Karen: Based on the results of our recent poll, a lot of you out there are around our age. I'm sure that many of you, besides loving comics, also enjoy science fiction and/or monster movies. Back in the 70s, it was fairly common for most decent-sized cities to have a TV channel or two with a monster movie feature on the weekends -whether it was called Creature Features, Chiller Theater, Monsterama, whatever, such shows were often a staple of growing up at that time.
I grew up on the central California coast, and we got most of the Los Angeles channels, which means that I was lucky enough to get several different monster shows from Friday night to Sunday afternoon. But the show I enjoyed the most was on KTLA on Saturdays and was hosted by a strange man named Seymour.
Seymour was actually Larry Vincent, a rather cadaverous looking guy, who wore a black slouch hat and a cape. But Seymour really wasn't scary. He was actually pretty darn funny. He addressed his audience as "Fringies" and enjoyed making fun of the movies he showed. He'd stop the movie at times just to point out a really bad line of dialogue, or some terrible costume -Seymour was like MST3K years before that show first appeared. There was also a running gag about him trying to crash a party next door, which he never did get into. Seymour even had a fan club and I recall how excited I was to get my fan club kit, complete with autographed photo of our favorite crank.
But besides all the craziness, Seymour helped introduce me to a wide range of classic (and not-so-classic) Sci fi and horror films. I always looked forward to each Saturday to see what new, amazing movie he would be presenting. It was always a treat, even if the film stank, which it frequently did.
Doug: Here in Chicagoland, we had Svengoolie back in the early '70's, and then lately the Son of Svengoolie. This guy is a hoot -- lots of stupid jokes, a little slapstick, and local references to all things lame. And you have to love the B movies they show! If I may, here is some publicity from the current station, WCIU!
WCIU, The U presents Jerry G. Bishop’s successor, Rich Koz as Svengoolie. From its humble beginnings in the 70’s as “The Son of Svengoolie” at Channel 32 in Chicago, the show has taken off into one of The U’s most popular programs. Go inside the casket of Chicago’s midnight maniac with video clips that are designed to bring out the trembling inner child in all of us.
Official Svengoolie "It came from Berwyn" T-Shirts are available! It depicts our hero Svengoolie being blasted by a giant radioactive chicken. Click here for more information.
In addition to his weekly show and online webisodes, Svengoolie publishes a regular blog and makes special appearances in the community. He has a large local and national following, and welcomes viewer feedback.
Karen: So who was your horror host when you were a kid? Tell us all about them!