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Svengoolie

Celebrating 35 Years of Svengoolie at The Museum of Broadcast Communications!

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The Museum of Broadcast Communications lies near the foot of Chicago’s Marina Towers which, so far as this night was concerned, was not without its irony. Back when I was growing up in the ’70s and ’80s, it was home to our favored UHF station, WFLD Channel 32. Whenever I was home sick from school it provided a welcome alternative to the soap opera-soaked major networks by offering much more satisfying shows such as Tennessee Tuxedo, The Munsters, and Banana Splits.

Of course those programs would only tie me over until the weekend when Channel 32 would unleash its REAL entertainment. On Saturday nights I’d drop a blanket in front of the family television set and prepare for two hours of monsters, air-popped popcorn, and guaranteed laughs via my favorite horror host, Son of Svengoolie. Yes, despite the constant struggle with our TV antennae in an effort to minimize the often snowy reception, my memories of those nights remain crystal clear.

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Svengoolie Heralds the Coming of Halloween!

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(NOTE: Coverage of Svengoolie’s Flashback Weekend talk show with Robert Englund (in full Freddy make-up) will be posted on Halloween in celebration of  the holiday as well “Svengoolie Day” in Illinois. For the next two weeks we’ll lead  into the big day with posts on his “35th Anniversary Celebration” at the Museum of Broadcast Communications as well as the Nightmare on Chicago Street in Elgin)

For me, Halloween usually kicks off after I first spy the seasonal “Monster” cereals back on the store shelves. Shamefully, I still haven’t had a chance to grab them, though I did get a more direct introduction to the holiday courtesy of national horror host, Svengoolie. The appearance took place at Siegel’s Cottonwood Farms in Joliet, Illinois and the last time I saw him in that area was over two years ago during a Slammers game on a blistering hot evening (which I covered both in Scary Monsters Magazine and HERE). On this late September day the temps were much more forgiving though the clouds looked a bit ominous. I told myself it was just part of the Halloween “ambiance” and decided at the last minute to head over.

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“Svengoolie vs The Clock” at C2E2!

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Svengoolie, Lisa Maria Varon, and the MeTV crew (with “me” tagging along) exited the main hall  before heading up several flights of stairs towards the celebrity lounge. Upon reaching the top, we walked along a  balcony which offered a bird’s eye view of C2E2 – And what a sight it was! Thousands of fans looking like busy ants and only moments after I’d been one of them.  It was both awesome and humbling at the same time.

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Svengoolie “wrestles” the crowd at C2E2!

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Svengoolie had been at C2E2 well before his signing time but with a mission. Certain events such as these warrant the host bringing along his entourage which includes a camera crew. These are the makings of his “Svengoolie on the Road” segments which always start with a cartoon Sven getting run over by a hearse. Somehow we intersected at the booth of the former pro-wrestler and current WWE commentator, Jerry”The King” Lawler though, at this time, His Majesty was away on break. Jim Roche, Svengoolie’s assistant, gave me a quick greeting but I could tell he was in the zone and in full business mode. This is my cue that while I’m permitted to stay close, I’d best stand out of the way. With but few moments to greet Sven, they quickly ventured back out into the crowd.

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Illinois Assembly Declares “Svengoolie Rich Koz Day” for Halloween 2014!

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Not long ago, during my post on Jim Cornette’s appearance at The Squared Circle with Svengoolie, I mentioned something really amazing that happened later at the event that I couldn’t go into any detail about at the time. Well, it’s now official and I’m happy to report that October 31st, 2014 will officially be Rich Koz Svengoolie Day in Illinois!

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Jim Cornette and the Svengoolie Burger Challenge!

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With just a few days recovery from mine and the other Terror Dave’s vacation/road trip, it was time to resume my favorite Chicago past time…keeping up with national horror host, Svengoolie! We enjoyed seeing him at Brookfield Zoo for my AAZK Chapter’s annual Vital Grounds fundraiser (which David covered HERE) and were honored when he agreed to also have dinner with us the following evening (this time as mild-mannered Rich Koz) along with Jim Roche at The Squared Circle restaurant.

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