Saturday Night Dead

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Saturday Night Dead [1] was a television program that hosted B horror films from 1984 to 1990 on KYW-TV, Channel 3, which at that time was the NBC affiliate in Philadelphia, PA. The program ran after the network's late-night program Saturday Night Live (hence the title playing off from the program) at 1 am, and was a cult favorite.


The program was hosted by Stella,[1] dubbed "the man-eater from Manayunk" (a section near the Schuylkill River, a working-class neighborhood) or the "Daughter of Desire," Stella delighted in half-clad gorgeous young men and often had one or two hanging in her dungeon awaiting her pleasure. According to her biography, Stella was "born in North Libido, New Jersey, a small village outside of Atlantic City. She is the only child of traveling hecklers. Her parents dropped her in a plastic basket at Fifth and Shunk in front of Guido's Hair Weaving and Plumbing Supplies, but for all intents and purposes she was raised by a flock of pigeons". Reincarnated 37 times, Stella was just your typical "ghoul" next door.

In real life, she was Karen Scioli, a South Philadelphia born actress, writer, and homemaker who weekly donned a push-up bra, slinky black dress, feather boa, false eyelashes and a mole on her right cheek. As clarified by Scioli in the 2006 documentary film American Scary, Stella was not a vampiress or monster, she was instead a traditional, non-supernatural vamp. In 2012, Scioli/"Stella" was inducted into the Horror Host Hall of Fame.[2]

Other regulars on the program were Stella's canopied-bed called "Beda Lugosi" which talked and vibrated; Skeeves the Butler (Bill Brown) who left the show and was replaced by Hives the Butler (Bob Billbrough); Cousin Mel (Glenn Davish), who was nerdy and was told by everyone (in a tribute to a character on The Dick Van Dyke Show played by Richard Deacon) to "Shut up, Mel." Davish (who was in the movie Mannequin with Andrew McCarthy, Kim Cattrall and Estelle Getty) also played a whacked out mad scientist named Dr. Schuylkill (a play off the Schuylkill River and the Schuylkill Expressway) and voiced a faceless dungeon monster named Iggy who ate anybody that Stella didn't like as well as a portrait that gave sarcastic responses to whatever Stella was wise-cracking about. Two other actresses - Donna Ryan, who played the whacked out psychic "Madame Tofutti" and Kathy Robinson - were regulars on the show.

Saturday Night Dead was produced by KYW-TV and often featured the talent from their local news production, Eyewitness News, including Howard Joffe.

The Duke Ellington Orchestra's recording of "The Mooche" was used as the show's theme song.

Featured films[edit]


  1. ^ a b Watson, Elena M. (2000). Television Horror Movie Hosts: 68 Vampires, Mad Scientists and Other Denizens of the Late Night Airwaves Examined and Interviewed. Jefferson, North Carolina, United States: McFarland & Company. p. 265. ISBN 0-7864-0940-1. 
  2. ^ "The Official Horror Host Hall of Fame". Retrieved 2017-02-22. 

2 Pfeiffer, John (2009)