Opening up the dungeon door on Svengoolie: Frequently Asked Questions! Watch Saturday nights at 8pm on WBBZ-TV, Your Hometown MeTV Station Channel 67.1; Cable 5.
Svengoolie has been the premier horror show icon of Chicago, since multiple Emmy award winner Rich Koz became the hand-picked successor to the original Svengoolie back in the late ’70s. He has appeared on a national basis on MeTV since April 2011 – and generations of viewers have become fans of the monstrous mirth and movies that this video vampire dispenses every week over the airwaves.
Svengoolie brings you the classic Universal horror films and more, many of which have not been seen on broadcast television in years. Svengoolie has been voted “Favorite Horror Host” multiple times in the national Rondo horror awards – and been acknowledged by even the most famous horror hosts as a peer. Svengoolie reigns as the king of horror hilarity on MeTV!
We get a lot of the same questions repeatedly asked by our loyal Sven fans, new and old – through no fault of their own – and, though many of the answers can be found in the Jerry G. Bishop and Rich Koz chapters of the fine book “Chicago TV Horror Movie Shows – from Shock Theatre to Svengoolie:” – available from Southern Illinois Press but – since it has been a while since the book was published – we thought we’d add some answers to the frequently asked questions – so, here we go…
Were you “Son of Svengoolie?”
Yes – running on Chicago’s WFLD from 1979 to 1986.
Who was the original Svengoolie?
Jerry G. Bishop – on WFLD – from 1970 to 1973. He was the one who decided that I should be “Son of Svengoolie” and, when I came to Chicago’s WCIU in 1995, decided that I should just be “Svengoolie.”
What was his theme song?
His original theme song (and mine for my first year) was “Rumble” by Link Wray – sweetened with a sound effects track of a woman screaming!
What is your current theme song?
It’s an original tune by Doug Graves, titled “Son’s Theme” – the title derived from my days as Son of Svengoolie.
What’s the deal with “BERWYN?!”
When Jerry G. was starting his show, “Rowan and Martin’s Laugh-In” and Johnny Carson were making small town jokes about “beautiful downtown Burbank.” Also, famous Cleveland horror host Ghoulardi, who was on TV opposite Jerry when he was there in the early ’60s, made fun of local suburb Parma.
Jerry discovered the little town that had a parade in honor of mushrooms every year, and decided it would be a good target for his jokes. I continue this tradition, and it’s all in fun – Berwyn and its people have always been very kind and supportive!
Do you now – or did you ever – live in Berwyn?
Nope – never. Nor was I a teacher there, did not go to high school there, etc, etc. There have always been multiple rumors about my connection to Berwyn. Most are not true.