Joe Alston was the horror host of "Shock Theater" and "Five Star Shock" as "The Host" and the announcer / voice over for "Project Horror".

"Shock Theater" was on KENS-TV, Channel 5 San Antonio, Texas - Friday nights from 1959 until 1960. Joe Alston as "The Host" was assisted by Bob Burns and Kathy Burns. They offered to assist with a different monster every week; tied in with the movie being shown. They appeared in a wide variety

of monstrous characterizations, including Bob as "Mad Lab Assistants", "Mad Doctors", "Victims",

"Village Idiot", "Frankenstein Monster", "Wolf Man", and "The Mad Mummy"; with Kathy as "The Bride of Frankenstein", "The Weird Woman", "Hideous Hags", "Witches" and "Miss Shock".

The photograph at the top of the page was "The Host's" original look; but after only two shows Joe Alston got rid of the mustache and goatee; and simply wore the homberg hat and cape.

In 1960, the went through a change, including changing the name to "Five Star Shock".

The show ended in 1960, to be replaced by "Project Terror" - a non hosted horror movie show, but with Alston providing the voiceovers.

Alston is best known as "Captain Gus" on "The Captain Gus Show", on KENS-TV Channel 5,

and ran from 1953 to 1979; showcasing "Popeye" cartoons.

Alston, who was born on 16 September 1918, passwed away on 28 September 1989 in Texas.

Portrait of "The Host" by Bradley Beard.
"The Host" - biography (taken from Bradley Beard's Facebook page)" He came from Bob Burns' basement! Today I present The Host, host of Shock Theatre on KENS-TV Channel 5 in San Antonio, Texas, which ran from 1959 to 1960. The Host also hosted Five Star Shock and provided voiceovers for Project Terror for KENS-TV during the 1960's. Joe Alston, the man behind the host, portrayed several characters for the TV station including popular children's show host Captain Gus. While stationed in San Antonio in his army days, the legendary Bob Burns and his wife Kathy joined the Shock Theatre crew. Bob offered to create a different monster every week that would tie in with the movie being shown if the station would pay for the supplies. When producer William Castle came to town, Joe and Bob and Kathy met him at the airport in full costume to present him with a skeleton key (made with real bones) to the city.

Bob Burns is an actor, consultant, producer, archivist and historian of props, costumes, and other paraphernalia from science fiction, fantasy, and horror motion pictures. He is best known for his work with and collection of movie props, particularly from horror and science-fiction movies. He has also had numerous smaller acting roles in movies, including "Tracy the Gorilla" in the 1975 television show "The Ghost Buster".

The Ghost Busters - opening credits from The Professor on Vimeo.

Bob Burns as a gorilla goes back to 1965, when he appeared in the Donald F. Glut short "Superman vs. the Gorilla" as Kogar the Gorilla. Over the years, Burns would appear as Kogar, the Gorilla, or as a gorilla, or Tracy, the Gorilla; and as "Kogar, the Gorilla", co-host in "Halloween... The Happy Haunting of America!", with the other hosts - Daniel Roebuck as "Dr. Shocker" and Chuck Williams as "Igor".

Burns also appeared in an episode of "Jeepers' Creepers Theater", on KCOP-TV Channel 13, Los Angeles, California;

a hosted horror show (with host Jeepers), as the "Mad Mummy" auring on 1 December 1962.

For more information on "Jeepers' Creepers Theater" use the below link:

Bob's wife, Kathy Burns; also has appeared in television shows, and shares Bob's love of the genre.

As an Oriental proverb quite aptly states, "Choose a job you love and you will never have to work a day in your life," which would apply to Bob and Kathy Burns.

For more information on Dr. Shocker and Igor use the below link:

Portrait of "Kogar/Bob Burns" by Bradley Beard.
"Kogar/Bob Burns" - biography (taken from Bradley Beard's Facebook page)"
He's Tracy... or Kogar. Tonight I present the renowned Bob Burns. Bob got his horror hosting start on Shock Theater with Joe Alston as The Host on KENS-TV Channel 5 in San Antonio, TX. He and his wife Kathy would appear on the show in different monster make-ups. After moving to Los Angeles, he appeared as the Mad Mummy on Jeepers show on KCOP-TV Channel 13 in Los Angeles. Bob is well remembered for his portrayal of Tracy the gorilla in the 1975 live-action children's TV series Ghost Busters with Forrest Tucker and Larry Storch. Most recently, Bob portrayed Kogar in Doctor Shocker's must have documentary Halloween The Happy Haunting of America, reprising his Tracy make-up as Kogar. Bob's also known for his basement. Bob's Basement has an amazing collection of some of Hollywood's most important sci-fi and horror memorabilia.

In 2014, Bob Burns - Behind The Scenes "Bob Burns' Basement",
was inducted into "The Official Horror Host Hall of Fame".

The following is the opening for "Project Terror":

Project Terror with announer Joe Alston from The Professor on Vimeo.


Internet Movie Data Base
"Shock Theater"

Internet Movie Data Base
"Five Star Shock

Internet Movie Data Base
"Project Terror"

Internet Movie Data Base
"Bob Alston"

Internet Movie Data Base
"Bob Burns"

Internet Movie Data Base
"Kathy Burns"

Facebook: Bradley Beard - Horror Host Artist
"The Host"

Facebook: Bradley Beard - Horror Host Artist
"Kogar/Bob Burns"

E-gors Chamber of TV Horror Hosts
"The Host"

E-gors Chamber of TV Horror Hosts
"Bob Burns"

E-gors Chamber of TV Horror Hosts
"Miss Shock"

The Official Bob Burns Web Site
"Bob and Kathy Burns"

"Bob Burns"

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Last modified: December 2023