In this day and age, we grown up Monsterkids are now parents. Parenting in and of itself is a tough gig, and with 500 channels, but none of the classic programming we used to watch, it’s even harder. Trying to shield your kid from all the sex on TV and in ads is next to impossible. Through the magic of DVD and downloading, we can show them programs and films that we grew up with. Next to that, we can also find some of the great books we had as kids online, many of which are readily available. Many of the cartoons the kids watch today have references that we as adults get. This special series of “Monster Parent” articles will highlight some of the ways we as parents can help educate our kids on the cool stuff of the past so that they will get the jokes along with you, as well as introducing them to stuff they should know! Today I present a couple of the cool books I read as a youth and now share with my kids.
Exeter, New Hampshire is jockeying to become the next Roswell. It is a quaint New England town, the center of which is chock full of yuppie stores, over-priced sandwich shops with limited menus, and several cool old buildings. Exeter is also home to both “The Incident at Exeter” and “The Hill Abduction”, which are two famous UFO cases. I had the good fortune to be able to attend the The 3rd Annual Exeter UFO Festival with my son, Spencer, on Saturday, September 3rd, 2011.
With the second Roundup headed our way on September 24, 2011, lots of interest has been generated by people who fondly remember Creature Double Feature. I don’t think the producers at WLVI Channel 56 in Boston realized when they were making the show back in the 1970s that it would have such a profound and lasting impact on a whole generation of viewers. In fact, according to Aaron Chauncey who is co-creator of the Roundup, they didn’t think anyone was actually watching it! What is it about Creature Double Feature that had such an effect on the viewers and why does that still hang on today?
April was crazy with birthday parties, Easter, and then the Boston ComicCon at the end of the month, which is why this next installment has taken so long. The beauty of the BCC was that almost everyone was from the area, and we all fondly reminisced about Creature Double Feature, Feep, Simon’s Sanctorum, Chiller and the other great horror programs of the past. Many fans and I talked about how cool Channel 56 and 38 used to be, before they became UPN, WB and the CW. Back then, the local stations cared about the audience and eagerly accepted input from the local fanbase.
Growing up, I always had cool things that comprised my “happy place”: Drive-In Theaters, Famous Monsters Magazine, library books about monsters and monster movies, and of course, Creature Double Feature, just to name a few. Many of my friends weren’t into these things, but they were always special to me. What I didn’t realize was that there were so many other people out there that had the same experiences as me. There was no Internet at the time to connect us, so were in these pockets all around the country. We didn’t have a Horror Host in Boston, but I had read about them. Eventually, Elvira was syndicated and when cable came along we were able to see such hosts as Joe Bob Briggs and even Grampa Munster! In the mid-1990’s, I decided that I wanted to be a Horror Host, too. I created the character of Uncle Death and have played him off and on over the years on an irregular basis. In 1999, I came up with the idea of The Fright Channel in order to share my “happy place” with the rest of the world. Although the investors backed out at the last second in 2003, and after a long time of picking myself up and dusting myself off, I was finally able to make a comeback with TFC and Uncle Death in 2010. Continue reading