The Ghoul Show

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The Ghoul Show was the brain-child of Cleveland-born actor Ron Sweed. The late-night horror movie and comedy sketch show ran for various blocks of seasons from 1971 through 2004, primarily in Detroit, Michigan and Cleveland, Ohio.

In 1970, Sweed approached fellow Cleveland actor Ernie Anderson with a proposal to revive Anderson's 1960's character, "Ghoulardi". Anderson was not interested, but gave Sweed his blessing to revive the character on his own. With that blessing, Sweed took "The Ghoul" to Cleveland's Kaiser Broadcasting station WKBF-TV in 1971.[1] Though it started as a tribute to Ghoulardi, Sweed soon developed his own unique, energetic style and original eye-catching gags. A few years later, Kaiser's Detroit-based station WKBD-TV also picked up The Ghoul Show. Known for Sweed's zany, intentionally adolescent humor (particularly surrounding his abuse of a rubber frog named "Froggy," a penchant for blowing up things with firecrackers, and catch phrases like "zingy-zingy," "Overdey!" and "stay sick, turn blue"), late night monster movies were a unique experience for Cleveland and Detroit viewers in the 1970s.

"Shooting from no-budget studio sets, the Ghoul inserted his own dialogue and sound effects over insufferably bad B movies, blew up food, model cars and figurines with firecrackers, and produced strangely compelling, culturally relevant skits and parodies. The show was destructive and childish enough for little kids, subversive and timely enough for young adults."[2]

Later in the 1970s, Kaiser Broadcasting syndicated The Ghoul Show to its stations in Chicago, Boston, Philadelphia, San Francisco and Los Angeles, but the program never reached the popularity and viewership it enjoyed in Detroit and Cleveland. Sweed has since been on and off the air in Cleveland and Detroit for over three decades, at times even branching out into radio and the internet.[3]

An interesting side element is that the aforementioned rubber toy referred to simply as "Froggy" (and much abused by the Ghoul) was a toy dating from 1948 by a company named Rempel and featured often in comedic skits on the 1955 television show "Andy's Gang" where he was named Froggy the Gremlin. The Ghoul's oft-uttered catch phrases "Hiya, gang. Hiya, hiya, hiya" and "Pluck your magic twanger, Froggy" originate from that earlier show.

Further reading[edit]

Feran, Tom; Heldenfels, Rich (1999) Ghoulardi: Inside Cleveland TV's Wildest Ride. Cleveland, OH: Gray & Company, Publishers. ISBN 978-1-886228-18-4

References[edit]

  1. ^ Introduction at www.ghoulfinger.com, first paragraph
  2. ^ "Tribute to The Ghoul" at www.geocities.com/otnipj3s/TheGhoul
  3. ^ Introduction at www.ghoulfinger.com, second paragraph

External links[edit]