It had been two years since I’d last visited Kenosha’s Jerry Smith Pumpkin Farm but seemed like a lifetime. This was the site where Wisconsin Horror Host, Dr. Destruction, and I sat down and talked for the very first time. The occasion was shared here on this blog (click HERE if you’re feeling nostalgic) as well as an issue of Scary Monsters Magazine. We sat in back of his hand crafted “Gypsy Wagon” and talked about horror hosting. I believe I left out the part where he and I went out afterwards to a local pizza place and drank too much whiskey and that the last hour of our conversation was slurred, but really what did that have to do with the story anyway? Let’s just say it helped facilitate a rather unusual friendship that still exists today.
“Back in the day,” classic horror hosts not only thrived on commercial television but also retained a powerful connection to their local communities. Whether attending a parade, shaking hands at a mall, or giving a birthday message “shout out” on their programs – these men & women endeared themselves to viewers in ways national celebrities could not.