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.
Plan 9 from Outer Space (1959)
The thought of spoofing Ed Wood’s “Plan 9 from Outer Space” sends the Professor into a deep funk, so his friends hatch a plan of their own.
The Ghoul (1933)
Several monsters object to the Professor featuring a movie about a Ghoul instead of a monster, wolfman or vampire. Featuring “The Ghoul” starring Boris Karloff.
November 29 (airs at 10:30pm instead of 10)
Little Shop of Horrors (1960)
Shotzi subjects the Professor and others to his vision for an original musical based on the Roger Corman horror-comedy. Featuring “Little Shop of Horrors” (1960), with Jack Nicholson.
Professor Ghoul’s Horror School does not air December 6 or 13 due to special programming.
Professor Ghoul Presents: Santa Claus Conquers the Martians
More info coming soon.
Carnival of Souls (1962)
A classroom accident leads the Professor into a nebulous spirit realm where he must confront the choices of his past.
Email Professor Ghoul: firstname.lastname@example.org