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Friday Afternoon Diversion - Svengoolie Edition

By Scott Smith in Miscellaneous on Sep 22, 2006 7:30PM

Friday Afternoon Diversion leaves no classic Chicago television stone unturned. Today we head back to our childhood to the days when both KISS and Rich Koz still wore makeup. Yes, it’s time for "Son of Svengoolie". Let the rubber chickens fly.

"Son of Svengoolie" host Rich Koz was a writer on the original Svengoolie, hosted by Jerry G. Bishop back in the early 1970s. But it’s this incarnation that most people know. Uttering the word “BER-WYN?!?” is still a shibboleth among old school Chicagoans.

An average episode of "Son of Svengoolie" contained more cheese than a deep dish pizza. From the opening credits (which look an awful lot like the intro later used by "Tales From The Crypt") to the song parodies to the goofy sketches and the commercial parodies, no pun went unuttered and the fan mail flooded in. Son of Svengoolie was so well-known that he (and Koz) were even featured in an Empire Carpets commercial (not to be confused with Vampire Carpets).

But all good things must come to an end. "Son of Svengoolie" was cancelled (the final movie it aired was Supersonic Man) when WFLD became part of the initial launch of the Fox Network in 1986. Koz would later go on to host various shows on Ch. 32 including "The Koz Zone", a late Saturday night horror movie showcase that lacked the Svengoolie character but kept most of the same jokes.

But you can’t keep a good ghoul down. WCIU Ch. 26 has raised the dead and returned Svengoolie to the airwaves. You can see his antics on Saturday nights at 9 p.m. after the Koz-hosted Stooge-a-palooza. ‘CIU recently acquired the old Universal Studios monster movies of the 1930s and 1940s so expect those to get the Svengoolie treatment soon.