June 22, 2009

Happy 30th, Svengoolie

Like many single geeks, I spent my Saturday night the way I spent many a Saturday afternoon as a young man....watching Svengoolie on WCIU.

Of course, I had honestly intended to make that Comic Book Meetup, but the heat - and the day spent installing the air conditioner with my landlord - meant that I was tapped, and in sore need of a bad movie with many corny jokes inserted and in "Svensurround".

However, to my surprise - it was the 30th anniversary of Svengoolie appearing on Chicago television. Of course, he had begun on...well, a less enlightened station, but for someone who enjoys good, crappy moves from the 1950s, it was a goldmine for a young geek like me. From Roger Corman's oevre to the class Universal monsters....it was my end-of-the-week lesson in pop culture, conveniently scheduled a few hours after Polish language lessons at St. Pancratius.

Although I speak very little Polish, I now have a greater appreciation for the b-movie.

But one of the most pleasurable things about Svengoolie...was that it was one of my first real experiences of fan interaction. In my grammar school days, a letter of response resulted in a nice, autographed postcard/bookmark (which I still have)...and later, when Rich Koz hosted a non-Svengoolie-esque movie show, a letter of mine (involving Ginsu knives) was read on the air.

(It also involved possibly naming the series Zombie Vampire Cheerleaders from the Planet Scum, because at that time, that was the way I rolled. In fact, I'm even fortunate to live near the place where the show stocks up on rubber chickens. If that's not obsessive, I don't know what is.)

But this note is to wish Sven a happy 30th...from a guy who'll always keep watching.

Maybe, someday, even with a significant other....

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