Meet Mr. Lobo, Host Of Cinema Insomnia with Mr. Lobo!
Mr. Lobo has been hosting films over 18 years and hosts the wildly popular Cinema Insomnia with Mr. Lobo, while doing appearances at monster conventions and emcee'ing live movie screenings and so much more. He hosts his shows with knowledge and wit in the vain of the legendary Bob Wilkins, who happens to be one of Mr. Lobo's biggest inspirations as a Horror Host.
TheSteveStrout: What inspired you to become a horror host and what were the biggest inspirations to your character?
Mr. Lobo: I always loved movies and TV shows. I watched Creature Features, Twilight Zone, Night Gallery and loved having a companion or spectral narrator introducing me to weird worlds! There was a comic book called The Phantom Stranger, who would tell weird tales but them sometimes be part of the weirdness. The comedy sketches from Elvira, Count Floyd from SCTV and from all the fake hosts from Monty Python. Ed Wood and William Castle...the concept of the low-budget horror show showman.
All those influences and more came into play. I wrote for a magazine who did an article about Bob Wilkins, the host of Creature Features. We started producing revival shows with Bob that I helped produce and he encouraged me to do it myself. Years later, I worked at a TV station that had an overnight movie that ran 25 minutes short...I pitched Cinema Insomnia and the rest is history.
TheSteveStrout: What or how were you introduced to the art of the horror host world? (Yes I consider it an art form) What's your earliest memory of horror hosts? (Personally Elvira was EVRYWHERE when I was a kid, and there was stuff like the Cryptkeeper and late night horror flicks for example...I'm too young to have seen the legends besides through research)
Mr. Lobo: On an old fashioned tube TV as a kid in the 1970's, Free and over the air as God intended via TV antennas. Bob Wilkins was the host of horror films on TV in Northern California growing up. My dad watched, and I watched too to bond with my Dad, but Dad usually fell asleep in his recliner and Bob was the one talking to me.
He had a dry wit and would make hilarious comments about the movies. He was reassuring presence in the breaks when the films scared me real bad--and I was a shy, timid and those movies gave me bed wetting nightmares.
Rod Serling was so clever and always used his imagination to teach the audience something. I think the magnetic pole from my moral compass comes from The Twilight Zone. Some of his stuff was brilliantly Satirical.
TheSteveStrout: When did you debut your character?
Mr. Lobo: July 28th, 2001 on KXTV ABC (News10), Sacramento, Stockton, Modesto
TheSteveStrout: What have been some of your career highlights to date?
**On a side note, Mr. Lobo gave me the greenlight to trim his list of highlights, but I felt each and every accolade deserved to be noted...
Mr. Lobo: 18 years of hosting CINEMA INSOMNIA
I did a Halloween Special with Bob Wilkins from the Sacramento City Cemetery in 2002 that became a best selling DVD from Alpha Video
I did a Halloween Special with Frankenstein Vs. The Creature From Blood Cove in 2006 that had a broadcast footprint of 45 Million homes
Mr. Lobo was a visual inspiration for Scooby Doo villain Prof. Raffalo
Several appearances at packed THRILLVILLE shows in the Bay Area including a couple HORROR HOST PALOOZA's
Hosted 2 live shows with THE GHOUL in the SF Bay Area
Mr. Lobo was involved a scandal exploited by the show TMZ after he was verbally attacked with slurs by former WWE wrestler Chris Jericho
Mr. Lobo was a new version of Criswell in the remake of Ed Wood's Plan 9 from Outer Space called PLAN 9
Was a researcher and talking head in the Horror Host documentary AMERICAN SCARY
Interviewed fascinating celebrities Bruce Cambell, Elvira, Richard Kiel, Michael Moore, Sid Haig, Richard Hatch, Colin Baker, etc.
Series was seen nationally on satellite network UATV.
Series was on UPN superstation in Louisiana KEJB 43 in prime-time after THE OUTER LIMITS.
Wrote pages, acted, and directed scenes for TED V. MIKELS' ASTRO ZOMBIES M3 CLONED
CINEMA INSOMNIA and MR. LOBO are referenced several times on the Foamy Squirrel cartoon NEUROTICALLY YOURS
We made a song with Ron Dante of THE Archies for CINEMA INSOMNIA called "I'M WATCHING TV" that was played on Dr. Demento
Hosted Creature from the Black Lagoon and Dead Alive at The Bridge Theater with Elvira for PEACHES CHRIST MIDNIGHT MASS Special for MONSTERS HD
Emcee at SAN DEIGO COMIC CON Mascarade half Time Show in 2005. Also, at that con in 2009 helped present film EVERY OTHER DAY IS HALLOWEEN along with Count Gore DeVol.
For my 10 year Anniversary, I was specially acknowledged by ZACHERLE and KARLOS BORLOFF as MAN OF THE HOUR for the Indiana HORRORHOUND convention.
Narrator of 2 feature documentaries about Virginia Horror Hosts.
At MONSTER FEST I was presented with a giant framed poster of MR. LOBO's CINEMA INSOMNIA that hung in the Naro Video store, Norfolk for 16 years--till the store's closing.
Live four hour show with pledge drives for KTEH PBS--raised 4,000 for San Jose Public television.
Sucessful Kickstarter crowdfunding campaign for 10th anniversary--raised $11,000 in 30 days.
Toured TROMA and interviewed Lloyd Kaufman for a special crossover episode of BESTOW TV's CREATIVE CONTINUITY
Appears in several award winning bonus features on MYSTERY SCIENCE THEATER Box Sets for SHOUT!
Hosted HAUNTED HOUSE special sponsored by PINE BROTHERS for ZOM-BEE TV.
Regular guest on Coast to Coast AM with George Noory and his 4.5 million listeners.
Provided Retro Punk Horror Graphics for Shudder original movie THE RANGER
Appears a recurring character on James Rolfe's CINEMASSACRE channel RENTAL REVIEWS YouTube series.
Co-Hosted a live ULTRA-MAN stage show for film fest and helped saved the world form Monsters.
Host of the BLOBFEST, a yearly celebration in the town THE BLOB was filmed.
Appeared on CREATURE FEATURES with JOHN STANLEY and VINCENT VAN DAHL.
Winner of the FORRY AWARD lifetime achievement award from the annual MONSTER BASH Conference in Pittsburgh
Launched his own retro weirdness channel and collective OSI 74 for ROKU streaming TV. 200,000 plays monthly.
Signed with ALPHA VIDEO OLDIES.com to distribute CINEMA INSOMNIA on DVD.
TheSteveStrout: What is your personal favorite horror or sci fi movie, and favorite that you've had the opportunity to host on your show?
Mr. Lobo: RETURN OF THE LIVING DEAD and PLAN 9 FROM OUTER SPACE
TheSteveStrout: Where can people view your program?
Mr. Lobo: You can find 85 episodes on Vimeo and on ROKU channel OSI 74. You can also own several MR. LOBO's CINEMA INSOMNIA episodes on DVD from
TheSteveStrout: Since it's the Halloween season, what is your favorite thing about Halloween?
Mr. Lobo: It's a community celebration. It's the only holiday where you invite strangers to your house. Also a day where the strange feel more normal and the normal feels more strange.
Follow Mr. Lobo on social media at the following:
Enjoy a teaser clip and more photos from Mr. Lobo:
Be sure to read and share all the Horror Host profiles, and share them with the hashtags #ComicBookSwapMeet and #HorrorHost to be entered to win our Horror Host themed prize pack!
Personally, I'd like to thank you all for reading and enjoying this series of Horror Host profiles im putting together for Halloween, and many thanks to the hosts for taking their time to participate.
It's my honor and pleasure to share my love of the art of the Horror Host, and to share and promote these great performers with you. Stay spooky, my friends!... Steve aka TheSteveStrout
Steve Strout is the media mastermind (haha) behind this site, host of the Comic Book Swap Meet, nerd, terrible artist, gamer, convention goer and comic book reader who spends more time rescuing toys from thrift shops than a normal adult should. He is also known around the northwest for his promotion of live music and stand-up comedy events and is the creator/producer of the Comic Book Swap Meet mini convention, and Olympic Peninsula Comedy Competition (which will make it's big return soon!). Follow him on Instagram at http://instagram.com/thestevestrout, and He can be reached for comments at firstname.lastname@example.org on twitter at @thestevestrout