Baby boomers will remember this scary-looking guy.
Dr. Shock (also known as Tommy Reynolds) was a pop culture icon here in the 1960s and 1970s as host of a weekly late-night showing of B-Grade horror films on WTVC NewsChannel 9.
Dr. Shock and his side-kicks Dingbat (a puppet voiced by Dan East) and Nurse Goodbody (Patricia Abney) provided commentary during commercial breaks on the Saturday night program called "Shock Theater."
The commentary was often a riff on Chattanooga society news, and a mention on the show was highly coveted in some circles. A report in the Chattanooga News-Free Press in the 1970s noted: "As one socialite put it, 'I knew I had arrived in this town when I was mentioned by Dr. Shock.'"
In a notice about Reynolds' death in 2008 on the WTVC website, writer Richard Simms said: "Far ahead of their time, Doctor Shock, Dingbat and Nurse Goodbody would engage each other in humorous repertoire during commercial breaks.
Launched by history enthusiast Sam Hall in 2014, ChattanoogaHistory.com is maintained to present historical images in the highest resolution available.
If you have photo negatives, glass plate negatives, or original non-digital prints taken in the Chattanooga area, contact Sam Hall for information on how they may qualify to be digitized and preserved at no charge.
"The baby boomers among us usually couldn't care less what the movie was. We hung around just to see the commercial breaks, and many Saturday night dates ended in the living room in the company of Dr. Shock and Dingbat."
This image was recently discovered in a box of 1975 photo slides found at the offices of the Chattanooga Times Free Press and preserved at ChattanoogaHistory.com, a website devoted to displaying vintage photographs from the area.
After the show's demise, Reynolds, a former TV program director, moved to Huntsville, Alabama, where he died at age 75. The Dingbat character was voiced by the late East, who was an artist at WTVC.
A brief revival of "Shock Theater" was attempted in 2014 according to local news reports, with one episode featuring the film "The Brain That Wouldn't Die," a 1962 science fiction horror film.
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