An Interview With: The Bone Jangler

And the final part of todays Horror Host mania, The Bone Jangler!

From the darkest crypt in the oldest cemetary comes……THE BONE JANGLER!!!!!

1:Tell the folks out there in cyber-space a little about your show:
Well, the show, on one hand, is a return to the classic Horror Host shows of old, like Vampira, and Zacherley, where the camp factor is at a minimum. I’m not really a fan of deliberately campy shit. On the other hand, we kind of dragged the genre, kicking and screaming into the new millennium.
You know, a lot of the people who do this, they’re still aiming at mimicking what went on in 1963. To me, that’s been said, and done. It’s not like Ghoulardi sat around, trying to copy what went on in 1923. It was fresh, and topical, and more of an in-your-face approach. That’s what we do. It’s not aimed at little kids, although many of them do watch it, alongside their parents. Those poor parents, having to explain some of the things we say, and do, on the show. (laughs)
I have a 2 1/2 minute disclaimer before the shows, warning the potential viewers that not everything they’re about to see is all soft, and cuddly. I make sure to give ’em an idea of what to expect, so, the disclaimer is laced with nudity, etc. (laughs)
I’ve had a lot of people write me, call me, and approach me at various conventions, thanking me for “modernizing” the genre. To be honest, there wasn’t any kind of plan, when we started. We just did what we’d want to see, and threw it out there, hoping that someone would appreciate it. I’m glad to say that most people who’ve seen it do.

2: What prompted you to begin broadcasting as a TV horror host?
After years of watching the genre dwindle away, as commercial broadcast stations turned their backs on local programming, I decided that, from everything I’d seen, and heard, the people really did, and still do, want this kind of entertainment. I figured that it’d be fairly easy to pull off, as we’re naturally evil, and sinister, and all of that good shit. (laughs) No need for make-up, or sets, here. (laughs) Cable access, here in the States, provides the perfect outlet for this kind of thing, especially for us, seeing as it’s not regulated by the FCC.

3: Which other host/s did you see as a role model?
I don’t know that I saw any of them as role models. (laughs) The best Horror Hosts, in my humble opinion, aren’t exactly what one would call “role models”. (laughs)
As far as who I saw that really made an impression on me goes… Let’s see… Well, certainly the original Svengoolie, Jerry G. Bishop, from Chicago, made a lasting impression. He’s easily my favorite Horror Host of all-time. Cleveland’s Ghoulardi inspired the creation of Svengoolie, and Ernie (Ghoulardi) Anderson really blew everyone in NE Ohio away with his antics, and, especially, his irreverence. Out of all the current Hosts, I’d say that, oddly enough, we’re more like him than anyone, because of that shoot-from-the-hip irreverent quality. I thought Indianapolis’ Sammy Terry was, and still is, great. He’s got that eerie thing going for him that many others have foregone in favor of zany antics, etc.

4: What is your most abiding memory of your time as a host? (on or off camera)
Hmm… There are so many memories, it’s hard to single one out.
I guess I’d have to say that, more than any one thing, what has stood out in my mind is that we’re making so many, many people so very happy, making them forget their cares, and their worries, for 2 hours at a time.
When you have people from all over the globe, places like, but not limited to, Canada, the UK, Germany, Italy, New Zealand, Australia, and even South Africa, writing you on a regular basis, telling you how much fun you’ve injected into their lives… That’s pretty fucking powerful, isn’t it? I mean, our show doesn’t air outside of the continental United States, yet, here are all of these people discovering, and finding ways to enjoy your work. It’s not as if we’re doing webcasts, or anything. These people are finding us on the ‘net, and in magazines, and doing what they can to get their hands on our shows. It pleases me, greatly.

5: What do you get from being a horror host?
For me, it’s doing something I enjoy, and have enjoyed for ages. That it makes people’s richer (laughs), and that so many appreciate what Nocturna & I do, what comes quite naturally for us, I’d like to add, that kicks ass.

6: What are your interests outside of horror?
You mean aside from your Earth women, and smoking the mean green? (laughs)
I have lots of other interests. For one, I’m a musician, and music, much like everything associated with the show, is my life. Nocturna & I are very much connoisseurs of most creative endeavors. I also happen to own a used bookstore/comic book shop.

7: If you were left on a desert Island, what 5 films would you take with you? Why?
Hmm… I’d have to take “Abbott & Costello Meet Frankenstein”, as it’s my favorite film of all-time. I love the way the 2 worlds collide, while staying true to their respective fields, for the most part. There is the whole “Why is Dracula seen in the mirror?” thing, but, I can handle that small infraction. (laughs)
David Lynch’s “Blue Velvet” is another must-have. Dennis Hopper’s performance is just sooo damn over-the-top, a quality which I admire, one which has been pointed out about my show, as well. A jaw-dropper for anyone who’s never seen it.
Ed Wood’s “Orgy Of The Dead” is one I’d have to take along. It’s not that it’s particularly fabulous, but, it does a have a certain charm to it, a peculiar atmosphere that one such as myself can enjoy. Take away the endless parade of zombie strippers, and you don’t have much. But, it does have Criswell, Ghoulita, and the lovely Pat Barrington.
“Help!” is another one I’d take with. It’s sort of like “Hard Days Night” mixed with a touch of James Bond. The songs are great, the locations are great, and the lads are stoned the whole time, being themselves, and having fun. I’ve always been a fan of The Beatles, although I prefer the “Revolver” through “Magical Mystery Tour” era.
Not sure what else I’d take. Maybe “The Seven Year Itch”, because Marilyn Monroe looks pretty good with that white dress blowing up. Oh, and, uh, Tom Ewell’s pretty funny in that, too.

8: Talk us through a typical shoot for your show.
Typical shoot, eh? It’s pretty simple, really. Before we shoot, Nocturna & I watch the movie we’re doing, and take notes. I denote where we’ll be making the breaks, etc. Then, it’s just a matter of turning on the cameras, and letting what happens happen. It’s all very live, in that sense. Very rarely do we do a second take of anything, usually only when there’s a problem with the dreaded mortal technology, like when my mic drops out.
People ask me all the time, “Are you on live?” Since we don’t ever, ever use scripts, it just flows, warts, and all. Doing it this way, some of it’s kind of just whatever, but, the gems are there, and it just seems a whole lot more authentic. I much prefer it this way, which is good, because I can’t memorize a script for shit. (laughs)

9: What is the all time worst movie you have ever broadcast in your career? Why?
(laughs) “Worst” in what way? It’s like “Plan 9 From Outer Space”. They always that it’s the worst movie ever, yet, many people find it to be extremely entertaining. To me, the worst movies are the ones where they spends zillions of dollars making ’em, and they’re just plain boring. By my way of thinking, they’ve all been pretty good. (laughs)

10: And finally, what message would you give to any wanna-be horror hosts?
I’m glad you asked this.
I regularly hear from aspiring Horror Hosts, and I strive to be as honest, and insightful, as I can. It’s funny being approached as if I were an elder statesman in the genre. (laughs) I usually tell them to be as original as they can, starting with their names. In the last few years, I’ve advised, if you that’s what you’d like to call it (laughs), Ohio’s The Mortician, Minnesota’s Gortem Shreek, Indiana’s Doktor Tom B. Stone, and Gravedigger Grimm, as well as Chicago’s Undead Johnny, Dead Wood, and Freaky Fred. There have been others, but, I have yet to see anything from them… yet.
The Horror Host genre, up until about 3, or 4, years ago was kind of on a downswing, which is not to say that there weren’t any out there. There most assuredly was. People like Son Of Ghoul, Count Gore De Vol, Dr. Creep, and others, were all out there, keeping this thing alive, and, they’re still here. Nowadays, there’s a proliferation of Horror Hosts, which I see as a good thing. Hollywood’s been doing more high-profile things, as has the comic book industry, and the Horror Hosting iron’s getting hotter by the minute. People have always wanted this, and the people in power have begun to take notice.
It’s a good time to be a Horror Host. So, to anyone who’s been toying with the idea of becoming one, I say, pick a unique name, figure out what your concept is, try to put something in the mix that’s not been done to death yet, and get off your ass, and just go for it. It’s a lot of work, believe it, or not, but, people like myself are proof that it can be done.
Thank you for the interview, and thank you for allowing me into your Pit Of Doom!

And thank you, Bone Jangler, for a most enlightening interview.

Visit the Bone Jangler at The Bone Jangler.Com

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