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.
Not wanting to take up line space, I stood up near Svengoolie and his assistant, Jim Roche. This gave me a panoramic view of all the guests as they outlined the large room which the zoo uses for big meetings as well as their annual AAZK spaghetti dinner (the last two covered by both Terror Daves).
Some guests even showed up in costume, such as Scott and Chris….
I noticed a fan having Sven sign his guitar and felt that warranted further investigation. Of the many interesting things I’ve seen brought to a Svengoolie signing, this was a first for me. Steven Styll had been a fan of Sven’s since he was a child back in those “Son of Svengoolie” days. I know I had seen shots of the first Svengoolie (Jerry G. Bishop) with a guitar and wondered if this was yet another unearthed treasure from back in the “Screaming Yellow Theater” days (like that seen at G-FEST & covered HERE). My hopes were quickly dashed when I discovered that this was far from the case.
Apparently Mr. Styll learned of Sven’s zoo appearance somewhat last minute and, after hearing the news, grabbed the only thing he had handy to get signed. This ordinary guitar just happened to be sitting in the back seat of his car, thus becoming the chosen object….”sigh.”
This might be a opportunity to mention to any fans out there who make a quick decision to attend a Svengoolie appearance that you need not raid your junk drawers in search of something for him to sign. Sven is always armed with a stack of promo cards that he happily gives (and signs) FREE of charge to any guests who wants one!
Another fan named Don Murphy showed up with his girlfriend Cindy and proudly showed Sven a copy of a scary-themed children’s book his nephew, Steve Zmina, had written. The book, “Don’t Let the Dead Bugs Bite!” has yet to be published so please click HERE for updates!
The Masters family showed off their Universal Studios fervor by each wearing a shirt highlighting one of their iconic monsters! Incidentally, Svengoolie is currently able to air these films on commercial TV care of MeTV!
As the line wound its way down, I noticed fellow super-fan, Jamie Lee Cortese! Jamie is like the “Where’s Waldo” of Svengoolie fans. She rarely tells us she’s showing up at any given event which leaves me and fellow “Goolies” to speculate on whether we’ll see her. Happily, her and her wonderful parents made it to for this one!
Needing to get my nagging teen-aged son to a friend’s house, I left soon after that. But not before making a Halloween themed “Mold–a–Rama!”