Dr. Creep, played by Barry Hobart, is a well known local personality for almost 40 years in my hometown of Dayton, OH. He was the host of the wonderful Saturday TV show Shock Theatre, where he would introduce low budget horror films and produced humorous segments between commercial breaks. Shock Theatre aired on WKEF Channel 22 from 1972 to 1985 and developed a huge cult following.
Dr. Creep was also the co-host of the children’s TV show Clubhouse 22.
Along with it being a big influence on me as I grew up watching Dr. Creep, I also have a very personal connection to the show. My Mom used to appear on Shock Theatre as the vampire “Mysteria” who would do magic tricks during the breaks. I have fond memories hanging out at the studios during the tapings.
Lately, Dr. Creep has not been doing so well. He’s suffered numerous stokes and is having a tough time with medical expenses. WKEF recently did an interview with Barry from his home and have set up a special “Get Well” page where people can leave messages for Dr. Creep.
It was ”Shock Theatre” on Channel 22 that made Dr. Creep a household name and face here in the Dayton area. People in the 1970’s and 80’s grew up with Dr. Creep and all his ”Shock Theatre” friends. But it wasn’t just on TV where you could find the doctor, he was also all over the community, taking part in parades, visiting sick children at Children’s Medical Center and making appearances on the annual MDA telethon…many times giving his time for free.
”I believe we were put here to help each other get through life hand in hand.” Such is the philosophy of Barry Hobart, who is Dr. Creep’s other half and whose health you could now classify has horrible. Hobart has had five strokes, has a balance problem and suffers from congestive heart failure. With those multiple medical problems comes big bills, which have put the good doctor in dire financial straits. So now his friends in the horror industry, many of whom have worked with Hobart for years, are putting together a benefit for him. They say they want to give back to a man who has given so much of himself. Hobart says being Dr. Creep has not made him a rich man financially, but has made him wealthy in more important ways, ”I’m rich from the people I’ve met in life….I wouldn’t change a thing, I wouldn’t change my life one bit.”
Chaos In The Park 2009, a benefit concert for Dr. Creep is being organized for July 18th from noon to 9pm at the Snyder Park Band Shell in Springfield, OH.
For more info on Dr. Creep and Shock Theatre check out the Shock Theatre website. A bunch of videos from the show are posted up on the Shock Theater YouTube page.
UPDATE 1: A Dr. Creep Recovery Fund has been established..
UPDATE 2: A blog and Twitter account have been setup for Dr. Creep news and updates.