Horror Host Retrospective: Sinister Seymour

Sinister Seymour

Real name: Larry Vincent
Years active: 1969 to 1975, California

Vampira had started a new trend in television, yet it would be quite a few years until someone came along to really charge things up. Larry Vincent was an old hand at children’s television and bit roles. In 1969, he came to KHJ-9 to create a character that would have greater impact than most would have dreamed.

Taking over the shock movies package and dubbing it Fright Night, Sinister Seymour, dressed all in black with a slouched hat and cape, stalked his way into the homes of viewers and proceeded to riff the films with out mercy. Decades before Mystery Science Theater 3000 had it down to an art, Seymour would insert himself in the films via blue screen. Quite a few hosts would do this, but Seymour would openly mock the films while being in the film.

Few things were safe from Seymour’s riffing, which might explain the cancellations. For the last episode of Fright Night, Seymour ended the show by walking out of the studio, and the first episode of Monster Rally had him breaking into KTLA-5.

Seymour looked to be on the verge of being a huge player in the horror host business when he succumbed to stomach cancer in 1975. The legacy of the wise guy host would live on through others, but Seymour did with style.

I have yet to prove this, but the 1985 horror film Fright Night, in which a teen tries to convince a horror host named Peter Vincent, does to seem to borrow rather heavily from the story of Seymour.

Fright Night ran on KHJ-9 from 1969 to 1972. Monster Rally ran for one season in 1973 on KTLA-5. Seymour Presents was on KHJ-9 from 1974 until 1975. Mr. Vincent passed away in 1975.