Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Creatures of the Night and Other Comforts

Little Dougie has a word or two to share with you today, while I watch Spectre, and undress Daniel Craig with my eyes, because my fingers don't work too well these days. Fortunately, I can still lift a martini glass. Cheers, darlings.

This fabulous new book, Creatures of the Night That We Loved So Well: The Horror Hosts of Southern California by James Fetters is now available by clicking on its title above. My interest is not "Disinterested" as they say. You may notice my name on the front cover as author of the Forward. Actually, I wrote over 100 pages of this book's content. No, it's not "The Longest Forward Ever Written," but among this book's treasures are a 20 page essay on my relationship with Larry "Seymour" Vincent, some material I wrote for a comedy album Larry did not live long enough to record, and over 90 pages of scripts I write for his TV show, all produced some 42 years ago.

"Seymour" and I and "The Slimy Wall" at KTLA-TV in Hollywood, back on January 11, 1974, the day we shot my first TV script. The inscription over Larry's right shoulder says "Good show, Doug, Seymour. (I'm on the left.)"
The "Horror Host" these days is mostly a relic of a bygone era. Oh, we still have Svengoolie, but sadly, he's a pale shadow of the brilliance that was Seymour. (When I watch Sven, which I do less and less, I find myself wishing I could enjoy him more. I like the way he offers real information about the pictures and the people who made them, but I seldom laugh. His material just isn't very good.)

But in the 1950s, '60s and 70s, we had ghoulish giants. This book details all the ones who haunted the TV stations of Los Angeles and San Diego, from Vampira to Elvira. 5 years ago, Jim put out the first edition, but this new edition is MUCH larger, and contains a tremendous amount of new material, new pictures, and including a chapter on a host utterly overlooked the first time, whom I, a dedicated horror host fan in LA in that era, had never heard of. There are scripts, not just mine, but from some of the other hosts as well. If you loved the great horror hosts of half a century ago, you will want to have this book.

"That Leech Woman is my kind of guy."
A happy day that was.
Just for the record, I'm not making any money from the sale of this book. My interest is in preserving this small corner of show business history, and of sharing it with those who share my love of it and who retain happy, fading memories of those wonderful entertainers.

In a way, it almost preserves too much. My scripts (And the other scripts in it) are not reset for publication, but are scans of the originals. I made the scans of my own myself, scans of the actual papers that rolled though my 1973 & '74 typewriter. (They would be Xeroxed for the cast and crew, but I retained the originals.) This was before spellcheck and auto-correct, so my spelling errors and typos of 4 decades back are now preserved for prosperity.

The now-rare first edition commands a high purchase price these days. Get this new, better version now for its original price. Enjoy.