Zacherley Remembers 'Disc-o-Teen'!

"It was three of the happiest years of my life," says John Zacherle who, for three years appeared on a New Jersey television station as the host of an afternoon dance show called Disc-o-Teen.

"Everyday I drove out to Newark to work at Channel 47. It was a UHF station which meant that back then hardly anyone got to see it."

Zach ended his hosting career in New York at WPIX-TV in 1964 bringing to end a career that began in Philadelphia in 1957 when John starred as the horror host Roland on Channel 10.

"I didn't know what I was going to do next. I'd finished my contract at Channel 11, and no renewal was coming."

Unemployment didn't last long. The Cool Ghoul was offered the job of hosting Disc-o-Teen. It was a live dance show airing every weekday afternoon after school. It featured live bands and dancers very similar to Dick Clark's American Bandstand.

"I'd been on Dick Clark's show a number of times. I got to host a few episodes. Then we went on a bus tour bringing the show to different cities for a while. I felt up to the challenge."

The Cool Ghoul loved rock and roll. What really made him take the job was being able to host the show as Zacherley because John owned the character. He brought along Gasport and My Dear as well.

"It was really experimental. The producers gave me a lot of flexibility. We'd try something. If it didn't work we wouldn't do it again."

Fridays were theme days when the visitors (student dancers) would dress up depending on what the theme was. One Friday was gangster day, another was Roman toga day.

"I met a lot of wonderful kids. I still keep in touch with some of them. They held a reunion a few years ago, and it was wonderful seeing everyone again."

Two of Zach's close friends were regulars on the show. Richard Scrivani, who was a big fan and supplied the photos for this article, was at the show almost every day. Another regular was Michael Thomas who came dressed up as the Frankenstein monster. He later became a professional make-up artist.

"It was a wonderful three years, but then all good things have to end."

On the last day of the show Zach allowed the kids to write messages all over his white station wagon. The security guard didn't understand and was ready to make some arrests when Zach explained that it was okay for the kids to do that.

At a recent Chiller Theatre Expo Zach had a real treat. Ray Manzarek of the Doors stopped by his table for a chat. He remembered being on Disc-o-Teen and wanted to thank Zach for the great time that he and the other Doors members had had.

Richard Scrivani and others took many photos.

Disc-O-Teen Shows Available

In our continuing quest to answer your numerous e mails about one of Zacherley's most popular television shows, Disc-o-teen, we have found that the last two episodes exist in their entirety. Thanks to Joe LoRe, one of the cameramen on Disc-O-Teen, we have been made aware of the episodes' existence.

Fans of Zacherley and Disc-o-Teen can go to the following websites and see some cool photos of the show and learn more about this entertaining series. Check out WNJU TV47.

Joe has gone a step further by offering a Chat Room service!

By going to Dicoteen's Yahoo Group you can join other fans of the show for online chats.

This is probably the best way to communicate with lost friends and other fans of Disc-O-Teen.

Who knows, maybe one of those fans has the answers to many of your questions?

You won't be disappointed. Oh, and tell them Zacherley sent you!

Jim Bemis' COLOR Discoteen Photos!