elionwyr: (spooky)
[personal profile] elionwyr posting in [community profile] horror_hosts
Though Milwaukee entered the horror show biz in 1954 with WTMJ's program, Movies at Midnight, there was no horror host to be seen. WITI introduced its own show, Haunted in 1958...which was also hostless.

This sad state of affairs was to change later in 1958, after WITI purchased the Shock! and Son of Shock! film packages.

Local actor Robert Hersh (January 15, 1933 - April 30, 2006) was invited to play host to the still-in-development programs, Shock and Double Shock. He took some convincing, as he didn't think the role was 'worthy' of him. After much discussion, he agreed to take on the part of "The Advisor". Dressed as an every-man, The Advisor's role was to talk to the audience about the movie of the night and about current events in general...in effect, to advise the audience. His only real nod to the genre was in the show's introduction, during which he'd be seen standing in a coffin.

For both television shows, which aired Friday and Saturday nights, The Advisor's only castmate was a monkey named Sancho. Worth noting here is that WTMJ introduced a competing late night horror movie program, The Witching Hour, to compete with WITI's success. The hostless Witching Hour ran from October 1958 to mid-February 1962.

Shock aired from August 22, 1958 to March 27, 1959. Double Shock, not surprisingly, aired from August 23, 1958 to March 28, 1959. The shows quickly gained a fan club following, generating hundreds of letters a week to the station. Still, when program director Larry Turet moved on to WXIX in 1959, Hersh followed along. The Advisor's Mystery Theater hit the airwaves on July 24 and continued for just 5 months, when Hersh left the station and chose instead to pursue a legal career.

For more information about The Advisor:

April 2009

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