It's time for this week's Video Vault - unusual video snippets that trigger memories from my past, thanks to YouTube!
One of the cool television memories for me in the early 1980s was sitting through Saturday Night Live until the end - just so I could watch Karen Scioli, who portrayed Stella, the Maneater From Manayunk, on what was easily one of the gayest local television shows of its time... Saturday Night Dead!
Saturday Night Dead was a television program that hosted B horror films - it began in 1984 and ran until the end of the decade and was a production of KYW-TV Channel 3 in Philadelphia (see last week's Video Vault post!).
Stella delighted in half-clad gorgeous young men and often had one or two hanging in her dungeon awaiting her pleasure. According to her biography, Stella was "born in North Libido, New Jersey, a small village outside of Atlantic City. She is the only child of traveling hecklers. Her parents dropped her in a plastic basket at Fifth and Skunk in front of Guido's Hair Weaving and Plumbing Supplies, but for all intents and purposes she was raised by a flock of pigeons". Reincarnated 37 times, Stella was just your typical "ghoul" next door.
In real life Karen was a South Philly actress and homemaker who weekly donned a pushup bra, slinky black dress, feather boa, false eyelashes and a mole on her right cheek to become the female vampiress. Other regulars on the program were Stella's canopied-bed called "Beda Lugosi" which talked and vibrated; Hives the Butler (Bob Billbrough); and a faceless dungeon monster named Iggy who ate anybody Stella didn't like.
The show was off the scale gay - with innuendos and the like ad-libbed through the skits. Stella was often seen in the gay nightclubs, as she was in high demand to host everything from movie nights to Halloween costume contests at Woody's. During these years, since I was the GM of Au Courant Newsmagazine, I was out taking pictures and quite often Karen and I would be at the same events at night.
Karen is a classy woman and I really enjoyed the time I had with her - she's still around but I've not spoken or seen her in years. Below is the opening of Saturday Night Dead ... note the four bodybuilders that drop Stella off at the corner of 4th and South Streets ... the one with white shorts is my friend James!!