Stella, Maneater from Manayunk - Late night femme
fatale and hostess of Saturday Night Dead, a local Philadelphia horror
show seen on KYW-TV Channel 3 at 1:00 AM from 1984 - 1990 (right after SATURDAY
Known as that "Maneater from Manayunk" (a section near the Schuylkill River)
or the "Daughter of Desire," Stella delighted in half-clad gorgeous young men
and often had one or two hanging in her dungeon awaiting her pleasure.
The program's two main attractions were Stella's cleavage (that's one) and
her "B" horror movies which she introduced at the beginning of each show.
Watching Stella was akin to watching a traffic accident. You knew you shouldn't
watch but you were obliged to do so, anyway.
According to her biography, Stella was "born in North Libido, New Jersey, a
small village outside of Atlantic City. She is the only child of traveling
hecklers. Her parents dropped her in a plastic basket at Fifth and Skunk in
front of Guido's Hair Weaving and Plumbing Supplies, but for all intents and
purposes she was raised by a flock of pigeons". Reincarnated 37 times, Stella
was just your typical "ghoul" next door.
"This is Saturday Night DEEEAAD starring Stella, that Maneater from
Manyunk...now here she is..."
Opening Scenes from Saturday Night Dead
The real person behind Stella's lewd puns and plunging neckline was Karen
Scioli, a South Philadelphia born actress and homemaker who weekly donned a
pushup bra, slinky black dress, feather boa, false eyelashes and a mole on her
right cheek to become the female vampiress, Stella, the Maneater of Manayunk.
Scioli played the "camp" role remarking, "There's a little slut locked up in all
of us" (Philadelphia Inquirer Supplement 6/15/86).
At the end of a 1987 program Stella smeared whip cream on the chest of a male
prisoner who was chained and shackled in her dungeon and then with a spoon, she
began to eat the cream off his body. Once a book was written about Stella. It
was titled "Every Way." Despite the suggestiveness, the program was lighthearted
Other regulars on the program were Stella's canopied-bed called "Beda Lugosi"
which talked and vibrated; Hives the Butler (Bob Billbrough); Cousin Mel (Glenn
Davish); and a faceless, towering
dungeon monster named Iggy (all you saw was it's arm) who ate anybody Stella didn't like.
In 2006, Scioli was featured in the film American Scary, an overview
of horror show hosts that featured other Philadelphia greats like John Zacherle,
a.k.a. Ro-:Land from Channel 10’s Shock Theater. See also
"Dr. Shock" and "Zacherley
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