I’ve been writing quite a bit about my radio show, Jammin’ with Jamie, lately, so I think it’s high time I actually, well, wrote about something else!
It’s officially Halloween season, so I’ll write about something––– or rather, someone––– often associated with Halloween. Despite this association, however, he’s around all year long, and if you ever need something to lift your spirits (pun intended) at the end of the week on a Saturday night, he’s there to help.
If you’ve had the best week of your life, he’ll make it even better. If you’ve had the worst week of your life, he’ll help you end the week on a high note. I can say both of these statements with certainty because I have experienced both. No matter what your mood may be, he’ll brighten it. You’ll find yourself smiling, laughing, and thoroughly enjoying yourself.
His name is Svengoolie. And if you haven’t seen his show, you should. Scratch that: you need to. “Who’s Svengoolie?” you ask?
For the completely uninitiated (That’s okay! We’ve all been there!), Svengoolie (Svengoolie.com) is what’s referred to as a “horror host.” He shows a horror film, and has fun with the film. Of course, there’s a healthy dose of comedy in every show (including parody songs!); Sven also shares trivia, showcases mail, photos, drawings, and other various gifts viewers have sent to him or given to him directly at one of his many public appearances, and more.
The films he hosts are all over the spectrum in regard to era, genre, production value, and, of course, quality. But through it all, Sven is having fun, and, as a result, so are we.
I’ve written about Svengoolie many times (Surprise, surprise!), such as in my first post as a guest writer on Terror from Beyond the Daves (which includes more pictures), in Scary Monsters Magazine #87 (a special Svengoolie tribute issue) (ScaryMonstersMagazine.com), and in a nineteen-page essay I wrote about horror hosts during my senior year of high school. (You don’t need to see that last one.)
My point is: I write about Mr. Goolie a lot. I admit it. But it’s with good reason. Okay, it’s with many good reasons.
On the Svengoolie show itself, Sven’s very funny, clever, and knowledgeable. If you keep an eye on the credits, you’ll notice that he also writes the show. When I first noticed this, my already high respect for him shot up exponentially. Anyone who works in front of the camera as well as behind the scenes gets an automatic thumbs-up in my book! (Well, there are a few exceptions, but still…)
If you ever have the opportunity to meet Sven (and/or his “close personal friend,” Rich Koz) in person, I highly recommend that you do so! He is truly one of the most genuinely personable, kind, and funny people you could ever hope to meet! He talks to lifelong fans who’ve met him countless times just as easily as he does to nervous first-timers. Fans of all ages walk away smiling after meeting him. (And yes, I still do, too!)
I’ve had the extreme good fortune of having the opportunity to meet Svengoolie and his “close personal friend,” Rich Koz, in person many, many times. Someday, I’ll probably go back and count all of my pictures from various Svengoolie public appearances, but for now, I lost count of how many events I’ve attended long ago.
I still watch Svengoolie every week. On the occasional Saturday night that I can’t watch the show live, I still record it and watch it later. When I’ve had a particularly lonesome week, I feel like I’m watching a movie with a friend. (Yes, I know how television works: I know he’s not actually talking to me.) When I’m at school and suffering from a bout of homesickness, for those two hours, I feel at home. No matter what kind of week I’ve had, I get to smile, laugh, and have fun for two hours. And yes, sometimes I watch the movies during those weeks and think, Well, at least I’m not running from a horde of zombies!
When school is in session, there has to be something very special going on for me to be anywhere else at any time between 9:00 and 11:00 pm on Saturday night. Svengoolie has become the special designated time every week when I finally let myself relax. (I know: relaxing during a horror movie sounds like an oxymoron.) The most “work” I ever let myself do during Svengoolie is reading or studying during commercial breaks.
Svengoolie has introduced me to so many movies that I now consider to be among my favorites. I can probably count on one hand the number of movies I’ve seen Sven host that I had already seen outside of the show. But no matter what that week’s movie may be, I still watch, because Sven always makes it fun.
So if you’re wondering what you’re going to do on Saturday night, allow me to make a suggestion: watch Svengoolie.
You’ll catch on quickly. You’ll soon be familiar with Tombstone, Kerwyn, and Mr. Doug “Graves.” Every time you see or hear the name of the Chicago suburb of Berwyn, you’ll find yourself smiling as you think, or even say out loud, “Berrrwyyyn?!” When you hear someone crack a joke, you’ll start making comments about throwing rubber chickens. (Don’t actually do it, though. The recipient may not appreciate the reference.)
It also won’t be long before you start encouraging your family and friends to watch, too––– just like I am now.
Thank you for reading,