HomeLatest ThreadsGreatest ThreadsForums & GroupsMy SubscriptionsMy Posts
DU Home » Latest Threads » Forums & Groups » Main » The DU Lounge (Forum) » Happy 40th anniversary, S...

Sun Jun 16, 2019, 03:19 PM

Happy 40th anniversary, Svengoolie, at least in the current incarnation.

Source: Who is the most famous person you've ever met?

Hat tip, Svengoolie himself. He made note of this on last night's show.


Posted on June 16, 2019 by Svengoolie

40 years ago on this date- at 8pm on WFLD-TV- a ghoulishly-dressed individual was introduced to the world in a voice-over by Jerry G. Bishop- the original Svengoolie- and thus began my career as the chicken-dodging, wisecracking Svengoolie character. Then known as “Son of Svengoolie” ( and appearing approximately six years after the original Sven was taken off the air)- coming out of Sven senior’s original coffin- a new dynasty began which is now seen all over the country thanks to MeTV.

40 years. In that span of time, I have dropped the “Son of” (as decreed by Jerry G. himself)- worked various TV and radio stations- and won eight regional Emmy Awards and been inducted into the National Association of Television Arts and Sciences “Silver Circle” for “significant contributions to Chicago television for more than 25 years”. I just was voted my eighth Rondo award as favorite horror host, as voted by the fans. I’ve been in “Mad “ magazine, for cripe’s sake!

I always like to clarify- my show has NOT been on for 40 consecutive years, but- in the times I did not have a regularly scheduled show, I was still playing the Sven character- for radio and TV guest shots, public appearances, etc. So, I have actually BEEN Sven for this full 40 years.

I’ve gone through good and bad times, and faced defeats and success, professionally and personally. For me to still be around- for Sven to still be standing, and standing tall- is just as amazing to me as it is to everybody else.

I am grateful to Neal Sabin and the Shapiro family for having the faith in me that has brought us to this landmark- and will let us get to even greater heights! I am grateful to closer-knit crew- my director, Chris, audio genius Chas, and my good friend and right hand man, executive producer Jim Roche. Also, grateful to the people at WFLD in Chicago who first helped me find my way.

I am most grateful to YOU- the ones who tune in every week- and have supported the show! You’ve spread the word, brought new viewers into the fold, and stuck with me all this time.

Yes- there is more to come, new and surprising things we will share together. Thank you.

And…happy Father’s Day to the dads…including Sven’s “dad”, Jerry G. to whom I owe it all.


Presented by
Jerry G. Bishop: (1970–73)
Rich Koz: (1979–present)

Jerry G. Bishop: (1970–73)
Rich Koz: (1979–present)
Composer(s): Doug Scharf

Original network
WFLD: (1970–73; 1979–1986)
WCIU: (1994–present)
MeTV: (2011–present)

Original release: September 18, 1970 –

Website: http://www.svengoolie.com/

Svengoolie is a hosted horror movie show in the U.S. The show's title is taken from the name of the character host. The show is a long-running local program in the Chicago area and in recent years expanded nationally, airing Saturday nights on MeTV.


The show airs both low-budget and classic horror and science-fiction movies, with host "Svengoolie" – a telescoping of the words Svengali and ghoul – played by Rich Koz ( pronounced "Koze" ), who wears thick skull-like makeup around his eyes, a moustache and goatee, a fright wig, all black, and a black top hat, along with a tuxedo jacket over a bright red, open-collared, button-down shirt.

Just before and after commercial breaks, Svengoolie presents sketches, tells corny jokes, and performs song parody spoofs of the film being aired. Some shows were presented in what was later dubbed "Sven-surround" – a pun on "Sensurround", a brand name theater audio system – in which Svengoolie would joke as the film aired, similar to Mystery Science Theater 3000, but with sound effects as well. This stunt was discontinued for a short time, then brought back due to viewer request, although as a clip segment aired outside the film.

One relatively recent addition to the show is the simultaneous use of Twitter with the hashtag #svengoolie, allowing those watching to comment on the show.


Svengoolie - the title character and host of the show, who introduces the film, tells jokes and relates trivia about the movie. The character was originally portrayed by former WCFL personality Jerry G. Bishop, who held the role from 1970 to 1973. When the show returned in 1979, Rich Koz took on the role of "Son of Svengoolie", which he portrayed until 1986, when the show was cancelled. In 1995, Koz was set to bring the show back and Bishop told him he was "all grown up" and could drop the "Son of" from his character name. Koz has been playing "Svengoolie" ever since.

Broadcast history

Jerry G. Bishop as the original "Svengoolie"

The show's original title was Screaming Yellow Theater with host Svengoolie. The title was derived from Screaming Yellow Zonkers, a yellow, sugary glazed popcorn snack, first produced in the 1960s. It wasn't until the revival that the show was titled after the host's name. It debuted on September 18, 1970 on WFLD (Channel 32) and ran until late summer 1973. Svengoolie was played then by Jerry G. Bishop. In later seasons, Rich Koz – a fan who sent in sketch ideas – became a show writer. In 1973, Kaiser Broadcasting took over WFLD from Field Communications and Screaming Yellow Theater was cancelled and replaced with The Ghoul from Cleveland. The Ghoul lasted until 1974 when it was taken off the air.[8] Field Communications took WFLD back from Kaiser Broadcasting in 1978, which led Jerry Bishop and Rich Koz to discuss the show's resurrection.

On June 16, 1979, Son of Svengoolie debuted on WFLD, with Koz in the title role. The show also aired on Field Communications-controlled stations in Philadelphia, Boston, San Francisco, and Detroit. The series ran until WFLD, then owned by Metromedia, was sold to Rupert Murdoch's Fox Television Stations Group in 1986 as part of the newly created Fox network. New management canceled the show, deciding that it did not fit the new programming direction. After 334 shows, the final episode aired January 25, 1986. Koz returned to WFLD in various capacities, mainly as the host of Fox Kids Club and The Koz Zone weekday afternoon children's programming, and appearing as an announcer on the Fox network's 1988 New Year's Eve broadcast.

Neal Sabin, the executive vice president of Weigel Broadcasting, brought the show back on December 31, 1994 on WCIU (Channel 26), using "Svengoolie" as the name; Koz took the role of Svengoolie when Bishop told Koz that he "believed he was grown up enough now to no longer be just the Son." Koz hosts a weekly Three Stooges Stooge-a-palooza show on WCIU.

The series was aired on Chicago's WWME-CA, Milwaukee stations WBME-CD and WMLW-TV, and occasionally on WMYS-LD in South Bend, Indiana. These stations are owned by Weigel Broadcasting. Beginning on April 2, 2011, Svengoolie's show became available nationally on the MeTV network through the efforts of Neal Sabin.

Previously at DU:

In honor of October-Post your favorite horror movie host!

Next week, Ray Harryhausen's The Beast From 20,000 Fathoms.

This other Ray Harryhausen classic was on a little over a year ago. Wait; has it been that long? Yes.

Ray Harryhausen fans: "Earth vs. the Flying Saucers" is on Svengoolie tonight.

7 replies, 378 views

Reply to this thread

Back to top Alert abuse

Always highlight: 10 newest replies | Replies posted after I mark a forum
Replies to this discussion thread
Arrow 7 replies Author Time Post
Reply Happy 40th anniversary, Svengoolie, at least in the current incarnation. (Original post)
mahatmakanejeeves Jun 16 OP
wcmagumba Jun 16 #1
mahatmakanejeeves Jun 16 #3
wcmagumba Jun 16 #4
lunasun Jun 16 #2
murielm99 Jun 16 #5
mahatmakanejeeves Jun 16 #6
SWBTATTReg Jun 16 #7

Response to mahatmakanejeeves (Original post)

Sun Jun 16, 2019, 03:28 PM

1. I watch nearly every Saturday night...

The corniness cracks me up (okay, I love The Three Stooges too) plus I like
the historical notes he gives about films and actors...fun for me...

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink

Response to wcmagumba (Reply #1)

Sun Jun 16, 2019, 04:00 PM

3. I love the part when he discusses the actors and actresses in that night's film

and mentions the other films and TV shows they've been in.

Did you catch this factoid, from last week's film, The Car? I had no idea.

Breakfast in America



The album's front cover resembles an overlook of New York City through an airplane window. It was designed by Mike Doud and depicts Kate Murtagh, dressed as a waitress named "Libby" from a diner, as a Statue of Liberty figure holding up a glass of orange juice on a small plate in one hand (in place of the torch on the Statue), and a foldable restaurant menu in the other hand, on which 'Breakfast in America' is written.

Kate Murtagh

Born:October 29, 1920; Los Angeles, California, U.S.
Died: September 10, 2017 (aged 96)
Occupation: Actress
Years active: 1951–1999

Kate Murtagh (October 29, 1920 – September 10, 2017) was an American actress, and a native of Los Angeles, California. She appeared in films including Breakfast at Tiffany's (1961),The Night Strangler (1973), Dirty O'Neil (1974), Switchblade Sisters (1975), Farewell, My Lovely (1975), The Car (1977), Doctor Detroit (1983) and Waxwork II: Lost in Time (1992). She has appeared on television in shows including Daniel Boone, My Three Sons, The Munsters, I Dream of Jeannie, The Twilight Zone and Highway to Heaven.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink

Response to mahatmakanejeeves (Reply #3)

Sun Jun 16, 2019, 04:35 PM

4. I did watch most of "The Car"...

but I missed that one...really interesting...thanks

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink

Response to mahatmakanejeeves (Original post)

Sun Jun 16, 2019, 03:47 PM

2. I met (current ) Svengoolie about 10 or more years ago when my kids were little what a great guy

It was at a small local event . He is great with kids and very open
Talkative and friendly I remember my kids got T shirts and autographs

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink

Response to mahatmakanejeeves (Original post)

Sun Jun 16, 2019, 04:35 PM

5. I love Svengoolie!

I remember the original. I think he is a restauranteur in California now.

I Tivo the ones I have not seen and watch them later. I have "The Attack of the 50 Foot Woman" in my queue right now.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink

Response to murielm99 (Reply #5)

Sun Jun 16, 2019, 04:38 PM

6. I fell asleep during that. I fall asleep during all of them.

How did things turn out for that Frankenstein's monster fellow?

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink

Response to mahatmakanejeeves (Original post)

Sun Jun 16, 2019, 05:59 PM

7. Wow...40 years already!! Definitely makes me feel old! NT

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink

Reply to this thread