published Thursday, October 24th, 2013

City Beat: WDEF resurrects Shock Theatre

Jack Gray portrays the new incarnation of Dr. Shock from Shock Theatre.
Jack Gray portrays the new incarnation of Dr. Shock from Shock Theatre.
Photo by Contributed Photo /Chattanooga Times Free Press.

Flash, flash, flash.

Dr. Shock, Dingbat, Nurse Goodbody and Dirge will be back on the air Saturday, Oct. 26, telling jokes, sharing trivia and Halloween hijinks beginning just after midnight.

Old-timers will remember the original Shock Theatre with Tommy Reynolds and Dan East as Dr. Shock and Dingbat, respectively. The two would tell jokes, usually at the expense of the local power structure, and introduce the night’s horror film.

It was a true local classic, and people ask about it all the time.

Jack Gray is the new Shock, and he has been developing the concept for the last several years, making public appearances whenever and wherever he is asked to appear. Gray is lead producer for the program, along with Johnny Stockman. He’s also been working to get the show back on the air.

On Saturday, Oct. 26, the movie will be “Plan 9 From Outer Space,” the 1959 classic about aliens who resurrect dead earthlings as zombies and vampires in an effort to stop humans from making a sun-powered bomb. It stars Bela Lugosi, Tor Johnson and Mona McKinnon.

“We’ve created an alien-abduction scenario as a wraparound horror-hosting package for ‘Plan 9 From Outer Space.’ It’s a full two-hour program with skits, original music, movie facts and horror news,” Gray says.

“The program is in high definition and portrays Dingbat as a victim of an alien abduction. The back story is in support of the classic horror film. Legend Film has done a magnificent job with the restoration process of Ed Wood’s cult classic, and they’ve added a new twist, the element of color. You’ll be amazed at how this cult classic comes alive on-screen with the addition of colorization.”

Gray is excited that Channel 12 is putting the show on the air.

“WDEF has really stepped up to the plate and given Shock Theatre a warm reception by allowing us to air our episodes,” Gray says. “We’re thrilled to be able to present episode three, “Plan 9 From Outer Space” and “The Abduction of Dingbat.”

• Friends of Taylor Caldwell, one of the city’s great musicians, are putting on a benefit concert Sunday, Oct. 27, for the ailing Caldwell. The event will take place from 3 to 10 p.m. at Rhythm & Brews. Scheduled to perform are Drew Sterchi, Randy Clark, Randy Johnston, Jimmy Tawater, Lindsay Fussell, Tommy Lifsey, Rick Williams and others. Actor Dennis Haskins also will be on hand for his old friend.

Contact Barry Courter at bcourter@timesfree or 423-757-6354.

about Barry Courter...

Barry Courter is staff reporter and columnist for the Times Free Press. He started his journalism career at the Chattanooga News-Free Press in 1987. He covers primarily entertainment and events for ChattanoogaNow, as well as feature stories for the Life section. Born in Lafayette, Ind., Barry has lived in Chattanooga since 1968. He graduated from Notre Dame High School and the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga with a degree in broadcast journalism. He previously was ...

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