In a recent blog, I mentioned local horror host Sir Graves Ghastly. While I liked watching his show, there was another host who I connected with on a more “childish” level – Count Scary.
The Count (and his cool twin brother, Val Scary) was portrayed by Tom Ryan. Tom was a radio guy who worked at the Big 8 (CKLW) and at WOMC in Detroit. I listened to Tom on the radio growing up.
Count Scary hosted a few B-movies on WDIV, one of which (maybe the first) was in 3-D. You could pick up 3-D glasses for watching at the local Wendy’s restaurant if I remember correctly.
I remember our family went camping one weekend and the Count was hosting a movie. I made sure that we brought a TV and while my family was out at the bonfire, I was in the tent watching Count Scary.
His specials would feature music from local artists like the Bus Boys, Bob Seger, and Nolan Strong. There were always clips of him doing things locally and mingling with local celebrities. I remember a clip of him with Detroit Tiger manager Sparky Anderson. In the clip, the Count get’s bonked on the head by a baseball.
He always seemed to be fighting with the people producing his special. His “fine boys” he’d call them. The one thing I loved was this little “stinger” sound effect that would play whenever he’d say something. He’d say “This movie will scare your pants off!” followed by the spooky stinger.
The movies he showed were usually far from scary. However, one time he showed Dracula starring Jack Palance. During the showing of this movie, they cut to Count Scary after a scary scene and he has lost his pants. To me, this always makes me laugh. Listen for the stinger in the clip. Man, I wish I had that clip when I was on the radio – I loved that thing!
I want to say I was about 12 when Count Scary first started hosting movies on TV. When he was still at CKLW, he put out a 45 record for Christmas. Naturally, right from the get-go, the “fine boys” louse it up.
The flip side featured Tom Ryan as Val Scary. I don’t have the physical 45 anymore, but it’s good to know I can still listen to this silly thing on YouTube.
It’s been over 20 years since the Count has been on TV. I think his last appearance was in 1996. All these years later, there are still times I will say, “Ooooo, that’s scary!” and hear that stinger in my head!