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Ghoulardi - Madcap beatnik with a mustache and goatee who hosted Shock Theater, a horror show based in Cleveland on station WJW-TV Channel 8 from 1963-66.

Ernie Anderson as Ghoulardi

Ghoulardi was played by Ernie Anderson, a former deejay who reveled in putting down his Friday night late movies (calling them "Bombs"). In fact, Ghoulardi at times edited himself into a movie scene so he could be part of the action, like running from monsters or interacting with the cast of a Flash Gordon serial.

Ghoulardi's vocabulary included zany phrases like:

  • "Knif" (Fink spelled backwards) -"All the world's a purple knif"
  • "Stay sick"
  • "Turn blue"
  • "You wouldn't believe!"
  • "Cool it with the boom-booms."

Ghoulardi became so popular that he also hosted the afternoon program Laurel, Ghoulardi and Hardy featuring comedy shorts every weekday at 5:00 P.M. and on April 13, 1963, the station gave him a second weekly movie show, Masterpiece Theater at 6:00 p. m. Saturday.

Local Cleveland Advertisment with Ghoulardi

Because of Ghoulardi's fame, Cleveland Police reported crime on Friday night was far lower that any other night of the week with juvenile crime dropping some thirty-five percent during the show's broadcast.

A typical letter to Ghoulardi read "You're awful! I don't know how my little girl can like you so much" or "We love you. You're so different. Drop dead!"

In 1966, Ernie Anderson quit his Ghoulardi gig and headed to Hollywood to work with his friend Tim Conway (of MCHALE'S NAVY fame).

Ernie Anderson as Ghoulardi

Ernie later became an announcer for the ABC network and soon his vocal style was familiar to millions of viewers. You see, Ernie (a.k.a. "Ghoulardi") was the man who popularized the catchphrase "The Lu-u-uhv Boat."

TRIVIA NOTE: In homage to Ghoulardi, Cleveland native Drew Carey wore a Ghoulardi T-shirt on his ABC sitcom THE DREW CAREY SHOW. Ernie Anderson (a.k.a. "Ghoulardi") died on February 6, 1997.

The history of the "Ghoulardi" phenomenon is chronicled in the book "Ghoulardi: Inside Cleveland's TV Wildest Ride" written by Tom Feran and R.D. Heldenfels, who are both TV critics for the Akron Beacon Journal.

Ernie Anderson as Ghoulardi

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