Host, Professor Ghoul (Michael Degnan), and his student, Shotzi the cat (puppeteered and voiced by Bard Cole), introduce viewers to classic – and not-so-classic – horror fare in Professor Ghoul’s Horror School.
Production Specialist Bard Cole (Shotzi) has been on staff at WKNO since 2006. He is a graduate of the University of Alabama's MFA in Creative Writing Program and the author of two books of fiction. In addition to bringing Shotzi to life (he also designed and created the puppet), Bard serves as co-producer and co-writer for the series.
“I wanted to make something that was fun and silly but was aimed at an intelligent audience — people who really enjoy movies and like thinking about them,” said Cole. “I’ve been a public television watcher since I was a little kid, and I learned a lot about American popular culture by watching TV. Why shouldn’t young people today learn about Roger Corman or Ed Wood or Vincent Price by watching WKNO?”
Michael Degnan (Professor Ghoul) is a longtime fixture of the Memphis Comedy scene and a veteran of Memphis television. He has been a student ambassador, a five-time finalist in the Funniest Person in Memphis Contest, and is currently a member of The Wiseguys Improv Comedy Troupe.
“WKNO and PBS in general are the stewards of cultural history on television, and I strongly believe that the horror film and the horror host as a format have been an important part of our cultural identity as Americans,” said Degnan. “WKNO is also a natural fit for a show that is seeking to educate as well as entertain its audience. This is a project which has generated a lot of excitement from WKNO staff and their support lets me know that this is the perfect (or as Shotzi may say – ‘Purrrfect’) place for this show.”
Professor Ghoul’s Horror School is produced and written by Bard Cole and Michael Degnan and directed by Peter Richards.
Dead Men Walk (1943)
A nomination for Horror Host of the Year goes to the Professor's head, as he checks out his competition. Featuring the 1943 horror flick “Dead Men Walk”.
Invasion of the Vampires (1963)
On a dark and stormy night, the School is visited by a mysterious figure with chilling plans for the Professor. Featuring the 1963 Spanish chiller “The Invasion of the Vampires”.
Terror in the Haunted House (aka My World Dies Screaming) (1958)
A frightening nightmare leads a pair of young newlyweds to Professor Ghoul's classroom, and a shocking secret. Featuring the 1958 creepy flick “Terror in the Haunted House”.
The Devil Bat (1940)
Student Patrick Looney discovers his guardian angel is a whiz with commercial jingles, while presenting the 1940 Bela Lugosi flick “The Devil Bat”.
Werewolf in a Girls’ Dormitory (1961) (link:
The Professor and Shotzi help Alexis discover the identity of her secret admirer, while presenting the 1961 horror mystery “Werewolf in a Girl’s Dormitory”.
The Ape Man (1943)
The Professor finds a real live filmmaker who shares the secrets of a snappy screenplay, while presenting the 1943 Bela Lugosi favorite “The Ape Man”.
Email Professor Ghoul: email@example.com