6 things you may have learned about Svengoolie, as told from his panel at C2E2 2023
Svengoolie talked about the movies he wishes he could show, the modern horror he loves and a behind-the-scenes sci-fi cameo.
In April 2023, Svengoolie once again emerged from the top secret Sven-cave to haunt McCormick Place for the annual Chicago Comic and Entertainment Expo (C2E2). He signed autographs, posed for photos and with buzz rising about his new line of comic books this summer, took the stage for a spotlight panel.
Here are a few things you may not have known about the ghost with the most from that panel!
The movies he wishes he could show
Sven has had the ability to bring some long-buried horror and sci-fi films to a whole new generation of horror hounds. The films he wishes he could show, but still hasn't been able to? "I Was a Teenage Werewolf and I Was a Teenage Frankenstein." He referred to them as his "white whale movies." He has, however, been able to show the follow-up How to Make a Monster, funnily enough.
...and the reason he can't
It has to do with the studio, American International Pictures, and Mystery Science Theater 3000. "The widow of one of the producers has the rights," Sven explained, "and she will not release them because she didn't like how they were treated on Mystery Science Theater." Maybe one day.
The sci-fi cameo that almost ended in destruction
In 1984, Sven had the honor of getting the third Doctor from the long-running Doctor Who franchise, Jon Pertwee, as a cameo on the show. However, things almost hit a snag. "The doctor was supposed to throw open the coffin dramatically and say 'I am the Doctor,' like he was stepping out of the TARDIS," Sven said. "The door hit a pillar and it came down within feet of us. Without missing a beat, he said, 'It must be the work of the Master.'"
He painted the original coffin
Back when Svengoolie was Jerry G. Bishop, Rich Koz painted the original coffin. After Koz took over as the Son of Svengoolie — then just Svengoolie — his look changed, and the coffin had to be changed as well because people stopped recognizing it.
The most unusual fan creation he's received
If you watch the show, or even look at his set, you'll know that people send Svengoolie fan art in every medium you can think of. One in particular stands out in his mind. "Someone carved a tree trunk into a Svengoolie bust," he said. "It must have weighed 200 pounds. Imagine the shipping costs!"
The modern horror movies he's a fan of
Writing and shooting the show keep Sven pretty busy, so he doesn't have a lot of time to get to the theaters these days. Still, he's managed to see some new horror that he's really enjoyed. "The Jordan Peele stuff is very, very good," Sven said, talking about Peele's high-concept, critically acclaimed horror movies like Get Out and Nope. "I think they're some of the best I've seen. It's nice to see that kind of stuff and see that [horror cinema] is going in the right direction."