Horror Host Icon: Crazyman

It’s Saturday night in 1974, and Saturday Night Live has just ended and as always the comedy skits of Belushi, Aykroyd, Murray, Radner and Morris have tickled your funny bone but you need more! You are watching KVOA-TV Channel 4 in Arizona and you are still up and looking for entertainment as you finish your drink and bowl of snack food and to your delight Crazyman TV is on and he is hosting a cheesy horror movie for the night.  In other words you get more comedy and a dash of Sci-Fi and Horror. And while Crazyman might not be a household name when it comes to the world of Horror Hosting, he for sure means something to his viewers as when looking into him, the viewers of the show surely loved every second they spent with him on those light nights. So if you readers are ready, I know I am ready to bring you Horror Host Icon: Crazyman! So let’s enter the dungeon cell or asylum room and chat about this true crazy man of Horror Hosting.

The Crazyman is a strange man with a bald head who wears a lab coat and was spending his life in a dungeon cell for his crimes against humanity! All he has in his cell is an old radio, a coffin to sleep in, and an eclectic chair, and he spends most of his time having fun hosting the movies and getting orders from The Warden off screen who is keeping him in the cell for what’s best for all mankind. But from time to time Crazyman was allowed visitors that were fans of the show or even his only true friend, a talking floating head by the name of Streamline. The Crazyman had a very loud voice and was over all very good natured as in some episodes it seemed like The Warden loved to pull pranks on him like dumping food items on his head as he talked to viewers. At some point due to his good behavior and bringing so much laughter and chills to his viewers, The Crazyman was set free back into the world and his journey ended for many years. But in 2010 he was minding his own business driving down the road and was chased by the cops, and this time is forced to spend his life in an Insane Asylum! So as you can see, for some reason those in power here in America really want to keep Crazyman away from the population and want to keep him locked away and forced to entertain those who watch his shows. While he has been off the airwaves and web streams for a while now, who knows when and if The Crazyman will appear again and where this time they will keep him locked up. Crazyman was played by Gary Craig who is a man of many talents as he is not only a Horror Host but is also an actor, writer, radio host, comedian and is known for his roles in movies like Echelon 8 (2009) and American Hustle (2013), and for those who want to learn more about Gary Craig, you should read his book “Tugging On The Sleeve Of Fame” about his life as an entertainer.

The Crazyman Show started in 1974 and aired very late nights on KVOA-TV Channel 4 and was one of those the makers paid to have it played right after Saturday Night Live. It took viewers by storm as it gained a cult following but sadly only lasted a couple of years before going off the air. But while only lasting that short amount of time, the Crazyman Show made an impact of viewers of Arizona TV, but some might find it also interesting Crazyman also was on the Radio as part of Gary Craig’s show. But after decades off the airwaves, The Crazyman Show would appear again this time via YouTube with an all new season of short shows that would have him hosting a clip from a popular movie that he would add himself into. This Internet version of the show would last 5 normal episodes and would also have a small handful of Holiday Specials, and would show that Crazyman still had lots of laughs yet to deliver. The fun thing about both the broadcast TV show and the YouTube web show is while they really are very much different in appearance and location (Dungeon Cell to Asylum Room), the vibe and zany humor is still there for both. While Crazyman Show is not having new episodes, I do have a gut feeling this is not the last we will see of it and its host Crazyman.

As I have said before, all good Horror Hosts have their fair share of great sidekicks and cohosts and Crazyman had his fair share. His most used had to be The Warden, a voice that echoed out in order to tell his prisoner things as well he always liked to mess with Crazyman during segments and tried to throw him off his hosting game. Also around in the Dungeon Cell was Streamline, the talking head that would stop in to visit Crazyman and carry on talks about things going on. Both these sidekicks added their own level of fun and silly moments to the show, and they each had their own fans that looked forward to seeing what they would be doing on their next appearance on the show. While The Warden and Streamline are not in the hosting history books, they were great characters that made The Crazyman Show a better watch for viewers. I also want to give a shout out to The Head Docto,r the voice from the speaker box for the rebirth of the series that took place around 2010/2011.

Crazyman is a host that I discovered via YouTube and after watching clips of his classic show from the 70’s, and I laughed at their silly nature and knew I had to see more! I searched far and wide to see if anyone had any full episodes as I checked trade lists and sadly it appears that there just aren’t any classic episodes in the world. One thing that I 100% noticed is that The Crazyman borrows lots from Florida Horror Host M.T. Graves, most notably with the prison setting, The Warden being an off camera co-host and even a head that was the hosts friend. And it’s clear the makers of this show were huge fans of M.T. and his influence is felt in the Crazyman’s episodes. I myself like to think the two are linked and The Warden is the same Warden who went from imprisoning Graves to Crazyman and enjoys what he does. What drew me into Crazyman is the fact that everyone who made the show come alive seemed to have a blast filming it and The Crazyman with his voice is just silly fun stuff. The comeback series of The Crazyman that was started in 2010 was more of a comedy skit with a dash of Horror Hosting and is very different in appearance, but still in my opinion holds the charm of the 70’s show.

So for this Horror Host Icon update I searched every Dungeon and Asylum looking for Crazyman as I wanted to take a few moments and ask him a few questions, and lucky for you and me…. I found him!! So here we go 5 Questions with a true Crazyman!

Me: Welcome To Rotten Ink Crazyman, my first question for you is what or who got you into Horror Hosting?

Crazyman:  I’ve been in radio and TV since 1971.  Worked at numerous radio stations, and had different TV shows in a few states.  Hosting came naturally to me. Loved to be on camera, and to be totally in charge of writing and performing the episodes.  Early in my career, Charlie Baxter was very kind to me.  He had a character named M.T. Graves and was very popular in Florida.  I performed on his show, and “borrowed” a few ideas from his show when I was writing mine.

Me: M.T. Graves is a true legend of Horror Hosting! So out of your first classic episodes what was your favorite movie you got to host?

Crazyman: That’s a tough one because I didn’t really pay that much attention to what the movie or show was…too busy writing and producing my portion of it.  I do remember we had some Doctor Who episodes.  I do remember years later in Hartford Connecticut.  I hosted the film, “Gorilla at Large” and I did it IN a gorilla costume.

Me: Ha that’s great! So if you could host any film what would you pick?

Crazyman: It would be difficult to pick a film now because it would depend on what I would do in the episode…and if I were doing it today, I would be reacting specifically to the film.

Me: Understand that, What does the future hold for you Crazyman?

Crazyman: UPS just arrived with 40 cases of Purell.  I’m going to put my hazmat suit on and watch some Elvira episodes.

Me: So finally what advice do you have for any future Horror Hosts reading this?

Crazyman: Yes. Youtube

I want to thank Crazyman for taking his time to answer these five questions for me here at Rotten Ink, and I hope you readers enjoyed it! It’s very interesting that he sees the future of Horror Hosting being YouTube and I can see what he means as it’s one of the best ways for any creator to get their work seen by millions of people, but I also do think at times some very talented shows and Hosts on that platform get overlooked as its an outlet that is very much over saturated, and things get lost in the shuffle. I think that YouTube along with Public Access TV and streaming stations like The Monster Channel, Shudder and The Vortexx working together will be what is what will keeps Horror Hosting alive for generations to come.

So now that you understand The Crazyman a little more I think it’s time that we get to the episodes I have of his, and like I said sadly the 70’s episodes as of right now are lost to time with only a few clips surviving and being shared on YouTube. So what I will be reviewing is Crazyman’s 2010 returns episodes as well as the holiday specials he did. I want to remind you that I will not be giving these episodes a star rating and watching these for the first time just for this Icon update! I will be taking the films’ writes up from IMDB and will be writing the host segments breakdown myself. So let’s go visit Crazyman in the place he feels right at home in the Asylum.

The Crazyman Show: Season 1
Starring – Dr. Phil & Morris Katzman     Not Rated     2010/2011

Host: “Episode 1” The Crazyman is on the run from the law and when he is captured while at a cigar and joke shop, he is sentenced to spend his life at the Happydale Mental Hospital! Crazyman gets locked in a room and over a speaker The Head Doctor informs him that he will never be released and that his word is law, The Head Doctor also tells him that people are watching and he needs to show them a movie and he does just that as it’s a clip from “Wizard Of Oz” and Crazyman inserts himself into the scene. The clip is interrupted by a phone call from David Letterman who gives him a Top 10 List of things to do in a mental hospital. In the end Crazyman sits down and reads a book about straight jackets. “Episode 2” Crazyman gets a visitor and it’s his accountant, and as the visitor is making his way to his cell Crazyman shows a clip from the movie “Saw” and like before he places himself into the film. And after being told he is broke he has a flashback of being a late night talk show host and is like Johnny Carson and even chats with Donald Trump. When back to reality Crazyman can’t picture himself as a host on TV. “Episode 3” Crazyman this time gets a phone call from his agent as he thinks that if me makes some entertainment deals he could get out of the Asylum and offers him a Capital One commercial, and of course Crazyman botches it by not getting the lines straight and ends with the crew annoyed with him for it. “Episode 4” Crazyman is dancing around and gets a visit from Dr. Phil who informs him that Oprah is the only person who can free him from the asylum, but she is mad at him for eating all the Twinkies, and gives him a mental test that ends with Dr. Phil telling him off. We then see a clip of Crazyman in the film “Forest Gump” and right after a nurse enters his room and gives him an injection, right after The Head Doctor gets on the speakers and warns everyone that the nurse is a fake and is really a patient and to not let her inject ya…we end with Crazyman looking at the viewers. “Episode 5” Crazyman starts the show off with a visit from rock n roll icon Ozzy Osborne who is lost and can not find his room that is 212, after Ozzy leaves The Head Doctor calls and reminds him that he has a meeting with the hospital shrink today and Crazyman shows a clip of the film “Psycho” that has him of course in it. Crazyman while talking to The Shrink tells him about a dream he had about being on the show The Apprentice and that Donald Trump fired him! And after Crazyman spills his guts on all his weird dreams, we find out the Shrink is not listening and is looking at a gentlemen’s magazine.

The Crazyman Show: Specials
Starring – Dr. Phil & Morris Katzman     Not Rated     2010/2011

Host: “Crazyman Gets A Gift” It’s Christmas at Happydale and its snowing outside and The Head Doctor has allowed Crazyman to spend the holiday at his house, but with one condition that he behaves himself…he then has Crazyman open a gift that turns out to be a generic Apple iPad! “Happy New Year At Happydale” Crazyman is feeling down as it’s New Years Eve and he is stuck spending the day at the Asylum, when The Head Doctor gives him an old TV for his room so that he can watch the ball drop, while Crazyman and a female nurse plug it in he shows us a clip from “Casablanca” that of course has him in the movie. We then join Crazyman as the ball drops and he is clearly down, as a Doctor comes in his room and he gives him a party favor and a pat on the shoulder. “The Crazyman Is The New Pope” The Crazyman is now the new Pope and is given a speech about new rules as well as just silly crazy talk! “Halloween At Happydale” Head Nurse Sunny Valentine alerts all the patients that they will be having a gathering and The Head Doctor forces Crazyman to attend and then promises that maybe he will allow him out for an hour to go Trick Of Twerking! Crazyman imagines what it would be like to be free for awhile to get candy and after he thinks the world would be mean to him he decides to stay safe and sound in the asylum.

There you have it – Crazyman is a Horror Host that lives up to his name and his show really is crazy and over the top and heck of a lot of fun! One day I hope to see not only new episodes but also that someone will find complete episodes of the classic show! While The Crazyman is very much inspired by M.T. Graves, he adds his own touches to the formula and creates something very special on its own and delivers lots of laughs! And who knows maybe one day The Crazyman will find himself in the Horror Host Hall Of Fame as I feel he should be as he delivered the antics and shows that entertained the people of Arizona and later YouTube. But for our next update we will be leaving the world of Horror Hosting and the Happydale Mental Health Asylum and will be taking a look at the Shot On Video film Suicide 2 that was released by Independent B Movie! So until next time, read a Horror Comic or three, watch a Horror Movie or two and as always support your local Horror Host. See you next update SOV fans!

Spider-Man Has The Power To Slay Dragon Man!

Who doesn’t like listening to music on vinyl? Growing up I have fond memories of listing to the likes of Weird Al Yankovic, Alice Cooper, Billy Idol, Motley Crue and the WWF Wrestling Album to name a very few. But I also have some good memories of listening to comic books on vinyl…I am sure you long time comic readers remember Power Records released by Peter Pan Records as kids of the 70’s and 80’s grew up with these. I for one checked them out all the time from the library in Waynesville and most of the time the vinyl was missing, but my brother and I did have some of our own that we got from garage sales. One of my favorites from this series is the one featuring Incredible Hulk called “At Bay” that had old jade jaw taking on Abomination and Rhino at the Hulk Buster Base, a very fun listen and a good adventure for one of my favorite superheroes. Plus thanks to Power Records, I first discovered Holo-Man, an original superhero that I have covered here on Rotten Ink before. For this update, we are going to have some fun and not only chat about Power Records but also just some fun stuff going on in my life as well as in comics! So grab your record player and crank it to 11 as it’s time to power out with Spider-Man!

Synthetic Plastics Company was a plastic manufacturer that was founded by Daniel Kasen that opened in the 1920’s in New Jersey. Their main products were buttons and game pieces like poker chips, and they made a good living at making this stuff. But they would get into making vinyl records after World War II when Daniel’s brother entered the picture and they opened Peter Pan Records, that would spawn many other side labels like Power Records, Diplomat Records and Parade Records to name a few and would push for cheaper made vinyl records so the could sell them at cheap prices. These labels would mostly focus on children releases based on popular properties like Bugs Bunny, Sesame Street and Batman as well as Gospel, Comedy and budget releases and would crank out releases as they owned the press that made them. But while many listeners had these cheap made releases, they also knew that the sound quality was very poor and this was something that stuck with this company all during their time in business. Over the years and with many name changes, many of you might be shocked to know that Synthetic Plastics Company is still around and switched their home base from New Jersey to Florida and are now called Inspired Studios and are just shell of what they used to be, but it’s still very cool knowing they are still out there.

So with us talking about record companies and music, let’s take a look at the newest CD release of Dee Snider of the 80’s band Twisted Sister that was released in July 2018 and a release that I have wanted to check out for some time. Growing up, I was fan of Twisted Sister as well as Dee Snider’s other band Widowmaker, not to mention a big fan of his Horror Movie Strangeland and loved watching him out class the PMRC at the infamous 1985 Senate hearings. The release is called “For The Love Of Metal” and was released by Napalm Records and has 12 tracks. So let’s sit back, relax and get talking about this release shall we? When popping in this CD, the first thing I noticed is that Dee Snider has not missed a step when it comes to delivering amazing rock n roll vocals to heavy songs. And I must also say it blew me away just how heavy and rocking this release was. I also noticed that Dee also sounded a little bit like Alice Cooper in some of these songs and to be honest some of the songs even sound like they could have been song by him and released on “Brutal Planet”. I would say that my favorite track on this release would be “I Am The Hurricane” followed by “For The Love Of Metal” as both tracks I think really do capture the attitude and singing talent of Dee. Over all if you enjoyed Twisted Sister and like the singing style of Dee Snider this is a release that you should check out as one thing is for sure Dee Snider is a true icon of Rock N Roll!

What’s really crazy is to think that here in the Dayton area we have very little music shops left as places like Armadillo Records, Renaissance Music, CD Connection, Trader Vics, Gem City Records, Dingleberry’s and NRM Music are all shops of the past and all we have left is Omega Music, Toxic Beauty and Skeleton Dust and a few other mix media stores like Second Time Around, Game Swap Kettering and Buybacks to name a few who have solid and good music selections. I have so many great memories and moments at many of those long gone record shops and pretty much grew up visiting Renaissance Music and even to this day Geoff Burkman, who was the owner of the shop remains one of my close friends. Renaissance was a very cool place and one that I always felt at home at. The store had an amazing selection of music on vinyl, cassettes and CDs and was my go to store to get my 80’s hairbands. It was also the place I would get Horror Movies on VHS and later DVD as well as get posters, buttons, fanzines and Horror Indie Comics. It was a place over the years I would sit and chat with Geoff for hours about music, movies and comics. Even in school for one of my classes, I job shadowed Geoff for a class report and we watched Dawn of the Dead together that day on Laserdisc. I can still see and hear the old Renaissance Music TV commercials in my mind from time to time as they would have Geoff wearing a Godzilla mask and talking like Mr. T and calling himself Mr. G…classic. In fact many years later, Geoff would play Mr. G again in episodes of Baron Von Porkchop’s Terrifying Tales Of The Macabre. Geoff Burkman and Renaissance Music also appear in the Independent B Movie film Wolf Hunter directed by Matt Hoffman as well. NRM is another place I used to love to go as it was in the Town And Country Shopping Center that was near the High School in Kettering I went to for a short time, and I can remember cutting class and going their to pick up music to listen to on my Sony Walkman. And that’s just the two stores as I have great memories of all the stores I mentioned above and miss the atmosphere of a good classic music store and searching for the next album of a band I liked or even discovering new music. No matter how the world changes, you just cannot sell me on digital media and that goes for music, movies, comics, video games and books. For this blogger, physical will always be the way to go. Below are some of the closed music shops that brought lots of tunes to this metal heads ears when growing up.

So as you can see, in my opinion music and comic books go hand and hand as both have been a main source of entertainment for me growing up. And I am going to say this, I really wish an indie comic company would return and make classic style Rock N Roll Comics like Revolutionary Comics headed by Todd Loren did back in 1989-1994, and yeah, I know companies like Blue Water tried but failed and I am talking about comics done by fans of the bands doing unauthorized comic issues on bands like Cinderella, W.A.S.P., Danzig and Billy Idol to name a few. But let’s move past a dream I am sure will never be made true and let’s focus on Spider-Man and this adventure made just for Power Records. I want to remind you all that I grade this comic on a 1-4 star scale and am looking for how well the comic stays to the source material, its entertainment value and its art and story. So let’s see what Spidey has in store for us as he takes on a massive Dragon Man!

Spider-Man Power Record # 0  **
Released in 1974       Cover Price $1.49       Marvel/Power Records     # 1 of 1

A group of college students and their teacher are out looking at the stars. Two students sneak away to make out while stars fall from the sky that turn out to be Dragon Men lead by the massive Draco King Of The Dragon-Men, who have came to earth with the plan to take it over. At the Daily Bugle, J. Jonah Jameson is mad as the story of the Dragon-Men has broke and none of his reporters have covered it yet. He sends Peter Parker to get some photos of the aliens or lose his job! Peter Parker turns into Spider-Man when his Spidey Sense goes crazy when he passes sewer manholes, and this leads him to travel around the sewer system where he finds Draco and his Dragon-Men who have a giant laser gun they plan on using in New York that will leave all machines and humans paralyzed! Spider-Man is able to trick Draco and the Dragon-Men and use his webbing on the guns controls and floods the sewer, washing away them and their fancy massive gun. Spider-Man later is back on the streets of New York and finds in the newspaper that the bodies of the Dragon-Men had been found and are robots and not aliens at all. To clear his mind and gaze at the stars above, Spider-Man sits on top of the Empire State Building and is lost in thoughts when Draco appears and shares that he is no alien but is really a missing scientist who fused his own blood with that of a giant iguana and has transformed into a massive fire breathing dragon humanoid. As Draco attacks, Spider-Man uses his fast speed to dodge him and Draco falls 20 feet onto a roof below. As Spider-Man rushes down to check on his foe, he only finds a small iguana there that crawls away into a crack in the wall.

This Spider-Man adventure was an original story made just for Power Records, and while entertaining, you can tell it was rushed and was not a priority to Marvel who did not bring their A-Game. This comic’s plot has Spider-Man on the hunt for Dragon-Men who are said to be from space and are now in New York and have a sinister plan to take over thanks to their massive fire-breathing leader Draco. Spidey, being the hero he is, not only tracks them down but also exposes that the Dragon-Men are robots and not aliens, destroys their massive destructive weapon and as well figures out that Draco is a mutated missing scientist! Spider-Man in this issue is the friendly neighborhood web head we all love and is filled with one liners as well as the fighting skills to back up his mouth. I also have always liked that Spidey uses his mind to also figure out how to stop the baddies and not just his fists. Peter Parker even in this issue has some pressure as his boss J. Jonah Jameson threatens to fire him if he doesn’t get pictures of the Dragon Men for the paper, and he also has to blow off the attention of Mary Jane Watson in order to get said pictures and this upsets his red headed love interest. Draco is a massive fire breathing dragon man who has a massive ego and wants to rule the world as he feels his superior mind puts him above normal humans…even if he started out as one. The Dragon Men are just robots who do what their creator asks, and while threats, they are by no means as threatening as such super villains as Green Goblin, Rhino or Shocker. While I am thinking about it, this story almost feels like it could have been an issue in the “Spidey Super Stories” comic series as it’s fast paced and the villain is over the top in appearance. The cover is pretty great and eye catching as it also reminds me of a cheesy b-movie poster. The interior art is also good and is done by an unknown artist as no credits are given. Over all this is a fun read and is a must for fans of classic 70’s Spider-Man adventures, but keep in mind the story is not mind blowing and is just a middle of the road adventure that feels like a back up story. Check out the artwork below to see what you get in this book and record set.

The Book and Record Sets should make a comeback in the world of comics as they were a fun way to bring in younger readers as well as add a new level of fun for older readers. In our modern world with digital, CD and Vinyl all still being around for us to listen to audio on, I am going to guess it’s only a matter of time before a company does it again…heck, maybe Sparkle Comics will bring this trend back! Now it’s time for us to leave New York and let Spider-Man do what he does best and that’s stop crimes. For our next update we will be heading to the world of snack food to take a look at Jell-O Man! So until next time, read a comic or three, listen to a CD or two and as always support your local Horror Host! So let’s get ready to meet next time and talk about a mascot for snack food.