The Conclusion of the 35th Anniversary of Svengoolie story…
We were directed back upstairs to the third floor of The Museum of Broadcast Communications to witness the unveiling of the new Svengoolie exhibit a.k.a. the final resting place of his old coffin. Having grown up with The Son of Svengoolie, it meant a lot to me as it was one of the few props that remained throughout the years. This, of course, lead to its inevitable wear and tear so, nostalgia aside, it was definitely time for an upgrade. I’ve always wanted to see the original in person and now, thanks to the Museum, everyone can!
We’d no sooner taken our seats in a special area located on the second floor of The Museum of Broadcast Communication, when we were back up on our feet cheering the arrival of Svengoolie. The man of the hour, Rich Koz, was celebrating his 35th anniversary as Chicago’s (and now the majority of this country’s) TV horror host and the room was chock full of devout fans and prominent citizens eager to participate in this one of a kind event. It was a serious affair that might otherwise seem in direct contrast to a career built on never taking himself too seriously though, in this case, well-deserved.
The official Rich Koz Svengoolie Day for both the State of Illinois as well as the City of Chicago took place just two days ago; October 31, 2014. Halloween is always a busy day for the horror host on any given year but, in lieu of its unique circumstances, this one was particularly demanding. With a schedule loaded with numerous activities at various different locations, the Svengoolie camp had enough on their plates without having a fanboy like myself tagging along. Therefore we Terror Daves were VERY fortunate to have the whole day archived by Sven’s assistant, and our friend, Jim Roche, who granted us permission to share them with you.
As you’re going through these photos, try and remember that this was all taken on a SINGLE day! Of course this wasn’t just any day…it was Svengoolie Day!
Happy Halloween and, if you live in the State of Illinois, Happy Svengoolie Day! Since hearing the news back in April that October 31, 2014 would not only mark my favorite holiday but also its merging with my favorite horror host, it seemed just too good to be true. Thanks to my formidable fellow fan, Brian Bernardoni, as well as Representative Kay Hatcher, the seemingly impossible has become reality and here we are. Sven will be busier than ever starting with an appearance on the You & Me This Morning Show on Chicago’s WCIU, various bumper spots throughout today’s MeTV programming, a radio appearance on Chicago’s WGN Radio, and stopping off at The United Center to help kick off The Chicago Bulls home opener. On behalf of The Terror Daves, we would like to congratulate our friend, Rich Koz, on this momentous occasion!
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.
(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.