Horror Host Retrospective: Dr. Lucifer

Dr. Lucifer

Real name: Ken Bramming
Years active: 1958-1967; 1968-1969, Middle Tennessee area

For many years in the Middle Tennessee area, viewers could tune to WSIX-8, and later WMCV-17 to see a suave eye-patch wearing Transylvanian nobleman known only as Dr. Lucifer. Hosting the first version of Shock Theater shown on Nashville airways, Ken Bramming brought his character life as he personally selected every movie shown.

Opening with the classic “Night on Bald Mountain” (later replaced with the original composition “Blues for Lucifer”, performed by local musician Norman Cole), Dr. Lucifer would stroll into a pool of light and welcome viewers to the night’s film. Bramming would show not only the classic Universal Monster movies, but also mystery films featuring Sherlock Holmes and Mr. Moto.

Dr. Lucifer was aided and abetted by several helpers, notably Granny Gruesome, all played by various actors and crew.

Sadly, and too often with many horror hosts, there is little to no footage left as most of the show was shot live and not taped, save for introductions. Bramming would pass the torch of Nashville’s horror host to Sir Cecil Crepe as he announced Creature Feature for that program’s run.

Shock Theater ran on WSIX from 1958 until its cancellation in 1967. In October 1968 Dr. Lucifer returned on independent channel WMCV-17, but the show was canceled in November 1969.  Bramming passed away in 1997.

“Good night…and pleasant dreams!”

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