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Dr. Shock - Ghoulish host of the Saturday afternoon horror show seen on Channel 17 in Philadelphia during the 1970s.

Dr. Shock and Bubbles - MAD THEATER
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 Theatre.

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 fright!"

Dr. Shock Button

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 from 1969-1979.

On September 28, 1979, Joe Zawislak, 42, died of heart failure.

A 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. 


Issue No, 27 - 'Scary Monsters' magazine with Dr. Shock

Joe Zawislak as Dr. Shock - MAD THEATER

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