40 years ago on this date- at 8pm on WFLD-TV- a ghoulishly-dressed individual was introduced to the world in a voice-over by Jerry G. Bishop- the original Svengoolie- and thus began my career as the chicken-dodging, wisecracking Svengoolie character. Then known as “Son of Svengoolie” ( and appearing approximately six years after the original Sven was taken off the air)- coming out of Sven senior’s original coffin- a new dynasty began which is now seen all over the country thanks to MeTV.
40 years. In that span of time, I have dropped the “Son of” (as decreed by Jerry G. himself)- worked various TV and radio stations- and won eight regional Emmy Awards and been inducted into the National Association of Television Arts and Sciences “Silver Circle” for “significant contributions to Chicago television for more than 25 years”. I just was voted my eighth Rondo award as favorite horror host, as voted by the fans. I’ve been in “Mad “ magazine, for cripe’s sake!
I always like to clarify- my show has NOT been on for 40 consecutive years, but- in the times I did not have a regularly scheduled show, I was still playing the Sven character- for radio and TV guest shots, public appearances, etc. So, I have actually BEEN Sven for this full 40 years.
I’ve gone through good and bad times, and faced defeats and success, professionally and personally. For me to still be around- for Sven to still be standing, and standing tall- is just as amazing to me as it is to everybody else.
I am grateful to Neal Sabin and the Shapiro family for having the faith in me that has brought us to this landmark- and will let us get to even greater heights! I am grateful to closer-knit crew- my director, Chris, audio genius Chas, and my good friend and right hand man, executive producer Jim Roche. Also, grateful to the people at WFLD in Chicago who first helped me find my way.
I am most grateful to YOU- the ones who tune in every week- and have supported the show! You’ve spread the word, brought new viewers into the fold, and stuck with me all this time.
Yes- there is more to come, new and surprising things we will share together. Thank you.
And…happy Father’s Day to the dads…including Sven’s “dad”, Jerry G. to whom I owe it all.