7 things you may not have known about Svengoolie, as told from his panel at C2E2 2022
The horror host told stories of his overnight success — after 43 years!
He's an overnight success — it just took him 43 years! After a few years of broadcasting from the Sven-cave, Svengoolie was finally able to emerge from his tomb and mingle with fans at the annual Chicago Comics and Entertainment Expo once more!
During the weekend of August 5-7, 2022, Sven signed autographs, took photos, and heard (and told) more than a few bad jokes. As part of his haunting of C2E2, he held a panel where he took questions and told stories of his success, from Chicago to Berwyn —
(All together now...) BERRR-WYN?
— and here's 7 facts you might not have known that came from that panel.
1. He faced rejection
Sven talked about when the series was first getting off the ground. Of course, as many die-hard Svenpals know, Jerry G. Bishop was the original Svengoolie, but when they had a chance to revive the show after cancellation, Jerry wasn't interested in reprising the role and gave it to Rich Koz with his blessing. However, it wasn't always so easy. "One program director, when I told him what I wanted to do, he laughed and hung up on me," Sven said. "I wonder where he's working now."
2. He doesn't see other horror hosts as competition
"There's room for everybody," Sven said about the recent interest in hosted horror shows. "Our success nationally has made some markets go, oh hey, we can do this."
3. His first horror movie
So what started the life-long passion for horror? "The first horror movie I ever saw was King Kong." The 1933 movie has been ranked by Rotten Tomatoes as the best horror film of all time. The special effects used in the film were groundbreaking at the time. "Part of [the appeal] was the stop-motion animation."
4. The comic legend who was a hand at the door
One of the most iconic parts of Sven's show is the hand at the door at the end, accompanied by a disembodied voice who tells Sven an audience-submitted joke. George Perez, the Marvel and DC comics legend behind The Avengers and Crisis on Infinite Earths was a huge Svengoolie fan and became a close personal friend. He appeared as one of the hands at the door!
5. The sidekick who went out with a bang
Before Kerwyn became Sven's #2, a few different characters came through the dungeon. One of them was Ed the Bat, who spoke in an electronically altered high-pitched voice. One of the MeTV executives found Ed the Bat so annoying that when the choice was made to retire Ed, they decided to send him off memorably. "We shot an ending where he called him into his office and attacked him with a club."
6. The movie he thinks is underrated
What movie does Sven feel doesn't get enough love? "Fiend Without a Face." He's talking about the 1958 British black-and-white movie that you may have seen on Svengoolie before. Sven especially loves the monsters, who are invisible for most of the movie, but when they become visible, they look like — well, we won't spoil it here.
7. The sacrifice that Gilbert Gottfried made for the show
Gilbert Gottfried, who we sadly lost in April of 2022, was a big fan of the show and a personal friend of Sven. He would come and film segments for Svengoolie when he was in town. "He was careful to never say anything that we would need to cut out," Sven said, "which was quite an undertaking for him!"
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