published Thursday, July 14th, 2011

New “Nurse Goodbody” helps revive shock theater

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    Constance Haynes has reprised the role of Nurse Goodbody as co-host of "Shock Theatre." The locally produced shaw was originally popular in the early 70s. Contributed Photo

What people need is a healthy dose of campy movies, Constance Haynes believes.

Haynes thinks that a little fun in the form of a good, old-fashioned horror movie might be just what the doctor, or nurse in this case, ordered.

For the last year or so, Haynes has been developing the role of Nurse Goodbody with the newest incarnation of “Shock Theatre,” a popular television show that was produced locally in the early 1970s. It featured Dr. Shock, a part revived by Jack Gray, a puppet named Dingbat and Nurse Goodbody.

The trio told jokes and tall tales and introduced a new horror film each Saturday night. The group has done some local test-runs on air and put together a special show called “Hauntsville” at last year’s Con Nooga science-fiction convention.

Q: I’ve seen you identified as Nurse Goodbody and Nurse Badbody. Which is it?

A: Usually Nurse Goodbody, but if I’m in a bad mood, it’s Badbody.

Q: Have you ever seen the original show?

A: No. I know my parents watched it. That’s the funny thing. My mom is excited I’m doing this because that is what she did on Saturday nights, (she) watched “Shock Theatre.”

Q: How did you get the gig?

A: Jack and I have a mutual friend [Mike Dobbs]. Jack is primarily a musician, and I’ve had a lot of exposure around the local music scene, I guess. I used to play bass a long time ago in a punkabilly band called ChattaVegas Aces.

When Jack talked to Mike about bringing back “Shock Theatre,” Mike was like, “I know the perfect person.”

I have a theater background and he wanted a rock ’n’ roll edge and I have that with the tattoos and everything. We talked one night and hit it off.

Q: What kind of theater background do you have?

A: I’d done some underground performances in other cities.

Q: Aren’t you into the (sci-fi convention scene), as well.

A: Yes. I’m a con nerd. I’m one of the people that dresses up and runs around. I’m a big fan of anime.

Q: Why do you want to be a part of the new “Shock Theatre”?

A: I think nationally and locally we need to get back to simpler times, and it calls back to a time when TV was goofy and fun and the campy movies were a part of that. I think it hits the spot with the 40- to 50-year-old range, but it’s been well received by the younger crowd as well. They haven’t seen the movies.

For me personally, it’s a chance to play dress up and be silly. The funny thing is, I find horror movies to be terrifying, so I have to look at them from a different way.

Q: A big part of the charm of the old show was that Tommy Reynolds (Dr. Shock) and Dan East (Dingbat) joked about local politics and made fun of the local elite, usually directing their barbs at Lookout Mountain. Do you guys plan to continue that?

A: Yes. I think we need that. I also like to highlight the local arts and bands and artists to the forefront and to bring an awareness to what an artistic community we have.

Q: What is next for you guys?

A: Right now we are waiting to see what happens. I hope to ride the ride as long as I can. It’s a lot of fun and we think we can do a lot with it.

about Barry Courter...

Barry Courter is staff reporter and columnist for the Times Free Press. He started his journalism career at the Chattanooga News-Free Press in 1987. He covers primarily entertainment and events for ChattanoogaNow, as well as feature stories for the Life section. Born in Lafayette, Ind., Barry has lived in Chattanooga since 1968. He graduated from Notre Dame High School and the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga with a degree in broadcast journalism. He previously was ...

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July 14, 2011 at 2:59 a.m.
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