Svengoolie at Brookfield Zoo!
Growing up a monster kid in Rhode Island had its limitations. We did not have a local horror host though we did have our weekly Creature Double Feature, a long running series of some of the best monster movies ever put on film. As the 70’s came to an end, so did the interest in monsters it seemed. The Creature Double Feature wanted to go in a new direction and they brought in the Son Of Svengoolie. I wasn’t sure what to make of this character when I first saw that the format changed but it didn’t take long for me to become hooked on this top-hatted ghoul.
Eventually the Creature Double Feature was replaced with Kung-Fu Theater and I thought the days of watching the Son Of Svengoolie were over…forever. Flash forward twenty years in the future and here I was still watching Svengoolie, after dropping the “Son Of”, thanks to collectors sending me copies of his show. During March of 2011 the unthinkable happened for me as I was able to finally meet the first horror host that I had been exposed to as a teenager. This meeting, at the Brookfield Zoo, was a lot of fun and very memorable thanks to Rich Koz’s kindness and generosity. Then, in September of 2011, Svengoolie was brought back to the Rhode Island airwaves thanks to ME-TV going national.
Thankfully I was able to repeat the good fortune of seeing Sven this year during my annual trip to Chicago to spend the week with my best friend and co-blogger Dave Fuentes for HorrorHound Weekend. This year’s meeting was going to be the perfect way to end the week as Sven was appearing at the Brookfield Zoo once again for their annual Vital Grounds fundraiser.
Sven has been a great supporter of Terror From Beyond The Daves and he truly is the reason the Daves became friends. At this event, as the year before, we were welcomed by Rich and Jim Roche with open arms and after talking with him awhile we were invited to stick around for the entire event. It amazes me at how loyal Sven’s fans are and I found it a lot of fun to watch as each new group of people entered the room where Sven was signing. Their faces would light up and it was so nice to see how much Sven is a part of these people’s lives.
One of my favorite aspects of this event was listening to the banter between Rich and Jim. They are both very quick-witted and the jokes come fast and furious. It is when you see this spontaneity that you realize how talented Rich Koz truly is. Dave and I found ourselves laughing out loud on many occasions and it is nice to see a horror host so in tune with his fans. I personally want to thank Rich for so many years of television viewing fun and his friendship. It is no wonder that he has gone national as it is so deserved.