This isn’t the first report on the death of former Channel 41 late night personality Uncle Ed Muscare...
However, in the interest of adding a bit of corrective information along with some news and views to the mix of mostly blogger driven reporting and commentary, let’s take another look. The New York native died in a Florida prison Sunday at the age of 79.
"He was creepy, the creepiest," says former Shawnee Counciwoman Tracy Thomas. "He was a cross between Ed Wood and a defrocked priest."
"I met him a couple times," says longtime radio personality and movie dude Jack Poessiger. "He was an entertaining guy at a time when late night ntelevision still had local programming and it became a local phenomenon. And when he left, his show got taken over by by Dick Wilson of KCMO FM."
Contrary to reports that Muscare’s "All Night Live" show ran in the 1970s, it was on for four years from 1981 to 1985, according to a fan who chronicled his passing recently on YouTube.
Muscare’s schtick – incidentally he went by Muscari while on TV in KC – was to engage is a bizarre series of skits in between scarey movies, Three Stooges shorts and the like.
"The most popular that I remember was his bananna phone," Poessiger recalls. "You’d hear the phone ring and he’d grab a bannana and take the call. And he kept a cat in a chest of drawers or his desk drawer. His whole approach was he was very much on the edge – very out there – and a lot of college kids would watch the show, which was very dark.
"He also had viewers make a secret pledge to his show. Like you belonged to his club and his weirdness. I used to watch it every so often because it was hip, funny and totally off-center compared to what anyone else was doing on TV at the time."
Muscare’s crime – allegedly fondling an underage youth – went down in the 80s when he "pleaded no contest in Orange County to a 1987 sexual battery of a boy," the Orlando Sentinel reports. "He served a prison term and was placed on a 10-year probation, but the term was extended twice because of subsequent violations. In 1998 he failed to comply with sex-offender-registration requirements when he lived in Lady Lake and he later moved to South Carolina without notifying authorities"
Which resulted in Muscare being busted again and ordered not to post anymore YouTube videos under the name edarem, for which he became popular with "more than 7 million views and legions of followers," the Post reports.
One such video in 2009 entitled "Pretty Woman," garnered more than 1.6 milllion views. It features a frazzle-haired Muscare lip synching and grooving in a creepy manner to the Roy Orbison classic while doing a mini, faux strip tease, removing his sweater and unbuttoning one of his shirt buttons.
In another strange video two years ago, "How I quit Smoking," Muscare tells viewers to replace the cigarette pack in their shirt pockets with sunflower seeds and eat them instead. Muscare reportedly died of lung cancer.
His, uh, significant other – a woman by the name of Marion Kolehmainen – posted a YouTube announcement of Muscare’s death Monday in which she said, "I have so much I want to share with you and so much I don’t know if I should share with you.
"Edward’s okay. I know some of you don’t believe in the afterlife, but believe me, he’s doing okay. He left me with all of his love and I’m okay, too. I really am…Ed’s at home now; he’s with the angels."
She told the Post, "He made his life, his career being the center of attention. There are some people that all they can focus on is his charge back in the 80s. I don’t want people to judge him for what happened. He’s sorry for it. He’s a good man. That’s what I want people to remember."