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Sir Graves Ghastly Presents (1967)
Clever, entertaining hosted horror show from television's long-gone past.
Anyone who grew up in the Michigan and Ohio area remembers Sir Graves Ghastly, who hosted this horror movie show. His distinctive, blood-curdling laugh ("Neeeeeeeahhhaahhhhahhhhhahhhh!"), and his salutation "Happy Hauntings!" were two of his most enduring trademarks. What really set Sir Graves apart from other horror movie hosts was a sense of playfulness and wit that he brought to his bumpers, inbetween station breaks and whatever film happened to be showing that day. This was during the day when local tv still had a certain glamour to it, a certain allure to the local communities, when tv stations had their own in-house shows and celebrities - that sense is now long gone. Also long gone are the movie packages that these local stations bought, and which fueled shows such as "Sir Graves", where classic films such as "Frankenstein" or "The Wolfman" would appear, followed by "Plan 9 From Outer Space." Now every film title known to man has been hoarded and reserved by huge media enterprises, to be shown for a premium on cable tv, or worse, withdrawn altogether. Sir Graves was known to everyone within his broadcasting circle, which isn't surprising when you remember that when he was at the peak of his success, tv was still relatively cable-free, and many communities still had only three or four channels to view. It's hard to believe that today, what with all the hundreds of channels now available. I'm not sure if Sir Graves would have the same impact he had on so many back in the 1960's through the early 1980's, if he was lost amid the thousands of shows that are available today; certainly not because his clever show is somehow lacking in comparison to current television fare - quite the opposite. It would be because his quirky, entertaining, charming little show wouldn't be considered worth the effort and money anymore; charm and wit are very low on the lists of requirements for most television shows today. It's too bad the environment for his kind of art is now gone.