Loyd McIntosh

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Posts tagged with "mental floss"

Dinner With Drac
John Zacherley

Zacherley

Blah, ah, ahhhhhh!

The good folks at Mental Floss magazine recently ran a great piece on their website recently called Schlock Jocks: TV’s Coolest Horror Hosts. Since we’re close to Halloween, I thought I’d spend a few days posting a little about some of the groovy and spooky cats and kittens who made late-night, B-movie television worth watching.

First up is John Zacherley, aka Roland the Cool Ghoul, who hosted Shock Theater on Philadelphia television for years as well as Chiller Theater later on in the Big Apple. Here is what writer Bill DeMain said about the northeast’s favorite horror host.

(Zacherely) looked like a cadaverous undertaker and punctuated his cultured musings with a deep, rolling laugh. Zacherley often let the soundtrack of a film continue, while he cut to scenes of himself doing silly things like operating on a giant slimy blob or riding a tombstone. Zacherley was so popular that he even made the music charts with 1958’s novelty song “Dinner With Drac.”

For your listening pleasure, I’ve uploaded “Dinner With Drac,” one of the funniest and grooviest novelty songs of the era. My favorite line in the song goes like this:

The waitress a vampire named Perkins
Was so very fond of small gherkins
While serving tea
She ate 43
Which pickled her internal workings!

Happy Halloween everyone!

Behind The Elevator Music

Muzak Logo

Mental Floss writer Ethan Trex has a great piece on its website today about the history of Muzak, one of the most misunderstood and mysterious companies the United States has ever produced. It might be one of the most universally disliked companies as well.

The very definition of bland, stale background music, mentioning the word “Muzak” will get you dirty looks from anyone who takes his music seriously. However, the company has a fairly interesting history. For instance, it was founded by a World War I Army General, George O. Squier. The piece also explains how the term ‘elevator music’ entered the American lexicon.

As a kid Muzak was everywhere, but I mainly remember being forced to listen to it back in the 1970s at the old Western Supermarket in my hometown of Trussville, Alabama. I’m certain other in my age group share that type of experience. 

However, the company I worked for during my first office job out of college had an account with Muzak. This was in the mind 1990s just before satellite radio and Itunes but during the reign of MTV as a cultural force. Muzak, accordingly, went through a period of adjustment updating its image and repertoire for a ‘hipper’ generation.

You could hear the new Muzak streaming through those little white speakers in the ceiling tiles every stinking day, and, let me just tell you, there is nothing more depressing than hearing an easy-listening version of Jimi Hendrix’s Purple Haze while working in a sterile, office cubicle.

Sitting here thinking about it, I can feel the energy and happiness being sucked out of my system.

Totalitarianism is Bliss!

North Korean Excrement Eating Grin

By now many of you have heard about the North Korean Happiness Index listing Kim Jong Il’s lovely paradise as the second happiest place on earth. Can you guess what the other nation’s are in the Top 5. Take this Mental Floss Magazine quiz to see if you can guess which communist, totalitarian hellhole made the list.

Before you take the quiz, let me give you a  couple of hints. First, not surprisingly, the U.S. is nowhere near the top - not yet anyway. Second, the following counties did not make the list either: Bulkrap, Myhinie, or Usukistan.  

I’ve been playing these quiz games from Mental Floss for years, but this was honestly the easiest one yet. Have fun and good luck.