Working on a Local Television Production


When I was in the Navy quite a few years ago, I was stationed in the Norfolk, Virginia area. At 1:00am on Saturday nights after Saturday Night Live was over, there was a locally produced show called “Dr. Madblood’s Movies.” This was a show that ran schlocky horror movies, and the host had developed a group of characters with a running story that played out in between the commercials and the movie.

Jerry Harrell was the host, and played Dr. Maximillian Madblood, a retired Mad Scientist from Vienna, who had retired to Pungo, Virginia, and opened up a Family Practice clinic. (Working on his monsters in the basement of course.)

On the counter that you saw on screen was a sponge that had been painted to resemble a brain, and voice over recordings would be played, and Madblood would converse with Brain.

Count LaCudra, the local vampire befriended Madblood and became a regular visit to the lab. LaCudra was played my Mike Arlo, a local DJ whom I became friends with.

That was how I got started with this show. I called Mike at the station he worked at one Monday, after a Madblood episode that I thought was lame. I jokingly said, I could write a better one… He told me to write it.

I wrote what I thought was pretty good, and took it to show Mike. He read it, and called Jerry Harrel, who not only played Madblood, but also had created the show, and got me in to see him.

I went to see Jerry, and while he ended up passing on the script, he invited me to come and watch them tape the show any time I wanted. He also encouraged me to keep writing.

So I started hanging around, and watching the show being taped, and would continue writing. Watching them produce this show was a lot of fun, and periodically, I would help with moving props, and set pieces around, since I was there.

I got to know the actors, and some of the other people who were there hanging around, and got to be friends with a few of them.

I would show up at about 7:00in the evening on Wednesday night which was the night they taped all of the episodes, and stay til they were finished. Usually they wrapped around 9:30 but had to be finished a few minutes before ten. They had to finish in time for the news.

This was one of my first forays into the world of entertainment.

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