Stephen Arnell Investigates: Please welcome our next guest, The Prince of Darkness himself...Satan! What the Devil? cover

Stephen Arnell Investigates: Please welcome our next guest, The Prince of Darkness himself…Satan! What the Devil?

Did 70's TV show 'Late Night with the Devil' really become a demonic battleground? And what goes on at the creepy Bohemian Grove - demonic pacts? Welcome to Hellivision.

Revisiting 70s ‘Hellivision’ – Late Night with the Devil

The Devil – or his son and various demonic minions when they appear on your television set. An exploration. But remember, “No Flipping!”

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The Zen Diaries of Garry Shandling (2018) Film Media Group

Giving the Devil His Due – on Live TV

“We just wrapped Late Night With the Devil. I almost didn’t read the script, because I was like, ‘That is such a cheesy title. There is no way this movie is going to be something that’s not going to be just a B-movie.’ But then I was told by a person I trust, ‘You have to read this script.’ I am so glad I read the script. I don’t know if anyone remembers the show The Larry Sanders Show. Imagine that, and this is the last episode being shot because Larry decides to do an on-air exorcism that goes awry and causes this to be the last episode.”  David Dastmalchian, star of Late Night with the Devil

New horror movie Late Night with the Devil posits a scenario where the devil (or one of his chief lieutenants) makes an appearance on host US chat show Night Owls with Jack Delroy on Halloween evening, 1977.

With chilling consequences.

Bohemian Grove – Secret Businessmen’s Business

Without revealing too many plot details, Jack Delroy’s success as a talk show host is somehow connected to California’s real-life Bohemian Grove private gentlemen's club, albeit in a heavily fictionalised way.

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Bohemian Grove – The Cremation of Care ceremony. Photo courtesy of archive.org (FCC).

Bohemian Club motto "Weaving Spiders Come Not Here" is an injunction not to do business on the grounds, but often ignored.

Founded in 1878 by actor Henry "Harry" Edwards, the Bohemian Club's all-male membership includes business leaders, government mandarins, artists, musicians, former U.S. presidents, senior media folk and ‘people of influence’.

Akin to The Garrick Club in the UK, currently in the news due to its membership policy – no women.

‘Faggy Goddamned Thing’ – Nixon

The Club’s performances of plays, comedies, and other diversions led then President Nixon to comment, “The Bohemian Grove, which I attend from time to time—it is the most faggy goddamned thing you could ever imagine, with that San Francisco crowd.”

Oppenheimer’s Atomic Ideas Began In Secret Men’s Club

Secret Devil Rulers, Extremists & Pseudo-Pagan Spooky Rituals

The club’s bizarre opening ‘Cremation of Care’ ceremony at the camp was covered by Jon Ronson in Channel 4's Secret Rulers of the World (2001). In his 2002 book Them: Adventures with Extremists, Ronson commented, "My lasting impression was of an all-pervading sense of immaturity: the Elvis impersonators, the pseudo-pagan spooky rituals, the heavy drinking. These people might have reached the apex of their professions but emotionally they seemed trapped in their college years."

Who knew Lucifer would become so popular?

Late Night with the Devil isn't the first time Old Nick, or his son The Antichrist, or various minions have appeared on TV. No sirree.

A look at the phenomenon.

Meet Mr Lucifer (1953)

The Devil (Stanley Holloway) decides to meddle with UK viewers of the then new-fangled medium of television. A not very good satire, based on Arnold Ridley’s (Private Godfrey in Dad’s Army) 1951 play Beggar My Neighbour. But Kay Kendall looks nice in it.

FUN FACTS:

1) Co-star Peggy Cummins was the female lead in the classic horror film Night of the Demon (1957), directed by Jacques Tourneur

2) Featured player Ernest Thesiger was noted for his performance as Doctor Septimus Pretorius in James Whale's film Bride of Frankenstein (1935).

3) In March 1953, figures for combined sound and television licences were given as 2.142m compared with 1,457m a year previously. Not many, in other words.

Bedazzled (1967)

Poor old Stanley Moon (Dudley Moore), he always gets the sh*tty end of the stick, so when he sells his soul to the Devil (Peter Cook), his seven allotted wishes are constantly subverted. When he becomes a Tom Jones-style pop singer, his brief fame is quickly usurped by a new band, the psychedelic Drimble Wedge and The Vegetation, fronted by Satan.

Omen III: The Final Conflict (1981)

Around 5 mins in, but in reverse for some dumb reason, most probably a reference to the backwards Satanic messages on albums trend

Italian priest-assassin Brother Benito attempts and fails to kill Antichrist Damien Thorn when he’s being interviewed on dull UK politics show The World in Focus. (Thorn is the primary antagonist of The Omen franchise.)

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The interview, Damien in Greta Thunberg-esque full flow just before being interrupted by an electrocuted/on fire Benito swinging into the set:

Kate Reynolds (Lisa Harrow): A brilliant career for one so young, Mr. Ambassador.

Damien Thorne (Sam Neill): Not when you remember that Alexander the Great was commanding the Macedonian army at 16.

Reynolds: Of course, that's how many people view you -as a sort of 20th-century Alexander, leading the world out of the doldrums of recession into the golden era of prosperity.

Thorne: You've seen too many of our commercials.

Reynolds: But it is the image you put across.

Thorne: Well, the image of Thorn as a corporation, not a personal image of myself. But yes, it's true. I certainly have tremendous optimism for the future and I want to see Thorn play a major part in achieving it.

Reynolds: You have an interest in young people. What are your plans as president of the United Nations Youth Council?

Thorne: A great many things, but I think the most important task I have is to help young people gain a more prominent role in world affairs than the one we currently afford them, or rather deny them. I mean, what is this arrogance that makes us think that we know better than them? We call them immature and naive. "Wait till you're grown-up. Then we'll listen to you." What we really mean is, "Wait till you're grown old. Then you'll think the way we do." And so youth stands aside because it has no other choice, and we set to work. We ply them with our values, we indoctrinate them with our mediocrity. Until finally they emerge from their brainwashing education as so-called fully fledged citizens, clipped, impotent, and above all safe.

Reynolds: Damien! Grab one of these extinguishers! Come on! God!

Poltergeist (1982)

It may not be your actual Lucifer, but something evil definitely lurks in the Freeling family TV set. Spiritual medium Tangina Barrons (Zelda Rubinstein ) refers to the entity as ‘The Beast’, so we can be pretty sure that it’s The Horned One.

The Witches of Eastwick (1987)

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At the end of the movie, self-described “horny little devil’ Daryl Van Horne appears to his multiple-mothered litter of children via the tube.

Stay Tuned (1992)

Harking back to Meet Mr Lucifer, Stay Tuned’s demon Mr Spike (Jeffrey Jones) attempts to both corrupt and torture TV-addicts through a special offer of multichannel TV ‘Hellevision’ (666 channels).

Not ‘Mr Scratch’, but the Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come from Scrooged (1988):

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Scrooged (1988)
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The Zen Diaries of Garry Shandling (2018) – Film Media Group

Stephen Arnell’s ‘The Great One’ a novel of Ancient Rome is out now on Amazon Kindle:

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L-R Pompey, Crassus & Caesar: The First Triumvirate

The Tubes – TV is King (1979)

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