Recommended Reading: Books about Zacherley

Zacherley is my favorite horror host.  I know there are technically better and more successful hosts, but no one was more effective at what he did than Zacherley was at a time when the genre was just being invented!

There are a great many books about Zacherley as well as some edited by him, collections of horror comics featuring him, etc.  You can take your chances with those or just collect them all if you're a completist, but these are the books about Zacherley that I recommend for the best information about him as a horror host.

The Zacherley Scrapbook (2002) by John Skerchock
It's been out of print for a while, but I fortunately found a copy on eBay after about a year of automated searches for it.  I'm taking the following text from Zacherley's site:
The Zacherley Scrapbook is an over-sized paperback book that contains a wealth of information about Zacherley and his creator John Zacherle.

The book contains over one hundred pages of information and more than a hundred photos, many never seen before. It also contains some unique Zacherley artwork. The front, full color cover is by artist Dave Stevens and the back cover is by artist Frank Garofolo. Interior artwork is by Disney artist Frank Dietz, artist of the macabre Bernie Wrightson, and fan artist Scott Pensak.

The book is presented in three sections. One section is a tribute to Zacherley by some of his closest friends and fans including rock legend Rob Zombie, artist Bernie Wrightson, musician Michael Gilks, actor Daniel Roebuck, and Chiller Theatre founder Kevin Clement. There is a special forward by Bob Burns owner of some of the best horror movie props around and author of It Came From Bob's Basement. Another section is a biography of John Zacherle that also contains a complete play list of shows from his time as Roland in Philadelphia as well as some memories of Disc-O-Teen. The third section is a scrapbook from John Zacherle himself containing rare photos from his personal collection along with comments about what is transpiring in those photos.

"This is the definitive Zacherley book," said John Zacherle.
It's a pleasure to read, and it's great for the behind-the-scenes stories and photos.

Zacherley for President (Again) by John Skerchock

It's an updated version of the Zacherley for President book that came out in the '60s when he pulled the campaign routine the first time.  There isn't much text to it, just a lot of the one-liners and general silliness Zacherley has always been known for.  More important that than though, I think the book is worth owning for the multitude of photos.  Literally every other page is a photo (mostly from Zacherley's days as a horror host), almost all of which I've never seen anywhere else.  Many of these are even publicity shots, not just the behind-the-scenes stuff from scrapbooks.  I don't know that the book holds any general interest if you don't already appreciate Zacherley, but it's great fun and precious material for fans.

My wish list:
Goodnight, Whatever You Are!: My Journey with Zacherley, the Cool Ghoul by Richard Scrivani - Haven't read this one yet, but it seems to be the closest thing to a biography of Zacherley.  Unfortunately, it's out of print, so my search continues.

The Z Files: Treasures From Zacherley's Archives Paperback - by Richard Scrivani and Tom Weaver - Another scrapbook, this time full of articles about and pics of Zacherley.

See also:
Television Horror Movie Hosts by Elena M. Watson - There is a chapter devoted to Zacherley as well as a lot more information about other horror hosts from around the country and over several decades.  Zacherley is even on the cover!  I give an overview of the book on my "recommended reading" page.

Horrible Horror - This videotape (now also available as a dvd) is mostly a collection of trailers for bad horror movies from the '30s through the '50s, hosted by Zacherley.  I get the impression its producers were huge Zacherley fans who basically gave him free reign to improvise and recreate his classic sketches/routines from his years of hosting the Shock Theater films.  It's about the best footage of Zacherley doing what he's best at on his own terms (i.e., not as a guest on someone else's show).


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