There’s a whole room reserved for national commercial TV horror host, Svengoolie, to his fans at Flashback Weekend. I was informed by my friend, Don Johnston that he and his crew arrived and headed straight there from the main ballroom. Don manages the event’s hotel, the Crown Plaza in Rosemont, and is a great guy who often grants me event and parking passes in exchange for helping out where needed. In this instance it was to direct fans into the room he was in while seeing to it the line stayed moving. Lucky for these folks, waiting in line involved sitting in chairs that wrapped around the room’s perimeter. After fans got up to meet him, the rest would simply move down the corresponding number of chairs until it was their turn. It may sound goofy but, trust me, as someone who has stood in line for hours to meet a convention guest before, being able to sit in a comfortable seat for the duration was worth its weight in gold!
Terror from Beyond the Daves is pleased to announce the return of The Horror Host Report! Yes, back when this blog was relatively new we set out to do what no one else had…create an all-inclusive weekly update of what the world’s horror hosts (commercial TV, public access, internet) were up to. It proved to be one of our most popular features and both Terror Daves enjoyed working with all the hosts immensely. Through the report, many of the participants also became personal friends and we had nothing but positive experiences with them during its nearly three-year run.
Last weekend I went to see national horror host, Svengoolie, at a Chicago store called Cook Brothers (“We stack em Deep and Sell em Cheap!”). Though not as remarkable as his previous appearance at The Squared Circle, it did represent a bit of a milestone for me. Since discovering that he’d return to the airwaves in 2003, this would mark my 35th time seeing him (either as Svengoolie or Rich Koz) at a public event.
When I was growing up, our town (like many at the time) had it’s own local theater. It wasn’t one of those big multiplexes you see today but rather a one screen wonder offering standard-sized viewing and a small popcorn machine/soda fountain serving as concessions. I remember the lobby having a musty odor and being adorn in red velvet; the theater seats so old you’d invariably be sitting at an angle. I also recall my grade school friends and I snickering at nude, Greek statues (missing their heads) that stood at opposite sides of the entrance.
The Homewood Theater was already in it’s decline when I was a kid back in the ’70s but, one Saturday during summer months, would provide throwback experiences once commonplace during my parent’s youth. On these occasions, they’d offer affordable “all day” movie experiences featuring family friendly films along with cartoons, Three Stooges shorts, and old serials in between.
Terror from Beyond the Daves would like to extend a very special “Get Well” card to our dear friend, Rich Koz/Svengoolie. Svengoolie is well loved and respected; not just by us Daves and horror fans, but by a WIDE range of broadcasting professionals, TV historians, and a few notable celebrities as well. This has been especially true now that he’s gone national and caught the attention of such genre legends as Mark Hamill and Robert Englund!
On Friday, October 19th, I was joined by my friend and Terror Dave Girl Friday (the 13th), Elizabeth Ocon, along with my son, Alex, to get our first glimpse at Brookfield Zoo’s 2012 “Creatures of the night!”
Horror Host, Svengoolie, was slated to arrive at 7pm but, by 6:30, there was already a long line winding around the zoo’s Discovery Center to see him. Svengoolie never disappoints when it comes to drawing large crowds at Brookfield Zoo! I remember at last year’s event (covered HERE) the line wrapped around the bison yard and eventually had to get cut off. In an effort to accomodate all of the eager fans, no pictures were permitted, just autographs. It didn’t seem to damper anyones mood and many found clever ways to snap pictures with him anyway while Sven added his own humorous touches.
We Terror Daves were alarmed today regarding the news of our friend, Rich Koz a.k.a. Svengoolie (news story HERE). Not only is Sven a beloved figure in my native Chicago, he is the very reason this blog was possible in the first place. Back in September of 2009, a message from a Rhode Island fan (who’d grown up with Koz as The Son of Svengoolie when his show aired via a Boston channel) sent a message to the Svengoolie YAHOO forum asking if anyone in Chicago would send him new Svengoolie shows (this was before he’d go national). Although I’d seen and ignored countless versions of this message for years I decided to contact this one and, thus, met the other Terror Dave, David Albaugh. Albaugh and I soon became best of friends and our mutual love of Svengoolie, coupled with a curiosity about horror hosting in general, led to the creation of this blog.