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Thursday, February 16

Pardon my rant.

You know the saying, no good deed goes unpunished. Yeah, there's definitely a lot of truth to that statement.

 The 10th annual Rondo Awards were just announced this week, and voting is now underway. The Rondo Awards were started in 2002 by David Colton. It was an extension of the Classic Horror Film Board, a message board that originally started as a chat group among peers on AOL, then moved to the message board site. David started the awards as a way to congratulate and honor the folks who have had outstanding achievements in the field of horror - writers, artists, filmmakers and more recently, horror hosts are all on the ballot. It is a really neat award and has really helped spotlight and bring attention to some worthy projects and creators.

But, alas, along with anything of this type you are going to have detractors, and that's true of the Rondos. I've heard complaints for years, mostly from people who haven't won or weren't nominated. I chalked those up to sour grapes. In some cases there was a legitimate oversight on the part of David and steps were made to correct it in future ballots.

David runs this award by himself for the most part, and there's no way any one person could possibly keep up with every worthy nominee in every category. It is just impossible. So he relies on nominations.  It is well advertised that in order to get something on the ballot, a nomination needs to be made on the Classic Horror Film Board sometime in the preceding year. That gives folks an entire year to nominate or have someone else nominate their work. But still they don't and then complain they're not on the ballot.

Lately I've even heard griping from fellow hosts. They complain that the voting system makes this a popularity contest. Yet every one of them admits the three winners of "favorite" horror host - Svengoolie, Penny Dreadful (2-time winner), and Count Gore DeVol are all deserving winners. Oh, and I put the word "favorite" in quotation marks because that was changed to appease these same hosts. It's the only category that reads "favorite" rather than "best." Why? Because some hosts whined and didn't like the term best. Really? Doesn't seem to be a problem with "Best Writer," "Best artist" and so on. People need to grow a little thicker skin, that's ridiculous.

One horror host yesterday, I won't mention his name, said he is on the Rondo ballot but doesn't want to be, he is bigger that that and doesn't need it. He said don't vote for him, contests are for losers. But this same host was the very one complaining a few years back when he wasn't on the ballot and complaining about his show not getting the respect it deserves. He also won a Telly award - which means he forked out about $250 dollars to enter and get an award and statue. Kinda pricey for something that is for losers.

Multiple awards have sprung up in the past decade as a response to the Rondos, and just today I read about one that really made me say WTF!? The Horror Host Award - "The first ever award for hosts by hosts." The way it works is they're judging individual shows, not the hosts themselves, and the people who pick the winners are - get this - the nominees themselves. Really? So you're giving yourself an award?

That is lame.

The host I mentioned before said he'd be down for a contest between hosts in a heartbeat. Let me show my show is better than the rest. OK, let me be very clear here:


It is about creating the best, most entertaining and informative show possible. About building a fan base and connecting with them. About making a fun show that can teach a generation of kids what classic horror is all about, to build an appreciation of b-movies and all things schlocky rather than simply dismissing them as crap. Bottom line - I compete with myself every week - compete to get my show done on time despite working 40 hours a week, managing family crises, and all the other things that come up daily. Life gets in the way and sometimes it can be tough, but you know what? It's fun, so I continue. That's my competition. And if someone wants to reward me for my hard work, to say hey - you do a great job and here's a statue to say congrats, then that is terrific.

So for all the Rondos have done to spotlight all the talented artists, writers, filmmakers and yes, horror hosts out there, let me be the first to say thank you. It is a very nice gesture and David puts in countless hours - why? To reward folks in the genre and spotlight their work. And to all the detractors who want to complain about something done with the best intentions - go enter one of the countless sour grapes awards.


  1. part of the problem is this...people hack the systems. Plain and simple. Think not? Ask Roxy Tyler about rigged counts...smart guy.
    Oh,..and yes many award systems require you to pay a fee. They also require a submission of what you think some of your best work is. It is directed by a poll of judges. They don't hack any system to fudge votes. These judges get paid for their work.
    I would happily accept and PAY for a submission to the Telly's over a Rondo any, and, everyday. KNOW your facts...apparently you do not.
    I find your rant humorous...now I think I should get into this 'horror hosting' gig, because you show there is a LOT of room for improvement.

  2. Here's the point, anonymous - the Rondos do way more good than what is tabulated by wins and losses. Is it a perfect system? Of course not. But it spotlights many worthy artists and their work to a much larger audience than they would ever have gotten exposed to.

    The Tellys, or Emmys, or any other pay award - is a totally different thing altogether. But the Rondos are what they are, and I know for a fact they try to keep the system from being rigged. Roxy Tyler and her experience was with a different award, one that accepted online votes. That is the reason David Colton refuses to change the way votes are made - He accepts email only votes and checks the IP addresses on every vote, looking for fraud. He tabulates every vote by hand himself. A lot of work for a labor of love. You can't argue with the results so far - Svengoolie, Penny Dreadful, Count Gore DeVol - three winners who are the best in the business.

  3. I see good points from both sides.
    My side see's fingers being pointed.
    1. NO system is perfect
    2. election processes by unknown 'peers' must be best!?

    Online voters can change ip addresses on a whim in this modern world if they know anything about computers, and email addresses are a dime a dozen.
    Rondo's are good, as are most any award I would guess? Is it awesome that one guy does this for the love of horror, sure!
    Though, if it is one guy, is he really just paying for these awards out of pocket, then giving them away free of charge?

    The Rant comes across as being disgruntled. I thought all these guys and gals did it for the love of what they do, not for awards or even fans, or money from what I understand!

    In the end, all I still see is finger pointing, not just a simple promotion of the "Rondo" award. It comes across as low class and an attack on another host.
    There is a great quote about opinions! Everybody has them.

  4. Thanks for the response - yes David pays for these awards himself. I actually suggested to him that he ask winners to pay for them, as it seemed only fair, but he wasn't interested in that at all.

    My point was two-fold - promotion of Rondo Award and to point out that horror hosting isn't a competition. That the only competition there is or should be is with myself. To get the show done, which is often times a task in and of itself given the interruption of real life, and to make a better show. I understand where that might have seemed like I meant it as an attack on another host but that honestly wasn't my intent.

    Agreed on the statement about opinions. I've certainly got nothing to be disgruntled about - I am just expressing my own opinion on this topic. Cheers.