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Svengoolie To Be Honored By City Council For 40th Anniversary As A TV Horror Host

"He's a Chicagoland icon and it's not every day you get to congratulate one of the masters of horror, cult horror, on celebrating 40 years in business," said Ald. Ray Lopez.

Svengoolie is a Chicago icon.
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CHICAGO — Svengoolie will be honored with a resolution from the City Council to mark his 40th year playing the horror host.

Ald. Raymond Lopez (15th) has proposed a resolution for the City Council to honor Rich Koz, the man who plays Svengoolie, in honor of the milestone anniversary.

Every Saturday, Koz appears on the “Svengoolie” show, showing horror movies while telling corny jokes, singing and getting hit by rubber chickens. “Svengoolie” is shown throughout the United States but films in Chicago.

“He’s a Chicagoland icon and it’s not every day you get to congratulate one of the masters of horror, cult horror, on celebrating 40 years in business,” Lopez said.

RELATED: October Is Like Christmas For Svengoolie, Our Favorite Horror TV Host

Lopez grew up watching “Svengoolie” and it’s a tradition for him to catch the show on TV. It helped inspire his “love for horror, Halloween and all of that,” he said.

The character Svengoolie was originally played by Jerry G. Bishop. Koz took over as the Son of Svengoolie in 1979. He was promoted to full Svengoolie status in 1995 with Bishop’s blessing when Koz brought back the “Svengoolie” TV show.

And though the “Svengoolie” show hasn’t been on continuously over the last 40 years, Koz has portrayed the character on various TV shows, on the radio and in public appearances for that long.

“For me, he was able to show all of the best, worst and oddest horror films growing up,” Lopez said. “The impact that he’s had on [an entire generation] cannot be understated.”

Lopez hopes to give the certificate to Svengoolie at a party in the host’s honor Oct. 26 at the Museum of Broadcast Communications, 360 N. State St. The museum is home to Sven’s retired set.

It’ll be Lopez’s first time meeting Svengoolie, the alderman said.

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“This will be almost like a childhood dream to meet him in person and to recognize him for his great accomplishments, not only for Chicagoland but for making the city of Berwyn famous, as well,” Lopez said. “As long as I don’t get hit with a rubber chicken, we’re good.”

The party at the museum will also feature the unveiling of a special Svengoolie exhibit. There will be artifacts from the “Svengoolie” set, a Halloween costume cast and a meet-and-greet with Koz. The event kicks off 6:30 p.m. Oct. 26 at the Museum of Broadcast Communications, 360 N. State St., with tickets costing $50.

There will also be a private reception with Koz before the event where guests will be able to get a photo with Svengoolie. Tickets for that cost $150, including admission to the main party, and the event runs 5:30-7 p.m.

Tickets are available online.

Svengoolie will also be featured in a DC comic book series on sale next month.

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Credit: Kelly Bauer/Block Club Chicago
The Museum of Broadcast Communications has the old set of “Svengoolie.”