A weekly TV show where a character host would introduce the weeks horror movie and reappear during commercial breaks. Aired Fridays at midnight on Madison’s Channel 15.
September 19, 1964
The first show aired. Sposored by American TV, it was originally titled “Ferdie's Inferno” after owner Ferd Mattioli. The host at that time was Jack Crowley
Carl Ames took over hosting when Crowley left the station. Carl's character came on stage out of a grave (actually a trapdoor in the studio floor)
September 5, 1969
– Fred Mattioli had become ill and his brother Len “Crazy TV Lenny” took over American TV. A new host, Dick Flanigan as “Mr. Mephisto”, was brought in and the name of the show was changed to “Lenny's Inferno”.
Mr. Mephisto had a pure white face with black hair, eyes & goatee and had a sidekick, “Voice-in-the-box”. Voice-in-the-box was a talking black box who’s dialog was preformed by John Sveum (professional name Jay Stevens, died July 2, 2009 at age 63). Voice-in-the-box didn’t like Mr. Mephisto, usually just referring to him as “The Creep”.
You never knew what they were going to do. They set things on fire and chopped up appliances with axes. They taped the shows Friday afternoons for airing that night. The show last aired in Madison May 21, 1982.
The show was briefly resurrected in Milwaukee in 1988 when American TV opened a store there. On Milwaukee’s Channel 24 it lasted eight weeks.
Moussorgsky's “Night on Bald Mountain” was the shows musical theme.
Dick Golembiewski “Dick Nitelinger” has written articles on local TV horror history for Scary Monsters magazine.
E-gor's Chamber of TV Horror Hosts