One of the local television stations, WGHP in High Point, started carrying ELVIRA’S MOVIE MACABRE three weekends ago(another in the area started this past weekend with the first episode from three weeks back. It’s on very early Sunday morning(three am on one and five on the other). it started me thinking about a show that same WGHP carried when I was a teenager, Shock Theater hosted by Dr. Paul Bearer, he of the puns and bad jokes(as in, “coming to you from Die Point, North Carolina!”). It was a kick watching these really bad movies in a darkened room, usually alone.
You know the formula. really bad monster movies, bad jokes, and puns(one of his favorite was Bearer hitting a pack of gum with a hammer. “Here I am beating my gums!”). You’ve seen it before on Mystery Science Theater and the previously mentioned Elvira. Except old Paul was doing it back in the sixties. Was he first? I have no idea, but probably not.
Dick Bennick Sr. was the man behind the make-up.
The show was on from the mid to late sixties, then disappeared. I didn’t know anything else until I started researching(love the internet). Bennick took his character to St. Petersberg, Florida and in 1971, started Creature Feature(later Fright Night) that went on a long run that lasted until he died in 1995.
There’s even a website Here.
A fondly remembered show from my teenage years. it was on every Saturday night at eleven thirty. The new Elvira is much later. I suppose her barely contained cleavage might be a bit much for the viewers of this type of show, which tends to run young. Certainly a lot better looking than Paul Bearer.
Here’s a couple of early promotional clips:
and some of his goofy songs he liked to play: