The Ghoul - In 1971, a 21-year-old Cleveland
native named Ron Sweed resurrected the
Ghoulardi character by creating The
Ghoul on WKBF-TV Channel 61. The Ghoul sported a mustache, goatee, a zany wig, a
buttoned covered lab coat and sunglasses missing the left lens.
The Ghoul enjoyed inserting the sound of flushing toilets into the middle of
a movie scene and blowing up things with firecrackers (a la David Letterman's
fetish with dropping things off building to see them smash on the sidewalk
The Ghoul especially enjoyed blowing up a character called Froggy, a silly
looking frog in a tuxedo that was inspired by the Froggy the Gremlin character
from ANDY'S GANG in the 1950s. You could say that the Ghoul's Froggy was the
forerunner of the Mr. Bill puppet who constantly got sliced, diced, chopped,
pummeled and pureed by the heartless Mr. Sluggo character on NBC's SATURDAY
Ron Sweed, once told Cleveland.com "I took what Ghoulardi did ten steps
further and made it more radical--that's why they called me punk rock puke."
During one show, a teenager named Russ Stein made a request "Please sing
Happy Birthday to me on your show this week." The boy came to the studio with a
home-made birthday cake to celebrate the moment. But when it came time to sing,
The Ghoul said "I've never done it before and I'm not going to do it now." Then
The Ghoul picked up the birthday cake and smashed it in to the boy's face.
The boy responded, "You're Sick Ghoul. Sick! Sick! Sick!" Of course, the whole
thing was done in fun.
When The Ghoul was canceled, Sweed took his zany character to Detroit station
WKBD from 1974-75. In 1982, he returned home to Cleveland where once again The
Ghoul was seen on Channel 61 on Saturday afternoons from 12:00 to 2:00 PM.
Throughout the 1980s, The Ghoul was syndicated in such major markets as Boston,
Chicago, Detroit, Los Angeles, Philadelphia, and San Francisco. The Ghoul
Show ran on Cleveland's WBNX Channel 55 from 1998-2003.
A similar character The Son of Ghoul played by Kevin Scarpino aired in
Canton, Ohio on WOAC Channel 67 in 1987.
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