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.
Their goal was to scope out interesting conventioneers which, at this event, was far from a challenge. C2E2 attracts the best of Chicago cosplay and the host immediately settled on War Machine. This Iron Man fan managed to create his costume using household items which is testament to the amazing skills and creativity fanboys are capable of.
Next up were a couple of gals decked out in DC’s finest – Supergirl and Harley Quinn. Sven would later note that Quinn was a popular choice among costumers at this event!
They no sooner left when the Grim Reaper bowed his ugly head, prompting Sven to comment how he’d already had a close enough encounter with him before…a reference to the heart attack he suffered in 2012. The Reaper’s interview got cut short when the host asked him what he does when he isn’t claiming people’s lives and his girlfriend jumped in with, “He does ME!’
At which point Sven instructed the crew that there’d be some needed editing…
There were only a few moments before he needed to return to Lawler but not before a quick visit with Darth Vader! Once The Dark Lord of the Sith materialized, there was no way he couldn’t attempt an interview with him. STAR WARS has received new vigor these days with the announcement of more films; the first slated for 2015. This will likely be of particular interest to the host as it features The Return of the Jedi himself, Luke Skywalker a.k.a. Mark Hamill and Svengoolie super fan.
In a flash, Sven made it back to Lawler’s booth where he was given a warm greeting before the two did a TV interview. Lawler revealed that he’d grown up in Ohio and was a fan of the legendary Ghoulardi – an influence of the original Svengoolie, Jerry G. Bishop, who worked in the area during his reign. It was Ghoulardi’s jabs at the Cleveland suburb of Parma that would lead to Berwyn becoming synonymous with the Svengoolies.
The full interview was recently featured on the show but, if you missed it, keep checking my YouTube channel as it will be posted soon! Although I was standing right in front them, I was happy to catch that footage myself as it was so crowded you could barely hear and I’m far from an expert at reading lips. During their chat I texted wrestling fan, and fellow Terror Dave, David Albaugh a picture of the two. He wasted no time informing me that among Lawler’s many talents, is that he’s an incredible artist and no stranger to comics. As if on cue, Lawler produced one of his works as a gift to Sven – an incredible drawing of Mr. Hyde!
After signing his work, Lawler waved goodbye to Sven as the host prepared to leave for the green room (or whatever you call the place that celebrities chill before greeting their fans) when Lisa Marie Varon showed up to join him.
Jim invited me to tag along…a rare opportunity to see how the other half lives!
Coming up…Svengoolie chases the clock!