Nightmare Stage (original title in English, later also in Croatian Noćna mora Željka Malnara) was a late night talk show hosted by maverick traveller and author Željko Malnar. It was broadcast live on Croatian TV station OTV from October 3, 1992 to June 25, 2005, then picked up by Z1 from October 1, 2005 to June 26, 2010.
The contact anti-show pushed the boundaries of television programming. Its air time varied during its run, starting at 10pm or midnight on Saturday night, with a flexible ending time typically between 3am and 6am. The host threw all tact and taste through the window, taking rough manners from the street to the screen without either diluting them with etiquette or stylizing them for theatrical effect. He asked his guests uncomfortable and aggressive questions in order to expose their flaws and often resorted to flat insults, which the guests frequently returned. The show also had elements of a freak show, featuring pitoresque recurring characters with unusual mental makeups (nicknamed Cezar, Tarzan, Jaran, Remzo, Laki, Ševa) from the streets of Peščenica, Malnar's neighborhood in Zagreb. Malnar had ostensibly proclaimed Peščenica an independent Republic with him as president and this cast as his cabinet.
The show occasionally ended with Malnar's angry message to viewers/caller "Jadnici, ugasite televizor i idite spavati! Idiote, zar nemaš pametnijeg posla, nego gledati televiziju u tri ujutro! Hajde, laku noć! Što je, bijedniče, nemaš novaca za biti vani, nego moraš mene gledati na svome malom crnobijelom televizoru?" (You miserable people, turn off the TV and go to bed! You idiot, don't you have a better thing to do at 3AM than watch TV? Come on, good night! What is it, you poor thing, you have no money to go out on Saturday, so you have to watch me on your small black and white TV?)
Nightmare Stage was also the title of a column written by Malnar regularly appearing in the weekly Globus.
In 2002 Nightmare Stage hosted Dennis Rodman who came to Zagreb only for the show after his Croat friend showed it to him through internet streaming. When the usual receiving of viewer's telephone calls occurred, many female viewers flirted with Rodman and wanted sex with him. He readily invited them to his hotel room and told them the address while being live in the studio.
Show also hosted many famous people from Croatia, including: Stjepan Mesić, Josip Manolić, Miroslav Tuđman, Tomislav Merčep, Boris Mikšić, Anto Kovačević, Davor Štern, Hrvoje Šarinić, Vesna Škare-Ožbolt, Slaven Letica, Žarko Puhovski, Tonino Picula, Vlatko Marković, Miroslav Blažević, Mirko Filipović, Mišo Kovač, Dino Dvornik.
In 2004 the cast of the show starred in a feature film of the same name.
On May 5, 2010 the most popular character Zvonimir Levačić - Ševa died at age 67. Following the death of Ševa, Nightmare Stage formally ended on June 26, 2010. after 18 years of live airing and 878 shows.
- Željko Malnar, president, (1992 - 2010)
- Zvonimir Levačić - Ševa, minister of defense, (2000 - 2010)
- Sead Hasanović - Braco CroRom, Roma people minority defense, (2000 - 2010)
- Tarzan, minister of moral, (1995 - 2010)
- Vlado Matijević - Jajan, official journalist, (2001 - 2008)
- Cezar, singer, (2001 - 2006)
- Stankec, proud Croat in Republic of Peščenica, (2001 - 2010)
- Laki, official dancer, (2002 - 2010)
- Remzo Krak, poet, (2001 - 2010)
- Emir, poet, (1993 - 2010)
- Slađa, girl with biggest boobs in Peščenica, (2003 - 2010)
- Anđa, singer, (2002 - 2010)
- Darko, 50 years old virgin who seeking a woman (2000 - 2008)
- Zoran Krivić, man who sells stolen paitings live on TV (2000 - 2010)
- Predrag Raos, writer, (often appearance 2000 - 2010)
- "Newspaper article published on 09-10-2003". Slobodna Dalmacija.hr. Retrieved 28 October 2010.