LETTERS  PCR #306      January 30--February 5, 2006)

  • ED Tucker looks ahead to MegaCon
  • Reader looking for Romper Room reels
  • Reader from N. Carolina remembers Dick Bennick's early career

    Letters to the EditorWe welcome your feedback.


    I just got back from this year's FX show and will have an in depth review and lots of photos for next week's issue of the PCR. I see where Brandon is already rallying support for your Megacon pilgrimage and I wish him the best of luck. I hate to disappoint but I doubt there is going to be much this year in the way of my interactions with the guests there. Since Tanya Roberts officially dropped off the list last week there currently isn't anyone attending that I would cross the street to speak to, let alone pay for an autograph. I thought the roster for this year's Megacon seemed unusually weak but after the increased guest list at FX it really looks pale by comparison from where I stand. I am seriously crossing my fingers that I will find some decent deals on vintage comic books this year or otherwise my admission dollars aren't going to count for much. My main reasons for attending this year are to visit with friends in Orlando and to go to the Fanboy luncheon!

    - ED -


    Any luck finding the old Romper Room reels? I would love to show my children the show from when I was a guest. I think I was on in 1966 and maybe also in 1967. I was on the regular show and then an anniversary special or something like that. If you find anything out, would you please let me know???

    Thanks so much.
    Sharon Mayberry

    Dear Sharon,
    Hello and thanks for writing! Yours is a very special experience shared by only a few other children of the era! How lucky you are. I don't remember anything about trying to find old Romper Room reels, but I do remember we've written about the show on my website.

    It's been my experience that finding reels to daily shows dating back decades is virtually impossible---the storage costs were usually prohibitive and reels were usually tossed out when new management or ownership took over.

    Sometimes there are exceptions, like when Dick Bennick ("Dr. Paul Bearer") smuggled a few Creature Feature tapes out of CH 44 before he died.

    I'm sorry I can't be more encouraging. However...I have recently learned that MISS JUNE is still alive and lives in this area (Tampa Bay). A little detective work may shed some light on some tapes that were perhaps similarly smuggled!

    I'll post your letter and see what happens. And thanks again for writing! ---Nolan


    Hello Nolan,
    I am a 53-year-old grandfather who grew up watching Dick Bennick's tv shows on WGHP channel 8 from High Point,NC. At one point during the sixties he hosted three different shows.On weekday mornings he co-hosted TV Party Line with Bob Poole. On Saturday afternoon's (usually 2:30 p.m.) he hosted the Dick Bennick Show which was a teen dance show. He played the top tunes and also featured from time to time stars who appearing that weekend in the area. I remember Percy Sledge appeared several times on the show.

    Then there was my favorite, "Shock Theatre" on Saturday night.

    I have been going through the old North Carolina editions of TV Guide that I have. I only have two from 1965. The issue for April 3-9 does not have Shock Theatre on the schedule. The issue for June 12-18 does. At least this will confirm the spring of 1965 as the beginning.

    Originally the show aired on Friday night at 11:30 p.m. until early 1967. Then it moved to Saturday night at 11:15 p.m.I believe that even after Dick Bennick left WGHP the station still used video segments of him right up until the show ended in 1974. By the way, the WGHP channel 8 studios were located in the Sheraton Hotel in High Point, North Carolina.

    Dick Bennick was a very busy man on WGHP 8 in the mid-sixties.I am attaching a TV Guide clip showing his teen dance show. Another note about this show, Dick loved the pro wrestling show that was taped in the same studio each week in the '60s and '70s. Many weeks Dick's dance party show would open with a close-up of two wrestlers applying a hold.

    The fourth show he hosted for a while was "Quiz Club" which aired Monday through Friday mornings. Groups from the area high schools would compete on this show. The thing that really was evident on these shows was that he loved working with and for young people.

    I am attaching the TV Guide page for Friday June 18,1965, a clipping for Quiz Club, The TV Guide ad for the August 24, 1968 show. I am also sending one from his morning show.

    I really enjoy your website. I appreciate any and all things having to do with TV history from the fifties and sixties.

    I am sorry to hear about your computer crash. I wish I could help you out but I am not that good on computer technology. The attached images are the earliest TV Guide reference I have to Shock Theatre along with the others. I may have some more info on Dick Bennick's career at WGHP in the future if you are interested. I will keep searching.

    Best regards,
    Carroll Hall
    Mount Airy, NC

    Dear Mr. Hall
    GEEZ LOUISE, where do I start??? First of all, thank you very much for contacting me and sharing some of your collection and memories with fellow fans of Dick Bennick/Dr. Paul Bearer/Creature Feature/Shock Theater!! This was an unexpected treat from another bona-fide resident of North Carolina! Of course, I also recognize your home, Mount Airy, as the inspiration for one of the '60s biggest hits, The Andy Griffith Show, whose setting, Mayberry, was based on Mt. Airy.

    My computer situation was why your letter was not posted last week, but I'll let our readers know, that in the meantime you sent more images, which I've included in this Lettercol. I did the best I could on my little primitive spare computer to squeeze all five scans into this format. As soon as my main machine is back (or I may have to buy a new one), all this goes permanently into the Creature Feature Database! (And that will include the full-size scans, which I don't have room for here.)

    Yes, Of course I'd love to know more about anything regarding Bennick such as his days at WGHP. Feel free to send me anything, anytime you're ready.

    And welcome aboard Crazed Fanboy. I am honored and privileged you're here.


    To send an email to Letters to the Editor write to: Crazedfanboy1@aol.com.  Any emails sent to this address will be assumed intended for publication unless you specifically instruct me not to. I can and do respond privately, if that is your preference. Frequently, it's both ways.---Nolan

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