One of the most surprising moments at Svengoolie’s recent appearance at G-FEST (story HERE) was when a long-time Svengoolie fan named Tony Kapsis shared some vintage items from one of Jerry G. Bishop’s public appearances in the early 1970′s.
Last Sunday, I grabbed the kids and headed over to the town made infamous by the Svengoolies – Berwyn, Illinois – to observe a rather unusual event. The Annual “Houby” parade has taken place for over forty years now and, along with the National horror host, has become a local Berwyn tradition! For those scratching their heads wondering what a “Houby” is, it is the Czechoslovakian word for “mushroom.” Yes, you are reading this correctly, the entire parade is dedicated to mushrooms! Mushrooms and truffles are to the Czechs’ what the tomato is to the Italians. It is a big part of their culture and it should also be noted that other “Houby” events take place throughout the year in other places throughout the United States.
This past weekend, fans of the original Jerry G. Bishop Svengoolie had reason to cheer! The work of this classic host who was recently entered into “Ripley’s Believe it or Not” Horror Host Hall of Fame and spotlighted on this site early last month (which you can see HERE) had a short run in Chicago and, with the exception of various clips offered via AMERICAN SCARY and YouTube, very little else surviving.
Thanks to the efforts of Rick Klein – President and Chief Curator of The Museum of Classic Chicago Television, three COMPLETE “Screaming Yellow Theater” shows have been discovered, digitally restored, and available for public viewing via the Fuzzy Memories TV site TODAY!
This is the labor of love for Klein who began the museum in 2007. In the four short years of its existence, it has amassed a treasure trove of classic Chicago TV footage as well as the largest online archive of Rich Koz/Son of Svengoolie clips. Many are available on YouTube (1100 according to Klein) with MANY more on the site itself.
TERROR FROM BEYOND THE DAVES, as you may know, is a horror host friendly site. Both Daves are grown up fans of Son of Svengoolie and, since early last year, have been enamored with the work of many hosts we scarcely knew existed. Jerry G. Bishop’s Svengoolie was a bit before our time but we salute the predecessor of our current Sven and are thrilled to have an opportunity to see complete examples of his work.
The work of Mr Klein and others around the country who selflessly work to preserve the work of their local classic TV hosts is a true gift! This being said, I’ve gone on long enough…
The time has come for scary things…like monsters, ghosts, and vampire wings…With horrible movies all drippy and drooly…and horrible hosts like me, Svengoolie!!!
SEE the Jerry G. Bishop Svengoolie shows HERE!
In 1970, the original Svengoolie hit the Chicago airwaves and the Windy city hasn’t been the same since! The vampire hippy, with his quick wit, rubber chickens, and hilarious commercial/song parodies made for a night of side-splitting entertainment in a region that had been starved of a horror host since Shock Theatre (Marvin’s) departure a decade before.