Beware, boils and ghouls. The season finale of Janice Gunter: Ghost Hunter will be available on YouTube and Facebook Oct. 31, just in time for a Halloween fright. After a season of haunting misadventures with her Ma behind the camera, it’s Janice’s opportunity to hit the big time, when she lands an appearance on America’s Next Top Ghost Hunter. Will the amateur sleuth rise to the occasion, or disappear in spooktacular fashion?
Elizabeth McDonough, the show’s co-creator and the comedienne who plays the quirky ghost-tracking character, was only willing to reveal that Janice’s “fate will be dealt.” Yikes. Though a cameo by up-and-coming comedian John Early, who plays ANTGH host Rigor Mortis, should help to lighten the mood.
But the finale of the six-part web series represents more than just Janice’s opportunity for self-actualization; it’s the end of a long journey for a couple of Brooklyn-based auteurs, McDonough and Drew Larimore.
McDonough drew inspiration for the character from a woman that she interviewed as part of a documentary. The woman, who worked at CVS, claimed to have profound psychic abilities (sound familiar?).
“Basically, we spent like two hours together in a McDonald’s with her regaling me with tales of her psychic prowess, including the fact that she predicted John Stamos’s marriage wouldn’t last,” said McDonough.
So, McDonough made a monologue from the interview and uploaded it to YouTube, channeling the frumpy, slant-mouthed character that would eventually become Janice Gunter. When Larimore, a playwright who knows McDonough from Emerson College, found the video, he immediately saw the potential for a TV show.
“I was just stumbling across her page one day and found it, and then laughed so hard that I choked up my food.”
So, the duo collaborated on a couple episodes, which they shot themselves and put on YouTube. About a year later they connected with One Glass Studio, and the idea for a web series took off from there.
“They just liked how weird it was,” said McDonough. “They were like, ’Oh, you want to have a game show with a host named Rigor Mortis who rips off his pants? We can make that happen.’”
The show has built somewhat of a cult following, with 3,855 likes on the Janice Gunter: Ghost Hunter Facebook page, which McDonough attributes to a well-executed flyer campaign.
Some fans have sent in art or asked for help with their supernatural problems, while others just want to take Janice out on a date. And who could blame them?
McDonough and Larimore are now looking to get season two made with One Glass after the finale, and though they couldn’t be specific, they said a couple of platforms have expressed interest in the show. But for now, they’re focused on their Halloween outfits.
“I’m going as Janice dressed as Cat Woman,” said McDonough, jokingly.