It was just over three years ago when the Rondo Award winning Penny Dreadful (Danielle Gelehrter) released her eighth season of Shilling Shockers. Long before she’d share a name with a hit Showtime series, this New England horror hostess was presenting scary movies while treating fans to some rather hex-cellent sketch comedy. Penny Dreadful XIII is also one Salem witch that doesn’t shy away from a challenge either. This was never more apparent than during the aforementioned Season Eight when she shattered conventional wisdom by featuring all silent films; not something today’s viewers generally clamor for. Nevertheless, with an unholy mix of sweat, spells, and skill she’d pull it off with the help of her director, Rebecca Paiva, who worked tirelessly updating the scratchy Public Domain offerings with new “title cards” along with a vibrant storyline that had the host and her feral sidekick, Garou (played by real life husband, Magoo Gelehrter) hilariously venturing into different time periods.
Back to Monster High: Penny & Garou relive their teen years in Season 8!
But despite her character’s ability to tread into the future, no one could have predicted the real-life heartbreak that would follow. In late 2012, Magoo was diagnosed with cancer and, despite a courageous battle, would succumb to the disease less than two years later. It was a shattering blow to both Danielle as well as her alter ego and left a legion of shocked fans in mourning while silently pondering the fate of Penny Dreadful’s Shilling Shockers. It was a valid if not morbid question.
If the old adage about the great loves of this world existing between those who “share the love of many things” is true then there could be few better examples than Magoo and Danielle. Their mutual love of classic horror and vintage physical comedy (Charlie Chaplin, Buster Keaton, etc) would inspire them to expand their fandom into the realm of horror hosting. Garou’s comedic skills, though brilliant, never upstaged the host and made him an essential part of the success of Shilling Shockers. He even inspired us Daves to do an Ode to Horror Host Sidekicks blog and interview with him during our earlier days.
However, abruptly ending the show was not an option as, prior to this tragedy ,a successful kick-starter campaign had been waged to raise money for a ninth season. This meant that Penny Dreadful had no choice but to continue whether Danielle was emotionally ready or not.
Yesterday at 6pm EST a weekend long marathon of Penny Dreadful’s Shilling Shockers will be taking place via The Kreepy Kastle! The 24 hr a day Horror Host online channel will be featuring some of the show’s greatest hits while also allowing viewer chat. It was only recently that the horror host world was given a less pleasant shocker with the news that Penny’s sidekick (and real life husband) Garou had been spending the past year battling cancer. The Terror Daves learned of it back in October but kept mum as it was not known to the majority of the public. At the time Penny stayed positive stating that only silver can truly harm her furry companion and, while we’re also hopeful, it does not take into consideration that they are facing steep medical costs that no mere spell can make disappear.
Greetings, and welcome to the FINAL Horror Host Report featured on “Terror from Beyond the Daves.” Both of us Daves want to thank all the hosts who participated and, of course, everyone who’s faithfully tuned in to read it. It’s been an amazing 2 years but also a lot of work. We will always be grateful for it as it was instrumental in helping us win a Rondo and, even more importantly, forging friendships between us and many of those we featured. While certainly the “labor of love,” both David and I have been pretty busy with other facets of our lives and the hours it takes each week to put a single report together just isn’t there for us anymore. After several weeks of deep discussions, we decided it was time to call it a day. We debated keeping it going through the 1st of the year but, then again, what better finale then the last weekend before Halloween? To save space, our usual practice is to delete our reports after a few weeks but, for novelty’s sake, we will be leaving this one in our archives.
Other than the disappearance of the report, the site will continue going and always remain Horror Host friendly place. There are no plans to stop stalking our childhood horror host, Svengoolie, attending conventions, and partaking in horror host activities. In fact, I’ll be attending THREE of Svengoolie’s four appearances (not bad) this weekend alone. ANYONE who wants to share their pictures and narrative of events that we’re unable to attend are absolutely welcome to submit. Just shoot us a message at email@example.com and we can get that going.
Again, thanks to everyone who assisted us in this weekly post that no blog was ever really designed to support (WordPress, we apologize for all the times we swore at you on Thursday nights). I guess it would be cliche’ for us to end with “Stay Scary,” so we will simply say, “See you at the next event!”
The Terror Daves
It was great seeing my Horror Hosts friends this past weekend at MONSTERBASH! Count Gore de Vol, Son of Ghoul, Penny Dreadful, and Mr. Lobo are regulars there as well as Chilly Billy whom I met for the first time! Check out these pics…
Karlos Borloff, Dr. Destruction, & The Bone Jangler!
DAVE F: If you attended the 2011 Indianapolis Horrorhound Weekend, with the intention of finding the many horror hosts in attendance, you should have had no trouble in doing so. Occupying their own room this year, most were together in a single spot (with the exception of Sammy Terry & Joe Bob Briggs).
We had passed this section on our way to the celebrity rooms and noted a few familiar faces. As we entered, we immediately saw Roxsy Tyler, Midnite Mausoleum, and Dr. Calamari. Dr Calamari (easy to recognize as the guy with the tentacles coming out of his face) is part of a troop of performers called DARK CARNIVAL.
Living in Rhode Island, we have never really had our own horror host. The horror hosts I have seen over the years for the most part have been because of cable television and recorded shows that people have sent me. Thankfully though, the closest horror host we do have is also one of the most popular…Penny Dreadful from Massachusetts. Penny has been the subject of multiple blogs on our site and my co-blogger Dave Fuentes has an article coming out on her in the spring issue of SCARY MONSTERS MAGAZINE. Her show, SHILLING SHOCKERS, can be seen locally on cable access as well as on internet channels like THE MONSTER CHANNEL and ALTERNATE REALITIES TV.
Since delving into the world of horror hosting, I have come across many diverse points of view. Debates regarding who is worthy of the title of “horror host,” who’s the better and most original host, or whether or not true hosts even exist in a post local TV world often come up. This is not surprising since hosts and their fans are, above all else, human beings. Despite all these varying opinions, I was surprised to discover that there was one thing just about everyone agreed on –
Horror hostess, Penny Dreadful is the one to watch!