Yet, Svengoolie is more than just a Chicago icon these days.
He’s drawn fans nationwide, hosting horror movies at 7 p.m. Saturdays on the MeTV network since 2011. Before that, he appeared through WFLD in Chicago. He’s also hosted “Stooge-a-palooza,” a tribute show for the “Three Stooges” and won numerous awards, including eight regional Emmy Awards.
His fans range in age from children to seniors, from “young hipsters and the people shopping at Wal-mart,” he said.
Like Svengoolie, Koz, himself, prefers the classic horror movies, such as 1960’s “The Brides of Dracula,” airing at 7 p.m. Oct. 28 on MeTV with Svengoolie, of course, as host. Next month, he’ll show one of his most popular movies, 1948’s “Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein.”
Among his other favorites are classics such as the original 1931 “Frankenstein,” 1941’s “Wolf Man,” “The Bride of Frankenstein” from 1935 and 1954’s “Creature from the Black Lagoon.”
He’s also a fan of the original “Nightmare on Elm Street,” released in 1984, and the original 1978 “Halloween.”
As for today’s horror, “I think a lot of them go too far,” he said. “I can understand the special effects, but I don’t think we need as much gore as shows up.”
An exception is the new “It.”
“All the Stephen King stuff is great. It’s more of a good old-fashioned scare type of thing,” he said. “Who doesn’t love a creepy clown?”
Growing up, Koz said he was afraid of everything – “monsters, the dark and things like that.” So, it’s ironic he’s now the host of horror movies.
“It’s those quick scares that come out of nowhere that always make me jump,” he said.