Welcome back to Rotten Ink for a “Horror Host Icon” update that has been high on my list to do for many years now as I find this Frightful Host to not only be an Icon but also a true legend of New York! The host I am talking about is Baron Daemon who entertained the Syracuse area not only hosting films but also cartoons and even two popular songs…but I am getting way ahead of myself! And before we get into this update have you guys ever thought about how many amazing Horror Hosts have been based out of the state of New York? I mean Gilbert Gottfried hosted Up All Night and later Rhonda Shear, Zacherley hosted Shock Theater, Adam Keefe hosted Fright Night Theatre, Dr. E. Nick Witty hosted Monster Movie Matinee and even The Six-Fingered Hand lead viewers through Chiller Theatre and this is just a small list of all the amazing hosts from the state. So with that thought and memories in your head it’s with great honor that I bring to you Horror Host Icon: Baron Daemon!
Baron Daemon is a bushy eyebrowed vampire who wore a cape, a bowtie, white shirt and black pants and would host spooky movies at night and cartoons during the day! He was very silly and yet at times had a touch of sinister to him when hosting the films late in the evening and he was well loved by both adults and kids as he drew them into his antics as well as allowed them into his weird world that also consisted of his two best friends Boris and Very Harry (more on them later). He was the most popular local celebrity opening grocery stores and even making appearances at a local asylum and fans flocked to meet him as he looked at all his fans as his “Bloody Buddies” and they looked at him as their favorite TV Horror Host. When Baron talked he sounded like Bela Lugosi’s version of Dracula mixed with a cartoonish overtone and his laugh was iconic. Baron would also appear at sock hops and would “drink” the blood of young ladies and kids would speak about him at school and wear shirts with his image on it and would mimic his speech and phrases. And still to this day the people of Rochester, New York and beyond have great memories of Baron Daemon and his legacy lives on even after all these years of him being off TV.
Baron Daemon was so big that at one point during the peak of his popularity Channel 9 came up with having him team up with a rock band The Vampire (really Sam And The Twisters) and recorded two songs “Ghost Guitars” and the big hit “Transylvania Twist” in order to send to radio stations and to promote his shows as they felt it would bring in more viewers! And they sent the record out to radio stations within 50 miles of the viewing area and it worked as Transylvania Twist became a mega hit and the vinyl single was the top selling local record for many years and became a requested song by listeners and even to this day around Halloween the song in New York is played by radio stations who get requests to hear it. Baron Daemon wished that the Channel had sent the record out further as he felt that the song could have been a bigger hit than it was and became a regular song on rotation at stations all over America. The vinyl record at this time is a major collectors item and sells for hundreds of dollars on second hand sale sites. But for those who want to hear both songs you can find them on YouTube so give them a listen and enjoy!
Mike Price is the man behind the Baron Daemon character and is a well loved TV Personality form the New York area as he would be a staple on the News for Channel 9 before and even after his Horror Host persona was off the air. He would become a reporter and had his own segment on the evening news called “Good News” that would feature people from around the area that are doing great things, and he would also talk to kids who were doing really good in school. Mike Price would work for the station for over 46 years and would retire in 2008. And after retiring the station would name the studio after him as well as hang a plaque for all future News Anchors to see. And for those who do not know Mike Price worked for Channel 9 before it first went on air and was hands down the stations first mega star and made them must see TV because of his work as both a News Reporter and as a Horror Host. And that is pretty true for most big Horror Hosts they go beyond being just a celebrity of local TV and the men or women behind the character becomes loved by their community. And even as of 2020 Mike Price is being interviewed in the New York area about his time on TV and his career as Baron Daemon showing that even after many years of retirement Mike means something very big to the people who grew up watching him and beyond.
Baron Daemon originally started as the host of a late night horror movie show called “The Hollywood Special” starting in 1962 on WNYS-TV Channel 9 out of Syracuse, New York and he would host all types of classic Horror and Sci-Fi films. The show was an instant hit and old and young viewers could not get enough of Baron Daemon as he just captured their attentions and became must see TV for all of Syracuse. But parents ended up a little angry as kids wanted to stay up past their bedtimes to watch his antics as well as the spooky movie that did not start until 11:35pm, so to please parents Baron Daemon also became a daily kid show host “Baron And His Buddies” and on this he would host cartoons and Flash Gordon film serials. His shows were the most watched in that area of New York and his viewers were both young and old. Baron Daemon would also guest on other shows on Channel 9 mostly the dancing shows and would bring his brand of vampire humor with him and added enjoyable silly laughs for those watching. For years Baron Daemon’s shows were highly rated and was some of the most popular local made shows at the time, and after his song “Transylvania Twist” was released it seemed like he and his shows were untouchable. That was until 1967 when the Channel 9 station suffered a big fire and sadly the set, props and all costumes for Baron Daemon burned up and the stations new powers to be who already were not a fan of his shows decided that with all things of the show gone this would mark the end of Baron Daemon! So with a puff of smoke do to a fire The Hollywood Special and Baron And His Buddies was over and fans would not get to see Baron Daemon on a weekly basis and this was terrible news for his fans. But over the years Baron Daemon would return doing live appearances and even host some events allowing fans to still see him and enjoy his brand of humor. It’s sad that his shows had to end due to bad management who did not think replacing the lost items to bring the shows back was worth their time, very silly decision as I think Baron Daemon could have lasted on air all the way through the 90’s and I think he would have been just as popular through every decade and still to this day Channel 9 should have Baron Daemon return to TV with Halloween specials! But that is just my wishes that sadly never happened and will never happen do to the age of Baron Daemon as of this update.
I have said this before and I have to say it again all good Horror Hosts had their fair share of amazing sidekicks that helped make his shows something very special for viewers and Baron Daemon was no different! First up is Boris The World’s Shortest Monster who looked like Frankenstein’s famous creation that would grunt his way around the set and was a very close friend of Baron Daemon. Boris was well liked by fans and he would even make public appearances alongside Baron. But while Boris was well loved the most popular of the sidekicks was Very Harry a mute caveman type guy who wore a hat and a trench coat and seemed to always just be hanging around with Baron and Boris. He was always just kind of in different to everything and was a favorite of kids as well as adults. Boris was played by Bill Eadie and Very Harry was played by Dennis Calkins and really these two are some amazing sidekicks and I would almost be so bold to say are the best Horror Host sidekicks in all of New York’s history! I should also note that while Very Harry would make appearances on the kid show “Baron And His Buddies”, Boris was not as lucky and would not be on the kid show as often.
Baron Daemon was on the ballot for the 2021 Class to make it into the Horror Host Hall Of Fame and sadly he ended up not making it that year, even though I 100% think he should have and in fact been in way sooner than that. And my goal is to try and get Baron Daemon into a future class of the Hall Of Fame as his contributions to the Art Of Horror Hosting is amazing as he had a six year run hosting both a movie and kids show as well as made many public appearances and had a hit music single! He was an early pioneer in New York Hosting and has many of fans still to this day. So when Baron Daemon gets in I will update this Horror Host Icon update and share with you who inducted him and what class he ended up being in!
Baron Daemon is a horror host that I can remember seeing pictures of and reading about in the early days of the internet as one thing that I loved to do in my teenage years was learn about new hosts from all over the world. I think the thing about Baron Daemon is that while the world of Horror Hosting has tons of Vampires his big eyebrows set him apart from all the others and made him stand out from the pact just like I feel Sivad (read his Icon update here) did as well with his unique look of the classic folklore monster. And Baron Daemon’s overly silly nature and the way he delivered his lines made him come off as a fun loving goofball ghoul and made him feel like a friend who drew you into his world and shared his love for Horror Movies and Cartoons with you, not to even mention his phrases and mannerisms would bring a smile to your face as well as make you say out loud “Blood Buddies” while acting like him…come on many of you original watchers of his show and Horror Host Mega Fans know that you just did your best impersonation of him while reading this sentence. Another reason why Baron Daemon has always been on my Hosting radar and was always on the list of must cover for Horror Host Icon updates is not only because he was a fantastic host with amazing sidekicks, but because he is also apart of the big legacy of Horror Hosts that have came out of the state of New York the land that Chiller Theater built and he could be one of the best as well from that State! And I really do hope at some point that more footage of his show is found in the vaults of Channel 9 and that the fans get to see Baron in his prime doing what he did best and that was to entertain the viewing masses.
So as you can see Baron Daemon is a true iconic legend in the world of Horror Hosting and is one of New York’s best Hosts of all time! And we are now at the point of this update that we will talk about the episodes I have of Baron Daemon and sadly like I said earlier in this update as of this update no known episodes and footage minus bloopers of the show are around, so I had to do a TV Special that Channel 9 did in 2006 for Halloween based on him. So with that lets travel down memory lane and take a look at Baron Daemon and his Blood Buddies as they treat us to their Halloween Fright Fest.
Hollywood Special: Halloween Fright Fest
Starring – Dr. E. Nick Witty & Very Harry Not Rated 2006
Host/Movie: This is a news broadcast special that aired on TV in 2006 that celebrated the life and career of Baron Daemon who made viewers both scared and tickled with laughter for five years on TV as well as tons of public & media appearances. They tell the shows history as well as the characters and even talk about and to Mike Price about his career. They also chat with other show cast members, fans and even new and vintage skits show of Baron Daemon.
It’s such a shame that so many iconic Horror Hosts like Baron Daemon’s show are lost to time due to many factors like recorded live, thrown away or reused tapes and of course no Beta or VCR’s for fans to tape their favorite hosts. And even more shameful is that Channel 9 over the years after his show ended never brought back Baron and his pals Very Harry plus Boris back to TV airwaves for horror movie hosted specials every Halloween and New Years…but what do you expect from clueless on air stations who think late night viewers want to watch infomercials on none stick pans and sharp kitchen knives…no wait they put those on cause they could careless about local programing and being creative and took the quick buck of just selling out that air time to soulless products. But enough of that let me put my soap box away and just say that Baron Daemon is an amazing Host that you should read up on and watch the blooper clips and listen to his two hit songs. But for my next update we will be leaving the world of Horror Hosting behind and will be taking a look at werewolf comic Lycanthropy Leo! So until next time read a comic or three, watch a Horror Movie or two and as always support your local Horror Host! See you next update as Rotten Ink’s ten year celebration continues!