MICHIGAN HORROR SHOW HOSTS #4: Count Scary, 1982-1996
Back in the 1950’s, when movie studios like Universal, Paramount, Columbia, and MGM began selling their movie catalogs to television, the most popular package was Universal’s “Classic Horror” films. You know the ones; Dracula, Frankenstein, the Wolf Man, the Mummy, the Creature from the Black Lagoon, the Invisible Man, and all the other spin-offs, sequels, and one-shots. TV audiences – especially the kids – couldn’t get enough of these classic old horror films, so the need for a wrap-around was inevitable.
Thus was born the “Horror Show Host”, a male or female, usually dressed in some kind of scary garb, hosting the evening’s fright flicks and doing shtick between film segments. Puns abounded, making the audience groan, but they loved every second of it.
One of the cheesiest horror hosts to come out of Michigan has GOT to be Count Scary.
He wasn't scary, his jokes were terrible, and his name couldn't have taken much more than one second to come up with. But ya know what? This guy was so darn funny, he ended up being one of my favorites. Watching his clips on youtube, he continues to make me laugh.
Tom Ryan played Count Scary from 1982-1996, beginning on WDIV Channel 4. From there he took his character to WKBD, WXYZ, and back to WKBD for one last time in a Halloween special with The Ghoul (Ron Sweed).
Even though it was television big shots who caused the demise of Count Scary's TV appearances, Tom occasionally took the Count to his radio program on WOMC until new management decided to give Tom his dismissal in 2007.
Tom Ryan is an extraordinarily creative, funny, and smart guy. For proof, you can read more about his career by CLICKING HERE.
Tom also released a Christmas single as Count Scary, "We Wish You A Scaaary Christmas" that you can listen to HERE!
So, a big "Sgt Sacto" salute to Count Scary, whose cheezy-but-funny stuff will hopefully always be available on the internet! Check out his Facebook page HERE.