Checking in on the Big Show Star Phone this morning is one of the most recognizable figures of the Halloween season — aside from maybe Bobby Boris Pickett — Cassandra Peterson, more affectionately known as Elvira ‘Mistress of the Dark’.
We were lucky to get Cassandra on the phone just in time for Halloween, a time of year that keeps her busy 24/7, but even luckier to get to hear her story about how it all got started for her.
Cassandra was working as a comedian with the famous SoCal improv troupe The Groundlings back in 1981, when she interviewed to be a ‘horror host,’ something she had no experience with but was willing to try out. After getting the part, she and a friend came up with the iconic look and began hosting horror movies on a local Hollywood TV station. 34 years later she’s still the one true, Mistress of the Dark.
Her staying power, as she puts it, can be attributed to the fact that she is tied to the Halloween holiday, “it’s kind of like Santa Claus on Christmas,” she says. “You don’t see him all year and then all of a sudden he’s everywhere!”
“I think that really helped the longevity of the character. And I think people like the humor and, you know, the dirty old men like the cleavage.”
Over the years, Elvira has made quite a few movie and TV appearances — are there any that just didn’t work out the way she had hoped?
“Yeah, there’s been a few times, the weirdest one maybe was “Stroker Ace,” which was way back in the day — I was a girl in a nightclub, I was wearing a regular dress with my Elvira hair and makeup and I was trying to pick up Jim Neighbors,” remembers Peterson. “So talk about challenging!”
Elvira will be a guest judge on the season five finale, the “Undead Dinner Party,” of the Food Network’s “Halloween Wars” airing this Sunday, October 25th at 9pm!
And you can also get yourself all set for Halloween with official Elvira costumes and wigs at Elvira.com!
–Shannon in the Morning/WCBS-FM