Question: I'm just curious about why Paul Thomas Anderson's production company is named Ghoulardi Films. Was he a big fan of Channel 8's Shock Theater when he was a kid?


Answer: Here's a hint: Hipster Cleveland-area TV horror host Ghoulardi's real name was Ernie Anderson. Yes, Paul Thomas Anderson is his son. The director actually grew up in California; his father moved from Cleveland in 1966 to pursue work as a voice actor and became an extremely successful TV announcer. For younger readers who think the history of horror hosts begins with Elvira, Mistress of the Dark, Ghoulardi was only one in a long line of oddball characters who introduced TV showings of old horror movies. They're all descended from "Vampira," a wasp-waisted glamour ghoul created by Finnish-born actress Maila Nurmi in 1954 for Los Angeles' KABC-TV's short-lived The Vampira Show. Nurmi — whose eclectic circle of acquaintances included James Dean, Ed Wood (Lisa Marie plays Nurmi in the Tim Burton film Ed Wood), Marlon Brando, Bela Lugosi, Man Ray and Elvis Presley — was on air for less than a year; she was notoriously outspoken and her mouthiness got her canned, but that's where it all began.