Dr. Shock - Ghoulish host of the Saturday
afternoon horror show seen on Channel 17 in Philadelphia during the 1970s.
Dr. Shock of Mad Theater
and his helper, Bubbles
Once a week, Joe Zawislak, a former insurance salesman turned magician,
slicked back his hair, donned a frock coat, an ascot with a gold spider, and a
pair of white spats to become the part human, part vampire host of Mad
Using the comic insult formulas created by "Ro-LAND" (a.k.a. "Zacherley"), a
1950s horror show host, Dr. Shock greeted his viewers with such beastly barbs of
barbaric banter as "Greetings, My hokey hucksters of horror"; "Frog-faced fools
of fright"; and "Nostalgic numbskulls of the night."
Assisting the Doctor was Boris, a one-eyed, scar-faced hunchback who lisped
and a delightfully pretty little girl (Joe's daughter) named Bubbles, who often
sat on his lap during the show. Dr. Shock's sign off each week was "Let there be
Joe Zawislak hosted three different shows during his career including
Scream-In (Saturday nights 1969-1972), Mad Theater and Horror
Theater (back-to-back double feature broadcast between 2-5 PM on Saturdays
On September 28, 1979, Joe Zawislak, 42, died of heart failure.
few years later a vampish female horror show hostess named "Stella,
Maneater from Manayunk" continued the
tradition of late night tom-foolery on the horror movie program Saturday Night
Dead on KYW-TV Channel 3.
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