Boo! It’s our Bullseye Halloween Special! Elvira Mistress of the Dark, Andy Daly and more!

27th October 2020

It’s a very special Halloween Spooktacular edition of Bullseye! We revisit our 2017 conversation with Cassandra Peterson, the woman behind Elvira, Mistress of the Dark. She’ll talk with Jesse about The Groundlings and creating the aesthetic behind her iconic character, her childhood growing up in the midwest and what it’s like inhabiting such a sexual role. Next up, a very special visit from comedian Andy Daly (Review, Reno 911, Bob’s Burgers), with the song that changed his life: the Monster Mash! Plus, De mero mero de Navidad pauses the Christmas movies for a moment to give us a Halloween treat! That’s right, Alonso Duralde and April Wolfe from Maximum Fun’s Who Shot Ya podcast and Switchblade Sisters share their favorite spooky flicks, and Jesse recommends a classic Halloween track!

Episode notes

Photo Credit: Ethan Miller/Getty Images

Cassandra “Elvira” Peterson on her career, her childhood and creating the “Elvira” look

Cassandra Peterson, better known as Elvira Mistress of the Dark, is probably the most famous Halloween character ever since Dracula. Her look— giant jet-black wig, the long black Addams Family wiggle dress and glossy black nail polish against pale skin has been iconic for over three decades.

Elvira’s appeared on countless TV shows, hosted her own and starred in two movies with a third animated film possibly in the works. Since 1983, she’s appeared live on stage at Knott’s Berry Farm for a special nightly Halloween performance.

Where’d it all start? Back in 1981. Peterson had just been hired to host the spooky B-Movie TV show Movie Macabre. In those late night episodes, sprawled out on a red velvet couch and wearing all black, Cassandra Peterson became Elvira.

The former Groundlings improv player joins Jesse to talk about her career as Elvira and the character’s impact on her fans.

Halloween celebrations are scaled back due to the 2020 pandemic but that hasn’t stopped our favorite horror hostess from celebrating the season!


Photo Credit: Michael Buckner/Getty Images for GQ

Andy Daly on ‘The Song that Changed his Life’

Next up, we’ve got a very special edition of our “The Song that Changed my Life” series from one of our favorite comedians and actors Andy Daly. He’ll tell us why he loves the Monster Mash!

Also, Jesse checks in with April Wolfe of Switchblade Sisters and Who Shot Ya podcast’s Alonso Duralde who doesn’t let the fact that he’s “El Mero Mero De Navidad” keep him from sharing his favorite films from the horror genre.

Photo Credit: ELEONORE BAKHTADZE/AFP via Getty Images)

The Outshot: “I Put a Spell on You”

And finally, we have our Outshot. Jesse points out how Nina Simone’s rendition of Jay Hawkin’s “I Put a Spell on You” is better than the original.

Happy Halloween, everyone!

In this episode...

Senior Producer
Maximum Fun Producer
Maximum Fun Production Fellow


  • Cassandra Peterson
  • Andy Daly
  • Alonso Duralde
  • April Wolfe

About the show

Bullseye is a celebration of the best of arts and culture in public radio form. Host Jesse Thorn sifts the wheat from the chaff to bring you in-depth interviews with the most revered and revolutionary minds in our culture.

Bullseye has been featured in Time, The New York Times, GQ and McSweeney’s, which called it “the kind of show people listen to in a more perfect world.” Since April 2013, the show has been distributed by NPR.

If you would like to pitch a guest for Bullseye, please CLICK HERE. You can also follow Bullseye on Twitter, YouTube, and Facebook. For more about Bullseye and to see a list of stations that carry it, please click here.

Get in touch with the show


Senior Producer


Maximum Fun Producer

Maximum Fun Production Fellow

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