Remember this scenario? It’s a late Friday or Saturday night, and there’s nothing good on TV. Nada. You’re between the ages of eight and 16, so going out isn’t really an option. You flip through the channels; you consider renting a video; you consider giving up and going to bed. We’ve all been there.

But eventually, you manage to find something. It seems to lack any intellectual insight, and it sure is odd. It probably has B-movie (or C-movie) content, hammy humor and a whacky DJ-like master of ceremonies. The crazy character running the show is corny, but also kinda fun: It’s the “late-night horror movie dude.” Or as he prefers to be called, a horror show host.

In Chicago, he’s called “Svengoolie”; In L.A., she’s called “Elvira.” But for Detroit and its surrounding suburbs, it’s Wolfman Mac and his “Nightmare Sinema.” The program plays golden oldies from the horror genre, with a cast of characters like Boney Bob, Creepy Clyde and Ivana Werkagenn (you gotta see these guys). Michigan native Mac Kelly, who worked in radio for more than 20 years, is the creator of the new televised vault of horrors. He’s also the Wolfman.

While driving to a recent gig, Wolfman Mac opened up in a phone interview about his success, his obsession with cheesy movies and why occult programs like his are here to stay.

“In my research, I found that there were no werewolf characters hosting horror shows anywhere,” Mac said. “You got all the vampires with the crazy accents, you know, and of course you got the guru types, with the lab coats, and everything else. But no werewolves.”

A refreshing spin on an old format, Mac’s show is one of the latest variations on a long-running, obscure genre. Mac is part of the latest generation of hosts under the genre’s influence, but before he went on the air, he wanted to make a point of creating his own identity.

“I think we think that we’ve done something a little unique, because when I started this, I wanted to pay tribute, and I think I still do,” Mac said. “But I didn’t wanna copy off of anybody … I never wanted anybody to say ‘Oh, they copied off of those guys.’ ”

“I know it sounds cocky, but I’m hoping I raise the bar a little bit,” Mac said.

For a sub-genre rooted in low-rent local theatrics, that’s a pretty tall order. But that doesn’t mean Mac has to abide by public access rules: He dreams big.

“I don’t think anybody’s gonna compete with ‘Mystery Science Theater 3000.’ ” Mac said. “That was just outrageous. What a great job those guys did. I just like to watch those videos and I laugh my butt off every time.”

It’s this cult identification and fringe interest appeal that motivates the horror show scene. Bad B-movies, shitty shockers and sub-par sci-fi have always appealed to a unique group of people in a strong yet strange way.

“For sure (Halloween) is our busiest time of the year. People are flocking to our program. It’s just that sort of thing. It’s time for, you know, cider mills and haunted houses and all that good stuff,” Mac said. “So certainly, our numbers dip a little bit in the winter, but that’s expected. But we maintain definitely a strong local following all year round.”

Even with the fluctuation in viewers, Mac trusts in the enduring interest of scare-lovers everywhere.

“There’s something nostalgic about it, I don’t know what it is,” Mac said. “It’s a crappy time right now, and I really do believe, with all my heart, that people fall back on the type of programming we have just because it’s … fun. It’s just good fun.”

The Wolfman tries to have fun with TV, but he also works hard to make his show known. Between appearances at parties, haunted houses and even an upcoming wedding, Mac hypes his TV every chance he can get.

He even has a good pitch for college students and why they should tune in: “There are some college students that watch us that have a little bit of a drinking game when the Wolfman howls,” said Mac. “And that is not at all condoned,” Mac adds, with a bit of nervous laughter.

In terms of material for the older age sets, he continued, “I want people to know I get a lot of e-mails from people that really want me to do a little bit more adult content, and we have our adult innuendo in there … I’ve stayed family (oriented) on purpose and the reason for that is if I were to do, you know, the boob jokes and whatever else, I would be ending the horror genre with this generation. It would be all over with.”

“I want 20 years from now, some kid that’s watching me — he’s 14 years old right now — you know, talking about how he grew up watching ‘Wolfman Mac’ and how it was so cool.”

“Sinema” is the strange local program that should define anyone’s formative years. Luckily, Wolfman Mac has kindred spirits out there: Pittsburgh’s Bill Cardille, Cincinnati’s The Cool Ghoul and Tennessee’s Dr. Gangrene.

This niche entertainment has lasted for a reason. While comic book movies, musicals and other genres may rise and fall, there’s almost always a market for the cornball. Wolfman Mac is what late weekend nights are all about when you’re growing up.

The Wolfman’s website puts it best: “Remember the good ‘ol days of the Ghoul, Sir Graves Ghastly, and Count Scary? Remember the days of LOCAL television in Detroit? Well, they’re back!”

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