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Monday, June 15, 2015

Art Hern: The Early Years Before TV's First Horror Host Character


This vintage publicity photograph from March 24, 1947 was taken inside Chicago's WGN radio station. The shorter, happy-go-lucky chap standing behind the microphone, is none other than Art Hern! During this period, Hern was a member of the cast for the popular radio program Captain Midnight. A few years later, Hern would portray television's first horror host character - the Swami, Drana Badour!

The ominous Swami appeared on a local television station program in Chicago, called Murder Before Midnight (1950-1953). For most of its run on WBKB (Channel 4), the half-hour show serialized the films throughout the week.

Art Hern was actually the second person to portray the Swami Drana Badour. A television announcer, named Allen Harvey, originated the role.