The Story of Television's First Ghoul
by Louis D. Antonicello

In the annals of modern entertainment, you would be hard-pressed to find anyone who's had a longer and more richly-varied career than John Zacherle. Recording artist, television star, announcer, disk jockey, emcee, Zacherle has capably filled these roles and several others. Yet it is for one role that Zacherle has attained show business immortality. For baby boomers, he will be remembered as the best of the horror hosts in the form of his creation, Zacherley, the most clever, most original and funniest of a once thriving breed.

Little Baby Zach
John Zacherle was born on September 27, 1918 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. His childhood was normal and seemingly uneventful. One interesting fact about Zach's youthful years was that his parents were strict and refused to allow him to see the horror films that were all the rage among young theater goers in the 1930's. Zach grew up in the Germantown section of Philadelphia and graduated from Germantown High School. His good grades gained him entry into the University of Pennsylvania where a Bachelor's degree was attained in English Literature. Zach's graduation from college and the outbreak of WW II coincided, with Zach enlisting in the army and seeing action in Europe and North Africa, and eventually attaining the rank of major.

Major Zach Returns Home
Returning home to Philadelphia at the conclusion of the war, and in the army reserves. Zacherle took his time finding the right job. Someone mentioned acting and this lead to Zach's audition with a local repertory group called the Stagecrafters, who were based in Chestnut Hill, Pennsylvania. Zach was living at home and enjoying his leisurely life-style and the various parts he was able to get with the Stagecrafters. Remember, this was the early 1950's and people were trying to enjoy the serenity of the postwar world.

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