Criswell Predicts (lost television series; 1953-1961)
Criswell Predicts is a daily television series broadcast from 1953 to 1961 on KLAC Channel 13 in which self-proclaimed psychic Jeron Criswell King (referred to in the program as "The Amazing Criswell") would make predictions for events that would occur in the weeks and months following. The series is largely known today due to Criswell's appearance in Plan 9 from Outer Space, a sci-fi B movie from 1959 that is often considered one of the worst films ever made.
The series initially started out as a series of 5 minute long infomercials for Criswell's line of Family Vitamin broadcast on the KLAC channel in Los Angeles. When these spots failed to garner any attention, Criswell began to fill time with his Criswell Predicts routine, in which he would make (often wildly inaccurate) predictions about future events. This new formula would prove to be successful enough for Criswell to later expand the idea into a fully-fledged series.
The new series also featured Criswell (with announcement done by Bob Shields, best known for playing the judge on Divorce Court) making (largely incorrect) predictions about forthcoming events, with some episodes featuring elaborate skits in which said events would be portrayed. While most episodes of the show would be between 5 and 10 minutes long, these episodes would often last for up to 30 minutes, with direction for many of them being done by Ed Wood due to his interest in sci-fi. As a result of this, Criswell would later go on to make appearances in three of Ed Wood's films; Plan 9 from Outer Space, Orgy of the Dead and Night of the Ghouls, the latter of which remained unreleased until 1987.
Following the series' cancellation in 1961, Criswell would continue to appear in popular culture, making TV appearances, writing books, and recording albums of predictions all the way until his death in 1982 at age 75.
No episodes of the series have been known to survive in the 50 years since its cancellation, with the closest thing we have to one being the opening scene from Plan 9, which attempts to accurately recreate an episode of the show to the point of using the same set and title card as it.
- IMDB page for Criswell Predicts. Retrieved 09 Oct '19
- Wikipedia page for Criswell. Retrieved 09 Oct '19