International Bon Vivant and Raconteur (nick_kaufmann) wrote,
International Bon Vivant and Raconteur

The World of TV Horror Hosts

Growing up, I didn't have my own local TV horror host the way so many others of previous generations did with Zacherley, Ghoulardi or Vampira. Instead, I had a national host: Commander USA on the USA cable network. As a teenager, I made it a point to either be home for Commander USA's Groovie Moovies every Saturday afternoon or at least be sure to set the VCR. He showed all sorts of obscure and usually terrible horror and sci-fi movies, interspersed with his own comedy schtick. (If I recall, he later moved to Sundays and showed old Shaw Brothers kung fu movies, which was also pretty awesome.) I saw a lot of so-bad-they're-good movies because of Commander USA, and even just thinking about him now fills me with a warm sense of nostalgia. I think he helped shape who I am. (Shortly after his show went off the air, USA relaunched the format with an after-hours show called USA Up All Night with Rhonda Shear and Gilbert Gottfried, but I didn't watch it. If it wasn't Commander USA, I wasn't interested.)

Anyway, because of Commander USA, the heyday of the TV horror hosts seems like a golden era of television to me. And not just to me, but to a lot of people -- including producer Sandy Clark, whose amazing documentary on the subject, American Scary, is currently seeking distribution.

All of which is my way of leading up to telling you that I have an interview with Sandy Clark at Sandy is a friendly and interesting guy, and having seen American Scary at the Coney Island Film Festival I can tell you it's a great documentary for anyone interested in TV horror hosts. I hope it gets distro soon.
Tags: movies, tv nerd, writing
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