Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Flash from the Past: Roland On Shock Theatre


In the late 50’s there was a show that I religiously watched called Shock Theatre. It starred John Zacherle as Roland. John was called the cool ghoul by Dick Clark and it was a fitting name for the talented and funny Roland who hosted the weekly horror flicks for my generation on the Philadelphia station WCAU.

Roland, who dressed like an undertaker and looked deader than a doorknob, lived in a crypt with his wife, “My Dear” and his lab assistant, “Igor”, but what made Roland such a hit with me and my friends was the way he would insert his own brand of humor or satire with cut-ins during a film. I had never seen someone do this before and I loved how Roland would cut in on a scary horror scene and do something funny. I did not see this type of brilliance again until Mystery Science Theatre 3000.

I’ll include a few videos for you to check out, but Shock Theatre and Roland are one of the reasons that I love watching and writing horror stories.  


  1. What a 'shock' and coincidence to read this here as I'm currently researching Dr. Shock for my blog. I was too young for Roland, but grew up with Dr. Shock. Great post!

    1. Glenn, I'm not sure, but he may still be alive and living in New York. There have been several interviews on him. I loved this show. This man was ahead of his time and in the older days of television, hosts had more say on what they could do on their shows. I can't wait to read what you're working on