I listen to WWL radio (New Orleans station) most of the time when I’m driving just to keep up with what’s going on in the city. (I now live a little over 150 miles from New Orleans, but I grew up in the region, so I like to stay in touch.)
I’ve been hearing some promotions for the rebirth of the career of Dr. Morgus, the bizarre mad scientist who hosted the Saturday night scary movies on one of the New Orleans TV stations in the sixties and maybe into the seventies. Morgus and the monster movie came on at 10:30 after the news, so I endeavored to stay up through the movie to see Dr. Morgus’s side plot that broke in for a few minutes at each commercial break. Since he was such a comic character, his break-ins often provided comic relief from the more realistic terror or horror of the monster movie that was shown.
The original Dr. Morgus was played by a New Orleans radio and TV personality, Sid Noel. I remember Mr. Noel well when I was in high school and working at the A&P supermarket in Covington. He shopped every weekend at the store. I think he had a home or retreat on the North Shore (across Lake Pontchartrain from New Orleans). He was always friendly and engaging when I’d bag and carry out his groceries, and while I’d talk to him about his DJ work, we never got into discussions of his role as Morgus. He was such a regular-looking, clean-cut, neatly dressed character in person that imagining him as the scruffy, dissheveled, and homely mad scientist was difficult.
The promotions on WWL that I’ve been hearing feature interviews of Dr. Morgus himself. I doubt if it’s still Sid Noel, but whoever’s taken on the role does a darned good impersonation of the original. He sounds perfectly Morgussian. I’d like to find out more about what’s going on. Maybe some keyword-searcher who’s got an ear to the ground on what’s happening with the Celebrating Fifty Years of Morgus event will read this post and tell me more.
Yep, Morgus the Magnificent and his hooded lab assistant and inane sidekick Chopsley–worth staying up for on Saturday nights back in the days of my young adolescence.
As usual, the Wikipedia article on Morgus has some really interesting history and details about Morgus.