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FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)

 
 

In this list I hope to answer most of the more common questions I get asked over and over about Sir Graves; both the show and Lawson Deming--the legend behind the costumes and makeup. I'll even answer a few about this site as well eventually. Please keep in mind that this FAQ is a work-in-progress, and will continue to grow as I get time to add to it regularly. The first few questions I put below are just to kick it off and get it online--they're certainly not the whole thing! But, we gotta start somewhere, right? I'll keep adding lots of info to this page, and will definitely get around to all your questions sooner or later, so keep checking back! I'm confident this FAQ will eventually prove to be a very helpful addition to the site.

 

Sir Graves Ghastly FAQ
August 25, 2004
by Keith Milford

Updated: August 25, 2004

How many years did the show run?
It began on WJBK-TV in Detroit, in early 1967 (exact date I'm trying to track down) and ran until November of 1982 (the very last show). It wasn't formally canceled until April of '83, though, so it's often reported that it ran 16 years (which is technically true, contract-wise), but as far as actual show airings; it ran 15 years. [Back]

Besides Detroit, where else did Sir Graves ever air?
In the early '70s it was syndicated to two other stations; WTOP-TV 9, in Washington D.C., and WUAB-TV 43, in Cleveland. It only lasted a year or so in both markets. [Back]

What brought Lawson Deming to Detroit and WJBK-TV?
He came over with the Woodrow the Woodsman show from Cleveland TV in late 1966, on a three-year contract with TV2 . He was a puppeteer on the show, did the voices, and also co-produced. [Back]

How did the Sir Graves Ghastly show get started?
Two weeks after arriving at WJBK-TV in late 1966, the station offered Lawson the hosting job for their Saturday afternoon horror movie slot. He accepted and began work on thinking up a character. [Back]

How was Sir Graves Ghastly, the character, born?
Lawson Deming and his wife, Mary Rita, collaborated on it together. After going through several other names (Sir Ghostly, Sir Graves Ghostly, Sir Ghouly, among them), he finally thought of "Sir Graves Ghastly", and knew right away that was it! [Back]

Is Lawson Deming still alive?
Lawson Deming died of congestive heart failure on April 24th, 2007, in Cleveland, Ohio.One day after his 94th birthday. But Sir Graves Ghastly will always live on! [Back]

Did Sir Graves ever get to see this website?
Yes, I am honored and gratified to know that he did! He also got to read the guestbook messages, too, periodically, and was touched that so many fans still remembered and loved Sir Graves after so many years! [Back]

I wish they'd show the old Sir Graves shows on TV again! Any chance of this ever happening?
I hate to say never, but it is highly doubtful, and probably impossible! Word from Channel 2 in Detroit, as well as Lawson Deming, is that none of the original shows were kept, tragically, by the station, WJBK-TV. If that's true, then all we have left now (unless something magically turns up) is a highlight reel (which is on this site) and whatever fan-recorded broadcast videotapes are hiding in people's basements and closets out there (only one is on this site so far). Ultimately, though, even if Channel 2 had any masters of the show in their vaults, I could never imagine them actually airing any again. It's just not going to happen. Which is exactly why I will share anything I find, right here, on this website, where we can at least keep Sir Graves alive and well in cyberspace! [Back]

I grew up in Maryland, Virginia, Washington, Cleveland, etc., and remember that we had a "Sir Graves Ghastly" horror host, too! Looked like the same guy as well, but I thought he was local to our area. Were there more than one Sir Graves Ghastly's?
Nope. You saw the one and only, Sir Graves Ghastly, as portrayed by Lawson J. Deming, originated on WJBK-TV, Channel 2, in Detroit. There were no others by that name. Storer Broadcasting began syndicating his popular Detroit show in January of 1970, to two other stations (that I know of so far); WTOP-TV 9, in Washington D.C., and WUAB-TV 43, in Cleveland, Ohio. Obviously, if you lived anywhere near these stations, you could pick up Sir Graves (for about a year anyway). But, it was still the same actor, and still the same character--though he did fly out to tape wholly separate Sir Graves shows for WTOP-TV area viewers! Not sure if this was the case for WUAB-TV, in Cleveland, however. So yes, while Sir Graves did appear (for a short time) in other areas, he was indeed born in Detroit, and called Detroit home for the 15 years the show aired. [Back]

What about this "Count Alu Card" character I remember seeing on Cleveland TV in the early '70s? He looked and sounded just like Sir Graves, but it wasn't the same guy, was it?
Yes it was. It was Sir Graves Ghastly. When WUAB-TV in Cleveland carried the show, they did a name-change on it. Instead of Sir Graves Ghastly, they called him, Count Alu Card, for their version (eventually switching back to the original name). But it was basically the same show, same actor, and same character from Detroit TV. [Back]

Much more will be added soon!

 

 

All content & graphics ©2002-2011, Keith Milford.