This October, MeTV unearths the very first “Svengoolie’s Halloween BOOnanza,” a month-long celebration of all things Svengoolie, promising spooky, kooky and fiendishly fun movies, programs and specials for the entire family. And of course, highlighting the BOOnanza is another fiendishly fun classic horror movie title debuting every Saturday night at 8pm ET/PT, with host Svengoolie.
For 43 years, Svengoolie has entertained horror fans with his signature brand of satire and slapstick gags, poking fun at the classic horror films that defined the genre and the low-budget cult flicks nearly forgotten. After airing on local TV in Chicago, Svengoolie debuted on MeTV – America’s #1 classic television network – in 2011, introducing Sven and his ghouly gang to a new generation of viewers and fans nationwide.
Brought to life by Chicago media veteran Rich Koz from 1979, Svengoolie – along with his smart-mouthed sidekick, rubber chicken Kerwyn – has catapulted from Chicago cult celebrity to national icon, drawing audiences of thousands at fan events across the country. Throughout his distinguished career, Koz has earned eight regional Emmy Awards and was inducted into the Chicago Television Academy’s prestigious “Silver Circle” in 2004 for his outstanding contribution to Chicago television. Koz has also earned 11 Rondo Awards, which honor the best in the horror/sci-fi genre, for Favorite Horror Host. In 2020, Koz was inducted into the Rondo “Monster Kid Hall of Fame.”
In 2014, the Museum of Broadcast Communications in Chicago unveiled a Svengoolie exhibit featuring his original coffin and other exclusive artifacts from the show’s set. In 2016, Svengoolie teamed up with Rock & Roll legend Freddy “Boom Boom” Cannon for the hit single, “The Svengoolie Stomp” available on iTunes! Koz’s extensive career is chronicled in the popular book Chicago TV Horror Movie Shows- from Shock Theatre to Svengoolie written by Ted Okuda and Mark Yurkiw, and available from Lake Claremont Press.
In 2019, to celebrate his 40th anniversary, Svengoolie made his comic book debut in the limited comic insert series “Svengoolie Meets the DC Universe”, starring alongside DC Comics super-heroes Superman, Wonder Woman, as well as Gotham nemesis The Joker.
BILL LEFF - Host of Toon In With Me
Chicago-born actor, writer, comic and personality Bill Leff is the host of MeTV’s weekday morning show Toon In With Me, a series featuring comedy sketches, special guests, interviews, games and more, produced to lead into the greatest classic cartoon shorts ever made -- Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck, Porky Pig, Tweety, Road Runner and the many other fan favorites. The one-hour show airs weekday mornings at 7am ET/PT, 6C.
Bill is not only the host of the series, he is the show's ‘Cartoon Curator.' He is a pop-culture and classic TV fanatic who studied improvisation at Chicago’s Second City Theater, performed stand-up comedy nationwide in clubs and on national TV, and is a popular Chicago radio personality.
KEVIN FLEMING - Puppeteer, “Toony the Tuna” on Toon In With Me, Sventoonie
Kevin is a writer, actor and improviser originally from the Chicagoland area. He portrays “Toony the Tuna” on MeTV’s weekday morning show, Toon In With Me, as well as “Sventoonie,” the apprentice to Svengoolie, aka The Red Tuna of Terror.
Kevin was a co-head writer and series regular on the syndicated comedy Sports Action Team, which was distributed by MGM and aired on NBC affiliates across the country for two seasons. He has performed improv and sketch comedy throughout the country including The Second City, IO Theater and The UCB Theater. Writing credits include The New Looney Tunes from Warner Bros. Animation, Tom and Jerry, Be Cool Scooby-Doo, Wacky Races and Unikitty, LEGO City Adventures for Nickelodeon and Woody Woodpecker for Universal Animation Studios/Splash Studios.