The world of Terry Carnation leaves little to the imagination. Anything is likely or is possible. If it is a thought that can enter your brain, then rest assured, it can be manifested into something very, very real. There’s nothing that can’t be explained here, in the world of Terry Carnation. Everything has to have an answer. Without concrete answers, then what good is life anyhow?
Terry Carnation, as you all know, is the legendary host of Dark Air with Terry Carnation. He has taken a bit of a hiatus for personal issues over the last year. But Mr. Carnation is back, and is ready once again to venture into the world of all things paranormal and darkness once more.
Dark Air with Terry Carnation, which can be found via Audioboom starting tomorrow wherever you find your podcasts (or ghosts), features a fabulous array of guests. Joining Terry is his co-host Karan Soni, and his boss (also known by the name of Al Madrigal). Guest stars on this season – which lasts for 14 episodes – includes Angela Kinsey, Yvette Nicole Brown, Tom Lennon, Creed Bratton, Mindy Sterling, Jason Reitman, Sam Neill, Nathan Fillion, Mark Proksch, Rizwan Manji, Kate Flannery, Kevin Smith, and Desmin Borges. Kate Flannery, of course, was on that popular television show, The Office. A show that Terry Carnation has never seen, because he doesn’t even have a T.V.
We recently spoke with Terry about all things Dark Air, being open for all possibilities, a traumatic experience he encountered in a movie theater, the definition of a gonad, finding out Big Foot isn’t really Big Foot, who his celebrity doppelgänger is, traveling to the year 2145, sitting on a Roomba, what streaming is really for, and his dream of being able to witness an execution up close and personal.
Hi. How’re you doing today, Terry?
I’m doing exceptional. Thank you very much. And yourself?
I’m doing very well, thank you.
(Laughs). Well let’s jump into it. It’s been a bit since we last heard from you. Can you run me through how the last year has treated you?
Well, yes. Obviously there were some unfortunate circumstances in my life. The passing of my dear wife, DuyLoan Carnation. And some dark years. Some lost months. There was a failed ayahuasca experiment. That’s a long story, we can get into that if you’d like. The truth is, and the fact is, that terry carnation is back, he’s better than ever, and he’s ready to plunge into some dark air. He’s ready to stick his hand down the throat of America’s radio waves and see what he can come up with.
And we’re so happy to have you back. And tell me about Dark Air. What about it speaks to you?
Well, Dark Air is a show I have done for years. And I needed to take a hiatus for personal mental health reasons. And now, as I enter back into the milieu of radio and this new podcasting type of radio, I’m more excited than ever to reconnect with my fans and to hear the deepest, darkest, strangest stories of the paranormal, and to illuminate the impossible.
Tell me about that impossible. What do you mean by that?
Well. Can something exist and not exist at the same time? What’s your name? Charles? Jerry? David? What’s your name?
Do you mind if I call you Charles or Jerry or David?
You can call me whatever you’d like, sir.
Can something exist and not exist at the same time? Science says… I don’t know. That’s just an example.
How much time in an average day would you say you sit around thinking about this sort of stuff?
How many hours are there in a day, Jerry?
They say 24. But who knows. It could be more, depending on who the person is.
For a guy like me, even more. Even more hours than 24. I eat, sleep, breathe, and poop the paranormal. So it’s non-stop. And listen, this stuff is real and it effects people and people need to hear these stories. Have you ever seen a ghost, Jerry?
I thought I did once, but I’m not certain it was actually a ghost.
What shape did this spectral presence embody?
It was kind of a square or kind of a rectangle. And I think it had three legs. It was kind of bizarre.
Well, that’s interesting. It may not have been a ghost. Are you aware of that?
It could’ve been something else.
Well, there’s inter-dimensional travel. And there’s certainly interstellar travel. If we’re talking about a rectangular creature with three legs… Was it phosphorescent?
I think it was, actually.
Hm. Hm. It could’ve been what some refer to as a gonad.
How would you describe a gonad?
Well, how to describe a gonad… An inter-dimensional traveler with a strong base and foundation and a long body that glows and people find strangely arousing and titillating.
I actually think I’ve heard of this before. But tell me, at what age did you fascination with the paranormal start?
Excellent question. I suppose it was when my mother told me that I used to levitate in my crib. And what had in fact happened was I had, as a toddler, created a series of pulleys and levers to pull myself out of my crib. I’m not explaining myself very well, but there was a number of mysterious circumstances that happened to me as a child that got me thinking.
So levitation in my crib, yes. I would at times make a sandwich, set it on the table, turn around, turn back around and the sandwich would be gone. Now is there a chance that I had eaten said sandwich and forgotten that I had eaten it? Possibly. But, by all shapes and appearances, it looked to me as if the sandwich had completely disappeared. Um… Talking dogs. Trees pointing to stars that contain alien life. Over and over again, these clues would appear in my mind as a young person on this planet inhabiting this body
– a younger version of this body I’m currently incarnating – that lead me to know that there is something more out there. Something I needed to get to the bottom of.
Is that a never ending process, that search? Do you have a constant drive to search for those answers, even to this day?
I’m in a constant drive to search for the unknown. To make the unknown known… Again. And my catchphrase, as you know Jerry, is ‘Are you open to all possibilities?’ And that’s what I strive to maintain, is to be open to all possibilities.
Is that your mantra, then? Something that you say to yourself in the mirror each day? Does it help pep you up for the day?
Yes. For instance, if I’m about to engage with sexual intercourse with someone and I’m not quite sure of what their gender is or what’s going on with their body, then I have to say to myself ‘Be open to all possibilities’. Is that something that you’ve ever experienced?
Not in that situation. But I firmly believe more people should be open to anything. And going back to you talking about levitation earlier, do you still levitate?
Um… I don’t levitate as such, no. However, I have been known to sit on a Roomba.
And I bet that works just as well.
The sensation is similar in many ways, I imagine.
Well I’ll have to try that sometime. Now, as someone with such an interest in darkness and the paranormal, do you remember the first horror film you ever saw? And how would you describe the experience of being scared for the first time?
Are you familiar with William Castles’ The Tingler?
I am, yes.
Um… Unfortunate story. My father, when I was five years old, took me to see The Tingler. And there was a horrific malfunction. And for the readers who are unfamiliar, in all of the William Castle films, there was an interactive component. And in The Tingler, the seats would shake. In some versions, there would be a slight electric shock that would be admitted upon the audience when the monster – the insect – would appear. And my father, unfortunately, was electrocuted next to me in the movie theater by a malfunction of The Tingler.
It was tragic. And it was horrific. It scarred me forever. But fortunately, out of the lawsuit, my mother and I received enough money to be able to be set up quite comfortably for the rest of our lives.
I’m so sorry to hear that. But it’s interesting, with such a horrific experience taking place at your first horror film, that you didn’t wind up shying away from the medium and all things darkness. That you kept being drawn to them, in spite of it all.
Well my therapist, Dr. Norman Kelsdon, insists that I’m reliving trauma by going back to this well of the paranormal. Back to the supernatural. Back to horror. Time and time again reliving that fateful night in 1973 when my father was electrocuted in his movie seat at the re-release of Vincent Price in The Tingler.
That could be. Now let’s jump around a bit more. Going back to the show, a lot of these call-in shows have a number of prank calls. Do you ever have calls slip through and find yourself falling for them? And how do you deal with it?
Well we certainly have an engineer, we have a producer on the show, that vets the calls. But there are some canny callers that can get through. They can fool them. I had a longtime caller convince me that he was Big Foot and he had found, on a dead hiker, a cell phone. And he would call in every week and I would ask Sasquatch questions about his life.
And it wasn’t until months later that I realized, in a fit of laughter and the burbling of bong smoke in the background, that I was being put on by a couple of 13 year olds. And that Sasquatch had not, in fact, discovered a cell phone in the forest and was calling my show. Which was humiliating. But did the audience love it? Yes, of course they did.
I’m sure you thought you had a big scoop at the time.
I was flattered. And that’s what got to me. And I realize that my own character defect that I have, my own personal narcissism, is that the Sasquatch played up to that and said that I was the only person that he was calling. So I felt special. And I’ve got some work to do around that.
And who were some of your favorite callers from this series?
Well, I don’t remember all their names, but we’ve had some delightful calls. There was a man who opened my eyes to the fact that the horn section from the band Chicago were actually C.I.A. trained operatives and hit men. There’s someone who called in that their dog was possessed, walking on its hind legs and possessed with the ghost of their grandfather. Someone called in, a homosexual man, and people of all genders and sexual preferences are welcome of course. And he was very attracted to Sasquatch and Big Foot. He likes larger, hairy, bear-like men, and just wanted to put out a call to any Sasquatch and come down to the local bar where he and his friends hung out.
So we provide a service, as well as entertainment to the listener.
I love that. Here’s a few more-random questions. What is the craziest place that you’ve ever been recognized?
I would say the year 2145. Is that a place? I’m not quite sure. Is it a place? Mm. Is it a time? Mm. You understand what I mean.
Maybe you were in a store called 2145.
No, I was in the year 2145. And I was recognized, oddly enough. So my fame lives on. Hooray.
So you got to see a glimpse of your own legacy.
Indeed. I can’t talk about what I was doing there and then. Top secret. But maybe that will come out in season two.
I hope it does. Which other celebrity would you consider to be your doppelgänger?
Hm. Which celebrity would be my doppelgänger. Well, people tell me all the time that I look like this odd looking man from this TV show, who plays a very intense comic character. And that is played by Nick Offerman on Parks and Recreation. I’ve never seen it, but that’s what people tell me. They tell me that I resemble, almost exactly, Ron Swanson. (Laughs).
And you‘ve never been curious to watch it?
I don’t have a television.
So how do you watch movies you rent? Because I know your last podcast took place in a video store.
That’s an excellent question. I watch them at the video store. I often sleep there, when I don’t have a place to live. I let the television run throughout the night.
And speaking of video stores, we live in an era where they are sort of going or already extinct. At what point did you realize that this was happening?
Video stores? There will always be video stores. There will always be a need for someone to rent a VHS tape and pop it in their VHS player and be entertained by watching a movie. How else are you going to get your movie, you silly goose?
I agree with you. I’m not all for this streaming thing that all the kids are talking about.
Streaming is for kites.
(Laughs). You’re so right. Tell me, what keeps Terry Carnation up at night?
Um my mattress. I found it on Coalinga Drive in Hollywood. And at first I thought it was comfortable. But oh those springs poke right into my spine.
Well hopefully if the show goes well, you’ll be able to get a new one.
Does this interview pay anything?
Not in US currency, unfortunately.
Sorry about that! The last thing I want to know is, is there anything that you haven’t done yet that you’d like to do?
Oh, an excellent question. I’ve never witnessed an execution. In the old days, they would hang people in the town squares. And it was festive. It was a community building exercise. Nowadays, it’s so secretive. You have to be the family or related. It’s so hard to get into. Maybe things will go back to the way they used to be, back in the good old days.
Have you ever tried to crash an execution?
Oh, I’ve tried. I’ve tried. Believe me, it is very, very difficult.
Well, I hope you get to live out that dream.
Well, thank you. I appreciate your well wishes.
It was great talking to you, and taking this journey through your mind.
Thank you, Arthur. And what newsstand can one buy your magazine?
It’ll be in the year 2145 in Chicago. In Grant Park, there’s going to be a little newsstand between a port-o-potty and a Jamba Juice. And that’s where you’ll be able to find it.
Excellent! I look forward to picking up your periodical at a nearby newsstand either now or in the future.