Big Chuck & Lil' John - Following the success of
Ghoulardi, a popular early 1960s horror show host in Cleveland, Charles
"Big Chuck" Schodowski (a former TV engineer-turned producer who wrote comedy
skits for the Ghoulardi program) and "Little" John Rinaldi (a four-feet
three-inch balding jewelry store owner with a mustache) co-hosted horror movies
at noon and 11:30 PM on Saturdays on "The Big Chuck and Little John Show"
(formerly "Hoolihan and Big Chuck Show") on WJKW-TV (formerly WJW) from 1966
In between movie segments, the hosts and regulars on the program performed
take-offs of popular TV programs like FANTASY ISLAND (with Little John as Cuckoo
and Big Chuck as Mr. Roarke who lived on "Fallacy Island.")
Other skits included "That Certain Ethnic" (about a naive polish immigrant
played by Big Chuck); Soulman (a black superhero played by Herb Thomas), Ben
Crazy (a parody of the popular medical program BEN CASEY with Nurse Goodbody
played by Julie Ann Cashel) and Bridget the Midget (originated by Little John
Rinaldi in 1972).
The "Big Chuck and Little John" show was also featured on "25 Years of Friday
Night," a 1988 anniversary special that honored early local TV celebrities
including Ernie Anderson (a.k.a. "Ghoulardi") and former cohost Bob Wells (a.k.a. "Hoolihan"
who left the show in 1979).
In October of 2006, Big Chuck and Lil' John were inducted into the "Living
Legends" wing of the Radio and Television Broadcasters Hall of Fame. See also "Frank & Drac"
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