Horror hosts are generally known to creep and slither their way into the subconscious of those late-night television ghouls who sit anxiously every weekend awaiting their next dose of B-movie fixation. In fact there is a storied history of these "beings" who dedicated their lives to presenting us with a literal smorgasbord of schlocky goodness, a few of which were able to make it mainstream but many more who lurk in the shadows.Time to fess up, Eerie. Where are all the bodies buried?
Every once in awhile, however, there appears a unique, young upstart who sets out to greet the world not with Lugosi-like charm, but with a subtle ax to the face a sinister sneer. Uncle Eerie is one such upstart who prefers a more "honest" approach to horror hosting, stepping out of the dark and into flickering light of Portland-based television screens every Saturday night. Seeing how Strange Kid is as curious as a flattened black cat, we decided to stop by the Shiver Show shack for a short chat with Eerie and attempted to unmask his secret plans for boob-tube domination worldwide... a few other oddities like tiny Sherpas and how it feels to be "knocking 'em dead" on late night TVCTV.
Hmmm... Good question...I've kind of lost track, at this point...errr, I mean, what bodies...?!?! Quit with the hard journalistic inquiries, feller! This is supposed to be a puff piece!
Okay, okay, just put down the ax...
So, it's been said that you're sort of a Southern-fried Pee-Wee Herman doused in the blood of 1,000 sacrificial yodelers and blessed by the right hand of St. John Wayne. Is that a fair description?
Well, it fails to mention anything about my dashing good looks or dynamic personality... but otherwise yeah, that's a pretty fair description.
Fair enough. Your show, Uncle Eerie's Shiver Show, is currently limited to Portland, Oregon, but short segments from each show are also available on the web. Any chance we'll see future full-length installments appear online or is that all part of a larger plan to take over the globe one late night dwelling corpse biter at a time?
Well actually, we do have the first episode available to download, here. We'll have additional episodes available there shortly. In the meantime, the Shiver Show Gremlins are working on an official Shiver Show website, where we can have every episode available for streaming.
Y'know what, that's a boring answer. What did you say, global something-or-other? Yeah, let's go with that.
Your premiere episode made its debut on TVCTV May 12, but you've been performing your Grand Guignol stage show in front of live audiences for some time. What prompted the change in format, are virtual victims that much better than live prey?
Well the TV show was truly our goal from the onset, since calling myself a TV Horror Host wouldn't make no sense otherwise! But seriously, I do love the recorded format, as it allows us to really fine-tune the show, improve on jokes, bring more talent in, and more ably bring people into the world of Uncle Eerie and his Creepy Cohorts! Plus, it opens us to expand our audience base even further, what with all this fancy internet business.
The live "Spook Show" format was just a way of getting out there and and performing while we got the TV show off the ground. I should mention that the Spook Shows were HORROR-bly fun to do! Mostly because they were chaotic, ramshackle rollercoaster rides, with an audience full of a bunch of drunken reprobates a-hoopin' and a-hollerin' and generally carryin' on like real cretins, and typically resulted in property damages, lawsuits, and indecency charges labeled against yours ghouly. In other words, a proper night out! Truly, there's no comparable feeling as to performin' in front of a live (or close proximity thereof) audience.
Now that I think about it, I really do miss the live shows. We'll probably be back onstage sooner or later (most likely when certain statute of limitations expire...)
Portland seems to have a horror host heritage of sorts, most notably with the well-revered Tarantula Ghoul in the late 50s. Do you see yourself as continuing this tradition or starting something completely new?
Well, ironically, while Portland certainly had it's share of horror hosts, most notable the great Tarantula Ghoul, and the Sinister Cinema fellers in the 1980's, Portland has been pretty devoid of a real TV Ghoul fer way too long. That's why I'm so proud to bring the people of HORROREGON some decent entertainment!
Sadly, Tarantula's show never survived it's original run on local TV (apparently they were all telecast live and never actually recorded for prosperity), but I like to think I, as well as all of the other modern hosts, try to honor those that came before, while adding our own unique spin on things.
The Shiver Show, like any show, should stand on its own feet. And me and the creeps are definitely striving for that kind inconic status. Right now we're like lil' Bambi, all wobbly-legged and unsure, but soon we'll be standing strong and confident, bounding through the meadow. And then our mom'll get killed by hunters. Wait, I lost the analogy, somewhere...
Who were some of your personal horror heroes?
Great Lucifer, that's a tough question! Well, obviously the great Horror Hosts of old; Zacherley, Vampira, Svengoolie, Ghoulardi, Sammy Terry - the list goes on and on. Then of corpse you've got all the greats of the Horror genre; Vincent Price, James Whales, William Castle, Lon Chaney Jr, Jack Pierce, Tod Browning, HG Lewis, Roger Corman, Ed Wood, Russ Meyer, John Carpenter, Screamin' Jay Hawkins, Forrest J. Ackerman, Rod Serling, Richard Matheson. Har har - we could be here all day...
I've heard it said that you're pretty good with a drumstick. Can you also play music?
Yeah, I've been known to beat the skins, on occasion. I can also play a pretty mean washboard! It's been a while, though - I need to start a good Monster jug band! If you know of any werewolf jug players, lemme know, will ya?
Will do, Eerie. Now what about this comic book of yours I've been hearing about, who's involved with that and when is it expected to be released?
Ah, the comic! Well, it'll be a while before we get that out. I do enjoy the funny books, and I thought to myself, "Hey, I'm as heroic as any o' these Batmen or Captain Americas or Barrack Obamas". So I found a few nerdy artist types and put 'em to work! But we're waiting until later in the year to release it. We wanna get the Shiver Show out to the masses as much as possible, first.
Is it true that you've hidden a tiny Sherpa inside your eyepatch that wards off evil spirits?
Haha! What lies beneath this eyepatch o' mine has long been a source of wild speculation and rumor. It shall remain a well-guarded mystery for now...but let me just say that anyone who has dared to peek under the patch has GRAVELY regretted it!
What's one of the worst horror movies you've ever seen?
Well, as a Horror Host, trying to think of the worst movie I've seen is like a Catholic priest trying to think of his favorite issue of "Boy's Life". So I'll just name a movie I saw recently that was truly awful- Curse of Bigfoot. Wow, it's just too bad to be believed! And the Bigfoot looks like a an rug someone glued some ping pong balls to for eyeballs. Wonderfully awful stuff.
And one of the best?
Dang it, these are hard questions! I'll pick another random favorites and go with, Carnival of Souls. A great lil' film. It does an amazing job of expressing the senses of loneliness and isolation that the protagonist is experiencing, and it's incredibly well-shot, especially for a low-budget movie. Plus, you have a director named Herk Harvey who had only made industrial and educational films before making this, his one and only feature film... it's just a great little movie with a fun backstory. If'n I were to ever change my name, it would be to Herk. Uncle Herk!
What's the strangest thing you can remember doing as a kid?
Heck, son- I'm a Centuries-old southern ghoul with an Evil Eye, whose best friends include a teenage swamp monster and a mad Scientist with OCD. I'd say my definition of "Strange" varies greatly from the majority's.
I did spend a whole summer pretending that I was married to a cardboard cutout of Wonder Woman so I guess that's kind of strange. Wait, did you say as a kid?
So how can our readers crawl even further into your web of blood-soaked, B-movie horror?
The Gremlins are hard at work on getting an official Uncle Eerie's Shiver Show website. For now, you can go to my blog for new and updates, or find me on Facebook under my given name, Eerie Lee Shivers. Finally, make sure you also check out YouTube for show clips, commercials and more! Stay Eerie!