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Frank Gallop’s Ghoulish Lights Out Persona: Horror Host as Brand Image in Early US Anthology Television

Thomas Wilson

Résumés

Le rôle de Frank Gallop en tant que narrateur de la série Lights Out (NBC, 1949-1952) a marqué une évolution significative de sa carrière de présentateur, dans la mesure où il devenait alors animateur de série d’anthologie horrifique après avoir été annonceur dans des émissions de variétés. Lorsque Gallop devint le visage de Lights Out, sa persona macabre s’imposa comme un élément crucial de l’image de marque de l’émission. Ainsi, il constituele premier exemple de présentateur inextricablement lié à l’image de marque d’une série d’horreur anthologique à l’époque de l’émergence de ces dernières, dans le contexte états-unien de l’après-guerre. Grâce à l’analyse de documents d’archives accompagnant la diffusion de la série, cet article examine l’impact de la persona élaborée par Gallop dans Lights Out sur l’identité de l’émission ainsi que sur carrière du présentateur.

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Introduction

1Frank Gallop (1900-1988) was an American media personality primarily associated with presentational roles across US network radio and TV. Spanning the late-1930s to late-1960s, Gallop’s three-decade media career also included voice-over narration work, as well as garnering cult status in later years as a singer. In-part, Gallop was recognised for his amiable and elegant traits when functioning as a regular radio and TV announcer for variety programming. In stark contrast, the ghoulish characterisation that he adopted as the on-screen narrator of Lights Out (NBC, 1949-1952), one of the earliest horror anthology shows in the US TV network schedule, was a deviation that considerably shifted his image. Exclusive to the weekly production and broadcast of each live and self-contained Lights Out episode, the distinctive features of Gallop’s semi-fictional guise intentionally augmented the mood of the horror content. His wraparound segments entailed direct-to-camera address in which his forbidding commentary related to each standalone story was heightened by his depiction as a spectral form discretely situated in a shadowy locale; specifically, a floating, bodiless head with detached skeletal hands fronting a pitch-black backdrop. As an extension of his presentational performance, Gallop’s Lights Out persona was also utilised in the series’ promotion and publicity. Indeed, Gallop’s newfound ghoulish image in the early-1950s, both directly and indirectly, established a crucial component in the overall identity of Lights Out. In so doing, Gallop instigated the custom of the anthology TV horror host being inherently connected to its respective programme’s brand image.

  • 1 This was prior to the advent of other programme and series forms, such as the serial and made-for-T (...)
  • 2 Following this, the hosted horror anthology show advanced as a programme form on US TV, as the subg (...)
  • 3 William Hawes, Live Television Drama, 1946-1951, North Carolina and London, McFarland, 2001, p. 31.
  • 4 Madelyn Ritrosky-Winslow, “Anthology Drama”, Encyclopedia of Television, ed. Horace Newcomb, London (...)
  • 5 The highbrow dramatic anthology strand was represented by examples such as Studio One (CBS, 1948-19 (...)
  • 6 Anonymous, “Mysteries: They Love ‘Em on TV!”, Sponsor, Vol. 4, No. 22, 1950, p. 59. As further evid (...)
  • 7 Brooks and Marsh, p. 353.

2The anthology form represented the primary mode of horror TV throughout the first two decades of US TV1. The first cycle of horror anthologies constituted a significant part of the US network schedule for half-a-decade, commencing in the late-1940s and culminating in the mid-1950s2. Commissioned during the US TV schedule of 1949-1950, Lights Out emerged at the forefront of a trend of horror anthology shows aired live from New York, the majority of which were transferred from successful radio antecedents. Alongside Lights Out, the first cycle included counterparts such as Suspense (CBS, 1949-1954), Starring Boris Karloff (ABC, 1949), The Clock (NBC, 1949–1951; ABC, 1951–1952), Mr Black (ABC, 1949), Tales of Tomorrow (ABC, 1951-1953), Trapped: Tales of the Supernatural (WOR-TV, 1950-1952), Hands of Murder (DuMont, 1949–1951), Tales of the Black Cat (NBC, 1950-1951), Escape (CBS, 1950), and Out of the Fog (ABC, 1952). A subgenre within the broader category of the TV anthology format, the early horror anthology shows were genre specific, specialising in standalone teleplays contained under an umbrella title in which “horror, mystery, the supernatural, murder and insanity were the basis of mostly live and original scary stories3”. Due to lowbrow connotations, the live horror anthologies were “not critically acclaimed4” in contrast to the dramatic anthology strand that concurrently predominated the network schedule. These offered a diverse array of prestigious teleplays, aimed at a middle-class audience, and typically adapted from classic literature, highbrow theatre plays and light comedies5. However, the early horror anthology shows generally achieved moderate ratings success. Indeed, Lights Out was included in the top-20 list of top-rated primetime US TV series during the 1950–51 schedule, the only horror anthology series to do so between 1949 and 1955. As similarly reported in Sponsor, “Nielsen TV-ratings for New York evening once-a-week programmes show three mysteries in the top 10: Martin Kane, Private Eye, Suspense, and Lights Out. [The success of the latter is] attested to by the consistently top ratings Lights Out has garnered since its debut last year6”. Moreover, “beginning in 1950 a ‘guest star’ policy brought in such names as Boris Karloff7”, as Lights Out increasingly attracted iconic actors and actresses affiliated with the horror genre.

  • 8 The remainder of early horror anthologies, represented by approximately eleven shows that did not u (...)
  • 9 Lorna Jowett and Stacey Abbott, TV Horror: Investigating the Dark Side of the Small Screen, London (...)
  • 10 Jowett and Abbott, p. 85.

3Gallop’s presentational role on Lights Out demonstrated one of numerous examples in which the on-screen host was innately associated with the early horror anthology show on US TV. Representing a majority, thirteen of the twenty-four live horror anthologies aired between 1949 through 1954 utilised an on-camera host8. Lorna Jowett and Stacey Abbott acknowledge that the abundance of presenters connected to the early horror anthology show was, more broadly, emblematic of “talking heads” that characterised the intimacy of US TV during the medium’s emerging years9. Moreover, the prevalence of on-screen narrators in the early horror anthology show accorded with US TV replicating and reworking programme forms well-established in other mediums, while it increasingly conceived its own medium-specific content for the network schedule. In particular, the lineage of the anthology TV horror host can be traced to the presentation of old-time radio dramas that specialised in horror, such as The Witch’s Tale (WOR, 1931-1938) and Inner Sanctum Mystery (Blue Network; CBS; NBC, 1941-1952), and which used hosts to “[guide] the audience through a series of horror tales10”. Despite being exclusively aural, and conceived by the radio listener’s imagination, anthology radio horror hosts of the 1930s and 1940s offered the closest precursor to the subsequent TV interpretation of the generic tradition. Encouraged by Gallop’s innovative Lights Out presentational role, the anthology TV horror host accordingly developed its own audio-visual medium-specificity over the course of the late-1940s and early-1950s.

  • 11 Excluded from this article is any focus on the type of horror host that introduced classic horror f (...)

4The anthology TV horror host routinely made an on-screen appearance, approximately a minute in duration, at the open and close of each weekly half-hour standalone horror teleplay. Such wraparound segments served as a type of bookmarking device for each unconnected episode, as well as a reliable presentational uniformity and framework that traversed the ongoing horror anthology series as a whole. In the prologue and epilogue, the presenter traditionally inhabited a discrete studio space, typically a consistent horror setting, and was detached from each self-contained teleplay’s different story, setting(s), and cast/characters, while simultaneously being perceived as an omnipresent figure. Providing specific narrative and thematic context, and often incorporating the use of props related to the fiction, the host offered ominous and moralistic remarks intending to set an appropriate mood and augment the presented horror content within the domestic viewing context.11

  • 12 Mark Jancovich, ‘“Where it Belongs”: Television Horror, Domesticity, and Alfred Hitchcock Presents(...)
  • 13 Joel Engel, Rod Serling: The Dreams and Nightmares of Life in the Twilight Zone, Chicago, Contempor (...)
  • 14 Thomas Wilson, ‘Frank Gallop: The Ghoulish Host of Lights Out’, Historical Journal of Film, Radio a (...)

5The anthology TV horror host in early US TV has been given little attention. Indeed, academics have recently acknowledged that “more work needs to be done on television horror prior to the mid-1950s12”. Scholarship has largely focused on subsequent examples associated with the advancement of this generic tradition amid the rise of the Hollywood TV studio system. This is illustrated by writing that has examined various aspects related to the presentational roles of Alfred Hitchcock and Rod Serling in horror anthology shows of the late-1950s and 1960s13. Previous work, however, has begun to identify the overlooked importance of Gallop as the first distinct anthology TV horror host, and has addressed his instigation of the medium-specific presentational criteria associated with the generic tradition14. Building on such scholarship, this article suggests that Gallop’s Lights Out presenting role also offers the first significant example, without a well-established media profile and celebrity status, to be inextricably linked to the branding of the early hosted horror anthology show during its emergence in the post-war live era of US TV. In sum, this article explores the process by which Gallop’s Lights Out persona established the programme’s brand-image through the means of promotion and publicity concurrent with its original run. It further considers a legacy connected to Gallop’s close association with Lights Out, which subsequently defined his image in his late presentational career.

1. Frank Gallop’s Early Presentational Career

6Following a period working in investment banking, Gallop drastically changed his vocational path as he secured regular work from the mid-1930s as a radio announcer and voice-over narrator. To begin his presentational career, Gallop worked for ten months in local radio, announcing for a Boston radio station largely made up of soap opera, comedy and variety programming. Gallop also lent his erudite voice to varied film and TV projects, typically in the genres of animation, documentary and education. This included short travelogue films that explored non-Western countries and cultures. For instance, Gallop narrated Temples of India (Hans Nieter, 1938), his voice cultivated to deliver the informative, ethnographic script that detailed ritualistic and architectural aspects of Hinduism. In a similar vein, he also narrated animation films aimed at children, expressing dulcet tones and jovial enthusiasm suited to Casper the Friendly Ghost (Izzy Sparber, 1945), There’s Good Boos To-Night (Izzy Sparber, 1948), and A Haunting We Will Go (Seymour Kneitel, 1949): a series of three short animations made by Famous Studios in the mid-to-late-1940s featuring the fictional cartoon character Casper the Friendly Ghost as protagonist.

  • 15 Kristine Dunn, “Mystery Series Debuts”, The Miami News, 14 June, 1961, p. 20.
  • 16 The Mercury Theater on Air is historically significant for its controversial broadcast of “The War (...)

7Leaving Boston local radio, Gallop relocated to New York City and established regular work as a network radio announcer: initially for CBS, between the late-1930s and mid-1940s, and for NBC in the late-1940s. Throughout the 1940s, he announced for numerous ongoing dramas and soap operas, variety shows, as well as providing a “studious voice [as he] annotated15” more prestigious New York Philharmonic Orchestra concert broadcasts. In one of his earliest radio roles, Gallop was hired to announce for the dramatic anthology show, The Mercury Theater on Air (CBS, 1938), which typically presented standalone adaptations of classic literary works16. An instance of this included S01E12 in which series creator Orson Welles starred as Sherlock Holmes. As the regular announcer of The Mercury Theater on Air, Gallop’s responsibility was to provide introductory, intermission and concluding segments that contained succinct delivery of special sponsorship messages, narrative content details and production/cast credits. This is consistent across Gallop’s work for similar dramatic anthology shows at the time such as The Silver Theater (CBS/Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, 1937-1947), Columbia Workshop (CBS, 1936-1943; 1946-1947), Damon Runyon Theater (Syndicated, 1949), as well as drama series Gang Busters (CBS/Blue Network/Mutual Broadcasting System, 1936-1957) and The Doctor Fights (CBS, 1944-1945).

  • 17 Anonymous, “‘When a Girl Marries’ Drama Celebrates Second Anniversary”, Harrisburg Telegraph, 1 Jun (...)

8Gallop also regularly announced for 15-minute daytime soap operas, examples of which included Amanda of Honeymoon Hill (Blue Network; CBS, 1940-1946), Hilltop House (CBS; NBC, 1937-1957) and When a Girl Marries (CBS; NBC; ABC, 1939-1957), the latter “heard by 8 million different people each week17”. Announcing for When a Girl Marries, Gallop’s voice was invariably accompanied by romantic church organ music as he introduced each daily entry into the ongoing serial as a “story of young married life dedicated to all of those who are in love”. Following his delivery of a special sponsorship message, Gallop would provide a recap of significant narrative events from recent episodes followed by concise introductory narration related to the imminent story. In these, the culmination of his opening comments transitioned into the performers’ opening character dialogue.

  • 18 Dennis Hart, Monitor (Take 2): The Revised, Expanded Inside Story of Network Radio’s Greatest Progr (...)
  • 19 Earl Wilson, “Merediths to do Play by Steinbeck”, The Miami News, 10 March, 1947, p. 27.
  • 20 Turo [sic], “Radio Reviews”, Variety, Vol. 156, No. 4, 1944, p. 24.
  • 21 Gerald Nachman, Raised on Radio, New York, Pantheon Books, 1998, p. 263.
  • 22 Michele Hilmes, Radio Voices: American Broadcasting, 1922–1952, Minneapolis, University of Minnesot (...)
  • 23 Dunn, p. 20.

9Gallop’s identity as a radio announcer was most notable for displaying sophisticated characteristics. This formed an identity that consistently suggested a “certain dignified and suave manner18”. Likewise, The Miami News referred to Gallop as “the only announcer who sounds like he’s wearing spats19”. Defined by his ostentatious broadcasting voice, Gallop was immediately recognisable through his style of radio performance. Extremely precise with his on-air diction, his articulate Boston dialect was, as an outcome, audibly perceived as a British accent by US radio listeners. The prominence of sophisticated characteristics in Gallop’s radio persona, particularly connected to his meticulous and grandiose elocution, is further alluded to in a critical review of the musical variety programme, Prudential Family Hour (CBS, 1941–1950): “commercial copy was the florid wordy type usually dispensed by Frank Gallop. His [description] of the future security provided by purchasing life insurance is the perfect transposition of the insurance salesman’s usual pitch into the radio medium20”. As a result of his distinctive voice that was regularly heard on a range of successful network radio programmes throughout the 1940s, Gallop became recognised as a considerable member of a main group of presenters who “gave [radio programmes a] resounding voice21”. This was at a time when “station announcers played an increasingly important role22”. As an indication of his repute as a radio announcer, Gallop became closely associated with his roles on popular variety shows such as The Prudential Family Hour and The Milton Berle Show (NBC, 1947-1948). In regard to the latter, one critic recalled that “as announcer for Berle, [Gallop] was always called ‘Mr. Gallop, sir23’”, alluding to his refined traits.

  • 24 Nachman, p. 263.
  • 25 Ibid. The introduction to The Milton Berle Show broadcast “A Salute to California” (10/02/1948) inc (...)

10The promotion of Gallop’s sophisticated identity, which became pronounced throughout the 1940s, often situated him as the comic foil alongside fellow radio stars. This increased his airtime in more notable roles, particularly in variety programming, where such comic performative involvement also emerged as a recognisable facet of Gallop’s presentational identity. This was best exemplified in his prominent position as announcer for The Milton Berle Show in which Gallop’s radio performance demonstrated a more jocular approach as he was characterised in contrast to the radio star as the “announcer-straight man [archetype], a natural progression for announcers, who fell into sidekick roles and had learnt the delicate art of care and feeding (and occasional razzing) of comics24”. In this announcer-straight man role, “[Gallop’s] grand, richly sardonic voice regularly cut Milton Berle down to size25”. Overall, Gallop’s uniqueness as a network radio announcer amid the medium’s golden age was centrally formed around a performance-based approach and style that combined eloquence with a sense of wit.

2. Gallop’s Move to Television

  • 26 Andrew Tolson, “The History of Television Celebrity: A Discursive Approach”, Celebrity Studies, Vol (...)

11Over the course of the 1940s, Gallop’s presentational career was mostly contained to radio and he was exclusively recognisable by voice alone. For the duration of approximately fifteen years as a radio announcer, Gallop had been associated with variety programming, but not generally with the horror genre. From 1950 onward, he moved into network TV announcing alongside numerous personalities and stars that had made the move from radio to TV. This was part of a noticeable transfer of several personnel across performance, presentation and production that were reallocated to the new broadcast medium in the late-1940s and early-1950s. As Andrew Tolson suggests, “early television did not have a Hollywood-style star system, but took many of its performers from radio and popular theatre26”. As a regular TV announcer for the variety show, Gallop’s function was invariably confined to concise segments of direct-to-camera address and offscreen commentary, utilised for commercial messages, performative sketches and credits/trails for the following week’s broadcast.

  • 27 Vincent Terrace, Encyclopedia of Television Shows, 1925 – 2010, North Carolina and London, McFarlan (...)

12An early example of Gallop in this type of role includes his voice-over narration presented in a jovial style for a comic sketch performance by Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis in The Colgate Comedy Hour (NBC, 1950–1955), S01E02. Likewise, Gallop provided direct-to-camera address for The Buick Circus Hour (NBC, 1952), S01E01. Promoting a smart appearance and humorous conduct, the latter occurred in front of a live studio audience amused by his wit at the close of broadcast (Fig.1). This premier edition of the show also included the delivery of a special commercial message in a three-minute segment that commences with an elaborate stunt involving a new automobile on the market, which Gallop endorses as a programme sponsor (Fig.2). Exemplifying the intimacy of early TV address, Gallop appears in medium close-up, expressing a mild-mannered, self-assured confidence to the live studio audience and TV viewer. After a detailed overview of the car’s technical features and safety advantages, Gallop’s elocution of his special commercial message is charming as he casually perches one foot on the car: “you have to discover the smoothness of this million dollars worth of engineering for yourself, behind the wheel, out on the road. Do me a favour, do yourself a favour, see your Buick dealer tomorrow and tell him you got the idea on the Buick Circus Hour!”. Other prominent TV presentational roles in the early-1950s included announcing on Broadway Open House (NBC, 1950-1951), “network television’s first late-night entertainment series of music, songs, dances, interviews and comedy sketches27”. The Billboard’s review of an episode that involved Gallop, aired 14 July, 1951, clearly recognised the persistence of his affable and sophisticated persona across broadcast media:

  • 28 Anonymous, “Caught with Diction Down”, The Billboard, July 14, 1951, p. 5.

Frank Gallop, of the pear-shaped tones [read rich and sonorous voice] and precise diction did a bit on Broadway Open House that required him to wear an 1890 bathing suit. In preparation, he wore jockey shorts. When his bit was over, he rushed backstage to change. As he peeled off his tights hurriedly he was horrified to see his jockey shorts come down at the same time. Flustered and embarrassed, he made a valiant effort to regain composure28.

  • 29 Ibid.
  • 30 Stal [sic], “Television Reviews”, Variety, 182, June, 1951, p. 30.

13The above critical review of one of Gallop’s TV announcer roles, which offers a brief insight into the production of Broadway Open House and is titled “CAUGHT WITH DICTION DOWN29”, exemplifies how commentators often mocked Gallop’s prim and proper characterisation. Summarising Gallop’s typical incorporation of witticism as the straight-man announcer, one critic noted in another review of Broadway Open House that “Frank Gallop, regular announcer on NBC’s ‘Lights Out,’ made for an excellent foil for Jack E. Leonard with his clipped, dignified accent30”. In a similar vein, Gallop’s function as announcer on The Perry Como Show (NBC, 1948-1950; CBS, 1950-1955; NBC, 1955-1963) regularly extended to contributions in sketches. In S03E37, his usual duty as announcer was integrated into a talent contest routine in which he delivered his lines between each act while simultaneously adopting the guise of “The Show Business Chairman” who presides over “The United Nations of Show Business” contest.

Figure 1: Gallop interacting with studio audience on The Buick Circus Hour S01E01

Figure 1: Gallop interacting with studio audience on The Buick Circus Hour S01E01

Figure 2: Gallop delivering special commercial message on The Buick Circus Hour S01E01

Figure 2: Gallop delivering special commercial message on The Buick Circus Hour S01E01
  • 31 Ray Oviatt, “Frank Gallop: The Man Who Goes For ‘Breaks’”, Toledo Sunday Blade, 23 November, 1958, (...)

14Gallop’s identity as the affable and sophisticated TV announcer was an aspect of his presentational career that reoccurred throughout the 1950s and 1960s. However, as a departure during his first year working in TV, Gallop was hired as the on-screen narrator of Lights Out. In this respect, he adopted a newfound guise as an anthology TV horror host, a persona palpably distinct from his usual identity as the jovial and elegant announcer of light entertainment and highbrow programming. Indeed, half-a-decade after the culmination of Lights Out’s original run, TV critic Ray Oviatt recognised his talent at moving between distinct presentational styles across different genres throughout his career: “[Gallop is a] deceptively adaptable performer31”. Accommodating his performative approach and style for the more lowbrow tone of Lights Out, Gallop’s evolution into an anthology TV horror host thus demonstrated his versatile disposition as a network TV presenter; pioneering at a time when the generic tradition on US TV was undeveloped.

3. Lights Out

  • 32 Anonymous, “TV Programme Highlights: New York City and Suburbs and New Haven, Channel 6, October 11 (...)
  • 33 John Crosby, “Lights Out [Wrecks] Kiddies’ Nerves”, The Arizona Republic, February 16, 1951, p. 30.

15Aired live from New York, Lights Out was networked through NBC between July 19, 1949 and September 29, 1952, during which time it was broadcast weekly in the Monday night network schedule. Lights Out constituted weekly half hour standalone teleplays contained within the traditional anthology series format, specialising in “spook stories, sometimes supernatural”, “stories designed to stand your hair on end”, and “unearthly haunting tales32”, as summarised in programme listings at the time. Despite its ratings success, Lights Out achieved mixed reviews largely due to the lowbrow connotations at the time associated with horror TV. The esteemed media critic John Crosby argued the need to diminish the impact of horror anthology shows on US TV that had increased by the early-1950s, citing Lights Out as an example: “since the horror programmes [...] seem to be doing awfully well, I don’t suppose there’s any possibility of eliminating them. But let’s take it a little easy, fellows33”. Instances of more positive critical reception responded to the show’s accomplishments in creating impactful horror as a result of technical innovation, especially its effective use of shadowy interiors and supernatural themed special effects.

  • 34 Anonymous, “Radio and Television”, The New York Times, April 21, 1950, p. 44.

16Film noir actor Jack LaRue was initially hired as Lights Out’s on-screen host, but his presentational role met a premature end as the actor resigned midway through Season One due to illness, having hosted approximately thirty episodes. Gallop subsequently inherited the role, initially on a temporary basis during the final few months of the first season, which included a number of restaged teleplays. Gallop’s permanence as host was solidified from the commencement of Season Two, on August 28, 1950, as officially confirmed in The New York Times: “Frank Gallop has been named as a permanent replacement for Jack La Rue as host on N.B.C. television’s ‘Lights Out’ series. Gallop had been serving on a temporary basis during the last few weeks34”. Replacing LaRue, Gallop continued the practice of an on-screen narrator appearing at the outset and close of Lights Out to provide consistency across each standalone teleplay, presenting a further 108 episodes thereafter until the final broadcast, on September 29, 1952, when the series was eventually cancelled. This evolution in Gallop’s image initiated the most significant facet throughout his entire presentational career, as he became the face and focal point of a networked horror anthology show.

4. The Ghoul: Gallop’s Wraparound Appearances

  • 35 Merrill Panitt, “LaRue as Ghoulmaster Funnier than Berle Shows”, The Philadelphia Inquirer, Novembe (...)
  • 36 Sponsor, p. 59.

17Prior to Gallop, LaRue’s presentational style for Lights Out had been ineffective in its demonstration of horror elements. In particular, TV reviews at the time highlighted the jarring unsuitability of LaRue’s tendency to shift towards an amiable disposition during his wraparound segments, which disrupted the horror mood. As TV critic Merrill Panitt detailed at the time, the intended horror aspects inconsistently displayed by LaRue “are, it is assumed, intended to scare the wits out of the audience. The assumption is faulty. Instead of being scared, [the] audience thought LaRue’s antics to be much funnier than [TV comedian] Milton Berle’s shows35”. Unlike his friendly predecessor, Gallop’s intention to increase the impact of the presented horror content achieved a mood that was far more effective in frightening the TV audience. As Sponsor indicated at the time in a report on the rise of horror programming and the more successful display of Gothic tropes linked to Gallop, “the supernatural type of mystery, of which the outstanding example is Admiral’s Lights Out, requires extra care and attention. For creation of that eerie mood, Lights Out uses a flickering candle placed before [Gallop’s] apparently disembodied head36”. As the long-term on-screen announcer on Lights Out, Gallop was depicted as a floating, disembodied head with detached skeletal hands, situated in a mysterious and shadowy locale. This guise was devised during his auditions for the role in April 1950, as NBC made preparations ahead of the show’s second season. Resourcefully, the use of frontal lighting, in combination with the trick of Gallop wearing a dark turtleneck sweater, starkly illuminated the host as a spectral aura within a black void. As Gallop delivered his commentary, his direct-to-camera gaze was intensified by close camerawork that accentuated his protruding eyes and skeletal facial features, while his hollow cheeks and pallid tone were enhanced using makeup (Fig.3).

Figure 3: Gallop’s guise as the spectral and bodiless head in prologue for Lights Out S0305

Figure 3: Gallop’s guise as the spectral and bodiless head in prologue for Lights Out S0305

18The routine technique of an incremental slow zoom out for the duration of Gallop’s opening narration, that moved from an initial close-up, through medium shot, and settled in medium long shot, exaggerated his portrayal as the floating bodiless head situated in an otherworldly setting. Gallop’s discrete presentational space was a dark expanse in which he was accompanied by the Gothic iconography of a single lit candle, routinely lit by his skeletal and detached hand (Fig.4).

Figure 4: Gallop’s skeletal, detached hand lighting a candle in prologue for Lights Out S0305

Figure 4: Gallop’s skeletal, detached hand lighting a candle in prologue for Lights Out S0305
  • 37 Bob Lardine, “His Silence Pays Off”, New York Daily News, November 4, 1962, p. 7.
  • 38 Oviatt, p. 1.

19In combination with the aforementioned visual aspects, aural elements utilised in Lights Out wraparound segments further established his guise as an anthology TV horror host. As the on-camera presenter, Gallop’s prologue and epilogue narration involved the deliberate delivery of ominous commentary in a sepulchral tone and was accompanied by befitting spooky organ music. Indeed, Gallop was renowned for his distinctive broadcast voice, which was suggested to be “one of the most easily identifiable on television37” in the 1950s and early-1960s. Gallop’s sonorous vocal delivery, which “seems to emanate from the depths of Mammoth Cave38”, was applied as a distinguishing characteristic that proved effective in enhancing his direct-to-camera forbidding remarks. The introductory segment routinely culminated with Gallop bellowing “Lights Out...everybody!” as he simultaneously blew out the flickering flame of the nearby candle, temporarily casting his presentational space into darkness, and signalled the commencement of the presented horror content through a subsequent cut to the narrative proper. Thus, in cooperation with the production staff, Gallop was enabled the opportunity to contribute to the development of his Lights Out persona, especially through the application of audio-visual and performative aspects that became closely associated with his uniquely sinister guise.

5. One of a Kind

  • 39 Frank Gallop quoted in, Anonymous, “The Disembodied Face on Lights Out Has Another – and Very Pleas (...)
  • 40 Anonymous, “The Disembodied Face on Lights Out Has Another – and Very Pleasant Existence!: He’s Rea (...)
  • 41 John E. Fetzer, Leonard Reinsch, Thad Brown, Edward H. Bronson, “Code of Practices for Television B (...)
  • 42 Gallop quoted in, Radio Television Mirror, p. 43.

20Gallop’s evolution into an anthology TV horror host midway through his presentational career marked a patent departure from his previous identity as the dulcet and elegant announcer. This disparity was indicated by TV industry personnel during his audition for the part of Lights Out presenter. As Gallop recalls, the NBC agency initially recognised him “no doubt, as the conventional and quite comfortable announcer, [and] laughed when I appeared39”. This evolution is reaffirmed by a Radio Television Mirror author: “[Gallop] is known to millions for his friendly and resonant voice [as well as] his amiable disposition, adults who now hold him suspect remember the shadowed narrator of Lights Out as he was in the friendly flesh of earlier days40”. Simultaneously, Gallop’s ghoulish mode acutely distinguished him from his conventional counterparts typically attached to the live horror anthologies: the genial host that invariably doubled up as a sponsor representative. In line with restrictive regulatory guidelines advising network TV that any representation of the genre “for its own sake will be eliminated41”, the genial host was utilised to downplay the impact of the presented horror content. Such a figure was best embodied by Suspense’s Rex Marshall, a courteous host who excluded horror elements and, instead, demonstrated a reassuring and polite manner in his direct-to-camera address. His intervals involved pleasantries and comic aspects in preference to narrative and thematic details, offering the TV viewer a temporary distraction from the horror teleplays. Marshall’s cheerful and neat conduct was further displayed by his wearing of a bright white coat while situated in a studio setting that reflected domestic comfort. Acknowledging the individuality of his Lights Out persona in direct opposition to the conformist practice of genial hosts, such as Marshall, Gallop suggested that “the bodiless ghost you see – or think you see – each Monday night on television is one of a kind42”.

6. TV Reviews and Programme Listings

  • 43 Anonymous, “Programme Highlights in Television viewing: New York city and Suburbs and New Haven, Ch (...)
  • 44 Anonymous, “TV Programme Highlights: New York City and Suburbs and New Haven, Channel 6, April 11 – (...)
  • 45 Anonymous, ‘TV Programme Highlights: New York City and Suburbs and New Haven, Channel 6, January 11 (...)
  • 46 Anonymous, “Programme Highlights in Television viewing: New York City and Suburbs, July 11 – August (...)
  • 47 Anonymous, “TV Programme Highlights: New York City and Suburbs and New Haven, Channel 6, September (...)
  • 48 Radio Television Mirror, p. 73.

21Gallop’s Lights Out persona was enhanced by the critical reception and programme listings contained in magazines and newspapers throughout the show’s original airing. Repeated throughout programme listings in the early-1950s, Gallop was variously characterised as the “weird narrator43” and “awesome Frank Gallop44” in explanation of his strange persona, unlike his genial counterparts. This interconnection was particularly highlighted in an assortment of TV listings at the time that similarly interpreted Gallop’s sepulchral voice (“supernatural drama with funereal-voice Frank Gallop narrating45”; “[…] tales of the supernatural. Frank Gallop, ‘the face,’ is hollow voiced narrator”46). Likewise, the distinguishing aspect of his protruding eyes, utilised for his intense direct address in wraparound segments, was described in listings that advertised Lights Out as offering “spine-chilling stories narrated by plum-eyed Frank Gallop47”. These terms were invariably stated alongside detail of Lights Out as the embodiment of the horror anthology show in which the programme was recognised for its format that consistently “[specialised] in [standalone] tales of the supernatural as spirits appear out of nowhere and men walk through walls48”.

  • 49 Anonymous, “Television Followup Comment”, Variety, Vol. 186, April, 1952, p. 42.
  • 50 Kahn [sic], “Television Reviews”, Variety, Vol. 179, September, 1950, p. 31.
  • 51 Anonymous, “Narrator Frank Gallop”, The Cincinnati Enquirer, September 10, 1950, p. 45.

22Furthermore, contemporaneous reviews and programme listings asserted that Gallop reliably ensured a frightening aesthetic that set a ghastly mood at the open and close of each episode respectively referenced, despite the inconsistent effectiveness of horror in Lights Out narrative content. In the critical review of S03E32, ‘The Pit’, it was noted that the “[Lights Out] adaptation of Edgar Allen Poe’s ‘Pit and the Pendulum’ had none of the finely scripted horror of the original nor the terrific suspense which has marked ‘Lights Out’ in the past [but] Frank Gallop did his usual solid job as the spooky narrator49”. Similarly, in the critical review of S02E02, ‘Benulli Chant’, Gallop’s distinctive portrayal as the ghoulish host was referenced as the primary feature that established the horror mood during this Lights Out episode: “especially effective for [the] creation of the eerie mood is that flickering candle, accompanied by Frank Gallop as the narrator who appears as a bodiless head to tell the story’s framework50”. Another critic recognised Gallop as a significant component of the show’s main appeal: “[the] effects of his appearance [...] proved to be one of the strongest attractions that NBC has on Monday evenings51”. This commentator suggested that Gallop’s Lights Out persona was of principal interest and a significant factor behind the show’s ratings success. Thus, both programme listings and critical reception, spanning a range of Lights Out teleplays, constantly focused on the distinguishing audio-visual characteristics connected to Gallop’s ghoulish guise and praised his persona as the predominant component of the show’s appeal and brand image.

7. Promotion

  • 52 Based on Henry Kuttner’s science fiction tale Don’t Look Now (1948), “The Martian Eyes” was adapted (...)

23Alongside Gallop’s presentational responsibilities within the parameters of each live episode, he was also utilised in Lights Out promotion concurrent with the show’s original run. In line with the above detailed programme listings and critical reception, Lights Out marketing material often highlighted Gallop’s appearance as a novelty attraction in the weekly network schedule. A notable example included a Lights Out promotional poster printed in the June 1951 edition of the illustrious general-interest magazine, Life (Fig.5). This was published in the same month as the Lights Out restaging of S03E4152. “The Martian Eyes” concerns the eccentric Professor Lyman (Burgess Meredith) revealing to a photographer, Mr Sorrel (David Lewis), his theory that there is a contingent of Martians on earth disguised in human form. Lyman claims that he can identify the invaders by special infrared glasses that detect a third eye in the middle of the forehead of any masquerading Martians. The final moments of the play reveal that Lyman is also a Martian and has deceived Sorrel, who is confronted by Lyman with a third eye in the middle of his forehead as he prepares two graves, one for a stranger he has just murdered and the other intended for Sorrel, who he now plans to kill. Following the conclusion of the narrative, Gallop’s on-camera epilogue for “The Martian Eyes”, accompanied by the routine spooky organ composition, commences with the host’s detached skeletal hands, detailed in close-up, striking a match within the pitch-black darkness as he slowly moves the flickering flame towards the wick of the nearby candle. This shadowy visual of Gallop, typical of his ghostly depiction, is followed with his customary incorporation of forbidding remarks: “Oh well. No one, no one, would’ve believed Mr Sorrel’s story anyway”. After the delivery of this ominous line, the camera pans up to detail Gallop’s floating head as he stares intensely direct-to-camera and simultaneously blows out the lit match. Reflecting the narrative content, however, it is subsequently revealed that Gallop also has a third eye in the middle of his forehead.

  • 53 Anonymous, Lights Out Advertisement [Poster], Life, June 18, 1951, p. 48.
  • 54 Ibid.

24Published as a single page poster in Life, the top half of the marketing imagery for “The Martian Eyes” details a headshot portrait of Meredith, the starring actor of this standalone teleplay, in character as main protagonist Professor Lyman. In an exact reversal of Meredith’s headshot, a portrait of Gallop is positioned upside down in the bottom half of the image, his eyes protruding intensely in a manner that corresponds with his wraparound appearances, and his inverted arrangement an indicator of his otherworldliness. Front-lit against the black background of the poster, the shadowy heads of both Meredith and Gallop appear floating and bodiless, imitating the iconography of the latter’s characterisation and setting in Lights Out wraparound appearances. In a direct link to the fantastical narrative and Gallop’s presentation connected to this specific teleplay, both Meredith and Gallop have a third eye in the middle of their foreheads. The heading on the poster states: “DOUBLE-HEADED TRIPLE WHAMMY53”. Referring to the content of Gallop’s concluding segment, the main text further reads: “Adding his own triple whammy to these goings-on, the Lights Out host, Frank Gallop, also sprouted a third eye at programme’s end54”. Here, the advertisement specifies events that occurred in the epilogue during the broadcast of the Lights Out teleplay, divulging the costume gimmick as an addition to Gallop’s distinctive ghoulish manifestation as on-screen host. Furthermore, Gallop’s image in the promotional poster is equally important to that of Meredith, the starring actor of the respective teleplay, a figure with eminent Hollywood status in the 1940s and subsequently recognised for his TV acting roles throughout the 1950s and 1960s. The proportionate endorsement of the starring actor and host in the poster thus indicates Gallop as a consistent presence that links each unconnected anthology teleplay.

Figure 5: Gallop utilised in a Lights Out advertisement in Life magazine

Figure 5: Gallop utilised in a Lights Out advertisement in Life magazine

25Another example of Gallop as the focal point in Lights Out marketing includes a promotional poster that specifically uses the iconic imagery associated with Gallop’s persona (Fig.6). In a direct replica of his ghoulish wraparound appearances, a full-page image details a medium close-up of Gallop as the floating and bodiless head. Front-lit, Gallop’s hollow-cheeked facial features are illuminated, and the peripheral areas of his head partially merge into the darkness of the setting. His protruding eyes are intense and his expression solemn as he stares directly at the frame/reader in the same mode as his on-screen commentaries. Simultaneously, his disconnected hands, partially covered by shadow at the lower section of the poster, appear skeletal beside a Gothic candle. Alongside Gallop’s head is the capitalised header “LIGHTS OUT” which reinforces the interrelationship of Gallop and the series’ title. In smaller text, the content of the writing underneath states:

  • 55 Anonymous, Lights Out Advertisement [Poster], n.p.

‘LIGHTS OUT!’ whispers the hollow-voiced man with ectoplasmic eyebrows, and a million terrified televiewers shiver and move closer to their screens. The time is 9:00 PM: EST, Monday, and the network is NBC. The funereal voice belongs to Frank Gallop, the ghastly ghoul with the bodiless head shown on this page55.

26Correlating with the descriptive terminology in critical reception and programme listings, the written content included on this promotional poster determines Gallop as the principal element associated with setting the horror mood in Lights Out. It further suggests Gallop’s Lights Out persona as being unprecedented in the network schedule and having acquired a returning audience, terrified by his chilling and uncanny guise. Thus, the above posters both markedly affirm Gallop’s position as a motif of the Lights Out brand image.

Figure 6: Gallop as the focal point in Lights Out promotional poster

Figure 6: Gallop as the focal point in Lights Out promotional poster

8. Media Interest

  • 56 The Cincinnati Enquirer, p. 45.
  • 57 Radio Television Mirror, p. 42-43.
  • 58 Gallop quoted in, Radio Television Mirror, p. 85.
  • 59 Radio Television Mirror, p. 84.
  • 60 Gallop quoted in, Radio Television Mirror, p. 43. A similar interview response from Gallop is incor (...)
  • 61 Gallop quoted in, Radio Television Mirror, p. 84.

27As the face of Lights Out over the course of three seasons, media interest emerged in response to the novelty of Gallop’s newfound identity performing as the ghoulish on-camera presenter of a popular networked horror anthology show. As recognised at the time: “narrator Frank Gallop, who as a radio announcer was known [...] for his amiable disposition and resonant voice, has achieved fame in the television field by exhibiting just the opposite qualities56”. This increased attention was evident by the concentrated number of magazine and newspaper articles in the early-1950s that coalesced around the interplay between Gallop’s Lights Out and public personae. Midway through Lights Out’s third season, the November 1951 edition of Radio Television Mirror, a monthly magazine aimed at radio and TV fans, featured a significant article devoted to Gallop. The article utilised a witty title in reference to the juxtaposition between Gallop’s Lights Out persona and private life: “He’s Really Very Nice: The Disembodied Face on Lights Out Has Another Very Pleasant Existence57”. The author details the process through which Gallop’s Lights Out persona was created and incorporates interview quotes with the presenter on the audio-visual elements, in production and performance, that purposefully constructed his guise as the floating, illuminated bodiless head. As Gallop states in relation to the initial audition for the part, “I demanded that [the NBC agency] examine the bone structure of my face. ‘Skeletal’, I said suggestively, ‘strictly skeletal58’”. Here, Gallop clarifies his influence within the audition process by means of drawing attention to his hollow facial features, a creative contribution in the devising of a visual aspect subsequently utilised in Lights Out wraparound segments. The author further details how Gallop’s real-life appearance was only slightly modified for his weekly manifestation as the ghoulish on-screen announcer. This included the use of whitening chalk on his face, a procedure used to ensure Gallop’s floating head appeared spectral against the pitch-black backdrop. The article comments that: “Gallop does not look ‘exactly the way he does on television.’ He merely resembles [italics in original] […] his disembodied spirit [on Lights Out]59”. Gallop recognises that the customary technique of close camerawork that intensifies his gaunt facial features and protruding eyes, in combination with the Gothic iconography within his shadowy surroundings, has been attached to his public persona: “so fearfully has the close-up of that face in the guttering candlelight fixed itself in the minds of televiewers that they see me, not as a man […] but as a refugee from a graveyard60”. The article repeatedly emphasises the notion of an amalgamation of Gallop’s Lights Out and public personae. Gallop himself perpetuates this notion: “that statement ‘you look the same as you do on television’ haunts me, and I prefer to do the haunting, for the measure of truth in it [...]. Seldom a day that I do not run into some burly boy of my acquaintance who advises me to recuperate in the sun61”.

  • 62 Ibid., p. 43.
  • 63 Ibid.
  • 64 Gallop quoted in, The Cincinnati Enquirer, p. 45.
  • 65 Gallop quoted in, Radio Television Mirror, p. 43.
  • 66 Ibid.
  • 67 Gallop quoted in, Radio Television Mirror, p. 84.
  • 68 Khan, p. 31.
  • 69 Radio Television Mirror, p. 75.

28Gallop also suggested across various media sources at the time that his close association with his Lights Out persona “created a Frankenstein in his personal life62”. He cites real-life occurrences at the peak of his association as an anthology TV horror host such as public outings in his hometown of New York in which he avoided his apartment block elevator during times when the “nursemaids and children [were] bound on their daily outings63” as he was concerned that the ominous connotations attached to his Lights Out persona would cause alarm. Gallop alludes to further encounters with the public, including unspecified residents and acquaintances who linked his Lights Out and public personae: “weak hearted people shy away from me on the street, [...] friends tell me I look sick. Funereal Frank, indeed64”. Here, Gallop embraces the terminology instigated by the media to describe his guise as the macabre presenter. He further recounts public interactions in which it was consistently relayed to him that younger TV viewers avoided the domestic viewing space during the weekly transmission of Lights Out, distressed at the menacing disposition of Gallop’s appearance on their TV sets. Gallop stated that his postman once told him: “‘I won’t let my little boy see your show. The kid needs his sleep65’”. Likewise, a shop worker reportedly told Gallop that “‘my little girl leaves the room when you come on. She’s no sissy, neither. Brought up, she was, on [Hollywood horror icon] Boris Karloff66’”. Moreover, Gallop received gifts from fans which included a “box of book matches inscribed, in livid green on a black background, ‘Funereal Frank67’”. This exemplifies how the contemporaneous TV audience noticed the media’s use of terms such as “bodiless head68” and “Funereal voice Frank Gallop69” in frequent use at the time to describe his Lights Out persona.

  • 70 Ibid., p. 42. Similarly delving into his private life, Gallop acknowledged in a separate interview (...)

29The Radio Television Mirror article dedicates four pages to Gallop, of which the first two include a set of staged photo shoot pictures of him partaking in his real, daily activities within his New York bachelor apartment. This includes an image that displays Gallop’s idiosyncrasies in his private life as a connoisseur of fashion and coffee, with the attached caption: “a natty dresser and proud of it, the closet of Gallop’s Park Avenue bachelor quarters reveals suits and coats by the tens and ties by the hundreds. His domestic activities include making coffee – strong and hot and black – which none of his friends will drink!70”. Another image includes Gallop dressed in a gentleman’s jacket and cravat, reading a newspaper, while sat in an upholstered armchair beside a lamp typical of early-1950s decor (Fig.7). Both images denote refined domesticity that plays on his urbane disposition, closely associated with his prior persona as an elegant and affable variety show announcer.

Figure 7: Gallop in staged photo set in Radio Television Mirror article

Figure 7: Gallop in staged photo set in Radio Television Mirror article
  • 71 Gallop quoted in, Radio Television Mirror, p. 42
  • 72 Ibid., p. 43.
  • 73 Ibid., p. 42.

30Moreover, the author attaches amusing captions to the domestic based photo shoot as a means of interweaving Gallop’s usual pleasant characteristics with his Lights Out persona. For example, Gallop is described in the following manner: “in repose, it’s really a very good face, with grey eyes, a fine-cut nose and a thin, humorous mouth. The sort of face any woman would – or should – find most attractive. Nor does that graveyard pallor show...well, not much71”. Similarly, another photo details Gallop in his apartment polishing a piece of silver and the associated caption reads: “very nice or not, Gallop can, if he feels so inclined, work up a sinister leer over as simple a task as shining up his silver72”. Another staged photo displays Gallop sitting at a desk, dressed in a suit and pretending to write on a document, in reference to his first career as an investment banker prior to his move into radio in the mid-1930s. The attached caption reads: “pre-ghoul days, Gallop was a customers’ man with a conservative Boston investment house. He rose to ghouling by way of straight announcing73”. Reaffirming the sinister elements of his role as an anthology TV horror host, this caption promotes Gallop’s Lights Out persona as being the predominant image associated with him by this stage of his presentational career. The majority of the captions that are used for the staged photography align with the central perspective of the article, humorously focusing on the distinction between his Lights Out persona and his private existence as a New York bachelor, while simultaneously promoting the ambiguous implication that Gallop’s personal life conceals the strange and ominous elements associated with his Lights Out wraparound appearances. This effectively built an aura around Gallop’s newfound ghoulish image in the early-1950s and, by extension, established an important area of publicity for Lights Out.

9. Non-Lights Out Appearances

  • 74 Stal [sic], “Television Reviews”, Variety, Vol. 184, No. 12, 1951, p. 28.

31Another process which contributed to Gallop’s symbolic position as a focal point of the Lights Out brand-image involved the indication of his distinct ghoulish identity in non-horror programming aired in the early-1950s. This included intertextual references to Gallop in primetime networked shows. For instance, the variety comedy show Bob and Ray (NBC, 1951), S01E01, involved a sketch in which the titular comedy duo performed “several ‘gimmicks’ [and] pegged the entire opener on satirising TV shows, coming on with a takeoff on the ‘Lights Out’ opener. Cameras caught only their ‘severed’ heads hovering over two candles a la Frank Gallop74”. Imitating the specific horror imagery associated with Gallop’s Lights Out wraparound segments for comic effect (that is, the disembodied, floating head and accompanying candlelight), this is a striking example of parody being applied to Gallop’s Lights Out persona in popular entertainment. While there are no surviving recordings of the exact footage from this edition of Bob and Ray, as detailed in the above critical review, the comedy duo playfully mocked Gallop’s ghastly characterisation. This can be further assumed from its inclusion in a sketch within the variety comedy form that aims to achieve a reaction of laughter from the live studio audience and US TV viewers in the domestic viewing context, both of which would have had some familiarity with the reference at the time. This intertextual reference in unrelated, non-horror programming offers an example of how Gallop’s persona was utilised as a form of indirect promotion for Lights Out. Such a strategy was made more pertinent in this instance of a variety comedy show aired on the same network and concurrent with Lights Out’s original run.

  • 75 Robert J. Erler, “A Guide to Television Talk”, Television Talk: A History of the TV Talk Show, ed. (...)
  • 76 Anonymous, “Tele Followup Comment”, Variety, Vol. 187, 1952, p. 28.
  • 77 Variety, p. 28.

32Another aspect in which Gallop’s anthology TV horror host identity extended to non-Lights Out credits was his regular guest appearances as a TV personality on quiz panel and talk shows. One of his earliest guest appearances was exemplified by an entrance on the Betty Furness hosted Penthouse Party (ABC, 1950–1951), and was nine weeks into the second season of Lights Out. Aired 27 October, 1950, Penthouse Party S01E07 entailed Gallop appearing alongside fellow guests that included actress Junie Keegan and radio personality Kay Kyser. The show’s format involved Furness mingling with “her guests [who] would chat and perform, often doing something different from that for which they were famous75”. Similar guest appearances involved Gallop in the first episode of the short-lived quiz panel show What Happened? (NBC, 1952). Aimed at a family audience, the programme’s format entailed “each [celebrity] guest [having] had something unique or amusing happen to him [and] written up in the newspapers. Home viewers are shown a slide with a headline telling the guest’s story, and the panellists have to elicit the information by asking questions76”. Gallop’s inclusion in the panel was detailed in a critical review which referenced his connection to his ghoulish characteristics as Lights Out presenter: “[the] panel consisted of [comedian] Roger Price, Frank Gallop, [actress] Maureen Stapleton and [actress] Lisa Ferraday, of whom funnyman Price and sonorous-voiced Gallop ‘Lights Out’ host seemed the best bets77”. As indicated above, TV reviews and programme listings which credit Gallop featuring in guest appearances on quiz panel and talk shows supported his Lights Out persona as the predominant aspect of his identity at the time. While there is no surviving footage from Gallop’s guest appearances in the aforementioned non-horror programming aired in the live era, it can be further assumed that references were made to his Lights Out persona during broadcast. These on air suggestions would have been encouraged by the cyclical repetition of his distinguishing appearance as an anthology TV horror host in the US network schedule and the media interest in Gallop’s first major on-screen TV presentational role. Paradoxically, therefore, the uncanny disparity between his Lights Out persona and his simultaneous guest appearances on light entertainment shows demonstrated a further process of indirect promotion for Lights Out in non-horror programming.

10. The Legacy of the Ghoul: Gallop’s Late Presentational Career

  • 78 Dunn, p. 20.
  • 79 Anonymous, “The Perry Como Show: The Saturday Night Miracle”, Radio Television Mirror, Vol. 51, No. (...)
  • 80 Brooks and Marsh, p. 485.
  • 81 Anonymous, “TV Week Spotlight”, Independent Star-News, 18 December, 1966, p. 81.
  • 82 Continuing to show the malleability of his creative talents, Gallop also extended his media project (...)

33Following the culmination of Lights Out on 29 September, 1952, Gallop continued as a prominent network TV announcer routinely involved in the variety show. As Gallop moved towards the late stage of his presentational career, credits subsequent to Lights Out included announcing on the quiz panel show Quick as a Flash (ABC, 1953–1954) and numerous variety shows, such as The Perry Como Show, The Bing Crosby Show for Oldsmobile (ABC, 1960), The Dean Martin Summer Show (NBC, 1966), and The Merv Griffin Show (CBS, 1969-1972). As the on-camera announcer in these types of roles, Gallop was conventionally dressed in formal attire and detailed in medium shot. He provided direct address in a respectable and jovial manner to the studio audience and TV viewer. Between 1955 and 1963, Gallop undertook a considerable stint as announcer on The Perry Como Show. Performing as the comic foil, in which his “off-camera voice has been harassing Perry Como all year78”, Gallop’s distinctive voice was utilised to maximum effect in voice-over. In a review at the time, it was recognised that “vital to the show is Frank Gallop, announcer, whose voice is familiar to millions79”. Retrospectively, it has been further identified in regard to The Perry Como Show that Gallop was “generally heard off camera, his voice booming as if in an echo chamber80”. One of his last significant credits included announcing on the 1966 Christmas special of Perry Como’s Kraft Music Hall (NBC, 1963-1967). In a preview to this episode published in the Independent-Star News, a picture of Gallop beside Como in rehearsal was printed with the caption: “Como awaits a sharp but happy retort from announcer Gallop81”. The reputation of Gallop’s distinguishing voice particularly prompted his hiring intermittently for voice-over narration roles amid the late stage of his presentational career. A range of media projects in the early-1960s included Gallop narrating the TV documentary, The Legend of Rudolph Valentino (ABC, 1961) and the Buster Keaton documentary, The Great Chase (Killiam and Turell, 1962), the latter for which he ensured a light vocal delivery82. Therefore, the late stage of Gallop’s presentational career was partially defined by his prior act as the sophisticated and amiable TV announcer in non-horror genres.

34Conversely, it is evident that this period included the development of intertextual references to Gallop’s antecedent Lights Out persona that permeated non-horror TV announcer roles during the late stage of his presentational career. This is apparent in an edition of the musical variety show Perry Como’s Kraft Music Hall, S12E03, in which Gallop’s introduction included performative aspects that set a ludicrous tone from the outset. As he provides direct address, the set design specifically depicts him as a floating head contained inside a prop used for the programme’s opening titles (Fig.8). In order to induce a comic moment, Gallop is a target at which Como, the star of the show, launches food towards. Later in the same episode, Gallop appears at the top of a high striker funfair attraction: as Como strikes it with a hammer, the puck rises and hits Gallop’s face, who is positioned at the highest point of this prop. The low angle of the camerawork ensures Gallop is depicted as a detached and floating head, and when the bell simultaneously rings, the live studio audience react with laughter at his expense. While this comic routine illustrates tropes typical of the variety genre, in which Gallop functions as the archetypal straight-man announcer, this instance undoubtedly resembles the specific visual characteristics associated with his antecedent Lights Out persona a decade earlier.

Figure 8: Indirect resemblance to Lights Out persona on Perry Como’s Kraft Music Hall

Figure 8: Indirect resemblance to Lights Out persona on Perry Como’s Kraft Music Hall
  • 83 Oviatt, p. 7.
  • 84 Anonymous, “Frank Gallop is Possessor of Wit, Humour”, Ithaca Journal, 22 July, 1961, p. 15.

35The sustained predominance of Gallop’s Lights Out persona during his late presentational career was further apparent in journalistic reports and gossip columns throughout the late-1950s and early-1960s. At various points throughout an interview with Gallop regarding his announcer responsibilities on Perry Como’s Kraft Music Hall, the author recalls Gallop’s “association with the old ‘Lights Out’ series in 1950 when he played a bodiless narrator and was dubbed ‘Funereal Frank83’”. A similar article a decade after Lights Out, which focused particularly on his personal interest in art, alluded to the dominance of his antecedent guise as an anthology TV horror host and how his public persona continued to be interconnected with such ghoulish characteristics in the years that followed the culmination of the show’s original run. The article opens with the statement: “meet Frank Gallop [...], the macabre master of mystery ceremonies, is neither frightening nor monstrous. He’s a witty man with a sly sense of humour, a mellifluous voice and a great interest in art84”. These comments on Gallop revived the interrelationship between Gallop’s Lights Out and public personae, irrespective of its diminished relevance in popular culture following the passing of a decade.

  • 85 Great Ghost Tales offered the last example of a live horror anthology series, contrary to the indus (...)
  • 86 Anonymous, “Live Mystery Series is Welcome Fare”, The New York Times, July 7, 1961, p. 52.
  • 87 Oviatt, p. 1.
  • 88 Ibid., p. 7.
  • 89 Ibid.
  • 90 Gallop quoted in, William Ewald, “Frank Gallop Says Announcers Work Harder on Video”, Shamokin News (...)

36Undistinguished and overlooked in comparison to his status as Lights Out host, Gallop’s late presentational career included a return to the horror anthology show, a decade after his distinctive first version of an anthology TV horror host during the post-war live era. In the early-1960s, Gallop was hired as the on-screen presenter of two networked hosted horror anthology shows: Kraft Mystery Theatre (NBC, 1961–1963) and Great Ghost Tales (NBC, 1961)85. The latter was received positively in The New York Times as a “dash of live television at a time when the medium is more moribund than usual [and a] half-hour mystery [anthology] series [which offered Edgar Allen Poe adaptation ‘William Wilson’ as a] debut [which] was an encouraging send off for the new venture86”. It can be identified that the legacy of Gallop’s Lights Out association was the primary basis for his selection in these two similar roles. As a TV critic pointed out several years after Lights Out was cancelled: “the gaunt Mr Gallop has previously been closely identified with […] the spookiness of [Lights Out]87”; and “he used to narrate an NBC thriller show called Lights Out. He then was dubbed ‘the face with the hollow voice88’”. Again, almost a decade after his Lights Out presenter role, TV critics and columnists detailed Gallop in line with the distinctively macabre guise he previously achieved during the more restrictive period of US TV, reviving the terminology used to define his Lights Out persona. While Gallop had, by this point in his career, resumed his association with variety show roles, contemporaneous promotion for Kraft Mystery Theatre simultaneously alluded to a historical lineage connected to Gallop as a trailblazer in the presentation of the early hosted horror show: “[Gallop is the] pastmaster of withering hauteur and shivering menace89”. This late media interest in the potential of Gallop resuming a similarly ominous act as the presenter of Kraft Mystery Theatre demonstrates how he continued to be contextualised by the legacy of his Lights Out persona for the remainder of his presentational career. As Gallop stated half a decade after Lights Out: “even ‘ghoul’ Gallop goes on and on90”.

  • 91 John Keasler, “Columns”, The Miami News, October 13, 1979, p. 13.

37Towards the end of the 1960s, Gallop’s presentational roles and overall media responsibilities gradually reduced. Thereafter his media appearances were infrequent, yet when he was occasionally mentioned in newspaper articles, his prior association with Lights Out was invariably acknowledged. As detailed in The Miami News almost three decades after Lights Out was originally aired: “where are the famous voices of yesteryear? Most of them are in South Florida. [...] Who could forget the frightening voice of Frank Gallop, he of the mystery shows91”. This indicated the legacy of Gallop’s Lights Out persona despite the culmination of his presenting career and inconspicuous departure from the media industry, as he relocated from New York to Florida where he spent his retirement until his death in 1988.

Conclusion

38This article has explored the original and innovative process through which Gallop’s Lights Out persona, which extended across different areas of promotion and publicity, was utilised in the programme’s branding. Gallop’s emergence as the first distinct anthology TV horror host encouraged Lights Out’s ratings success and a wider recognisability with the contemporaneous mainstream US TV audience. The critical reception and programme listings promoted Gallop’s Lights Out persona as the show’s main attraction, in which the cyclical nature of his wraparound appearances augmented the impact of the horror mood. Such terminology, reinforcing Gallop’s ghoulish disposition, was applied to him in magazine articles and newspapers columns; an aspect of his increased TV fame which the presenter embraced. Moreover, the media interest that materialised in response to the evolution of his presentational career, from variety announcer to anthology TV horror host, focused on the interplay between Gallop’s Lights Out and public personae. Advancing the Lights Out brand image, promotional artwork, particularly magazine advertisements, utilised imagery connected to his macabre characterisation. Indirect promotion was another development that linked Gallop with Lights Out’s branding, which entailed intertextual references to his persona and guest appearances in non-horror programming. This area of publicity widened the scope of Gallop’s Lights Out persona to the primetime viewing, mass audience.

39As Gallop moved into the late stage of his presentational career, his Lights Out legacy continued to be associated with his identity. This was exemplified by intertextual references when functioning in the role of variety show TV announcer, implied in sketches that involved Gallop as the comic foil. Similarly, when hired as the host of two less successful horror anthology shows a decade later, Gallop’s return to this type of programming was invariably contextualised in relation to his antecedent guise. Overall, Gallop’s Lights Out presentational role instigated a relationship in which the host established a fundamental aspect of the respective series’ brand-image. This became standard practice in later decades, as best exemplified by his more famous successors, Hitchcock and Serling. Thus, Gallop offers the earliest significant example of a presenter inextricably linked to the branding of the hosted horror anthology show on US TV.

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Bibliographie

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Anonymous, “Television Followup Comment”, Variety, Vol. 186, April, 1952, p. 42.

Anonymous, “The Disembodied Face on Lights Out Has Another – and Very Pleasant Existence!: He’s Really Very Nice”, Radio Television Mirror, Vol. 36 , No. 6, 1951, p. 42-43, 84-85.

Anonymous, “The Perry Como Show: The Saturday Night Miracle”, Radio Television Mirror, Vol. 51, No. 3, 1959, p. 51.

Anonymous, ‘TV Programme Highlights: New York City and Suburbs and New Haven, Channel 6, January 11 – February 10, Radio Television Mirror, Vol. 37, No. 3, 1952, p. 75.

Anonymous, “TV Programme Highlights: New York City and Suburbs and New Haven, February 11 – March 10”, Radio Television Mirror, Vol. 37, No. 4, 1952, p. 77.

Anonymous, “TV Programme Highlights: New York City and Suburbs and New Haven, Channel 6, April 11 – May 10”, Radio Television Mirror, 1952, p. 73.

Anonymous, “TV Programme Highlights: New York City and Suburbs and New Haven, Channel 6, August 11 – September 10”, Radio Television Mirror, Vol. 38, No. 4, 1952, p. 77.

Anonymous, “TV Programme Highlights: New York City and Suburbs and New Haven, Channel 6, September 11 – October 11”, Radio Television Mirror, Vol. 38, No. 5, 1952, p. 77.

Anonymous, “TV Programme Highlights: New York City and Suburbs and New Haven, Channel 6, October 11 – November 10”, Radio Television Mirror, Vol. 38, No. 6, 1952, p. 75.

Anonymous, “TV Week Spotlight”, Independent Star-News, 18 December, 1966, p. 81.

Anonymous, “‘When a Girl Marries’ Drama Celebrates Second Anniversary”, Harrisburg Telegraph, 1 June, 1941, p. 24.

Brooks, Tim and Marsh, Earle, The Complete Directory to Prime Time Network TV Shows, 1946-Present, New York, Ballantine Books, 1979.

Comstock, George, Television in America, California, London and New Delhi, Sage Publications, 1991.

Dunn, Kristine, “Mystery Series Debuts”, The Miami News, 14 June, 1961, p. 20.

Engel, Joel, Rod Serling: The Dreams and Nightmares of Life in the Twilight Zone, Chicago, Contemporary, 1989.

Erish, Andrew A., “Reclaiming Alfred Hitchcock Presents”, Quarterly Review of Film and Video, Vol. 26, No. 5, 2009, p. 385-392.

Erler, Robert J., “A Guide to Television Talk”, Television Talk: A History of the TV Talk Show, ed. Bernard M. Timberg, Austin, University of Texas Press, 2002, p. 204-304.

Ewald, William, “Frank Gallop Says Announcers Work Harder on Video”, Shamokin News-Dispatch, February 22, 1958, p. 7.

Fetzer, John E., REINSCH, Leonard, BROWN, Thad, BRONSON, Edward H., “Code of Practices for Television Broadcasters [1951]”, Television Board of National Association of Radio & Television Broadcasters, 1954, p. 362-365.

Franken, Jerry, “Radio and Television Programme Reviews”, Billboard, Vol. 61, No. 48, 1949, p. 12.

Gabler, Neal, Walter Winchell: Gossip, Power and the Culture of Celebrity, New York, Alfred A. Knopf, 1994.

Hart, Dennis, Monitor (Take 2): The Revised, Expanded Inside Story of Network Radio’s Greatest Program, Nebraska, iUniverse, 2003.

Hawes, William, Live Television Drama, 1946-1951, North Carolina, McFarland, 2001.

HILMES, Michele, Radio Voices: American Broadcasting, 1922–1952, Minneapolis, University of Minnesota Press, 1998.

Jancovich, Mark, “‘Where it Belongs’: Television Horror, Domesticity, and Alfred Hitchcock Presents”, Horror Television in the Age of Consumption, ed. Kimberly Jackson, Linda Belau, London, Routledge, 2017, p. 29-44.

Jones, Timothy, “‘Hello, again, you little monsters’ – Hosted Horror of the 1950s and 1960s”, The Gothic and the Carnivalesque in American Culture, ed. Timothy Jones, Cardiff, University of Wales Press, 2015, p. 123-149.

Jowett, Lorna, ABBOTT, Stacey, Horror TV: Investigating the Dark Side of the Small Screen, London, I.B. Tauris, 2013.

Kahn [sic], “Television Reviews”, Variety, Vol. 179, September, 1950, p. 31.

Keasler, John, “Columns”, The Miami News, October 13, 1979, p. 13.

Lardine, Bob, “His Silence Pays Off”, New York Daily News, November 4, 1962, p. 7.

Leitch, Thomas M., “The Outer Circle: Hitchcock on Television”, Alfred Hitchcock Centenary Essays, ed. Richard Allen, Sam Ishii-Gonzales, London, British Film Institute, 1999, p. 58-71.

Nachman, Gerald, Raised on Radio, New York, Pantheon Books, 1998.

Oviatt, Ray, “Frank Gallop: The Man Who Goes For ‘Breaks’”, Toledo Sunday Blade, 23 November, 1958, p. 1, 7.

Panitt, Merrill, “LaRue as Ghoulmaster Funnier than Berle Shows”, The Philadelphia Inquirer, November 14, 1949, p. 28.

Parisi, Nicholas, Rod Serling: His Life, Work, and Imagination, Jackson, University of Mississippi Press, 2018.

Potts, Neill, The Television Work of Alfred Hitchcock, PhD Thesis, University of Warwick, Available at: http://webcat.warwick.ac.uk/record=b1782763~S9 (Accessed 15 January 2022), 2005.

Ritrosky-Winslow, Madelyn, “Anthology Drama”, Encyclopedia of Television, ed. Horace Newcomb, London and New York, Routledge, 1997, p. 121-122.

Stal [sic], “Television Reviews”, Variety, Vol. 182, June, 1951, p. 30.

Stal [sic], “Television Reviews”, Variety, Vol. 184, No. 12, 1951, p. 28.

Sullivan, Frank, “Drop that Other Shoe, Frank Gallop”, The New Yorker, February 19, 1938, p. 17-18.

Terrace, Vincent, Encyclopedia of Television Shows, 1925 – 2010, North Carolina and London, McFarland, 2018.

Tolson, Andrew, “The History of Television Celebrity: A Discursive Approach”, Celebrity Studies, Vol. 6, No. 3, 2015, p. 341-354.

Turo [sic], “Radio Reviews”, Variety, Vol. 156, No. 4, 1944, p. 24.

Watson, Elena M., Television horror movie hosts: 68 vampires, mad scientists and other denizens of the late-night airwaves examined and interviewed, North Carolina, McFarland, 1991.

Wheatley, Helen, Gothic Television, Manchester and New York, Manchester University Press, 2006.

Wilson, Earl, “Merediths to do Play by Steinbeck”, The Miami News, 10 March, 1947, p. 27.

Wilson, Thomas, “Frank Gallop: The Ghoulish Host of Lights Out”, Historical Journal of Film, Radio and Television, 2020, p. 847-874.

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Notes

1 This was prior to the advent of other programme and series forms, such as the serial and made-for-TV film, that subsequently represented horror TV in the main from the mid-1960s onwards. See: Helen Wheatley, Gothic Television, Manchester and New York, Manchester University Press, 2006.

2 Following this, the hosted horror anthology show advanced as a programme form on US TV, as the subgenre moved towards a second cycle of pre-recorded examples in the network schedule amid the rise of the Hollywood TV studio system, represented chiefly by Alfred Hitchcock Presents (CBS, 1955-60; 1962-64, NBC, 1960-62; 1964-65), One Step Beyond (ABC, 1959-1961), The Twilight Zone (CBS, 1959-1964), and Thriller (NBC, 1960-1962).

3 William Hawes, Live Television Drama, 1946-1951, North Carolina and London, McFarland, 2001, p. 31.

4 Madelyn Ritrosky-Winslow, “Anthology Drama”, Encyclopedia of Television, ed. Horace Newcomb, London and New York, Routledge, 1997, p. 121-122.

5 The highbrow dramatic anthology strand was represented by examples such as Studio One (CBS, 1948-1958), Stars Over Hollywood (NBC, 1950-1951) and Broadway Television Theatre (WOR-TV, 1952-1954).

6 Anonymous, “Mysteries: They Love ‘Em on TV!”, Sponsor, Vol. 4, No. 22, 1950, p. 59. As further evidence of Lights Out’s mainstream reach, the show was networked through NBC which, at the time, was one of “three national networks that were so dominant that their share of the audience in prime time exceeded 90% [of the entire television audience in the late-1940s and early-1950s]” (George Comstock, Television in America, California, London and New Delhi, Sage Publications, 1991, p. 16.). For historical records of Nielsen ratings, see: Tim Brooks and Earle Marsh, The Complete Directory to Prime Time Network TV Shows, 1946–Present, New York, Ballantine Books, 1979, p. 802–810.

7 Brooks and Marsh, p. 353.

8 The remainder of early horror anthologies, represented by approximately eleven shows that did not utilise an on-screen host, was divided between the use of a voice-over narrator only or excluded an on-screen host/voice-over narrator entirely.

9 Lorna Jowett and Stacey Abbott, TV Horror: Investigating the Dark Side of the Small Screen, London and New York, I.B. Tauris, 2013, p. 40.

10 Jowett and Abbott, p. 85.

11 Excluded from this article is any focus on the type of horror host that introduced classic horror films broadcast in late-night scheduling on local US TV channels, another variation of the generic tradition that separately emerged in the mid-1950s. The local TV horror-movie host was epitomised by showy and costumed presenters, most recognisably Vampira (Maila Nurmi) and the rotation of Shock Theater (Syndication, 1957-1958) hosts. For scholarship on the local TV horror-movie host, see: Elena M.
Watson, Television horror movie hosts: 68 vampires, mad scientists and other denizens
of the late-night airwaves examined and interviewed
, North Carolina, McFarland, 1991.

12 Mark Jancovich, ‘“Where it Belongs”: Television Horror, Domesticity, and Alfred Hitchcock Presents’, in Horror Television in the Age of Consumption, ed. Kimberly Jackson, Linda Belau, London, Routledge, 2017, p. 29.

13 Joel Engel, Rod Serling: The Dreams and Nightmares of Life in the Twilight Zone, Chicago, Contemporary, 1989; Andrew A. Erish, “Reclaiming Alfred Hitchcock Presents”, Quarterly Review of Film and Video, Vol. 26, No. 5, 2009, p. 385-392; Jancovich, 2017; Timothy Jones, “‘Hello, again, you little monsters’ – Hosted Horror of the 1950s and 1960s”, The Gothic and the Carnivalesque in American Culture, ed. Timothy Jones, Cardiff, University of Wales Press, 2015, p. 123-149; Jowett and Abbott, 2013; Thomas M. Leitch, “The Outer Circle: Hitchcock on Television”, Alfred Hitchcock Centenary Essays, ed. Richard Allen, Sam Ishii-Gonzales, London, British Film Institute, 1999, p. 58-71; Nicholas Parisi, Rod Serling: His Life, Work, and Imagination, Jackson, University of Mississippi Press, 2018; Neill Potts, The Television Work of Alfred Hitchcock, PhD Thesis, University of Warwick, Available at: http://webcat.warwick.ac.uk/record=b1782763~S9 (Accessed 15 January 2022), 2005.

14 Thomas Wilson, ‘Frank Gallop: The Ghoulish Host of Lights Out’, Historical Journal of Film, Radio and Television, Vol. 40, No. 4, 2020, p. 847-874.

15 Kristine Dunn, “Mystery Series Debuts”, The Miami News, 14 June, 1961, p. 20.

16 The Mercury Theater on Air is historically significant for its controversial broadcast of “The War of the Worlds” (S01E17). Due to the practice of rotating announcers, Gallop was not involved in this now famed and unprecedented broadcast event in which listeners perceived the fiction as factual and occurring in real time.

17 Anonymous, “‘When a Girl Marries’ Drama Celebrates Second Anniversary”, Harrisburg Telegraph, 1 June, 1941, p. 24.

18 Dennis Hart, Monitor (Take 2): The Revised, Expanded Inside Story of Network Radio’s Greatest Program, Nebraska, iUniverse, 2003, p. 98.

19 Earl Wilson, “Merediths to do Play by Steinbeck”, The Miami News, 10 March, 1947, p. 27.

20 Turo [sic], “Radio Reviews”, Variety, Vol. 156, No. 4, 1944, p. 24.

21 Gerald Nachman, Raised on Radio, New York, Pantheon Books, 1998, p. 263.

22 Michele Hilmes, Radio Voices: American Broadcasting, 1922–1952, Minneapolis, University of Minnesota Press, 1998, p. 58.

23 Dunn, p. 20.

24 Nachman, p. 263.

25 Ibid. The introduction to The Milton Berle Show broadcast “A Salute to California” (10/02/1948) includes Gallop getting a laugh at Berle’s expense through deadpan remarks and wisecracks. Simultaneously, Gallop’s straight-man announcer archetype enabled Berle to mock Gallop’s sophisticated characteristics for comic effect.

26 Andrew Tolson, “The History of Television Celebrity: A Discursive Approach”, Celebrity Studies, Vol. 6, No. 3, 2015, p. 342.

27 Vincent Terrace, Encyclopedia of Television Shows, 1925 – 2010, North Carolina and London, McFarland, 2018, p. 138.

28 Anonymous, “Caught with Diction Down”, The Billboard, July 14, 1951, p. 5.

29 Ibid.

30 Stal [sic], “Television Reviews”, Variety, 182, June, 1951, p. 30.

31 Ray Oviatt, “Frank Gallop: The Man Who Goes For ‘Breaks’”, Toledo Sunday Blade, 23 November, 1958, p. 1.

32 Anonymous, “TV Programme Highlights: New York City and Suburbs and New Haven, Channel 6, October 11 – November 10”, Radio Television Mirror, Vol. 38, No. 6, 1952, p. 75. Anonymous, “TV Programme Highlights: New York City and Suburbs and New Haven, February 11 – March 10”, Radio Television Mirror, Vol. 37, No. 4, 1952, p. 77. Anonymous, “TV Programme Highlights: New York City and Suburbs and New Haven, Channel 6, August 11 – September 10”, Radio Television Mirror, Vol. 38, No. 4, 1952, p. 77.

33 John Crosby, “Lights Out [Wrecks] Kiddies’ Nerves”, The Arizona Republic, February 16, 1951, p. 30.

34 Anonymous, “Radio and Television”, The New York Times, April 21, 1950, p. 44.

35 Merrill Panitt, “LaRue as Ghoulmaster Funnier than Berle Shows”, The Philadelphia Inquirer, November 14, 1949, p. 28. As another TV critic similarly detailed: “There is […] a serious inconsistency in the treatment accorded Jack LaRue, [especially when] he’s smiling, to cue in the commercial announcer” (Jerry Franken, “Radio and Television Programme Reviews”, Billboard, Vol. 61, No. 48, 1949, p. 12.).

36 Sponsor, p. 59.

37 Bob Lardine, “His Silence Pays Off”, New York Daily News, November 4, 1962, p. 7.

38 Oviatt, p. 1.

39 Frank Gallop quoted in, Anonymous, “The Disembodied Face on Lights Out Has Another – and Very Pleasant Existence!: He’s Really Very Nice”, Radio Television Mirror, Vol. 36, No. 6, 1951, p. 85.

40 Anonymous, “The Disembodied Face on Lights Out Has Another – and Very Pleasant Existence!: He’s Really Very Nice”, Radio Television Mirror, Vol. 36, No. 6, 1951, p. 85.

41 John E. Fetzer, Leonard Reinsch, Thad Brown, Edward H. Bronson, “Code of Practices for Television Broadcasters [1951]”, Television Board of National Association of Radio & Television Broadcasters, 1954, p. 363.

42 Gallop quoted in, Radio Television Mirror, p. 43.

43 Anonymous, “Programme Highlights in Television viewing: New York city and Suburbs and New Haven, Channel 6, October 11 – November 10”, Radio Television Mirror, Vol. 36, No. 3, 1951, p. 73.

44 Anonymous, “TV Programme Highlights: New York City and Suburbs and New Haven, Channel 6, April 11 – May 10”, Radio Television Mirror, 1952, p. 73.

45 Anonymous, ‘TV Programme Highlights: New York City and Suburbs and New Haven, Channel 6, January 11 – February 10, Radio Television Mirror, Vol. 37, No. 3, 1952, p. 75.

46 Anonymous, “Programme Highlights in Television viewing: New York City and Suburbs, July 11 – August 10”, Radio Television Mirror, 1951, p. 75.

47 Anonymous, “TV Programme Highlights: New York City and Suburbs and New Haven, Channel 6, September 11 – October 11”, Radio Television Mirror, Vol. 38, No. 5, 1952, p. 77.

48 Radio Television Mirror, p. 73.

49 Anonymous, “Television Followup Comment”, Variety, Vol. 186, April, 1952, p. 42.

50 Kahn [sic], “Television Reviews”, Variety, Vol. 179, September, 1950, p. 31.

51 Anonymous, “Narrator Frank Gallop”, The Cincinnati Enquirer, September 10, 1950, p. 45.

52 Based on Henry Kuttner’s science fiction tale Don’t Look Now (1948), “The Martian Eyes” was adapted for TV by George Lefferts. It was originally broadcast October 30, 1950, earlier in Season Two.

53 Anonymous, Lights Out Advertisement [Poster], Life, June 18, 1951, p. 48.

54 Ibid.

55 Anonymous, Lights Out Advertisement [Poster], n.p.

56 The Cincinnati Enquirer, p. 45.

57 Radio Television Mirror, p. 42-43.

58 Gallop quoted in, Radio Television Mirror, p. 85.

59 Radio Television Mirror, p. 84.

60 Gallop quoted in, Radio Television Mirror, p. 43. A similar interview response from Gallop is incorporated in another newspaper article at the time: “Gallop says the close-up of his face in the guttering candlelight of ‘Lights Out’ has fixed itself in the minds of televiewers until they can’t see him in person without picturing him as a ghastly reminder of a nightmare” (The Cincinnati Enquirer, p. 45.).

61 Gallop quoted in, Radio Television Mirror, p. 84.

62 Ibid., p. 43.

63 Ibid.

64 Gallop quoted in, The Cincinnati Enquirer, p. 45.

65 Gallop quoted in, Radio Television Mirror, p. 43.

66 Ibid.

67 Gallop quoted in, Radio Television Mirror, p. 84.

68 Khan, p. 31.

69 Radio Television Mirror, p. 75.

70 Ibid., p. 42. Similarly delving into his private life, Gallop acknowledged in a separate interview that “it’s an important part of my character to dress meticulously. Off the air, I’m also very clothes conscious. I have about two dozen suits, and they’re all custom tailored” (Gallop quoted in, Lardine, p. 7.).

71 Gallop quoted in, Radio Television Mirror, p. 42

72 Ibid., p. 43.

73 Ibid., p. 42.

74 Stal [sic], “Television Reviews”, Variety, Vol. 184, No. 12, 1951, p. 28.

75 Robert J. Erler, “A Guide to Television Talk”, Television Talk: A History of the TV Talk Show, ed. Bernard M. Timberg, Austin, University of Texas Press, 2002, p. 235.

76 Anonymous, “Tele Followup Comment”, Variety, Vol. 187, 1952, p. 28.

77 Variety, p. 28.

78 Dunn, p. 20.

79 Anonymous, “The Perry Como Show: The Saturday Night Miracle”, Radio Television Mirror, Vol. 51, No. 3, 1959, p. 51.

80 Brooks and Marsh, p. 485.

81 Anonymous, “TV Week Spotlight”, Independent Star-News, 18 December, 1966, p. 81.

82 Continuing to show the malleability of his creative talents, Gallop also extended his media projects beyond radio and TV, establishing a sporadic singing career. Gallop had some success with the popular record Got A Match (1958), followed eight years later by the release of The Ballad of Irving (1966) on the Kapp Records label, a popular single which enabled enough success for Gallop to release the album Would You Believe Frank Gallop Sings? through Musicor Records. In the same year, he also performed as a singer on a small tour across the US.

83 Oviatt, p. 7.

84 Anonymous, “Frank Gallop is Possessor of Wit, Humour”, Ithaca Journal, 22 July, 1961, p. 15.

85 Great Ghost Tales offered the last example of a live horror anthology series, contrary to the industry’s well established move towards pre-recorded programming made within the Hollywood TV studio system.

86 Anonymous, “Live Mystery Series is Welcome Fare”, The New York Times, July 7, 1961, p. 52.

87 Oviatt, p. 1.

88 Ibid., p. 7.

89 Ibid.

90 Gallop quoted in, William Ewald, “Frank Gallop Says Announcers Work Harder on Video”, Shamokin News-Dispatch, February 22, 1958, p. 7.

91 John Keasler, “Columns”, The Miami News, October 13, 1979, p. 13.

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Table des illustrations

Titre Figure 1: Gallop interacting with studio audience on The Buick Circus Hour S01E01
URL http://journals.openedition.org/tvseries/docannexe/image/5545/img-1.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 156k
Titre Figure 2: Gallop delivering special commercial message on The Buick Circus Hour S01E01
URL http://journals.openedition.org/tvseries/docannexe/image/5545/img-2.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 84k
Titre Figure 3: Gallop’s guise as the spectral and bodiless head in prologue for Lights Out S0305
URL http://journals.openedition.org/tvseries/docannexe/image/5545/img-3.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 56k
Titre Figure 4: Gallop’s skeletal, detached hand lighting a candle in prologue for Lights Out S0305
URL http://journals.openedition.org/tvseries/docannexe/image/5545/img-4.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 44k
Titre Figure 5: Gallop utilised in a Lights Out advertisement in Life magazine
URL http://journals.openedition.org/tvseries/docannexe/image/5545/img-5.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 48k
Titre Figure 6: Gallop as the focal point in Lights Out promotional poster
URL http://journals.openedition.org/tvseries/docannexe/image/5545/img-6.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 172k
Titre Figure 7: Gallop in staged photo set in Radio Television Mirror article
URL http://journals.openedition.org/tvseries/docannexe/image/5545/img-7.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 184k
Titre Figure 8: Indirect resemblance to Lights Out persona on Perry Como’s Kraft Music Hall
URL http://journals.openedition.org/tvseries/docannexe/image/5545/img-8.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 112k
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Référence électronique

Thomas Wilson, « Frank Gallop’s Ghoulish Lights Out Persona: Horror Host as Brand Image in Early US Anthology Television »TV/Series [En ligne], 20 | 2022, mis en ligne le 27 avril 2022, consulté le 30 juin 2022. URL : http://journals.openedition.org/tvseries/5545 ; DOI : https://doi.org/10.4000/tvseries.5545

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Auteur

Thomas Wilson

Thomas Wilson is a PhD candidate at the University of Wolverhampton. His thesis focuses on the history of the horror host in US anthology television, 1949-1973. Thomas’ research in this area has recently been published in the Historical Journal of Film, Radio and Television.

Thomas Wilson est doctorant à l’Université de Wolverhampton. Sa thèse porte sur l’histoire des animateurs de séries d’horreur anthologiques américaines de 1949 à 1973, et il a récemment publié un article sur le sujet dans la revue Historical Journal of Film, Radio and Television.

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