Thursday, October 2, 2014

COUNTDOWN TO HALLOWEEN (Day 2): ZOMBO

An interesting note about Horror Hosts is that there are quite a few fictional ones.  Those appearing on shows within shows.  These guys always intrigue me because they always have to play up to the reality set within the original fiction.  Does a wacky sit-com world have wacky Horror Hosts or are they quite different—
more disturbing or twisted by that reality?



I ask this question because of Zombo.  I ask because the look of the guy is nearly as frightening as any TRUE horror character I’ve ever met on film—and he appeared on a hokey television show in the mid-60s!  He is on par with LONDON AFTER MIDNIGHT’s The Man in the Beaver Hat played by Lon Chaney as far as straight up scary goes and yet, here he was on prime time TV with wacky shows like BATMAN and The Beverly Hillbillies!

Okay, maybe not quite as scary as this guy, but close!


And to screw with your mind a bit more, the actor who took up the role of Zombo was able to make him, this visual horror, funny and goofy and light and believably relatable to a kid.  Granted the kid in question was Eddie Munster and the show was the morbidly humorous...
THE MUNSTERS!





Played as harmless and goofy as hell by Louis Nye,
a great comedic actor with tons of credits to his name and talent,
Zombo was the Horror Host for young Edie Munster.

 



Eddie (Butch Patrick) is under the spell of Zombo (Louis Nye), the host of a television horror show. Herman (Fred Gweynne) feels neglected by Eddie who hasn't got time for his dad anymore and is jealous of Zombo. When Eddie has won a contest and gets to go to the studio and meet Zombo in person, Herman tries to become just like Zombo so Eddie will consider his dad a hero again.  And so the humor ensues with the entire episode of this show below!  Enjoy Zombo in all of his fictional glory…




Sometimes the power of a performance, the strength of a concept makes a strong enough impact on the audience that it causes tributes many years later...





And then there are the odd homages in Horror Host characters like...
ZOMBOO!
Still not as scary as Eddie's TV friend, is he?

No comments: