Magnificent , aka Momus
Alexander Morgus, is a fictional character on television shows
that originated in the New Orleans, Louisiana television
market. From the late 1950s into the 1980s Morgus was a
"horror host" of late-night science fiction and horror movies,
and is back on the air as of October, 2006. Morgus is a
quintessential mad scientist created and portrayed by New
Orleans actor Sid Noel. Assisted by executioner styled
sidekick Chopsley, his well-intentioned experiments served as
book-end pieces to the films, and typically go awry at the
appeared on late night television on January 3, 1959, in the
House of Shock, hosting the science fiction and horror movies
in between experiments. The set was stated to be an upstairs
garret over the Old City Ice House, with a fire escape exit
into Pirate's Alley in the old French Quarter.
Morgus' first and only appearance on
the big screen was in "The Wacky World of Dr. Morgus",
which introduced his "Instant People Machine" that could
transform people into sand and back to their original form.
Dr. Morgus was investigated by a wonderfully stereotypical
reporter known as "Pencils" and foreign agents from Microvania
who sought to enter the United States by using the device.
Instead of an invasion, its contents ended up as concrete,
which was poured at a dedication ceremony for a new highway
called "Peoples' Highway."
The most recent incarnation of
the television show was "Morgus Presents" produced between
1986 and 1989. Fifty-two half-hour episodes were produced in
the French Quarter studios of WDSU (channel 6). The program
was broadcast, beginning in January 1987, on WGNO (channel
26). Long-time New Orleans television director and Morgus
collaborator, Paul Yacich, directed all fifty-two episodes,
some of which were later aired Saturday nights at 9:30 pm on
WVUE TV Channel 8.
Morgus was said to
have descended from a long line of scientists dating back to
Morgus the First, who was the architect of the first pyramid
in Egypt. He mastered calculus at 5 years of age, and his
mother and father (both scientists) sent him to the Vasco Da
Gama Medical school (the finest in the Caribbean) where he
graduated with honors. He is reported to have an I.Q. "in the
Chopsley was a former medical school classmate, and an early
experiment in "face transplant" surgery. Unfortunately this
left him without a face when he laughed before the procedure
could heal. As a result he wears a full head mask at all times
(with a zippered mouth to eat through).
Dr. Morgus also has
an assistant Eric. In the early version of the show, Eric was
a talking human skull. When Morgus returned in the 1980s, Eric
had become part of the computer known as E.R.I.C. (The Eon
Research Infinity Computer), Eric's skull connected to a
molecular integrated circuit which holds all the knowledge of
the universe in his memory banks (thanks to the oversight of
the Higher Order - see below), and whose sepulchral voice
introduced the segments and frequently agreed with Morgus with
a deep, resonant "Yes, Master". E.R.I.C. is also known for his
sharp wit, and sometimes cutting remarks at Morgus. On the
set, E.R.I.C. was portrayed by an Apple II with a skull as the
Mrs. Alma Fetish is
Morgus' long-time (and long-suffering) landlady, who often
forgets that scientific endeavors do not provide rent money on
a regular basis. Veteran New Orleans stage actress, Janet
Shea, portrayed Mrs. Fetish in the 1986-1989 "Morgus Presents"
version of the show.
Morgus' manager is Wiley Faye.
Wiley tried to bring the good doctor increased exposure and
better business opportunities, but they never seemed to work
out in the end. Wiley was portrayed in the 1986-1989 version
of the program by actor Matt Borel, a familiar face from New
Orleans area theatre and television commercials. Although he
gave up acting in the late 90s, Borel went on to become a
highly successful stage producer in New Orleans.
Over the past
decades, Dr. Morgus claims to have published several
scientific books (including his blockbuster "New Hope for the
Dead", and the earth-shaking "Molecules I Have Known"). He has
discovered the speed of dark, and truly invented the Internet.
He has continued to appear in several formats as a host for
late night movies, railing against those idiots at the station
and the idiots of the scientific community.
Morgus and Chopsley
appeared at Pontchartrain Beach amusement park and local
events in the early 60's, and hosted a weather report in later
years. Dr. Morgus, Chopsley and E.R.I.C attempted to branch
out across the country in syndicated appearances in Detroit in
1964, New York in the 1980s, and several other cities over the
years, but he always returned to his headquarters in New
Throughout, Dr. Morgus has acted as Earth's main
member of the "Higher Order", a super-scientific secret
society dedicated to helping the development of intelligence
throughout the universe. His Momus Alexander Morgus Institute
(M.A.M.I.) (pronounced Mammy)is a (unintentionally) non-profit
organization of science as well.
continue to be telecast intermittently by what is arguably the
highest educated broadcast team in history (with every member
holding no less than one Doctorate in a branch of science).
Dr. Morgus continues to provide entertainment to the New
Orleans area up to the present day. Due to his advanced
experiments in life-prolongation, it is hoped he will always
be there when the Crescent City needs him. It has been rumored
that Dr. Morgus is a Master Mason 38 degree in the New Orleans
Lodge. He is an advisor to many Masons in the Detroit and New
York Lodges and others across the world.
Morgus is also a
regular on the national radio show Coast to Coast AM with
George Noory (Noory fondly recalls the early Morgus broadcasts
from his youth, citing this as a major influence in drawing
him into a media career).
As of 2005, Morgus
was back on the air in New Orleans on Cox 10 cable, mostly
airing old episodes. When Hurricane Katrina hit, the
whereabouts of Morgus were unknown for a brief period of time.
Fans feared he may have been a victim of the storm. After a
few weeks, an announcement on his official website put those
fears to rest.
Around 12 November
2005, Morgus made a phone call and eventual surprise in-studio
visit to George Noory on Coast to Coast AM, confirming he was
fine and back to his old experiments in the Old City Icehouse
in New Orleans. Noory punched him upon Morgus's request live
on Coast to Coast on Saturday, February 9, 2008. Morgus
claimed that he could stop Noory's punch in mid air by mind
over matter but failed, and one of Morgus's four teeth is
still loose. Noory was very upset with himself about hitting
him, and Morgus then proceeded to say that he would make every
listener forget the incident. Apparently either the procedure
failed, as listeners still remember, or at least written
accounts were not