Here's a look at a horror hosted show making its way to Public Access Television…
Q: How did the show first come about?
The first show really originated in a collaborative pool of thought including not only the entire crew of MCT but also a few veteran horror hosts as well. The overall theme of the horror show is that of a twisted 50's "nuclear family" and originated one night during a spirited debate about the classic sitcom "Leave it to Beaver". We thought to ourselves, what could be more twisted than a family like the Cleavers, the Nelsons, the Reeds etc. With a little collective brainstorming, Meet Cleaver Theatre was born.
Q: Who & what are your horror show influences?
When I was a mere urchin I used to watch veteran hosts like Cincinnati Ohio's "Cool Ghoul" and Dayton, Ohio's "Dr. Creep". Later when I got a little older my tastes progressed to Elvira, Mistress of the Dark (I can think of two good reasons…but we won't go into that) and Commander USA. These talented individuals built the foundation of my love of horror hosting. The influences for the character and design of Meet Cleaver Theatre range across the board from Vincent Price to Mystery Science Theatre 3000 to Beakman's World (a short lived but brilliant science program for children).
Q: Tell us a bit about yourself and the other people involved.
The odd thing is that all involved in this project come from quite different backgrounds. I used to be professional in the film and video industry, working as everything from a special effects assistant to cameraman in various feature, independent and commercial productions before going into a career in higher education. I must say, the change from laying dolly track to teaching college students was a rather dramatic one! Our current crew consists of everything from professional legal researcher, a chemist, musicians, artists and filmmakers. The strange thing is…not a one of us are trained actors.
Q: What are your goals with the show? How have the responses been?
So far we've determined three main goals for the show. The first is simply to entertain. If we can find that niche audience out there in TV land and make them smile or laugh then we've achieved a great thing! The second goal is to support independent and local films, music, artists etc. Being a former indie filmmaker I know how difficult it is to get anyone to show your work and how difficult it can be to just get your work to your target audience. While we enjoy showcasing classic b-films we are hoping to concentrate on mainly indie shorts & features in the future. Lastly, we are looking to have fun and collaborate with friends and meet others with common interests. We didn't embark on this venture in hopes of quitting our day jobs and seeing our names in lights (not that we would scoff at the opportunity), we can never forget the main ingredient to making Meet Cleaver Theatre (and I believe, any production) is fun.
The response to our show has been tremendous. We have received so much support from indie filmmakers, film studios and musicians as well as the horror hosts underground and fans of the genre. Thanks to their contributions, Meet Cleaver Theatre is a joy to work on.
Q: Tell us about some episodes.
Most episodes consist of a feature length film, or a collection of short features peppered with skits, music videos, experimentation breaks and trivia.
Q: Where can we check out information?
Information regarding Meet Cleaver Theatre, including our upcoming episodes, live appearances etc., can be found at our website.
You can also find out info about our host: Butch R. Cleaver at the Horror Host Underground: www.horrorhosts.com
Q: Anything you wish to add…
Thanks so much for taking the time to interview me!
If you like your horror shows swank and replete with stank…. grab yourself a TV dinner and hunker down for a heaping helping of Meet Cleaver Theatre!
As Butch R. Cleaver says: "It's better living through reckless experimentation!"