Svengoolie still serving horror and humor after 40 years

NOW: Svengoolie still serving horror and humor after 40 years

From Universal monsters to camp classics, when Svengoolie shows a film, it can feel more comforting than creepy. 

“Movies have not exactly become more gentle. There's much more gore, there's a lot more nasty stuff in there. And I think a lot of times seeing these old 1930’s [movies] that we show or [1940’s], it is like comfort food,” said Rich Koz, better known as Svengoolie.

Broadcasting on ABC57's sister station, MeTV, from its studios in Chicago, Svengoolie has served up classic horror movies with a side of humor for more than 40 years now.

“[Laughing is] kind of a safety valve when the scary stuff comes up,” Koz said. “You're watching the movie and it's getting kind of frantic or exciting or putting your nerves on edge. And then, you know, if we come in and do our bit there, it kind of takes some of the pressure off.”

Koz has helped relieve that pressure by cutting into the frights, screams, and movie scenes to cut it up with laughs, gaffs, and rubber chicken baths on Saturday nights.

He says more viewers than ever are tuning in for monstrous movies along with some equally monstrous jokes.

“I'm glad that they have, because it's nice to have a job,” Koz said. “I think that part of it really is there's a connection with the viewer that they almost look upon you as a goofy sort of friend who's there with them.”

Turning something originally made to make you scream, into something that can make you laugh.

“Hopefully they're not screaming at me, personally. Well, some of the jokes, I guess,” Koz said. “But yeah, [laughing and screaming are] both tied together. Just natural reactions from people.”

Both reactions, creating an emotional experience Svengoolie has shared with viewers for decades.

“[Horror is] like a roller coaster ride,” Koz said. “Because you're going to be scared. And at times, it's going to be really frightening. But you also know that you're not really going to get hurt. And when it's over with, everything is fine.” 

The one-liner wonder says he still isn’t thinking of retirement. The Stalwart of Scream is even expanding programming during the month of October for Svengoolie’s Halloween BOOnanza, with double features every Saturday night, starting at 8pm EST, on MeTV.

**This story is part of ABC57's Creepy Chronicles series, airing Mondays in October on ABC57 News NightTeam**

Disclaimer: MeTV and ABC57 are both owned by Weigel Broadcasting Co.

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