Who me/Jamie Lee Part 2: Preparing to meet the hosts at Horrorhound

By Jamie Lee Cortese:
Yes, faster than you can say, “Svengoolie”, I’ve found myself hopelessly entangled in the horror host web, and I couldn’t be happier! While I was doing exhaustive research on Svengoolie and Elvira, Mistress of the Dark, I found out about a documentary entitled American Scary that was all about horror hosts.  I found it online, and began to watch it.  From the very beginning, I was captivated.  I think my first clue that it was going to be amazing was when I saw none other than Neil Gaiman sitting in front of the camera.  Thanks to Mr. John Aranza of the Horrorbles store in––– you guessed it––– Berrrwyyyn, I was able to obtain a copy of it on DVD.  As I watched it again on my television, I remember making mental notes about the various hosts I saw that particularly impressed me and whom I might look into more, including Count Gore De Vol, Mr. Lobo, Dr. Sarcofiguy, and Professor Anton Griffin.
 For me, American Scary was like a basic guidebook that you might be given when you travel someplace for the first time:  It covered many of the must-see attractions and landmarks, but there’s certainly more to see; and if you want to see it, all you have to do is explore a little bit and find it for yourself.  And I, of course, was more than happy to go exploring.

Through my research on the horror hosts I knew about and on horror hosting in general, I happily happened to stumble upon many other horror hosts that were completely new to me.  For instance, through Terror From Beyond the Daves, I found out about Wolfman Mac.  While searching around for other horror hosts in the Chicagoland area, I dug up Count (and Countess) Gregula, as well as various videos featuring none other that Svengoolie himself giving shout-outs to their show!  As for Elvira, she once again led me to another horror host!  Through finding and watching The Search For the Next Elvira on the Internet (and I’m not usually one to watch reality shows), I discovered Ms. Monster.
Okay, so now I had a pretty sizeable list of horror hosts to research.  But I wanted to know more; more than the Internet could ever tell me.  Could there possible be a way to actually come face-to-face with all of these people?  In a word, yes!  And the answer was… HorrorHound Weekend 2011 in Indianapolis , Indiana !
Having missed HorrorHound Weekend the previous year, and with this new project before me, I naturally thought, “Wouldn’t it be great if I could go there this year and actually meet and talk to some of these hosts in person?”  In my ever-wishful thinking, I began to make a mental list of whom I would want to meet at the convention…

Then, I found out that we were actually going.  My request had been taken seriously, and my family would now be spending the entire weekend in Indianapolis !  A mad rush to finalize my list of “must-meets” quickly ensued.  I re-watched American Scary, purchased (and thoroughly enjoyed) Dr. Sarcofiguy’s brilliant book about bad audiences, watched countless clips online, and thoroughly checked the guest list every step of the way, just in case someone new had signed on that I didn’t know about before.  Finally, once I found out from this blog that The Daves would be attending HorrorHound as well, I made sure I knew their faces from the various pictures they had posted, and I promised myself that if I saw either one of them at any time during the course of the weekend, I would go over and say, “Hello!”  If time permitted, I also planned on telling them just how much I enjoyed their blog and the immense help it had given me so far on my project.

Finally, the week of the convention, I sent out an e-mail one night to five hosts on my list:  Count Gore De Vol, Wolfman Mac, Mr. Lobo, Ms. Monster, and Count Gregula.  The very next afternoon, I opened my e-mail, and nearly fell out of my chair when I saw responses from Mr. Lobo and Ms. Monster!  Incredibly, they had both agreed to help within just a couple of hours after my e-mail being sent!

I literally couldn’t believe my eyes.  They responded to me?  They wanted to meet me?
At long last, the fateful day of the convention came!  I ran home, an irrepressible smile seemingly super-glued to my face.  We had all made sure we were packed the night before; all that was left was to throw it all into the car and hightail it to HorrorHound!  Within a half-hour, we were off.
We arrived very late Friday night, and ended up not entering the convention until the next day.  When I awoke Saturday morning, I could hardly contain my excitement!  Beaming from ear to ear, I got ready as fast as I possibly could.  My outfit for the day (and, as it turned out, the next day as well) was, shall we say, unique.  Although I had been convinced not to attempt the make-up, I was still dead set (no pun intended) on cosplaying as Svengoolie.  I even had a rubber chicken necklace that my mom had put together for me!  I topped it off with a top hat that was just a few sizes too big, and grabbed the screaming rubber chicken I had brought along for the occasion.
After receiving our Golden Pass wristbands, my first question for the woman who checked us in was, “What room are all the horror hosts in?”  She told us and pointed, and I was off, armed with an empty backpack to store any merchandise I might purchase, along with a binder filled with page protectors in which to tuck away any autographs I might receive.
 At last it was time to meet the hosts!
Jamie Lee Cortese
(To be continued)

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