Ernie Anderson, better known as Ghoulardi, was the original Cleveland late-night TV Shock Theater horror movie host on WJW-TV Channel 8 from 1963-1966. He left the show when it was at the peak of its popularity and headed to Hollywood where he would become "The Voice of ABC" and one of the top TV voiceover artists of all time.
Turn Blue: The Short Life of Ghoulardi (film by Phil Hoffman - RT 55:55)
Ghoulardi: Inside Cleveland TVs Wildest Ride (book by Tom Feran and R.D. Heldenfels available on Amazon)
Starting at WJW-TV as a production assistant for Ghoulardi, Ron Sweed would, with the permission of Ernie Anderson, revive the Ghoulardi character when Anderson left for Hollywood. But Sweed dubbed himself The Ghoul and launched a new show on WKBF-TV Channel 61. The show would be syndicated in several cities through the late 1970s. The Ghoul Show would go off the air when WKBF shut down but returned to TV a few more times through the late 1990s. Pluck your magic twanger, Froggy!
Ghoulardi sidekick producer/engineer Chuck Schodowski [second from right, with another Ghoulardi protege Tim (originally Tom) Conway] and "Hoolihan the Weatherman" (Bob Wells) took over where Anderson left off at WJW-TV and hosted The Hoolihan and Big Chuck Show through 1979 until Wells left. He was replaced with Lil John (Rinaldi) who had been a regular on the show. Big Chuck and Lil John would air through 2007.
(Click the image to visit the Official Son of Ghoul Website)
Celebrating 30 consecutive years on the air (1986-2016) in the Cleveland/Akron area is Son of Ghoul (a.k.a. Keven Scarpino). He is among the longest-running costumed horror hosts in the nation. The Son of Ghoul Show is currently seen on W16DO-D, virtual channel 16 in Cleveland and WAOH-CD, virtual channel 29 Akron. Son of Ghoul can often be found appearing at conventions such as Ghoulardifest (Oct. 28-30, 2016) and Monster Bash, which is holding its 20th convention June 23-25, 2017.
(Click the image to visit the Svengoolie website.)
Svengoolie has been the premiere horror show icon of Chicago since multiple Emmy-award-winner Rich Koz became the hand-picked successor to the original Svengoolie back in the late 70s. Since then, generations of viewers have become fans of the monstrous mirth and movies that this video vampire dispenses every week over the airwaves!
While based in the Chicago area, Svengoolie has fans all over the country who, since 2011, have tuned in to catch his antics every Saturday night on MeTV! He's also been voted “Best Horror Host of 2009” in the national Rondo Hatton horror awards! Acknowledged by even the most famous horror hosts as a peer, Svengoolie has become the king of horror hilarity.
(Click the image to visit Dr. Gangrene's YouTube.com page and subscribe to his channel!)
Dr. Gangrene is a Nashville, TN-based horror host played by actor/producer Larry Underwood. His current show, Dr. Gangrene Presents, airs on the Nashville Arts Channel 9. Most importantly to us, Doc is a regular columnist and contributor to Scary Monsters Magazine and produces brief previews of upcoming issues that can be found on this website and on his YouTube channel. Also, be sure to check out his video series "The Fantastic Films of Vincent Price" and visit his online lab at drgangrene.com.
And, finally, to our Philly and New York City monster fans, here is a little ditty from the late King of Cool, legendary Shock Theater TV host Zacherley! John Zacherle died Oct. 27, 2016, at the age of 98. RIP Zacherley!
Note: While there were (and still are) many memorable TV horror movie hosts throughout the country, Ghoulardi, The Ghoul and Hoolihan & Big Chuck (and Lil John) were the talented performers we grew up watching on many a late Friday or Saturday night with family and friends in Cleveland, Ohio. Son of Ghoul continues to carry on this tradition. Fangs for the memories, group!
As Ghoulardi would say: Cool it with the boom booms, ova-day! Stay sick! Turn blue! Knif! Oxnard! Or, as The Ghoul would say: Scratch glass! Climb walls! And remember, do it while you can, but dont get caught!
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