Legendary New York based horror host John Zacherle (aka Zacherley) passes away at age 98
Unfortunate news to glean just before Halloween, but a man who devoted much of his life to monster culture, iconic TV horror movie host John Zacherle passed away yesterday. He was 98.
Zacherle – or simply Zacherley, as he best known as, was instrumental in creating the “monster kid” movement of the 1950’s, first as the host of Philadelphia’s WCAU’s Shock Theater as the character Roland, where he screened classic horror films and “interrupted” them with stylized, campy shtick that both quoted and mocked the movies in question. This format would later be copied by a myriad “horror hosts.” Later, during his run at New York’s WABC-TV, he changed the name of his character to Zacherley, “The Cool Ghoul.” John Zacherle would continue evolving this persona in a myriad mediums throughout the 1960s and ’70s as well as appearing in film, television and radio as an actor.
John Zacherle is also well known to cult film fans for his blackly funny turn giving voice to the brain sucking parasite Aylmer in Frank Henenlotter‘s gory cult classic Brain Damage. He continued to work and appear at conventions almost right until the point of his death.
Zacherle’s impact on horror was substantial and he will be missed by many. We send our love to all of his fans to and to the friends and family who knew him best.