Sir Cecil Creape - Bald, pudgy horror show host
with a hunchback, British accent, monocle, and a face full of deformed teeth who hosted Creature Feature
in Nashville on WSM-TV ((now WSMV) from 1971-1973 and later on the Nashville Network from
1983-85 under the guise of The Phantom of the Opry.
Each Saturday night at 10:30 PM, the 235-year-old Sir Cecil
Creape (Russ McCown) beckoned his viewers into his creepy cobweb
covered world for a sampling of puns, sight gags, insults (he
loved to berate his commercials) contests, awards ("The Frankie"
- a tiny statue of the Frankenstein monster) and strange movies
guaranteed to chill his fans to the bone.
To begin each program Sir Cecill Creape (pronounced Ses-cil
Creep). spoke the words "Did
someone call?" as he descended a stone staircase to the dungeon
beneath Channel 4 studio. He closed each show with "Good night,
sleep tight, and don't let the beddie bugs bite."
In the 1980s, Russ McCown took his Sir Cecil Creape character to the
Nashville Network (TNN) where he starred each Sunday night on The Phantom of the
The Phantom lived three stories below the Grand Old Opry in a Stygian
subterranean tomb. He was often visited by Mrs. Pruett, an administrative
assistant for the building who always got hooked into the Phantom's silly
experiments. The Phantom of the Opry left the air in 1985. Russ McCown died in
TRIVIA NOTE: Before Sir Cecil Creape, there
was Dr. Lucifur, the dashing late night horror show host of Shock Theater
on WSIX-TV in Nashville from 1958 through the late sixties. Dr. Lucifur (a sort
of Ronald Colman of the vampire set) wore a patch over his right eye, smoked
cigarettes dangling from an elongated holder, and dressed eloquently in black
tuxedo fashions. He claimed to be the president of Transylvania for over 200
years. Regulars on the show included Cyril Songbird the Poet, Frantic Freddie
the Hipster and Granny Gruesome. Ken Bramming played the part of Dr. Lucifur.
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