Friday, February 20, 2015

On The Air: Svengoolie (1970)

Yes, the date is correct. Svengoolie started as a regional phenomenon out of Chicago in 1970, one of the last regional horror movie hosts. Jerry G. Bishop, the original Svengoolie, put his makeup kit away after a few years, and the current Sven, Rich Koz, started as the "Son" of Svengoolie in 1979, graduating to becoming Sven himself a few years later.

Since 2011, Svengoolie, with Koz, has been a Saturday night fixture on Me-TV, and all the classic horror movies we watched on cable as kids (or syndication if you're of an older generation), have returned in full glory. Sven does his stand-up routine from the safety of his coffin, but still gets rubber chickens thrown his way if a joke bombs. The open mixes in some Three Stooges footage, which is odd, considering that most of the movies come from the Universal library, including the Stooges' contemporaries, Abbott & Costello. Sound bytes range from various Looney Tunes to Beavis & Butt-Head and a zillion points in between.

As shown on a recent broadcast, Koz was honored by the Chicago Museum of Television & Broadcasting for his 35+ years on the air. He's the last of a dying breed, but maybe, just maybe, he could start a new generation.

Scope out a recent clip:

He just needs better joke writers, is all.

Rating: B+.

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