It’s the most wonderful time of the year- no, not that shopping and Santa extravaganza- it’s the month I and my fiends- uh, friends- anticipate all year long- the month of October- Halloween month! It’s more than costumes and candy- it’s the yearly celebration of all things scary and spooky, when being masked doesn’t mean you’re avoiding germs, and when we all try to avoid things like pumpkin spice-flavored pizza.
With about 44 Halloweens under my belt (or strait jacket) during the time I’ve been this character, it’s always an honor to have created a tradition- so, to join in the yearly observance, MeTV has decided to repeat last year’s tricky treat of a month, declaring October once again as “Svengoolie’s Halloween BOOnanza”- but super-sizing it this time! This does NOT mean I have gained back any weight I have lost. It means that as well as showing some of your favorite scary episodes of MeTV programming, we’re going to double-down on the fun - when all month long, every Saturday night will have a Svengoolie double-feature! Yes, not one, but two chilling movies hosted by yours ghouly. Things like a double-dip of dire dangers- with one of our most requested movies, the Universal monster mash-up with Dracula ( Bela Lugosi), the Frankenstein Monster( Glenn Strange), and the Wolf Man( of course, Lon Caney Jr.) along with Bud and Lou in Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein - paired with the 1980s version of the eerie Invaders from Mars with Karen Black as the only one who believes a young boy’s claim that people- even his parents- have been taken over by aliens! Another week, you can step right up to the ghastly greasepaint of the cult classic Killer Klowns from Outer Space, followed by the eye-catching 1950s horror of Forrest Tucker battling The Crawling Eye. We also have not one, but TWO weeks in which a familiar character also has trouble convincing people of unnatural dangers- first, the much-requested original TV movie that started it all for our favorite reporter of the occult and bizarre- Kolchak: The Night Stalker, staking his career on stopping a vampire in Vegas- followed that same night with another first- the original appearance of Toho’s titanic terror-Godzilla: King of the Monsters! We wind up the month right before Halloween with the second movie that lead to the classic TV series- Darren McGavin, this time descending into the depths of the underground city in Seattle to find an undying killer in Kolchak: The Night Strangler- and we wind up that night with an encore of Karen Black in three spine-chilling tales- including her unforgettable brush with a possessed warrior doll -in Trilogy of Terror!
Do you have an even higher tolerance for fear, even after two Sven features? Then you are in luck- because your Saturday nights are not done there- all month, after our two movies, we have some very special programming to continue the fright into the night! One week, you can see an encore of last year’s special one-hour “documentary” about me, Svengoolie: Uncrypted- with a look at my TV history and some surprises- including an introduction by Mark Hamill! Plus- there will be all-night marathons of scary series that will keep you too tense to go to sleep-shows like The Twilight Zone and -yes, the actual series itself- Kolchak: The Night Stalker!
“Svengoolie’s Halloween BOOnanza” extends beyond Saturday nights- as we feature some of your favorite MeTV staples gone ghoulish- among them, like the famed episode of The Andy Griffith Show- “The Haunted House” -that actually was the basis for the beloved Don Knotts film The Ghost and Mr. Chicken! And who among you would not want to see Gilligan as a vampire?! Or Beaver Cleaver convinced that Eddie Haskell has been turned into a zombie (really- how could you tell?) Not to mention Rob Petrie thinking aliens are taking over, using walnuts-and removing his thumbs- on The Dick Van Dyke Show?! You’ll find these episodes scattered all across the MeTV schedule, and in special “shock blocks” on Sunday afternoons.
You’ll see unexpected horrors in, of all places, our MeTV westerns (sorry- though it’s a “BOOnanza”, you will NOT see a zombie Lorne Greene) with everything from The Wild Wild West- Wanted: Dead or Alive- and The Rifleman. And, of course, in the expected places- like on Alfred Hitchcock Presents and The Love Boat (that was a joke- but there are Halloween-themed episodes afloat on that show)!
What would October be without a horrid helping of head-bonking with The Three Stooges as they deal with monstrous mayhem like “We Want Our Mummy” (and do they get it!). We also have animated antics with scary themes- for example, you’ll see a special “Bugs Bunny Halloween Hour” with the wascally wabbit facing more than “gobblin” (see what I did there?) carrots- and more haunted hijinks from The Flintstones (remember their bizarre neighbors the Gruesomes?) You’ll see all this and more this month-haunting our MeTV airwaves- you can check out the full schedule at MeTV.com !
Besides being onscreen, I will also be making some Halloween season public appearances- for example, our yearly visit to one of the biggest outdoor fright festivals ever- the “Nightmare on Chicago Street” in Elgin, IL. Every year, for one night, the city becomes the victim of a zombie epidemic- with certain blocks downtown designated as the “safe zone” (although some of the undead do sneak in)! There is live music and entertainment (well- “live” for the most part), all sorts of vendors, food, and drink, and yours truly will be there to sign some autographs and lend a hand at one of the best costume contests of the season! We also have an annual date to appear at the amazing Volo Auto Museum- home of, among other things, the 1966 TV Batmobile, both the Munster Coach and Grandpa’s “Dragula” racer from The Munsters, and more- for another round of autographs and photos with our fans! You can check for the exact date and time information on our website, Svengoolie.com, under the “appearances” tab.
By the way, I would like to thank all of you for making our comic book- Svengoolie: Lost in Time a big success! We know the distributor completely sold out of copies to comics shops- and that many of those stores themselves sold out of the book… and, yes, there WILL be a second book- preparations to begin work on it are now in the early stages!
By the way- we know many of our fans actually dress up as me for Halloween- if you do so, please send your photo- as an attachment- to [email protected] and later in the year, we’ll show a monstrous montage of all the pseudo-Svens! (Check out your local costume shop, too- you just might see the amazingly lifelike full-head mask of Sven created by Trick or Treat Studios!)
It is really an honor for me to be given such a prominent place in the celebration of Halloween- and I am grateful, as always, for the support of all you viewers, not just in October but all year long!
Join me on MeTV for “Svengoolie’s Halloween BOOnanza”- oh, and, by the way, we also have the equivalent of pumpkin-smashing, t.p.ing, and window soaping- we call them- commercials.