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DECK THE HOLIDAY'S: 08/21/12

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

TOP 10 TV HORROR HOSTS!

    Most local television channels had a show that presented these horror movies at night or on weekends. These shows usually had a host who was tasked with presenting low-grade films to television audiences. These hosts were most often in costume, and were taken from the ranks of the studio staff.
    A few of these horror hosts became icons and gained nationwide, or international, recognition for their roles. However, most of these hosts were local and not recognized outside their local areas, but their characters added to the enjoyment of the movies.
All of the hosts on the list, except for one, were presented in costume.



10. Zacherley/The Cool Ghoul



   Zacherley was the host of WCAU’s Shock Theater, which debuted on October 7, 1957, and ran for 92 broadcasts, through to 1958. Actor John Zacherle wore a long black undertaker’s coat’s as the character “Roland,” who lived in a crypt with his wife “My Dear”, and his lab assistant Igor. The hosting of the show involved numerous stylized horror-comedy gags that have now become standard on television. In the opening sequence, Zacherley would descend a long round staircase to the crypt. The producers erred on the side of goriness, showing fake severed heads with blood simulated with Hershey’s Chocolate syrup. The show sometimes featured live “cut-ins” during the movie in which the soundtrack continued to play on the air, while the visual feed switched briefly to a shot of Zacherley in the middle of a humorous stunt, such as riding a tombstone.     
9. Svengoolie     
   Svengoolie is the name of a character from a long-running series of locally produced television programs in the Chicago, Illinois area. Svengoolie was originally played by Jerry G. Bishop and debuted on Screaming Yellow Theater, which aired on WFLD from September 18, 1970, until the summer of 1973. The show featured various low-budget horror and science fiction movies hosted by horror host Svengoolie, who wore face makeup, a wig and a top hat. In between film breaks, the character presents various sketches, tells corny jokes and presents song parodies spoofing the film being played. Svengoolie is currently played by Rich Koz, who was originally a fan of the show who wrote in with some sketch ideas. On June 16, 1979, a new series named Son of Svengoolie debuted on WFLD, with Koz in the role of the Son of Svengoolie.      
8. Sir Graves Ghastly     
     Sir Graves Ghastly was a character created by Cleveland-born actor Lawson J. Deming, for the popular television show of the same name. Sir Graves Ghastly had its longest run on WJBK, TV2 in Detroit, from 1967-82. Sir Graves Ghastly was a middle-aged man in vampire makeup with a deep voice like Boris Karloff’s. He started and ended the show by climbing out of and into a coffin and showed classic horror films, and gave good background on them. At end of the show he wished viewers “Happy Haunting,” and gave an evil laugh as he lay down in his coffin. Other characters on the show included Sir Graves’ sidekick, Baruba, a ghostly apparition known only as The Glob, and a cemetery caretaker named Reel McCoy, who traditionally opened each episode by unearthing a movie reel from what appeared to be a grave. The show followed a consistent format of back-to-back horror films, interspersed with brief sketch comedy pieces featuring the many characters. The program was originally billed as Sir Graves’ Big Show, but later became known simply by the character’s name.          
7. Sir Cecil Creape/Phantom of the Opry     
   Sir Cecil Creape, aka The Phantom of the Opry, was played by film editor Russ McCown, and was perhaps Nashville’s best known horror host. The show was aired on WSMV, channel 4 Nashville from 1971-1973, and was called Creature Feature. During that time Sir Cecil hosted horror movies and always had lots of skits in between breaks. The set was a dungeon, with stone walls and fireplace which always had a picture of Floyd Kephart, local political analyst, on it. Sir Cecil would descend the stone staircase into his dungeon set to utter the words “Did someone call?” in his unmistakable droll. Sir Cecil wore a dark blue cape with a huge purple collar and a chain mail tunic. He had a hump back and walked in a slow, lurching style. He had a large scar across his forehead and wore a monocle in one eye, as well as a set of deformed teeth. Sir Cecil signed off his show each week by saying “Good night, sleep tight, and don’t let the beddie bugs bite.”    
6. Morgus the Magnificent/Momus Alexander Morgus    
     Morgus is a quintessential mad scientist that originated in the New Orleans, Louisiana, television market, and first appeared on late night television on January 3, 1959, in the House of Shock. Morgus hosted the science fiction and horror movies in between experiments, and was created and portrayed by actor Sid Noel. The doctor was assisted by executioner styled sidekick Chopsley. His well-intentioned experiments typically go awry at the last minute. Dr. Morgus also has an assistant, Eric. In the early version of the show, Eric was a talking human skull. When Morgus returned in the 1980s, Eric had become part of the computer known as E.R.I.C. (The Eon Research Infinity Computer), and holds all the knowledge of the universe in his memory banks. Dr. Morgus was the first horror host to star in his own motion picture, The Wacky World of Dr. Morgus (1962).   5. Count Floyd     
      Count Floyd is a fictional horror host who was played by another fictional character, newsman Floyd Robertson, on the comedy series SCTV. Both characters are played by comedian Joe Flaherty. Count Floyd is the host of the cheesy, and unscary, Monster Chiller Horror Theater. The show was set in a dungeon where he would emerge from his coffin wearing a cheap vampire costume, including a white turtleneck, and speaking in a bad stereotypical Transylvanian vampire accent. Oddly, although he was supposed to be a vampire, he would open each show howling like a werewolf, then start to laugh as he addressed the audience. It’s obvious that Floyd Robertson is embarrassed by his role as Count Floyd and doesn’t enjoy it much. The movies he would host were fictional and had titles like “Dr. Tongue’s 3D House of Stewardesses,” “Dr Toungue’s 3D House of Pancakes”, “Tip O’Neil’s 3D House of Representatives,” “Blood-Sucking Monkeys from West Mifflin Pennsylvania” and Ingmar Bergman’s “Whispers of the Wolf”.       
4. Vampira
   The Vampira Show aired on Saturday nights at midnight on KABC-TV, Channel 7, May 1, 1954 to April 2, 1955, and the show featured mostly low budget suspense films. Vampira was portrayed by Maila Nurmi, and she is generally accepted to be the first television horror host. Despite the shows short run, The Vampira Show set the standard format for horror host shows to follow. Each show opened with Vampira gliding down a dark corridor flooded with dry-ice fog. At the end of her trance-like walk, the camera zoomed in on her face as she let out a piercing scream. She would then introduce that evening’s film while reclining barefoot on a skull-encrusted Victorian couch. Her horror-related comedy antics included ghoulish puns and talking to her pet spider Rollo. Her most notable film appearance was in Ed Wood’s camp classic, Plan 9 from Outer Space, as a Vampira-like zombie, filmed in 1956.       
3. E Nick Witty     
      Monster Movie Matinee aired on Saturday afternoons on WSYR Channel 3, Syracuse, from 1964 – 1980. The show opened with creepy organ music and sounds of howling wind as the camera followed a path through a scale-model cemetery, to a bridge and path leading to a haunted mansion on a hill with dry ice as fog. Once inside Monster Mansion you see Dr. E. Nick Witty sitting off camera in an ornately decorated chair in a darkened room. You can only see his arm and it is clad in a black silk smoking jacket with a white cuff, a pale hand with long, sharp, black fingernails and large ornate rings. The doctor’s hand continuously gestures as he speaks. Dr. E. Nick Witty was played by the station’s weather man, Alan Milair. Supposedly his facial disfigurement was too terrible for his audience to ever view. The doctor had a deep baritone voice and unforgettably evil, sardonic laugh. Epal was the doctor’s assistant. His face was crisscrossed with shoelace-like stitches running the length of his face and forehead, punctuated by an eye patch. Early in the broadcasts Epal had a hook which was later replaced by a metal hand which Dr. Witty built for him. He was played by the late Williard Everett Lape, Jr. The segments between the movies followed a continuous plot thread drawn out for several weeks, such as finding a cure for Epal’s lycanthropic condition, building a time machine, and Dr. Witty’s attempt to restore his facial features.          
2. Mystery Science Theater 3000      
   MST3K is a cult television comedy series created by Joel Hodgson and produced by Best Brains, Inc., that ran from 1988 to 1999. MST3K originally aired on WUCW, Minneapolis-StPaul, Minnesota, from 1988 to 1989. The series features a man and his robot sidekicks who are trapped on a space station by an evil scientist and forced to watch a selection of bad horror and science fiction B-movies. To keep sane, the man and his robots provide a running commentary on each film, making fun of its flaws, and wisecracking their way through each reel in the style of a movie-theater peanut gallery. Each film is presented with a superimposition of the man and robots’ silhouettes along the bottom of the screen. During its eleven years, 198 episodes and one feature film, MST3K attained critical acclaim. The series won a Peabody Award in 1993, and was nominated for writing Emmys in 1994 and 1995, and nominated for a Cable ACE Award.     
1. Elvira/Mistress of the Dark      
    Elvira, Mistress of the Dark was the host of Movie Macabre, a weekly horror movie presentation on Los Angeles television station KHJ-TV, in 1981. Elvira was played by actress/showgirl Cassandra Peterson. She wore a black, gothic, cleavage-enhancing gown, giving her a vampish appearance, which was offset by her quirky, quick-witted personality, and valley girl-type speech. Elvira presented low budget horror films and made fun of them during the intermissions.     In 1989, Cassandra was sued by actress Maila Nurmi for alleged infringement of her pioneering original Vampira TV horror hostess persona. The case was thrown out when Nurmi failed to appear in court.     Elvira is undoubtedly the most famous and the most highly-publicized TV horror host, ever, both nationally and internationally.

MOIST YELLOW CAKE!!

   This recipe was found at www.bakerella.com .  She's not just about cakepops!


Finally, I found it!

Moist Yellow Cake


A moist yellow cake recipe. (Actually, I asked for it.) I have been on the hunt for a moist yellow scratch cake recipe since I started this site. I’ve tried several in the past, like the Butter Cake recipe from The Cake Bible (a great baking resource, by the way). And, while the taste was really good, I’ve been having a time trying to get the recipe to come out as moist as I like. I finally came to the conclusion that it must be my gas oven that’s the problem. At least, that’s what I’ve been telling myself.
So, the hunt was on. It was a short search that began and ended with my friend’s mom. She used to own a bakery and made the yummiest cakes. So, I thought I would ask the pro for help. And, I’m so glad I did. It was yellow and moist, but mostly delicious. Thanks for the recipe, Shirley! I guess I’ll have to come up with another reason to trade my gas oven in for an electric one. Here’s the recipe:
Moist Yellow Cake
1 cup (2 sticks) of butter (room temperature)
2 cups of sugar
4 eggs (room temperature)
3 cups of sifted self-rising flour (White Lily)
1 cup of whole milk (room temperature)
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract (McCormicks)
1/2 teaspoon butter flavoring
  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  • Grease and flour (3) 8 inch cake pans.
  • Using a mixer, cream butter until fluffy.
  • Add sugar and continue to cream for about 7 minutes.
  • Add eggs one at a time. Beat well after each egg is added.
  • Add flour and milk (alternating to creamed mixture), beginning and ending with flour.
  • Add vanilla and butter flavoring to mix; until just mixed.
  • Divide batter equally into three cake pans.
  • Hold each layer about 3 inches above your counter and carefully drop the pans flat onto counter several times to ensure release of any air bubbles. This will help you have a more level cake.
  • Bake for 25 – 30 minutes (depending on your oven) until done.
  • Cool in pans for 5 – 10 minutes.
  • Remove and immediately wrap each layer in plastic wrap to seal in moisture. Cool completely on wire racks.
  • Once cooled, you are ready to assemble your cake.






































Here’s a little trick to add moisture into your layers:
  • Combine 1 cup of sugar and 2 cups of water.
  • Bring to boil and boil for approximately 3 minutes. Let cool.
  • Pour liquid into a spray bottle or pouring bottle.








Secret Sauce


Cake assembly:
  • Unwrap first layer and using a serrated knife, level off the top of your cake.
  • Place layer onto your dish. Take a straw and poke holes into the layer. Using your spray bottle, spray top of layer several times; enough to give it a little moisture. Be careful – don’t add too much.
  • Add a layer of frosting to your bottom layer. Repeat on second and third layers.
  • Frost the sides.










Easy Buttercream Frosting

1 cup (2 sticks) butter (room temperature)
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 1b. 10X powdered sugar
1-3 teaspoons milk, half and half or cream
  • Using a mixer, cream softened butter and vanilla until smooth.
  • Add sugar gradually, allowing butter and sugar to cream together before adding more.
  • If you want your frosting a little creamier, add a teaspoon of milk at a time and beat on high until you get the right texture.
  • Then, just use icing colors to tint the frosting the color of your choice.









This is usually just enough for a 2-layer cake, so I would recommend doubling this for a three-layer. But, I like a lot of frosting.

RAKSHA BANDHAN FROM INDIA!


Rakhi: The Thread of Love

    In India, festivals are the celebration of togetherness, of being one of the family. Raksha Bandhan is one such festival that is all about affection, fraternity and sublime sentiments. It is also known as Raksha Bandhan which means a 'bond of protection'. This is an occasion to flourish love, care, affection and sacred feeling of brotherhood.
Not a single festival in India is complete without the typical Indian festivities, the gatherings, celebrations, exchange of sweets and gifts, lots of noise, singing and dancing. Raksha Bandhan is a regional celebration to celebrate the sacred relation between brothers and sisters. Primarily, this festival belongs to north and western region of India but soon the world has started celebrating this festival with the same verse and spirit. Rakhi has become an integral part of those customs.





An insight of Rakhi Rituals

    On the day of Rakhi, sisters prepares the pooja thali with diya, roli, chawal, rakhi thread and sweets. The ritual begins with a prayer in front of God, then the sister ties Rakhi to her brother and wishes for his happiness and well-being. In turn, the brother acknowledge the love with a promise to stand by his sister through all the good and bad times.
    Sisters tie Rakhi on the wrist of their brothers amid chanting of mantras, put roli and rice on his forehead and pray for his well-being. She bestows him with gifts and blessings. In turn, brothers also wish her a good life and pledges to take care of her. He gives her a return gift. The gift symbolizes the physical acceptance of her love, reminder of their togetherness and his pledge. The legends and the reference in history repeated, the significance of the festival is emphasized.





Unconditional Bond of Love

    Raksha bandhan has been celebrated in the same way with the same traditions for many years. Only the means have changed with the changing lifestyle to make the celebration more elaborate and lively. This day has an inherent power that pulls the siblings together. The increasing distances evoke the desire to be together even more. All brothers and sisters try to reach out to each other on this auspicious day. The joyous meeting, the rare family get-together, that erstwhile feeling of brotherhood and sisterhood calls for a massive celebration.
    For everyone, it is an opportunity to reunion and celebrate. People also share tasty dishes, wonderful sweets and exchange gifts. It is a time to share their past experiences also. For those who are not able to meet each other, rakhi cards and e-rakhis and rakhis through mails perform the part of communicating the rakhi messages. Hand made rakhis and self-made rakhi cards are just representation of the personal feelings of the siblings.






Traditions &  Customs

    Raksha Bandhan is an occasion to celebrate the sacred bond of love and affection between siblings with lots of verve. Also known as Raksha Bandhan across the world, this festival is primarily a north Indian festival that is celebrated all brothers and sisters to express their deep emotions, love and affection.
   On the day of Rakhi festival, the sister ties Rakhi on the wrist of her brother and both make prayer to God for the well being of each other. Sisters perform 'aarti' and put tilak on the forehead of her brother. In return, brothers make promise to take care of his sister under all circumstances. Usually, brothers gift something to the sister to mark the occasion. The mirth that surrounds the festival is unsurpassed. Amidst the merriment the rituals are also followed with great devotion.






Preparation of Rakhi Festival

    Generally, the fancy Rakhis and delicious sweets are prepared long before the Shravana Purnima. According to the Indian tradition, the family members get ready for the rituals early in the morning. They take a bath to purify mind and body before starting any preparations. Sisters prepare the puja thali which consists of roli, tilak, Rakhi threads, rice grains, aggarbattis (incense sticks), diyas and sweets. After offering the rituals to the deities of the family, the sister perform aarti of their brothers and ties Rakhi on their wrist. Then, they put kumkum powder on the forehead of their brother and offer sweets. All these rituals take place amid the chanting of the following mantras :



"Suraj shakhan chhodian, Mooli chhodia beej
Behen ne rakhi bandhi / Bhai tu chir jug jee"
,
Which means "The sun radiates its sunlight, the radish spreads its seeds,
I tie the rakhi to you O brother and wish that may you live long."
After her prayer for a long life for her brother, she says that she is tie the ever-protective Raksha to her brother's wrist and chants:

"Yena baddho Balee raajaa daanavendro mahaabalah
tena twaam anubadhnaami rakshe maa chala maa chala"


    This means," I tie you the rakhi that was tied to king Bali, the king of Demons,
   O Rakhi I pray that you never falter in protecting your devotee.
    In return, brothers pampers and blesses the sisters and promises to protect her from all the evils of this world. He also present a token of his love and affection as a Rakhi gift. The rituals performed on Raksha Bandhan may differ from place to place but they carry the same aura throughout the globe.
Raksha Bandhan in History
    The traditional Hindu festival 'Raksha Bandhan' (knot of protection) was came into origin about 6000 years back when Aryans created first civilization - The Indus Valley Civilization. With many languages and cultures, the traditional method to Rakhi festival celebration differs from place to place across India. Following are some historical evidences of Raksha Bandhan celebration from the Indian history.









Rani Karnawati and Emperor Humayun

    The story of Rani Karnavati and Emperor Humayun is the most significant evidence in the history. During the medieval era, Rajputs were fighting Muslim invasions. Rakhi at that time meant a spiritual binding and protection of sisters was foremost. When Rani Karnawati the widowed queen of the king of Chittor realised that she could in no way defend the invasion of the Sultan of Gujarat, Bahadur Shah, she sent a rakhi to Emperor Humayun. The Emperor touched by the gesture started off with his troops without wasting any time.

Alexander The Great and King Puru

    The oldest reference to the festival of rakhi goes back to 300 B.C. at the time when Alexander invaded India. It is said that the great conqueror, King Alexander of Macedonia was shaken by the fury of the Indian king Puru in his first attempt. Upset by this, Alexander's wife, who had heard of the Rakhi festival, approached King Puru. King Puru accepted her as his sister and when the opportunity came during the war, he refrained from Alexander.







Lord Krishna and Draupathi

    In order to protect the good people, Lord Krishna killed the evil King Shishupal. Krishna was hurt during the war and left with bleeding finger. Seeing this, Draupathi had torn a strip of cloth from her sari and tied around his wrist to stop the bleeding. Lord Krishna, realizing her affections and concern about him, declared himself bounded by her sisterly love. He promised her to repay this debt whenever she need in future. Many years later, when the pandavas lost Draupathi in the game of dice and Kauravas were removing her saari, Krishna helped her divinely elongating the saari so that they could not remove it.

King Bali and Goddess Lakshmi

    The demon king Mahabali was a great devotee of lord Vishnu. Because of his immense devotion, Vishnu has taken the task of protecting bali's Kingdom leaving his normal place in Vikundam. Goddess lakshmi - the wife of lord Vishnu - has became sad because of this as she wanted lord Vishnu along with her. So she went to Bali and discussed as a Brahmin woman and taken refuge in his palace. On Shravana purnima, she tied Rakhi on King Bali's wrist. Goddess Lakshmi ord Vishnu to accompany her to vaikuntam. Due to this festival is also called Baleva as Bali Raja's devotion to the Lord vishnu. It is said that since that day it has become a tradition to invite sisters on sravan pournima to tie sacred thread of Rakhi or Raksha bandan.






Rakhi Celebrations

    In India, Rakhi celebrations are about strengthening the bond of love between brothers and sisters and fostering brotherhood. This festival is not a ritual, custom and tradition that can change over time but its style of celebration has become contemporary. Since ages, Raksha Bandhan is being celebrated in the same way. All the traditions are followed with the same enthusiasm. The gaieties have only blown up to a larger scale. Rakhi festival is the celebration of the chaste bond of love amongst the siblings.
    Everyone start preparing for this festival much in advance. About a month before the commencement of raksha bandhan, you can see fancy and colorful rakhis in every market. Ladies start shopping for rakhi and rakhi gifts quite early. They shop for new clothes and beautiful rakhi gifts specially the one that have to be sent to their brothers staying far. Almost every shop, be it sweet shops, garment shops, gift shops, or any other shop, all are flooded with attractive rakhi gifts to attract people.







    The celebration of Rakhi, in India, is well known for its carnival spirit and strengthening the bond of love between brothers and sisters. In fact, India is globally known for its colorful festivals and ever-green tradition. Celebrated with different rituals, family get-together and sweets, Raksha Bandhan is about sentiments, love and enjoyment. Like any other festival, rakhi has its unique significance.
    On the day of Rakhi festival, the festivity of this auspicious day begin by the day break. After taking bath early morning, people get ready by wearing new clothes and gather for worshiping. After invoking the the blessings of the Gods, the sister performs brother’s arti, puts tika and chawal on his forehead and ties Rakhi amongst chanting of mantras. Sisters whole heartedly give sweets to their brothers to eat which in turns add more sweetness in the Raksha Bandhan celebration and pray for their well being. In return, brothers pamper their sisters and present beautiful gifts to lure them. They also promise to take care of her and stand by her side in any circumstances.







    After performing all these rituals, the whole family reunion to enjoy and have fun. Then all of them share the delicious food, tasty sweets, gifts, music and dance. It is a day to remember all the memorable time spent together for those who, for any reason, are far away from their family. Emotions can also be expressed through e-mails, e-cards, rakhi greeting cards and rakhi through Internet. The overflowing emotions of siblings cannot be stopped on this day.
    Rabindra Nath Tagore started gathering of people like 'Rakhi Mahotsavas' in Shantiniketan to propogate the feeling of brotherhood among people. He believed that the this will invoke trust and feeling of peaceful coexistence. Raksha Bandhan, for them, is a way to harmonize the relationship of humanity. The tradition continues as people started tying rakhis to the neighbor and friends.