originally from Cleveland, by the way, and yes indeed he was a sort of spinoff of Ghoulardi, who was also THE legendary horror host from Cleveland (the first there, I think).

 

Having lived in Ann Arbor, near Detroit, since the mid 60s, add me to the Sir Graves Ghastly/The Ghoul list. I liked The Ghoul the best. He did lots of satire, smashing model cars, or blowing them up with firecrackers, and saying "Take that, Detroit." He also had a frog doll, called "Froggy," which he would torture, in various ways, like putting Froggy in a blender. Ron Swede, aka The Ghoul, was probably Polish, because he he played Polish music, and made jokes based on Polish foods, etc.

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In the DC area, where I grew up, we had the aforementioned Sir Graves Ghastly (was there one in every town or did the actor have trouble keeping a gig?) and later we had Count Gore deVol. Count Gore was the same guy who played Captain 20 and, for a time, Bozo in the afternoons.

 

Count Gore, Dick Dyszel, still runs a website countgore.com, and I think posts clips to youtube.

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Joe Flaherty (like me) is from Pittsburgh, PA, so there's no doubt he took the name "Monster Chiller Horror Theater" from Chiller Theater, hosted by Bill Cardille on what used to be station WIIC. While Chilly Billy usually hosted wearing a regular suit, he did sometimes appear on other occasions in a Dracula costume.

 

Joe, in character, often would make references to things only his fellow Pittsburgers would get, like "Blood-sucking monkeys from West Mifflin" or the Squirrel Hill tunnels.

 

 

 

 

BTW, Bill Cardille makes an appearance as himself in the original *Night of the Living Dead*.

 

Edited by: BelleLeGrand1 on Aug 13, 2012 6:35 PM

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{font:Times New Roman}Does anyone else remember “Dr. Paul Bearer” broadcasting from his “tenement castle”? His specialty was turning various products into macabre puns. The actor who played him, Nick Benneck, did a lot of personal appearances for charity and was greatly missed when he died.

 

Me TV has "Sengoli" on Saturday nights with Universal movies and a similar but not as good persona. {font}

 

 

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Upstate from Detroit, in northern lower Michigan, we had Count Zappula, aka Don Melvoin who also worked Saturday morning cartoon time as Deputy Don.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=06wiJcURbM8&feature=endscreen

 

Unfortunately there's not much to be found on Youtube. Looks cheezy I know, but when I was four I thought he was scarier than hell. :) Mr. Melvoin also allegedly appeared on Bonanza, and had a scene in Somewhere In Time which was filmed on Mackinac Island, but he was cut from the final film. Sadly he passed on in 2002.

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> {quote:title=BelleLeGrand1 wrote:}{quote}Joe Flaherty (like me) is from Pittsburgh, PA, so there's no doubt he took the name "Monster Chiller Horror Theater" from Chiller Theater, hosted by Bill Cardille on what used to be station WIIC.

Loved Joe Flaherty on "SCTV" up here in Canada doing characters like Count Floyd (with Eugene Levy as Bruno and John Candy as Dr. Tongue):

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CycgQmeWFeE

 

I still remember the first time I watched an episode of "SCTV" on the tube...

Have no idea why Mr. Flaherty didn't make a go of it in films??

I know that he did some cameos in various movies and on various TV shows after "SCTV"...

Oh well, a very funny man...

 

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