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Nightmare Theatre

Nightmare Theatre was one of the more prominent late-night horror programs of the 1960s and 1970s. During its fourteen-year run, this show introduced several generations of television viewers to the horror films of yesteryear across the Pacific Northwest. Produced by Seattle-based KIRO-TV, and utilizing much of the same cast and crew as the similarly popular The J.P. Patches Show, Nightmare Theatre reached an audience that stretched as far north as Alaska, as far east as Idaho, and south into Oregon. Its residential horror host, The Count, has accrued a cult following over the years, much in the same vein as his make-up laden peers Maila Nurmi ("Vampira"), John Zacherle ("Zacherley"), and Cassandra Peterson ("Elvira"). Late night horror programs had become immensely popular during the 1960s, so KIRO-TV decided to tap into a market virtually untouched by the Pacific Northwest stations at the time. Nightmare Theatre was conceptualized by Joe Towey, who not only functioned as the director of The J.P. Patches Show for its entire twenty-three years, but who also played a host of characters on the long-running children's program. (Just a few of his recurring characters include the klutzy handyman Mal Content, and J.P. Patches' evil twin brother, I.M. Rags.) Joe Towey received two Emmy Awards for his work as director on The J.P. Patches Show, and another for set designer on Nightmare Theatre.